Zhuo-ming Shia: TU Delft Best Graduate

News - 11 November 2021

Today, at the online TU Delft Best Graduate Award Ceremony 2021, eight recently graduated engineers presented their research and results of their excellent master thesis. Zhuo-ming Shia, graduate of the Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment received the prestigious title TU Delft Best Graduate 2021. For his graduation research, Zhuo-Ming developed a socially responsible process for global housing design.

I am a bit in shock and I feel very honoured to receive this title. I am very happy that my message is getting recognized, even beyond the architecture profession!

Zhuo-ming Shia

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From left to right: Prof.dr. Rob Mudde, Dr.ir. Nelson Mota, ir. Zhuo-ming Shia, Prof.ir. Dick van Gameren, Cindy de Visser


'A whole other level'

Prof. Rob Mudde, Vice Rector Magnificus/Vice President Education, and Chairman TU Delft Best Graduate Jury: “What struck the jury most is how Zhuo-ming rethinks the role of the architect in order to solve the problems that arise from rapid global urbanisation. Much more than someone who tells others how to live through their designs, an architect should be an interpreter between the needs, wants and constrictions of all the stakeholders involved in city housing. His approach shows how architects can take socially responsible housing design to a whole other level.”

The universal need for quality housing

When there is a global housing shortage, you do not go about creating one new dwelling at a time. Especially when there is a dire need for quality housing, sustainably designed, and befitting the people whom the dwellings are built for. Zhuo-ming designed a participatory housing design process for Addis Ababa in Ethiopia. His approach shows how architects can take socially responsible housing design to a whole other level. 

Dr. MaartenJan Hoekstra, Director of Education Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment: “In his design project Zhuo-ming shows us how architects can contribute to socially responsible housing, by combining methods of housing production with informal participatory processes. This win-win approach has the potential to be adopted in many contexts worldwide.”

I didn’t know that this is what I was capable of. In Delft, I had the opportunity to gain confidence in expressing myself and working on a project I truly believe in. I have taken this confidence in how architecture can be made relevant to my current job at an architecture firm in London.

― Zhuo-ming Shia

Zhuo-ming also received the additional Best Design Award during the award ceremony. Prof. Rob Mudde on behalf of the jury: “In his thesis work, Zhuo-ming covered every step of the process, from masterplan to management. Then, after this exhaustive investigation, he come up with a final technical design that is not just beautiful, but also utterly feasible.”

Eight winners

During the TU Delft Best Graduate Award Ceremony, all eight Best Graduates - one from each Faculty - were put in the spotlight. These excellent engineers all received exceptionally high grades from the examination board for their graduation research. Together they have published no fewer than three papers and six more are on their way for publication. They have collaborated with institutions such as Harvard University, Hafen City University Hamburg, ETH Basel and EPF Lausanne. Some participated in the Honours Programme Delft, were active in a Dreamteam or in the board of their master's association. Some even found the time to volunteer! Read the stories of all Best Graduates below:

Faculty of BK
Faculty of IDE

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Faculty of 3mE
Faculty of CEG
Faculty of EEMCS
Faculty of AE
Faculty of TPM
Faculty of AS