Professor and Dean Emeritus Larry Wayne Richards was recently Visiting Professor in the Department of Architecture at the National C. K. University (NCKU) in Tainan, Taiwan. Founded in 1944, the NCKU architecture program was the first in Taiwan and is considered to be its leading school. The Architecture Department has more than 600 students in undergraduate, graduate, and Phd programs. There are now some 28 schools of architecture in Taiwan, which has a population of around 23 million. (This is interesting to compare with Canada which has 12 schools of architecture and a population of approximately 34 million.)
During his NCKU visit, Professor Richards presented a lecture titled "Same Thing Everywhere (X)" on globalization and cultural layering, as well as a five-day, third-year studio/workshop called "HUALIEN: Place + Hybridity + Personal Style." Toronto architect Michael Wong, an alum of NCKU's Department of Architecture, assisted Richards with the workshop which used the B.I.G. (Copenhagen) resort project in Hualien (Taiwan) as the context for the student project. NCKU is publishing a book documenting Richards' lecture and the student workshop.
Richards notes that Dr. Taysheng Jeng, the new Chair of the Department of Architecture, who studied at UCLA then completed a PhD. at Georgia Tech, is proceeding rapidly with innovation and internationalization. A new research building for parametric design and interactive architecture is also moving forward. Moreover, Richards was impressed with the school and its hard-working, enthusiastic students. "Teaching there was an extremely rewarding experience, and I expect to hear a lot more about NCKU Architecture in the next decade."