Apple, universally adored for its design innovation and strong aesthetics, has become the most valuable company in the world, capitalized today at more than $630 billion. Analysts expect Apple’s star will continue to rise as it designs its way into better and cooler products and projects. But not everyone is an Apple polisher. Bellevue feng shui master Shan-Tung Hsu warns that Apple may be designing its way into oblivion with the proposed circle-shaped Apple 2 campus headquarters in Cupertino, California, designed by the London architectural firm Foster + Partners. Hsu says the spaceship-like design, which will house 13,000 employees, violates many of the basic principles of the ancient Chinese discipline of feng shui because it lacks a strong spine, a central focal point to house the company’s “soul” and an opening to interact with the world. Such circular spaces as Apple’s planned building, while dynamic, do not resonate with corporate and intellectual activity, he says. They can “spin but not grow” and are the antithesis to creativity and productivity. Hsu continues: “The open green space in the center is too large and the only focal point is the empty green space. ... When the focal point, known in feng shui as the energy spot, is empty, no other design features are significant, no matter how elegant and innovative the design.” Apple’s cofounder, the late Steve Jobs, was an ardent student of Eastern philosophies such as Zen Buddhism, but his interest apparently didn’t extend to feng shui. Jobs claimed the facility would be “the best office building in the world."
Lazowska’s other initiatives include promoting K-12 STEM education and gender diversity in the UW program. He champions the notion that all students should study computer science to cultivate the “computational thinking” skills needed for the new century.
Lazowska marvels at the region’s transformation into a place “with distinctive and innovative activities in the broadest range of areas.” With his trademark enthusiasm for the UW and the local tech sector, this celebrated educator, researcher, adviser and booster has played an important role in that transformation.
Previous Tech Impact Champions
Tech Impact Champions are chosen not only for their achievements in technology but also for championing the region’s broader tech sector. Past inductees in Seattle Business magazine’s Hall of Technology Champions, previously called Lifetime Achievement Award honorees, are:
2012: John McAdams, former CEO, F5 Networks
2013: Jeremy Jaech, cofounder, Aldus and Visio, and chair emeritus, the Technology Alliance
2014: Steve Ballmer, former CEO, Microsoft
2015: Tom Alberg, cofounder, Madrona Venture Group