Keynote Speakers


Samuel Assefa

Sam Assefa is the Director of Seattle’s Executive Office of Planning & Community Development (OPCD), an office responsible for developing and implementing planning policies and programs to support Seattle's current and future growth as envisioned in the City’s Comprehensive Plan. OPCD is also the City's lead planning agency that is charged with coordinating cross departmental functions in order to comprehensively and systematically address growth, prioritize and direct investments, and assess how existing policies and practices encourage or discourage equity and future development. Full bio


Christopher Hawthorne

Christopher Hawthorne is the Chief Design Officer for the city of Los Angeles, a position appointed by Mayor Eric Garcetti. Prior to joining City Hall, he was architecture critic for the Los Angeles Times from 2004 to March 2018. With Alanna Stang, he is the author of "The Green House: New Directions in Sustainable Architecture" (Princeton Architectural Press). His writing has also appeared in the New York Times, the New Yorker, Slate, Architectural Record, Architecture, Harvard Design Magazine and many other publications. Full bio

He is professor of the practice at Occidental College, where since 2015 he has directed the Third Los Angeles Project, a series of public conversations about architecture, urban planning, mobility and demographic change in Southern California. Hawthorne has also taught at U.C. Berkeley's Graduate School of Journalism, Columbia University and the Southern California Institute of Architecture. A frequent collaborator with KCET-TV in Los Angeles, he wrote and directed the hour-long documentary "That Far Corner: Frank Lloyd Wright in Los Angeles," which had its broadcast debut earlier this year, and received an L.A.-area Emmy Award for the 2016 KCET program "Third L.A. with Architecture Critic Christopher Hawthorne." His other professional honors include a mid-career fellowship from the National Arts Journalism Program at Columbia University, the Bradford Williams Medal from the American Society of Landscape Architects and a Residency in Criticism at the American Academy in Rome. Hawthorne grew up in Berkeley and holds a bachelor's degree from Yale, where he studied political science and architectural history.



Featured Participants


Andrew Brown

Andrew Brown is a researcher trained in empirical analysis of programs and public policy. At Van Alen, Andrew oversees projects that explore the relationship between mental well-being and cities, and develops workshops that convene stakeholders to design strategies to urgent problems. Andrew received his Master of Public Administration from the Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service at New York University. He received his Bachelors in History from Williams College.


Greg Brown

Greg Brown is Program Director for AD EX, the Architecture and Design Exchange in Dallas, Texas. AD EX produces public programs on architecture and design, including films, exhibitions, lectures and tours, as well as offering a scholarship and fellowship program for architecture students and architecture graduates. He previously served on the Board of Directors of the Association of Architecture Organizations. Full bio

Prior to joining AD EX, he was Managing Director of the AFI DALLAS International Film Festival. Presenting over 200 screenings annually over 10 days throughout central Dallas, the Festival very quickly became one of the largest film festivals in the Southwest. Greg was responsible for most of the day-to-day operations of AFI DALLAS, as well as leading the Festival’s extensive education and outreach efforts.

Greg has worked in the arts and arts education in Dallas for almost 30 years. A native Dallasite, he earned undergraduate degrees and his M.B.A. from SMU. He went on to work at SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts in a variety of roles, including as Managing Director of both the Meadows School and the Meadows Museum. As Managing Director, Greg was responsible for most non-academic functions of the school, including marketing, public relations, development, ticket office, operations, events, facilities and production. He was instrumental in the opening of the new Meadows Museum in 2001 and in the development of a Meadows School and Museum strategic plan which resulted in an historic $33 million gift from the Meadows Foundation in 2006.

A musician, producer and director, Greg has worked with the Texas Boys Choir and the Dallas Summer Musicals and has directed several local productions. While at SMU, he produced eleven Meadows Award presentations to a stellar group of internationally-acclaimed artists, including Angela Lansbury, Wynton Marsalis, and Arthur Miller. The 1994 Meadows Award presentation to Stephen Sondheim was subsequently aired on the Arts & Entertainment television network. He has also produced tributes to Bob Hope and Greer Garson.


James Drinan

JAMES M. DRINAN, J.D., is the CEO of the American Planning Association and the American Institute of Certified Planners and serves as Secretary of the APA Foundation. A native of Boston, he received a B.A. in Political Science from Providence College and a J.D. from the DePaul University School of Law. He was a staff attorney in the Office of the General Counsel of the US Department of Health and Human Services, receiving commendations for his service as Acting Supervisory Attorney at the end of his seven-year tenure. Full bio

His association career began at the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons as the Director of Health Care Programs and Government Relations. He then became the Associate Executive Director of the American Association of Orthodontists, and in 2001, the Executive Director of the American Association of Endodontists. He has held his current position at the American Planning Association since 2014.

