William Khoo Boo Chuan is the design director of the architecture firm, Design Network Architect (DNA) based in Kuching, Sarawak. Though originally a Penangite by birth in Peninsular Malaysia, he decided to make Sarawak his home and his studio after falling in love with the place and the community in Kuching.
After receiving his Bachelor of Architecture Degree with high honours from the University of New South Wales, Australia, William started his early career life working as an associate architect in an established architecture firm in Sarawak focusing mainly on corporate design and boutique works. After some time, his desire to venture out on his own grew stronger and, together with three other partners, founded DNA in 2000.
The firm has built extensively since setting up their practice. Currently, DNA has three partners, and continues to aim to be a research and design based practice, as what the name of the firm implies. DNA is passionate about collaborating with other specialists in their fields of expertise/disciplines, artisans and is also committed to the concept of cross-fertilisation of ideas through different platforms.
Common design concerns that prevail in DNA's works: The search for a Borneo narrative in their work; the appropriate response to climate context and culture; adept massing and crafting of spaces; and the tactile use and assembly of building materials. Recently there has been a conscious and constant distillation of the design solution - to achieve more with less.
DNA is also committed to the continuing process of learning and education. The firm has a continuing program that allows young students and trainees to learn about the architectural business; through apprenticeships in the studio. This initiative arises partly out of the will to contribute towards local community and as a quest for the architects to better themselves through the teaching of others.