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Chen Zhao

Tokyo, Japan/China
M.Arch, University of Tokyo

Prior to MIT, Chen spent 6 years with Nikken Sekkei, the largest architectural professional service firm in Japan. His major role was to help real estate investors and developers manage complex developments, with a focus on luxury hotels and resorts. As the owner’s project manager, he worked closely with international hotel management companies and renowned designers, fostering collaborations by reconciling the conflicting interests among stakeholders.

Chen also practiced as an architect on a rotational program for 2 years. During that time, he participated in several urban redevelopments and helped to develop “concurrent engineering” processes using BIM in the firm’s pioneer project. In the recent year, he assumed a concurrent position as digital solution consultant, a role that supports clients to envision and implement smart city solutions.

While pursuing his master’s degree in architecture at the University of Tokyo, Chen completed a business minor which eventually motivated him to obtain a U.S.CPA license. He also studied landscape urbanism at EPFL in Switzerland on an exchange program and holds a bachelor’s degree from Tohoku University in Japan.

Chen aims to create sustainable built environment by bringing together people from different cultural and professional backgrounds. Having traveled extensively across 6 continents, he is concerned about the ecological degradation accelerated by climate change, and aspires in the long-term to promote regenerative development where humans can co-evolve with nature as part of the ecosystem.