Allen Ai EDAC, LEED AP BD+C

As a designer at PCA, Allen mixes the practicality of the built environment with inspirations found in nature.

  • I’m from  China.

  • My education  M.Arch, Washington University, Saint Louis

  • Notable accomplishments/awards  First prize for the National College Students Sustainable Building Design

  • Community service  Worked as a mentor in the Alberti Program at WashU, teaching K-12 students about architecture

  • Why PCA?  Professional, cooperative and inclusive firm culture

  • My earliest design memory  I designed the interior space with my parents' help in our second apartment, including applying the theory of Fengshui.

  • My favorite space  An exterior corridor in the Red-Brick Art Gallery, Beijing, China. The corridor is composed of seven identical brick-made walls with circular holes to let people pass by.

  • A space that has affected me  Master of the Nets Garden. It is a traditional Chinese garden, where buildings and landscapes are compactly designed but they do not let people feel oppressed.

  • I love Cambridge because  of its beautiful river landscape and excellent education system.

  • I’m inspired by  René Magritte's artworks: how to depict ordinary objects in an unusual context and how to organize them to reach good composition.

  • On Saturday mornings, you can usually find me  jogging along the Charles River.

  • Cats or dogs?  Dogs; particularly corgis

  • If I were a Pantone swatch, my color would be  19-4052 — Classic Blue.

  • Favorite book  The Aesthetic Townscape, by Yoshinobu Ashihara

  • If I could snap my fingers and become an expert in something, it would be  painting.