Member Profile: Fai Chong, Assoc. AIA
Fai Chong, Associate AIA, LEED AP, is a Senior Planner and Urban Designer at HKS in San Francisco. She is currently
completing her ARE and AICP exams to become a licensed architect and certified planner.
As a Bay Area native, Fai’s career path has taken her around the world to work on planning and architectural projects in developing regions. Currently, Fai is working on domestic and international planning projects for public and private clients. Previously affiliated with the AIA Washington DC chapter as an international member, she recently transferred her AIA membership to the East Bay chapter.
Fai was initially introduced to the field of architecture while attending drawing and design programs for high school students at Ohlone College, Mission Valley ROP in Fremont, and UC Berkeley. Interacting with design professionals at a young age fueled her interest in pursuing architecture as a career. She continued her undergraduate studies at UC Berkeley’s College of Environmental Design. As a student, Fai interned with Wood Associates in Berkeley, where she had the opportunity to work on ADA compliance and interior renovation projects under the guidance of experienced architects.
Upon earning her Bachelor of Arts in Architecture, Fai relocated to Asia for the opportunity to work at the forefront of urban development. The rapid pace of projects in developing regions often required designers to take on roles across multiple disciplines. Working on urbanizing places in Asia and the Middle East instilled in her the importance of planning and architecture as an integrated progress. With this in mind, she went on to attend University of Oregon’s Portland Urban Architecture Program, graduating with a Master of Architecture degree focusing on urban design. Afterwards, she joined RTKL to help launch its Planning & Urban Design studio in Beijing. Among her favorite projects was Hainan Xiuying Port, a 160-acre mixed use waterfront master plan that was selected for a design exhibition at AIA’s headquarters in Washington DC.
Outside the office, Fai has a passion for promoting history and culture in underserved urban neighborhoods. While attending graduate school in Portland, she was actively involved in Portland Chinatown’s neighborhood development and led popular neighborhood walking tours. Since relocating back to the Bay Area in 2014, she has been volunteering as an English teacher in Oakland’s Chinatown, where she hopes to gain a better understanding of the neighborhood needs and contribute to its sustainable growth. ■