Doris K. Sung

Phi Kappa Phi Faculty Recognition Award

Assistant Professor of Architecture
USC School of Architecture


In her pioneering proof of concept project, BLOOM, Doris K. Sung utilizes structures made out of lightweight flexible tiles fabricated from laminates of metal alloys—known as thermobimetals—to dynamically control ventilation and the intake of sunlight without additional expenditures of energy. Though these smart tiles are unfamiliar materials to architecture, she demonstrates that a structure built with such tiles responds to changes in sunlight for purposes of sun-shading, self-ventilating, and structure-prestressing. These compelling results provide the foundation for applying thermobimetal building materials to architectural structures, as well as direct inquiry toward the sustainable manufacture and use of these materials in construction, which can reduce reliance on artificial climate control systems.

By illustrating the viability of smart technologies to control energy consumption in the built environment, Professor Sung has influenced many areas of the architectural world. The Los Angeles-based Materials and Applications gallery exhibited BLOOM to the public, allowing visitors to experience her work’s unique interplay of surface, structure, and natural forces. Her artistic and academic efforts have been funded by the American Institute of Architects’ Upjohn Initiative, the Arnold W. Brunner Grant, and the Graham Foundation Grant.

In addition to her inspired scholarship, Professor Sung is the principal of dO|Su Studio Architecture. Her exceptional work has garnered many accolades, as she has been named a United States Artists Fellow and completed a residency at the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Center. She is also the recipient of an Architectural Guild Award, as well as several USC-sponsored awards for outstanding faculty research.

For her thought-provoking reconciliation of nature and technology in architectural design, Phi Kappa Phi is pleased to present its Faculty Recognition Award to Doris K. Sung.