By Nicole Dominguez
Adeline Leung, a recent graduate from UC Berkeley, and AIA East Bay Student Director, was inspired to become an architect after moving to the states from living in densely populated Hong Kong for 14 years. Living in the skyscraper-laden Hong Kong and then moving to California with its open spaces and greenery made her “appreciate how the built environment shapes how people live and work and don’t get sick in their buildings.” This spurred her desire to explore the more sustainable side of architecture.
Adeline is a “pandemic graduate.” One of a select group of students that will have the unique experience of creatively connecting during their college years via Zoom. This unique experience has made her exceptionally versatile. While the beginning of her education was in-person, she “accidentally” learned how to work on-site and remotely. Whether in person or remote, she loves the collaborative experience of architecture.
She is part of the next generation of changemakers in architecture with a passion for sustainable housing and structures that give back to the planet. She is almost hesitant, calling her goals “idealistic”, but truly believes that a path can be found forward in creating buildings that give back to the planet.
To that end, she is extremely proud of a project she has been working on. Housed under a club through UC Berkeley called Sustainable Housing at Cal (SHAC), Adeline and her team are participating in the US Department of Energy solar decathlon competition. The goal of the project is to create a net zero energy community structure for the Youth Spirit Artworks Tiny House Empowerment Village in Oakland. Their project has been approved to advance to the next level of the competition and she and her team will begin building their design for the 2023 competition.
AIA has been instrumental in her career trajectory, not only as some of her mentors with help as a support system for the project above, but for guidance throughout her education. She likes the feeling of an architectural community and the leadership and guidance that the professionals at AIA offer helps forge those bonds. She also appreciates that with AIA, she has access to all types of professionals and has benefited from learning about their specific specialties.
She chose to specialize in the transportation and infrastructure side of architecture. This has landed her a position at the renowned firm, STV. Even more than design, she has a deep desire to find out “how the building works; the structure and different mechanical systems come together.” She has a passion for exploring the guts of the building and its working mechanisms and how it spatially comes together.
She has spent most of her lifetime as a ballet dancer, an almost architectural sport that incorporates space, balance, and symmetry. She urges everyone to get outside, take a walk, and enjoy nature. Don’t ruin it, just enjoy it. You may find her hiking in the beautiful Bay Area most weekends.