Convention Speaker Spotlight on Stephen Chung






Stephen Chung, AIA, LEED, AP

Stephen Chung, Architect

Boston, MA

Host, Cool Spaces! The Best New Architecture, a national television show debuting in Spring 2014; Premiering June 22 on WTCI, in Chattanooga.



Wanting to share his love for architecture with the general public, Boston’s Stephen Chung created a new public television show, Cool Spaces! The Best New Architecture. The show premiered on a number of national stations in April and is scheduled to air on some Tennessee PBS stations starting June 22.

His passion for architecture was kindled at Harvard Graduate School for Design. “I remember everything in college was the most fantastic thing; that’s when it was really exciting, I loved everything about it,” he said. “I love that feeling — the exhilaration of discovering and exploring a new building.”

Over the years, Chung found he wanted to share that feeling with people who aren’t architects — to educate them about what architects do and why they do it.

“The TV show was not the end goal, it was more about, ‘How can we get the word out?’ Television is a powerful medium and it allows us to share our world in a visually dynamic way,” Chung explained.

Cool Spaces! profiles signature, cutting-edge projects across the United States from start to finish; it takes viewers from concept, through the design process, to reality. The show introduces people not only to the architects but to their entire team, as well as other professionals involved in designing, planning and making buildings.

“There’s something about having an idea and then drawing it; figuring it out as a concept or blueprint; and then making it happen in real life,” he said. “I find the whole process really exciting, taking something from idea or imagination to something that is tangible.”

He emphasized the show is not about his own projects but rather an opportunity for him to lead viewers in a process of discovering what other architects are dreaming and doing. He added Cool Spaces! focuses on public buildings — spaces his audience members can actually learn about and then go and visit for themselves.

Chung will share his vision and the reality of his show at the upcoming AIATN Expo & Convention July 30-August 1 in Nashville. Like any architectural project, Cool Spaces! took years to create and bring to fruition, and he is asking Tennessee’s architecture community to help spread the word and get it into the public consciousness.

“This is all about the best in contemporary architecture, which plays a big role in developing something important and noteworthy. I want the public to understand what we as architects do and why it’s important,” he said. “People are around architecture every day of their life — it’s where they live, work, go to school. But most don’t take the time to look around or expect more from their built environment. And by that, I mean demand that buildings be built better: more attractive, more energy efficient, less costly, and so on.”

Design. Inspire. Transform.

Given the AIATN meeting theme, Chung said his own inspiration has come from many sources but what is most rewarding is to find out that someone’s life has been made better by the decisions he’s made as a designer.

“I’ve gone back to some of the people I’ve designed a house for who say, ‘I love being in this place, I love the lighting, I feel healthy here, I have a wonderful connection to the outside,’” he said. “All those kinds of rewards are hard to put into words but it makes me feel very good when I hear how someone has experienced something that has uplifted them or improved some aspect of their daily living. I find that very inspiring.”

Connect with Stephen Chung and Cool Spaces!

With a television show, Chung said utilizing social media is a natural. The show itself is part of a larger platform that aims to connect designers and non-designers, and promote architecture design via the web, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Google+, and eventually online education.



CoolSpaces! Lineup for Tennessee PBS Channels


Chattanooga – (two 2-show blocks)

  • Sunday, June 22, 3 pm/eastern
  • Sunday, June 29, 3 pm/eastern

Knoxville / Tri-Cities –

  • Sunday, June 6, 4 pm/eastern
  • Sunday, June 13, 4 pm/eastern
  • Sunday, June 27, 4 pm/eastern
  • Sunday, August 3, 4 pm/eastern

Memphis –

  • Tentatively September rotation

Nashville –

  • Tentatively July or August rotation