Jim is active in the American Society of Association Executives and the Association Forum, as well as the American Bar Association and many other organizations. He received the 2017 Samuel B. Shapiro Award for CEO Excellence from the Association Forum. Jim has served on, and chaired, numerous boards and committees in the association and legal communities, as well as his college alumni association and condominium association, and does what he can to help the Boston Red Sox win the World Series.

Thirty years in association management, more than half that as a CEO, have led to Jim’s passion for strategic planning, leadership development, continuous quality improvement, and culture-building. Facilitating an effective member-staff partnership in the unique space of associations is his primary contribution as a CEO.


Rosamond Fletcher

Rosamond Fletcher, Assoc. AIA, is Director of Programs at the Design Trust for Public Space, a nonprofit organization that unlocks the potential of New York City’s shared spaces. She leads the strategic development, implementation, and assessment of Design Trust’s programs. Rosamond has extensive experience in executing cross-sector partnerships, managing multidisciplinary project teams, and engaging stakeholders. Full bio

Projects include: Power in Place with South Bronx Unite, Plaza Stewards with the Neighborhood Plaza Program at the Horticultural Society of New York and Uptown Grand Central, Opening the Edge with New York City Housing Authority, and El-Space / Under the Elevated with NYC Department of Transportation. She teaches at the Urban Lab, Schack Institute of Real Estate, New York University, and has taught at Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) and Georgia Institute of Technology. Rosamond holds a Master of Environmental Design from Yale School of Architecture and a BArch and BFA from RISD.


Phineas Harper

Phineas Harper is a critic and designer based in London. He is Deputy Director of the Architecture Foundation and Chief Curator of the 2019 Oslo Architecture Triennale. He writes a regular opinion column for Dezeen and founded the architectural debating society, Turncoats with Maria Smith. He leads the BAME-only design criticism course, New Architecture Writers with the historian Tom Wilkinson and is former Deputy Editor of the Architectural Review.


Marten Kuijpers

Marten Kuijpers is a Rotterdam-based architect and researcher. He studied architecture at the University of Technology in Eindhoven and graduated with distinction in 2008. He worked for several Dutch architectural practices. He curated the lectures and debates program of the Netherlands Architecture Institute (NAI) between 2010 and 2013. Since 2013, Marten has been responsible for the program track Landscape & Interior within Het Nieuwe Instituut’s Research department and was curator of several exhibitions at the institute, including Sicco Mansholt. A Good European (2014) and Munich 1972 (2016). Full bio

In 2017, he co-curated the research and exhibition project Architecture of Appropriation, that examined how squatters have appropriated urban spaces using radical improvisation techniques, and how this has influenced the way we think about the contemporary city. His current research focuses on the implications of automation for the built environment, based on present-day case studies in the Netherlands and the Pearl River Delta region.


Kathleen Kupper

The Vitruvius Program is our educational program that is devoted to the development of teaching methods and materials for Art / Design / Architecture. The Program was co-founded with Eugene Kupper in 1988 at UCLA and SCI-Arc. Selene joined in 2000 in developing projects and teaching. The Vitruvius Program has been associated with numerous school and universities in the United States. The Vitruvius Program has been Summit’s Visual Arts program for the past eighteen years. Full bio

The Vitruvius Program enables students to use their creative intelligence to express ideas and concepts in tangible forms. As students engage in work based on real and imagined projects, they deepen critical thinking, narrative problem solving, spatial reasoning, and visual perception. Project based studio learning is integrated with classroom themes and diverse subject areas to foster innovative thinking. Design and architecture projects bring an important dimension of thinking to school curricula. The students learn to find reasons for their work outside of artistic self-expression, becoming divergent thinkers, and gaining a foundation for understanding and forming a changing world.

Awards and Grants: National Endowment for the Arts Design Arts Grants / Arizona Commission on the Arts /Arizona Cardinals Education Grant; ACSA Creative Achievement Award / Union of International Architects Architecture + Children Golden Cubes

Exhibitions: Work from the Vitruvius Program has been exhibited on an international level. Metro-Phoenix exhibitions include the Arizona Historical Society / ASU School of Architecture – Red Square / Scottsdale Public Arts – Soleri Bridge / Tempe Library / Hayden Flour Mill Installation / Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art Young@Art Gallery.

