Stephen Chung is the host of Cool Spaces! The Best New Architecture, a prime-time series for PBS, premiering in April 2014. Each hour-long show focuses on “the most exciting architecture of the 21st century.” From napkin sketches to paper models, Chung delivers a compelling behind-the-scenes look at the design process underlying some truly amazing structures. Chung doesn’t just interview living legends like Frank Gehry; he also brings in the perspective of the people who use the buildings every day. These interviews sometimes bring into sharp focus a question that haunts the intersection of art and commerce where architecture lives: is the customer always right?
So what’s Stephen’s story? A Boston architect who lost his job in 2007 (approximately 30% of architecture jobs were lost in the US during the 2007-2009 recession), Stephen’s positivity, his urge to build something from scratch, and his passion for architecture never waned. Seven years later he’s an on-camera spokesperson for the art of architecture, where he may eventually have more influence on his field than if the recession hadn’t altered his original plans. He hopes to inspire others to join the ranks.