WHAT PEOPLE SAY
An open letter from Bruce Goff:
Eugene Tssui (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 Tssui 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 and 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 Tssui 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 Tssui’s professors considered him “too hot to handle” and he felt Tssui 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 Tssui 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 Tssui. 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 Tssui will be so regarded.