Meet Kenneth Lin | Member Spotlight

“I feel that architects have a responsibility to act against some of the biggest challenges facing our industry. We need to combat climate change by supporting sustainable design practices and end industry inequality by finding new and meaningful ways to promote diversity and inclusivity.”
Kenneth Lin, AIA
Member, AIAEB Board Member

Kenneth Lin grew up in Taiwan and took an unusual path to architecture. He initially came to the U.S. to study computer science but decided not to pursue it as a career after receiving his Master of Arts in Computer Science from Queens College in New York. During this time, his mother was a tailor on the New York fashion circuit, and he began work as a fashion designer. He worked in the fashion industry for 6 years, focusing on technical elements such as patternmaking. In 2008, after the economy crashed, he revisited his career path and decided to go back to school for architecture and became licensed in 2018.

Kenneth is passionate about addressing the role Architecture plays in climate change and designing Zero Net Energy (ZNE) projects. He recognizes that the built environment generates 40% of the annual global CO2 emissions and believes that architects have a responsibility to reduce this percentage by embracing sustainable building practices and innovative design strategies. As an Architect with HKIT, he is currently working on Enso Village in Healdsburg. Enso Village is a new Zen-inspired senior living community created in collaboration with the San Francisco Zen Center. Enso Village is targeting ZNE and includes products, materials, and systems that utilize 100% renewable energy. He is proud to be involved in this unique project that aligns closely with his values. Growing up in a society that values Zen and tranquility, he is also excited to see these practices taught to the senior residents at Enso to improve their quality of life. As someone who has always been interested in helping vulnerable/less fortunate populations, he sees his recent involvement with senior housing projects as an opportunity to utilize his design skills to create beautiful spaces for seniors to call home. 

He is intrigued about the changing trends in housing for California, how the pandemic will affect the office space, and the challenges that it will present. He sees office spaces being turned into housing and is interested in what will happen with new regulations. As a previous resident of New York, he noted that warehouses were often turned into living spaces and anticipates the possibility of that becoming the next trend in California as housing becomes scarcer and the demand grows higher.

He also advocates for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) in Architecture and shares this passion through his involvement in the East Bay Chapter of AIA. He was disheartened to discover that of 100K licensed architects in the United States, only 500 of them are black women, and it is part of his mission and work to push for inclusion and equity in the AEC industry. 

When Kenneth is not creating a more beautiful, sustainable, and inclusive space for the world, he is out walking his dogs, planting his vegetables in his garden, and trying to keep his carbon footprint to a minimum.

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