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October 19, 2011 To whom this concerns, I have been asked by Stephen Sun to write a letter of introduction to you. Stephen is a recent graduate of the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-arc) where I am now in my seventh year of teaching Professional Practice B which is focused on strategic marketing and business development for aspiring architects. I started my career in a similar capacity to the position Stephen is applying for in 1989 at Morphosis. Stephen is an especially inquisitive young man compelled by intense curiosity to explore new ideas and experiences. He is also able to fully engage and immerse himself in the challenge before him. His professionalism, sincerity, and frankness distinguish him from his peers. Stephen is always brimming with possibilities and is, at heart, a design thinker with an uncanny ability to conceive multiple innovative solutions to a problem. He excels in problem solving by identifying opportunities and a complementary ability to identify the an optimal solution from among a variety of approaches, a valuable trait in design as well as the strategy side of practice. His humanity, discipline, and dedication to enriching the lives of others is exemplary among the hundreds of aspiring architects I have encountered since my own design education in the late seventies. For their final project, the students were grouped as teams to act as a hypothetical firm and asked to respond to a hypothetical Request for Qualifications. Stephen was the go-to guy to get things done in an environment of teamwork and collaboration. In their final review, Stephen and his group presented themselves as a collaborative to seven professionals outside of architectural discipline; he argued persuasively and with conviction. The entrepreneurial mojo demonstrated by launching his own startup in 2008, Sunplots, demonstrates how Stephen is able to make things happen and not just talk about it. Stephen was initially motivated by financial constraints and a desire to optimize his classmates' financial budget by purchasing a used HP designjet 500 for the intense workload of graphic presentation. (I understand the monthly cost of printing their assigned presentations at SCI-arc far exceeds their rent.) This natural entrepreneurial spirit was initially not nurtured by SCI-arc administration. However he boldly diverged from convention and demonstrated his inherent leadership capacity, by establishing an alternative to the expensive plots that were a profit center for the school. Over the next three years, his client base expanded ten folds when Sunplots' reputation reached Art Center, PCC, USC, UCLA, professional firms, and of course even myself. I am confident that he will help anyone he works for to question assumptions and discover unrecognized opportunities and efficiencies . Please don't hesitate to contact me at 323 462 0707 if you have any questions about him. Stephen is an exciting prospective Business development intern, and I expect his intelligence and enthusiasm will be an invigorating contribution to your office. All the best,

Janet Sager SagerMonti, Partner


October 13, 2011

RE: Recommendation Stephen Sun To Whom This May Concern: I know Stephen as a student from my Fall, 2010 Vertical Studio at SCI-Arc. Stephen was a really fabulous student. We did some very complex mold-making and semi-rigid composite prototypes and his was by far the most advanced and thoughtful. In fact, I still show his work to other students often as an example of multi-material applications in architecture. He was a relentless worker and totally self-motivated. He set the bar high for everyone else. I am very thankful to have had such a lively character in my group. I would highly recommend Stephen for any future academic program or work. Please email me with any questions you may have at


Tom Wiscombe Principal, EMERGENT Applied Studies Coordinator, SCI_Arc

Volkan Alkanoglu | DESIGN

Reference for Stephen Sun

October, 16th 2011

To whom it may concern, It is with great pleasure, that I can write this letter on behalf of Stephen Sun. I am a Los Angeles based designer and currently serving on the Design Faculty for Graduate Studies at SCI-Arc, Southern California Institute of Architecture in Los Angeles. I have taught architecture classes at institutions such as Harvard University, Graduate School of Design, Princeton, School of Architecture, Lund Technical University, Sweden, and the Architectural Association, School of Architecture in London. As Stephen’s 4th year studio instructor and mentor at the Southern California Institute of Architecture, it was apparent he met the prerequisites to take on any challenge: the passion for learning, the dedication to the work, the respectful competitive spirit, the entrepreneurial design mentality, just to name a few. Stephen’s most notable attribute though is the urgent optimism to aim for excellence. While assisting me in fabricating the 2010 Sukkah City Pavilion, Stephen was managing his plotting business, expanding his self installed rock climbing wall, while assisting his team in developing the prototype for the Solar Decathlon competition. In the studio environment, Stephen would literally jump to any and all opportunities that would benefit the studio even at his own expense. His own personal work is filled with undaunted exploration and experimentation, unimpeded by the fear of failure or mistakes. He is constantly on the frontier of new design techniques while engaging in discussion on contemporary issues in the discipline and profession. It was a privilege for me to see him develop into a strong designer, and is therefore my pleasure to highly recommend Stephen Sun. Finally, please allow me to assure you that he will contribute and grow into an integral member to your program. Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at 857.654.4126. I can highly recommend Mr. Sun and wish him all the best for his future career. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any queries, or if you require further information. Kind Regards,

Volkan Alkanoglu SCI-Arc Design Faculty M.Arch | Dipl.-Ing. | ARB | AKNW | LEED AP

Volkan Alkanoglu | DESIGN 2404 Wilshire Blvd 11F, Los Angeles, CA 90057, Phone: +18576544126 Email:

SCI-Arc 960 East 3rd Street Los Angeles, CA 90013 RE:

Stephen Sun’s Application

Dear Madames et Sirs, I recommend you accept Stephen Sun’s application to your program. Stephen had been recommended to us by Laura Lee, head of the department of architecture at Carnegie Mellon University and entered our firm this summer as an intern like a shot from a cannon. It has been many years since either my wife and business partner Catharine and I have known someone as excited about doing, reading, talking about and experiencing architecture as Stephen. He easily seemed to have twice as much energy as the rest of us! In addition to the full work day he put in at our office, he also organized architectural tours for friends, produced a submission with other friends for an architectural competition and directed a film on architecture. Stephen has formidable technical skills. He learns new programs quickly and continually refines his skills. He looks for fresh ways to represent the built environment and communicate the experience of occupying it. Work just pours out of this guy. And he works hard at it. From us he got red lines picked up, plans and elevations laid out, sections and details drawn, 3d models made, and animations created of several projects. From him we got questions on nearly every aspect of our business he was involved with, animated conversations about the various projects he would display in the current magazines and books arrayed on his desk, and the flint that stoked the age old questions about what architecture is, is not and could be. He also makes a mean pound cake. Stephen is a joy to be with; he is friendly and caring. He quickly earned the respect of our other summer interns and the rest of us “older folks”. He wants to make a difference. At SCIArc, he will. Best,

Daniel Garber Carnegie Mellon University B of Arch, 1980

Fergus Garber Group 81 Encina Avenue Palo Alto phone 650/473-0400 fax 650/473-0410



OCDC / 250 East First Street / Suite 201 / Los Angeles CA 90012 / 310.383.1369


December 31 2011 To who it may concern, My name is Andy Ku. Stephen Sun was an undergraduate student of mine at SCI-Arc from 2008-2009. I was his instructor for a few seminar courses involving visual studies and detail fabrication research. I was also a past employee at NBBJ Los Angeles from 1999-2002, having participated primarily in the Sports and Entertainment division and having worked on numerous large scale projects as a design lead. It is my pleasure to recommend Stephen to your office. Mr. Sun is a dedicated individual who has a talent for creative problem solving. I believe Stephen will be a good fit for teamwork and would have much to offer; he demonstrates strong efforts and ingenuity for building a productive career. Stephen Sun has my strongest recommendation for a potential position as an entry level designer.


Andy Ku

...................................................................................... Organized Crime Design Collective ™ / / Email:

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