Education: BFA California Institute of the Arts; M Arc UCLA


Sarah Lann

Sarah Lann is the Director of Education at the Los Angeles Conservancy. During her tenure, she has created innovative educational initiatives for Los Angeles Unified School District, as well as place-based partnership programs for local organizations and neighborhood communities. Her career in non-profit management reflects a passion for collaborative, creative leadership, as evidenced in the many legacy programs she institutionalized at The Groundlings School, which she ran prior to the Conservancy, and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, where she managed all on-site educational efforts. Full bio

She currently serves on the Board of the City of Los Angeles’s Sunset Square Preservation Overlay Zone, the Southern California Neoclassicists, and Open House Los Angeles.


Gabrielle Lyon

Gabrielle Lyon, PhD, is a nationally-recognized non-profit leader, educator, and public speaker on education with a background that includes founding and leading award-winning organizations and initiatives focused on leveling the playing field of educational opportunity for underserved youth and girls particularly in science, technology and design. She champions the belief that high-quality educational opportunity can and should be accessible to everyone, especially those to whom it has historically been closed. Full bio

Lyon is the Vice President of Education and Experience at the Chicago Architecture Foundation, where she leads the organization's thinking on how to engage a broad and diverse audience of youth, educators, and families to explore the built environment and design thinking through in-person and online experiences. Lyon leads the organization's Meet Your City initiative, anchored by the graphic novel, No Small Plans, which aims to help close the civic education gap by engaging Chicagoans - especially teens - to explore the question "What makes a good neighborhood?" Lyon was a member of the leadership team that stewarded the organization through a significant transformation, resulting in the new Chicago Architecture Center, which opened to acclaim on August 31, 2018.

In 1999 Lyon founded Project Exploration, a high-impact nonprofit dedicated to changing the face of science for underserved minority youth and girls and served as the Executive Director for 11 years. In 2013 she founded Lyon-Strategies LLC, a strategic planning and program design firm. Lyon has been recognized as a Chicago Community Trust Leadership Fellow, a National After School Champion by the National Afterschool Alliance, and a Chicagoan of the Year by Chicago Magazine. She earned a Bachelor's and Master's degrees in History from the University of Chicago and a PhD in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She has a certificate in nonprofit management from Kellogg Business School, where she has served as an Adjunct Lecturer of Innovation & Entrepreneurship.


Brice Maryman

Senior Landscape Architect, SvR Deign Company; Innovation and Leadership Fellowship, Landscape Architecture Foundation. An award-winning landscape architect, Brice Maryman also hosts the HomeLandLab podcast where he explores the intersection of homelessness and public space through the lens of design. Through this work, he leads community conversations to define a suite of spatial strategies that communities can use to craft a more empathetic built environment for people experiencing homelessness.


Klaus Mayer

Klaus Mayer is sole proprietor of Snowhaus, a design firm in Anchorage and Berlin. He is a registered architect in Berlin and a member of the Danish Association of Architects. Mayer is an adjunct professor at the University of Alaska Anchorage where he teaches sustainability in the built environment. He studied architecture and received his degree at the University of Applied Science in Stuttgart, Germany. Mayer has lived and worked in Alaska since 1995. From 2001 through 2013 he was co-founder and partner of Mayer Sattler-Smith. In Alaska, he was appointed trustee of the Alaska Design Forum in 1998 and from 1999 to 2012 was president of the board. Klaus was named a Loeb Fellow at Harvard University Graduate School of Design for the academic year 2004-2005.


Sara Maxana

Sara Maxana is a Seattleite who believes affordable and walkable urban neighborhoods are key to addressing the social and environmental challenges of our growing and changing world. As Policy Advisor to Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan and Citywide Project Manager for the City of Seattle’s Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda (HALA), she puts these values into action, managing interdepartmental efforts to implement strategies to meet Seattle’s housing affordability needs, minimize residential displacement, and support vibrant and accessible neighborhoods. Full bio

Previously, Sara was a Principal Planner for the Puget Sound Regional Council, where she worked from 2011 to 2016 on the Growing Transit Communities Partnership—a regional effort to create equitable opportunities for people to live and work near high-capacity transit. Prior to PSRC, Sara was the Urban Strategies Director of the statewide smart growth advocacy organization Futurewise. A native of Chicago, and graduate of the University of Wisconsin and the Ohio State University, Sara has called Seattle home since 2005. She spends her spare time hiking through cities and forests and chasing after her two school-aged kids.


