Professor Tiago Costa joined the Taiwan Tech Department of Architecture in September 2018. He studied architecture at the renowned Universidade Lusiada do Porto, Portugal, and also received his doctorate from there. He has worked as an architect for several years, before he decided to pursue a career in teaching. From 2013 to 2018, he was an Assistant Professor of Architecture at the American University in Dubai in the UAE. His research is focused on the crossroads between the projection of built/unbuilt, real/fictional environments in Architecture and Film.
Q:What brought you to Taiwan? Why did you apply for a position at Taiwan Tech?
Costa: First of all, I am passionate about teaching. I liked my work at the American University in Dubai which was demanding in many ways - teaching students from different cultures, with different educational backgrounds and career expectations. I learnt a lot, but after 5 years it was time to move on, and I started to look for positions at universities worldwide. The offer from Taiwan Tech was attractive, it is a highly ranked university and has a very good Department of Architecture.
Q: You have been teaching here for almost a year. What are your experiences so far?
Costa:Students are very motivated, hard-working, and disciplined, they are on a level with European students. I can easily relate to them, and, I think, that they can relate to me. As most of them has been exchange students in the US, in Japan, or in Europe, they have already had some international exposure. That is what Taiwanese students need in my opinion: They have to open their eyes and minds to the world, and they need good English language skills.
Q: Being new to Taiwan and to Taiwan Tech - what are the biggest challenges?
Costa: The biggest problem is the language barrier, I guess. Not being able to speak and read(!) Chinese makes certain administrative tasks quite difficult. It can also be quite an isolating experience. So, I am learning Chinese now with a private Chinese teacher. But Chinese is much more difficult than other languages I learnt so far!