Goff on Eugene Tsui
Eugene Tsui (pronounced Tsway) is a remarkable man;
a young visionary whose far-reaching ideas and designs encompass a multifarious
range of human endeavors which compels us to consider a radically different
vision of the world we live in. Architect, urban planner, industrial
designer, clothing designer, educator, artist, athlete, and musician;
I salute him as a young master already certain of his many and various
directions. His designs seem to have such a kinship with nature that
they often appear to be created by Nature itself with each design extending
into the realm of the fantastic. His designs are powerfully individual,
well thought-out and highly evocative. Materials are used in surprising
ways and his constant search for new methods and the invention of new
materials is rare.
At an early age Tsui was recognized as having an extraordinary facility
and passion for drawing and design. I have seen his rendering for a
school complex for a lunar community drawn at eleven years of age. It
is remarkable not only in its complexity and extensiveness of design,
but, also, for its innovative an visionary concepts; concepts which
sixteen years later are only beginning to be architecturally considered.
His thoroughness in details and insights into advanced technology were
already apparent. At seventeen Tsui won an honorable mention for "the
most exciting design" in an AIA competition. Before I met him, in 1976,
he had an impressive record of professional and academic experience.
What caught my attention was a phone call from the Dean of the graduate
school at Columbia University stating that they had a student of "superlative
talent" mentioning that one of Tsui's professors considered him "too
hot to handle" and he felt Tsui needed sympathetic help and guidance
to enable him to continue with his exceptional genius in architecture.
Recognizing that this was a polite but permanent expulsion from Columbia
I agreed to help him.
Therefore, I expected to meet a young man of exceptional talent, but
when he came for the interview I was astounded not only by the quantity
and quality of his beautiful architectural drawings, but also by his
remarkable and great enthusiasm for, and dedication to, architecture.
Throughout the six years I have known him I have come to realize more
fully how complete a person Eugene Tsui is. The range of his creative
work is awesome. He is endowed with indefatigable energy and industry.
Unlike many strongly gifted creative individuals I have met, he has
never shown any signs of conceit or "genius-itis"! He knows the difference
between superficial "personality" and genuine creative individuality,
and his aims are not limited to personal gratification. He has a larger
view of what needs to be done to help others.
In the nine years I was Chairman of the School of Architecture at the
University of Oklahoma, and the many schools here and abroad which I
lectured and gave design seminars, as well as continuing my own architectural
practice which I began 52 years before, I have encountered many gifted
and talented students and apprentices, but none as potential and strongly
creative as Eugene Tsui. I have never before met a young man in architecture
with such drive. If this praise seems too strong--it is only because
he deserves it--and earned it in my office. Individual creative and
imaginative works keep bursting forth when they must. Revolution is
evolution made apparent. Today's "radical" is tomorrow's "classic".
I have every faith that Eugene Tsui will be so regarded.
--Bruce Goff, Architect
March 22, 1982