Scholar Class – 2011
Growing up in Penang, Malaysia, Kian Goh’s life-long love affair with complex urban spaces began with the lush ecologies and socially and politically intricate cities of Southeast Asia. Her experiences later as an immigrant - crossing boundaries of geography and nationality - further reinforced her awareness of the power of space and borders.
Kian formed SUPER-INTERESTING! in 2005, an architecture and sustainability consulting firm dedicated to social and environmental responsibility. The firm has completed key projects for the Red Hook Initiative, Times Square Alliance and Barnard College, garnering awards and citations for its proposals of the Newark Visitor Center and new schools in Haiti. Her work has been published in Metropolis magazine and Inhabitat. Previously, Kian worked with Weiss/Manfredi in New York City and with MVRDV in Rotterdam.
As a practicing architect and an out, queer woman, Kian combines her expertise in green design with community activism and social justice initiatives. She collaborated with FIERCE, a NYC-based group led by and for LGBT youth, creating concept designs for their campaign for a youth center in the West Village. She served on the Board of Directors of the Audre Lorde Project, a community organizing center for LGBT people of color.
Kian was awarded a 2010 New York State Council on the Arts grant to research the spaces of homeless LGBT youth to propose a new model of shelters. Her work on queer spaces has been published in Unspoken Borders (a publication of PennDesign), Progressive Planning and Places.
Kian received a B.A. in Mathematics from the College of Wooster and a Master of Architecture from Yale University. Her doctoral research will focus on architecture, politics and urban ecologies. She envisions a future of sustainable cities. She teaches at The New School and the University of Pennsylvania.