Posted by: aronchang | November 9, 2008

Profile: Aron Chang

Aron Chang

Aron Chang

Name: Aron Chang
School:  Harvard Graduate School of Design, Architecture, 2009
Environment Society at Harvard, co-coordinator
Harvard Climate Collaborative, co-coordinator
GSD Green Design, 2006-2007 co-chair
Hometown:  Irvine, CA

Given unlimited resources and access to whomever you’d want, what’s one environment-related change you’d like to see at your school?
There’s something about the way a design education at the GSD takes place that troubles me.  It makes sense that students spend lots of time, money, and material resources on making drawings and models as a way to learn about design and the construction of those designs.  At the same time, I find it difficult to reconcile the often shocking profligacy with which we use materials (you should see the school and its dumpsters during and after final reviews) with the precepts of sustainability that we are taught in our classes or which many of us seek to follow and will share with our clients when we become professional architects, landscape architects, and planners.  And no, I’m not sure if I could even suggest a solution at the moment.    

Earliest memory that made you realize, “yep, I care about the environment.” 

Either when I was reading Ishmael as a teenager and hoping to meet my own gorilla, or perhaps when I was told, being raised in a Buddhist family, that I should “sleep on a low bed.”  That cryptic charge I took to mean a number of things:  that there is a certain humility that each individual should strive for – which I then linked to a Buddhist conception of humanity belonging to far more vast webs of life and cycles of time – and also that there is no reason to sleep on a high bed when a low one would suffice. 
What did you do on the night of the presidential elections?
I played basketball, watched Obama’s speech, and then pranced with friends and classmates from Inman to Central to Harvard Square, with the joyful cacophony of car horns, singing, screaming, and clapping as our accompaniment late into the morning.  

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