In 2009, Andrew Haas (BS Architecture '09) graduated from the College of Design and moved to Beijing, China. He read several books about the rapid growth of urbanization in China and was intrigued by the work available for architectural designers.
"I originally intended to stay for a year," said Haas. "The opportunities that were presented to me were just too great [in China] to go back to the United States."
He spent two and half years working as a researcher and designer for Dynamic City Foundation, an internationally recognized research collective that focused on the burgeoning expansion of urban China. In 2011, Haas moved away from urban research and refocused his work towards parametric and non-linear architecture as an assistant architectural designer at XWG Studio Beijing. His work with the company involved large scale projects focused on conceptual and initial stages of design and building facade systems.
He was invited to participate in the 2011 Parametric Design Workshop in Beijing as an assistant instructor in the Advance Digital Design Studio; was a technical assistant at the Architectural Association's Visiting School - Beijing in 2012; and guest lectured at Tsinghua University and Jiatong University, considered to be two of China's best Universities.
This fall, Haas will begin an M Arch program through the Architectural Association in London's Emergent Technologies and Design program. He hopes to someday teach at the University level.
"The most influential experience at the U of M was my time spent working on an independent research project," explained Haas. "It allowed me the ability to understand what I can achieve on my own...which built up my confidence to continue to challenge myself in my research and design."
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