Yen Shao Liu – BIM Manager

A native of Tainan, Taiwan, Yen studied physics, architecture and business before moving to the U.S. in 2009. Enamored by the way people use space, he chose to excel in the field of architecture, as it is one of the few disciplines that combines science, emotion and culture.

A love of travel and experiencing different cultures was part of the impetus for his move to the U.S. where he first earned his bachelor’s degree in architectural studies at Arizona State University, followed two years later by his master’s of architecture degree with honors from Washington University in St. Louis, Mo. A year later, he earned a master’s of construction management from the same university.

Happy to leave behind the cold weather of the Midwest, he arrived in Phoenix in 2020 where he now excels in a profession that relies on his passion for helping people appreciate the architecture around them.

Want to learn more about Yen? Read on!

What do you like best about Arizona? I had been wanting to move back from St. Louis after graduate school. I love the weather and people here. It is very difficult for someone from a tropical island to live in a place with cold weather. Also, I really like that Phoenix has a lot of different cultures.  

Describe a memorable moment in your education. The best part was that I got an opportunity to study abroad in Barcelona for a summer. It was great to have the chance to live in another city outside the country for two months and explore its culture. After the summer semester, my wife, Chung Ying Kuo, and I were able to take a road trip in Europe for three weeks and we visited several works of architecture by great architects.   

Describe your family. My parents and little brother are living in Taiwan. My parents are retired. They live in a very small town with maybe 1,000 people. They are growing trees for the environment as a job after retiring. My brother is a mechanical engineer. Chung Ying and I got married in 2015. She is a music composer with a doctorate in musical arts. We have a 6-year-old son who loves singing and dancing. He is trying B-Box right now. I guess his talent in music comes from his mother.

Favorite architect? Tadao Ando 

Dream project? My own house

Was there a particular moment when you knew architecture was your destiny? I originally studied physics but it was all about theory and math. I couldn’t see anything in real life. After I made my first physical model of my project as an architecture student, I just realized that’s it. I finally could see and feel what’s in my mind. This is what I want for my life.

What was your most favorite/memorable job as a teenager? I was a manager at a bubble tea shop. I got to learn how to make all different kinds of bubble tea. Fun fact: Boba and bubble tea are both originally from Taiwan. 

Free time activities? I like to play PC games, cook dishes from different countries and go camping with my family.

What has been the most influential/life-changing event in your life? Being a dad really changed my life and the way I think. I have learned to care about people more and try to understand them from different perspectives.

Any special talents? I play pool well. 

You’ve won the lottery. How would you spend your time? Buy an RV or camper and have a long road trip with my family. It would be nice if we could do the road trip to different countries.

Dream destination? Kyoto, Japan. 

What is your greatest fear? I hate caterpillars.

Least favorite food? I like all kinds of food. It is just so fun to taste what other people taste and have totally different feelings.

What one life lesson have you learned so far? I have to pay it back sooner or later. It makes me more careful and thoughtful when I run into a situation. 

Name two things you do every day. Cook, play PC games and spend at least 30 minutes with my son to do whatever he wants.

Fireplace or bonfire? Bonfire