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About Don Choi

Don Choi received his A.B. degree in economics from Princeton University, his M.Arch. degree from Rice University, and his Ph.D. in architectural history from the University of California, Berkeley. He has also received fellowships from the Japanese Ministry of Education to study at Kyoto University and from the Japan Foundation to fund research at Tokyo University.
Dr. Choi’s research focuses on the architectural history of the modern world. He is particularly interested in the constitution, manipulation, and exploitation of dyads such as traditional/modern, domestic/foreign, and local/international. At Berkeley, he wrote his dissertation, “Domesticated Modern: Hybrid Houses in Meiji Japan,” on the development of new types of residential buildings in nineteenth-century Japan. He is currently continuing his research on historical seismic architecture in Japan and on the role of architecture in the colonization of Hokkaido.
Since coming to Cal Poly in 2003, He has also developed interests in architectural preservation and the relationship between anime, architecture, and the imaginary landscapes. He is a member of the College Art Association, the Vernacular Architecture Forum, the Association for Asian Studies, and the Society of Architectural Historians.
At Cal Poly, Dr. Choi teaches courses in architectural history and design. In addition to offering a year-long survey of world architectural history, he teaches specialized lecture courses in Asian architecture and seminars on architectural history and theory.
Dr. Choi directs the quarter-long Japan study program for fourth-year architecture students and also serves as the on-campus coordinator for the Rome study abroad program.


Present Professor, Architecture, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo

Curriculum Vitae


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Honors and Awards

  • Paul and Verla Neel Faculty Scholarship, Cal Poly, 2005-2006