Joseph Lai

Joseph Lai

Senior Associate

“We can positively impact our cities and neighborhoods.”

I’ve lived all over. I’m originally from Kaohsiung, Taiwan, but grew up in Madison, Wisconsin and in Chicago. Then I went to college in New Orleans and lived in Washington, D.C. for 10 years before moving back here.

Erie on the Park stands out as my favorite Lucien Lagrange building. I love the sculptural top of the building with its angular balconies, as well as the expression of the structural bracing.

My thesis project at school was designing and building a house for a family in New Orleans right after hurricane Katrina. Spending a semester in the field, actually building a house that a family was going to live in, is something I still look back on fondly.

I am inspired by the idea that as architects, we can positively impact our cities and neighborhoods through design. I’d like to be known for making a positive and lasting impact on the world.

I grew up playing piano and violin and love classical music. If I wasn’t working in architecture, I think it would be fascinating to lead a symphony orchestra as the music director.

The senior leadership within our office have been working together with Lucien for many, many years. I like the variety of project types we do, while maintaining the same strong sense of design and attention to detail.

We are a small office, but we can complete complex projects successfully because everyone here is extremely talented and collaborates closely.