Caitlin Miller

Caitlin Miller is the School Programs Manager at the National Building Museum, where she has worked for the past six years. In her current role, Caitlin develops and facilitates interactive programs with students ranging from PreK-12th grade and for professional educators about issues of architecture, engineering, and design, as well as managing a staff of 1 full-time and about 10 part-time educators. In the 2017-18 school year she oversaw programs that reached almost 20K participants. Full bio

Caitlin serves on the DC Arts and Humanities Education Collaborative Programming Committee, working to achieve better equity in access to arts and humanities learning opportunities for DC public school students. In the past, she has worked as a Museum Teacher to facilitate object-based activities at Tudor Place, Dumbarton House, and Hillwood Estate, Museum, and Gardens. She holds a BA in history from Rice University, and a MA in public history from American University; one notable project was a scholarly-length, original-research article on Frederick Law Olmstead and his views on women in public spaces.


Lucie Murray

Lucie is Senior Programme Curator at New London Architecture (NLA), London’s centre for the built environment and independent forum for discussion, debate and information about architecture, planning, development and construction. Lucie leads on all exhibitions, events and research across core NLA programmes, including housing, transport & infrastructure, the NLA’s young professionals network: NextGen, as well as the international programme which fosters cross city dialogue and learning. A keen cyclist, Lucie has just completed a 500km cycle from Copenhagen to Berlin, raising money for charity with a group called PedElle, who work to raise the profile of women in cycling.


Krista Nightengale

Krista Nightengale is the Managing Director of the Better Block. She began her career at D Magazine, the city magazine in Dallas, where she served as Managing Editor, Executive Director of a leadership group aimed at empowering citizens to take action, and Executive Director of a literacy nonprofit that united the city in reading together. She then served as Chief of Staff of the Coalition for a New Dallas, an advocacy group that worked to reunite communities by removing an elevated highway between two neighborhoods in Dallas. Full bio

Krista then launched Dallas Innovates, a news site that promotes Dallas-Fort Worth as a hub of innovation. While covering the city, Krista became intrigued by the built environment.

In 2016, she joined the Better Block, an international, urban design nonprofit that educates, equips, and empowers communities and their leaders to reshape and reactivate built environments to promote the growth of healthy and vibrant neighborhoods.

At the Better Block, Krista works to help with its growth, spread its story, and make the world a little better by working with communities to demonstrate how wonderful walkable/bikeable districts are, and what it means to build for love not fear.

Krista is on the Dallas Center for Architecture board, TEDxSMU, a member of the Dallas Police Department Community Advisory Board, former AIA Dallas board, former member of the Dallas Commission on Homelessness, and a graduate of Leadership Texas.


Kim Owens

Kim Owens joins the Seattle Architecture Foundation team as Program Director. She is excited to continue the Foundation’s legacy of quality youth and family programs and the Annual Architectural Model Exhibit as well as creating new opportunities for education and inspiration. Before joining the SAF team, Kim worked as the Public Engagement Coordinator at the Renton History Museum where she scheduled public programs, managed volunteers, and developed curriculum. Full bio

Kim also has experience in cultural resource management and historic preservation. She has an MA in Museology from the University of Washington where her work focused on archaeology, local history and exhibit design.


Ben Prosky

Prior to becoming Executive Director of AIANY and the Center for Architecture in 2016, Benjamin Prosky served as Assistant Dean for Communications at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design (GSD), where he oversaw events, publications, multimedia content and special projects. With a background in urban studies and urban planning, Prosky has devoted the past 15 years of his career to a range of projects and initiatives dedicated to the promotion and interpretation of architecture and the city. Full bio

He started his career working for the Institut français d'architecture (IFA) in Paris, under the direction of Jean Louis Cohen, coordinating exhibitions and public programs. He then moved to the Canadian Center for Architecture (CCA). Prior to joining Harvard GSD, Prosky worked for six years at Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation (GSAPP).

Prosky has played a key role in the advancement of architects and architecture in the digital realm. As one of the four original co-founders of Architizer, he contributed to the establishment of the first social and professional networking tool created specifically for architects.


Lisa Richmond

Lisa Richmond is an urbanist and sustainable design advocate who has served AIA Seattle as its Executive Director since 2006. Her work at AIA has included founding a start-up strategic initiative, Design in Public; successfully advocating for progressive urban and sustainable design policies; and opening the new Center for Architecture & Design. Full bio

She is a graduate of the Universities of Virginia and Wisconsin, and was a Loeb Fellow at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design in 2005. She is a mother, outdoor enthusiast, and world traveler who recently spent 8 months traveling around the world with her family.



