Guo-Chou Chen 陳國洲
Shih Chien University
An introspection and an invitation.
Guo-Chou Chen MSAAD, Columbia University.
project designer, Chien Architects & Associates. 1995~2000
design executive, WIDE Design. 2000~2010
assistant professor in Shih Chien University. 2008~2016
associate professor in Shih Chien University. 2016~now
Since 2012, Chen has been leading the volunteer building project, for SCU, in Cambodia. Till 2019, the project for elementary schools in rural area of Cambodia has built 7 buildings, functions including health station, classroom, library and drinking water system.
Followed by the project in summer, Chen’s students in spring began study with the sketch research on wooden structure of Chinese and Japanese, then the one of Khmer. The training later turned to focusing on issues of realistic construction jobs, including material in rural area, timber section and length limit, joint construction, economical distribution of timber, and arrangement among manpower/time/material/aids from villagers.
Working in rural area in Cambodia is a challenge, the weather in rainy season, the relatively undeveloped condition, the cultural diversity. All came with the pressure of finishing a design-and-build project for daily usage of people within normally 8 construction days.
Volunteer job is a great experience. Especially when students widened their senses and mind in an extraordinary environment, brought what they’ve learned to reality, and touched the spirit of helping.
The course of these projects made themselves some opportunities for holistic education.