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Chapter Leader of the Month (April)

Gene Sun
AIAS University of Maryland


Gene Sun is currently a senior studying in the undergraduate architecture program at the University of Maryland, College Park. Initially studying biological sciences and psychology in pursuit of a medical degree, his career path changed when he discovered architecture as a focus of study at the University of Maryland. Gene switched majors to architecture at the end of his sophomore year at Maryland, and has enjoyed every minute since his transfer to architecture. What he has found most rewarding about the study of architecture is how it transforms the way that he sees and thinks about the world around him, the way that he has learned to approach problems from every angle and direction in order to generate appropriate solutions, and the physical and emotional values of the human experience.

Gene was at first most interested in architecture as a field that stressed visual means of communication, and conveying information through drawing. As he continues through the Maryland studio sequence, however, he increasingly appreciates the whole-minded approach of architecture, the challenge of uniting logic and practical reasoning with emotion and expressive creativity, something that his education has allowed him to do with great freedom and opportunity. He questions exactly what the architect will be in the rising generation of emerging professionals, and challenges himself to control and contribute to that definition in his design decisions and future career endeavors. He recognizes that the ability to shape human experience with physical environments is both an immense responsibility but also an incredible privilege; therefore, he plans to follow the path to becoming a licensed architect to make his vision a reality.

At the University of Maryland, Gene serves as the president of the AIAS chapter. Leading the chapter has been a challenging, but rewarding experience for Gene; his greatest goals for AIAS Maryland for the year have been to rethink the officer and member structure for the chapter, and to encourage a distinct but integrated social and professional atmosphere within the organization. Gene’s involvement in the AIAS began with his attendance to Quad conferences as a sophomore; he went on to become the AIAS school store manager as a junior, and stepped up to the presidency in his final year in the undergraduate program at Maryland. Some of the most successful events that the AIAS at Maryland has organized this school year have been a student lecture series, a universal design awareness event, a firm crawl to local offices, an interschool studio pen pal program, and the return of the Beaux Arts Ball to the Maryland chapter.

In his free time, Gene enjoys swimming and running, and he has a lifelong background in music. He played the piano for seven years and the violin for eight years through grade school. Gene also participated in many school productions as both a member of the orchestra and as an acting cast member in plays and musicals; in college, he sung as a performer with the UMD Generics, the University of Maryland’s all-male a cappella group, for three years before taking on the presidency of the AIAS Maryland chapter in his senior year.

Gene will graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Architecture in May, and will continue to work towards architectural licensure. He plans to work and gain job experience for some time following his undergraduate education, and eventually return to graduate school for a Master’s Degree in Architecture. His passion and commitment to architecture grows increasingly as he continues to learn about the beauty and complexity of creative design, and he is very grateful for recognition as the AIAS chapter leader of the month!


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