Season 1 (2023-2024)


new transcripts shared weekly-ish



︎︎︎        01 SHALINI AGRAWAL            23 Jan 2023              North India

                + How architecture is a weapon of colonization even when the colonizers are no longer there
                + How cooking food is community engagement
                + Why never wanting to change her name is an act of resistance
                + How searching for places to belong led her to solidarity work with other women and communities of color



︎︎︎        03 BZ ZHANG                   30 Jan 2023              Anhui & Shandong, China

                + How being exposed to a wide range of what it meant to have roots in China inoculated them against verbal abuse growing up
                + Reflections on a recent shift from viewing their research as a means to produce tangible outputs to seeing it as a practice of bearing witness
                + Why it can be difficult to look at our own histories and how helping each other look is a solidarity-space key ingredient

                + How the origins of the Border Patrol and the experiences of undocumented Chinese migrant workers helps us understand that cultural stereotypes like
                    not speaking up and saving face are not merely inherent flaws, but also responses to racial trauma

                + How their trajectory in architecture was profoundly changed by the experience of being educated as an architect 

                + A wish for us all to stop worrying about being a “real Asian” and to make new cultural work together



︎︎︎        04 EMILY PILLOTON-LAM         9 Feb 2023               Hong Kong, Shandong, China, & France

                + How thinking about her multiracial identity as two wholes rather than half-and-half brought a sense of peace and deeper connections with her students
                + The personal and public significance of adding a “matriarchal hyphenate” to her name following the 2021 Atlanta spa shootings
                + How feeling different growing up led her on a path of discovering “the thing” at a young age
                + How her experience of intersectionality as an Asian woman in building and design offers insights into growth opportunities for her organization, Girls Garag
                + Reflections on what makes an Asian collaboration



︎︎︎        05 SHUNDANA YUSAF             13 Feb 2023             Northwestern Pakistan

                + The differences between her experience with (racial) trauma as someone who grew up in Pakistan and that of her daughter who grew up in the US
                    and why she doesn’t identify as BIPOC
                + Why she feared being a South Asian scholar for so long and what happened when she finally started to work on Islam.
                + How she is remaking, dismantling, and creating new tools to study the agentic energy of noise in South Asian cities
                + How different generations of our communities are shaped by the threats of diaspora
                + Navigating inter-community solidarity work as double outsiders and how the importance of creating roots and belonging keeps her going
                + An invitation to theorize the knowledge we embody as diasporic people



︎︎︎        06 CHRISTIN HU                22 Feb 2023             Guangxi, Guilin & Anhui, Hefei China
               

                + Why they felt disconnected from Chinese and Asian communities despite Chinatown’s proximity to their childhood home
                    and how holidays and other gatherings around food became moments of connection to their Chinese identity and family.
                + How identifying as Han and Hui Chinese is a way of showing respect and also an act remembering where they are from, particularly through their jíguàn
                + How the desire to cultivate community is inherently diasporic
                + Why we may need more Chinglish everywhere to bridge gaps in language and cultural understanding
                + The tension between self-compassion and doing stuff when practicing solidarity



︎︎︎        07 HALLIE CHEN                22 Feb 2023             Taiwan and China
               

                + How her experience and understanding of her identity is in some ways a story of institutions
                + Why she feels concerned that a lot of her ideas around self-discovery and creativity were formed in high school English class
                + Why it’s hard to be an architect without feeling like a colonizer and what we might do to mitigate that
                + How her practice is helping BIPOC business owners literally take up more space
                + A potential role for Asian American designers as the Robin Hoods of the architecture profession
                + How diversifying the inputs into our brains might help us find ourselves in our practices again



︎︎︎        08 JOYCE HWANG                03 Mar 2023             Taiwan


            + How the experience of assimilating as a six year old and the cumulative effect of microaggressions is connected to not thinking or talking about Asian identity
            + Reflections on what was gained and lost through always prioritizing other things over maintaining connection to her cultural identity
            + An appreciation that her extended family in diaspora is able to maintain strong networks of familial support
                and how cultural values that prioritize caregiving for elderly and ill family members highlights the deep sense of security she experiences
            + The impact of minor injustices on our lives and how to move forward without having to constantly explain ourselves or apologize for what we want 
            + The hope for a shift, particularly in places like Taiwan, from idolizing European architecture to celebrating the work of Asian architects on its own merits 



︎︎︎        09 NUPUR CHAUDHURY           03 Apr 2023             Pre-partition India


            + How the nuances of growing up in a mixed household with Gujarati, Bengali, Jain, Muslim, and Hindu identities encouraged her to work at intersections rather                     than firmly within one space, field, or lens
            + How her relationship to her homeland brought her to thinking about space and place
            + The power of utilizing herself as a strategy for Black liberation by leveraging her racial, financial, and educational privilege
            + Why being visible and showing up as herself and not just as a body is like wearing an itchy wool sweater.
            + Her desire to see more South Asian women being bold, brazen, unafraid of failure, and forging their own paths.



︎︎︎        10 A.L. HU                    06 Mar 2023             Taiwan and China


            + What calling themselves Taiwanese American means to them, what they know and don’t know about it, and why they stand for the stories of their Taiwanese                         parents even if they aren’t fully part of them
            + Why being Asian can feel like a black box of stuff that’s locked away
            + Reflections on how their experience is shaped by the intersection of their gender and their race, acknowledging that they haven’t explicitly thought about it
            + How high school speech and debate turned on a switch that has been stuck on and why they are curious about switching back
            + Ways they are making solidarities bigger, growing the movement, and finding strength in an invisible support network of “Asian American” as a political identity



︎︎︎        11 CHAZANDRA KERN              15 May 2023            Botolan, Zambales


            + How her identity and perception of America were shaped by her father's upbringing in diverse neighborhoods in the U.S., as well as her mother's experience 
                growing up in the Philippines and the impact of America’s portrayal in the Filipino consciousness due to colonial history  
            + How cooking with her partner and friends is helping her bridge the gap between identity work and built environment work
            + Her relationship to the word Asian as a mixed-race person and how having members of Design as Protest reach out to her in various circumstances expanded
                her sense of belonging to the Asian community
            + Imagining a future where Filipino Americans can show up fully and feel excited rather than burdened to share aspects of their ancestry and culture with others



















STORYTELLING SPACES OF SOLIDARITY IN THE ASIAN DIASPORA