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Alumni: Giving U of T more reasons to be proud

Alumni Portraits
Sywa Sung
Current Industry: Entertainment
Bachelor of Architecture (BArc) 1994

After graduating from the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design in 1994, Sywa Sung began working in traditional commercial and house designs. A couple of years into his career a light bulb went off when he read about Star Trek: The Experience, an entertainment attraction at the Las Vegas Hilton Hotel which simulated space flight in a shuttle craft. “I realized that this kind of multidisciplinary project was what I had been searching for, combining my various interests in movies, TV and entertainment with my skills and knowledge in architecture, design and illustration,” Sung said.

Sung’s time at U of T prepared him to make the move into this multifaceted business. “The education was very rigorous,” he said “it made my mind sharp and made me know what questions to ask when I’m on a project and taught me how to think in an inquisitive, in depth and meaningful way.”

In the fall of 1996, Sung attended a theme park convention in New Orleans where he had a chance conversation that resulted in a job offer from Sony Development. “My time at Sony was a dream come true,” recalled Sung. Moving to California, he worked as part of a small team that designed Metreon, a 350,000-square-foot, four-storey San Francisco entertainment centre. During his the three year tenure at Sony, Sung also worked on similar projects in Tokyo and Berlin.

Over the past decade, Sung has been involved in numerous exciting projects, including contributing to the set design of “The Incredibles” for Pixar Animation Studios, the Academy Award-winning creators of the “Toy Story” trilogy and “Finding Nemo.” Sung was a Director of Project Design involved in a Warner Bros. theme park in Abu Dhabi, UAE and involved in the re-fresh of Test Track Presented by Chevrolet at Epcot, Shanghai Disneyland for Walt Disney Imagineering, and exhibits for Activision, Best Buy, Variety, CBS, NBC Universal and Bally’s Casino.  Currently, Sung is Creative Director for Location Based Entertainment  at 20th Century Fox, overseeing creative and design issues for Fox’s first branded theme park set to open in 2016 in Malaysia.   “I follow my instincts,” said Sung and am drawn to work that “touches people in some tangible and emotional way.”

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