Jack’s guest is revolutionary/evolutionary architect Eugene Tsui (or Tssui). Tsui is known for a number of highly experimental built projects emphasizing ecological principles as well as for his radical proposals for massive projects such as a bridge over the Strait of Gibraltar and a 2-mile-high Ultima Tower. Born in Cleveland, Ohio, Tsui was the child of Chinese immigrants and was raised in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He apprenticed under architect Bruce Goff and received a bachelor of architecture from the University of Oregon. He continued with graduate studies at the University of California, Berkeley where he earned two masters and a doctorate. Tsui specializes in nature-influenced architecture, preferring shapes and forms inspired by living creatures and natural constructions to standard rectilinear designs. The conversation between Tsui and Foley covers a wide range of topics, including the origin of the architectural “box”—the basis of almost all buildings—and the straight line, which Tsui calls “the line of death.” Tsui writes, “Architecture is the process that we instinctively recognize as the genesis of growth and creation. At its most fundamental level, it is the force of life desiring to manifest itself in material terms. Architecture gives form to the invisible pulses and rhythms of life. It gives structure to pattern and pattern to structure. It is an elemental power innate in all things. The physical manifestation of this power is a consequence of the desire for the invisible to be made visible. This desire, this great motivating force, is essential to life.”
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