Chase Rynd

Chase Rynd has served as executive director of the National Building Museum since 2003. Prior to his work at the National Building Museum, Rynd was appointed executive director of the Tacoma Art Museum in 1993, and to the same position at the Frist Center for the Visual Arts in Nashville, Tennessee in 1998. A former longtime Seattle resident, Rynd was appointed by the mayor to the Seattle Arts Commission in 1988, and served two consecutive terms as the Commission’s chairman. Full bio

In 1990, Security Pacific Bank recruited Rynd to develop a public gallery space that would serve the community with a series of contemporary art exhibitions and programs designed to enhance the city’s arts environment. While in Seattle, Rynd served on numerous boards and served as chair of the design committee for St. Mark’s Cathedral.

A graduate of Georgetown University and active in the museum community, Rynd is a member of the International Council of Museums and American Alliance of Museums. He sits on the Boards of the Association of Architecture Organizations (AAO), American Friends of Chantilly, France; the Downtown DC BID; Penn Quarter Neighborhood Association; and the Havana Heritage Foundation. He also is a member of ACE Mentor Program’s National Advisory Board; the ASCE Industry Leaders Council and serves on committees for St. John’s Lafayette Square and the National Cathedral in D.C.


Alan R. Sandler

As Executive Director of the Architectural Foundation of San Francisco, Alan develops, implements and administers AFSF programs. Prior to joining AFSF in 1999, Alan was director of operations and education programs for The American Architectural Foundation (AAF) and The American Institute of Architects (AlA) in Washington, DC for 20 years. Alan has authored publications and articles on education and also has served as contributing editor to several education journals and magazines. Alan has served as an education administrator in several school districts in Florida, as well as serving as a consultant to school systems throughout the nation.


Emily Schmidt

Emily Schmidt is the manager of housing programs at The Architectural League of New York and a contributing editor for the League’s magazine, Urban Omnibus. Before joining the League in 2014, she was a planning associate at bcWORKSHOP, a nonprofit community design center in Dallas. A native of Chicago, she holds a BA in urban studies from Wesleyan University.


Stacy Segal

Stacy has more than 20 years of experience in the non-profit sector, including working at the YMCA of Greater Seattle where she led a major $5.2 million capital campaign and four years of annual campaigns. Prior to moving to Seattle, she lived in Chicago taking on all aspects of development and outreach for various social service organizations. Stacy oversees operations of the Seattle Architecture Foundation (SAF) which includes working alongside hundreds of dedicated volunteers to deliver relevant educational programming to the general public. Full bio

Stacy directly supports SAF’s Tour Program and Design in Depth lecture series. In addition, Stacy leads fundraising, communications and marketing efforts for the organization.

While in Chicago, Stacy developed an interest in architecture and design, living among skyscrapers and buildings designed by the likes of Wright & Sullivan. This interest was sparked by her husband, who is an architect, and has led to her traveling to a variety of landmark buildings throughout the U.S. and Europe.


Catherine Teegarden

Catherine Teegarden manages the Center for Architecture’s K-12 education programs, which include school, family and youth programs, and professional development workshops for teachers. Catherine helped establish the AIANY/Center’s Learning By Design:NY program in 1990 and served as its first director from 1996 – 2001, returning in 2009 after taking time off to be with her children. She created our signature classroom architecture residency program and developed much of the curricula for the Center’s youth, family and K-12 school programs. Full bio

Prior to working full-time at the Center, Catherine was the Design Education Specialist at the Central Park Conservancy, a freelance design educator with Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, and taught as a full-time architect-in-residence at PS 84M from 1989 to 1994. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from Yale University, a Master of Architecture degree from Columbia University and is licensed for Elementary Education in New York State.


Surya Vanka

Surya Vanka is a transdisciplinary designer who has worked at the leading edge of physical and digital experiences for twenty-five years. He is founder of Authentic Design, President Emeritus of Design in Public, and chair of Interaction Week 2019. Surya was director of user experience at Microsoft, a tenured professor of design at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a fellow at the prestigious Center for Advanced Study. He is an author of books and the creator of a light weight design technique called Design Swarms that is quickly being adopted in business, non-profit and education worldwide. Surya has taught design on every continent but Antarctica.


Debra Webb

Debra Webb is the Director of Design in Public. Debra's creative career is rooted in a passion for the arts and a life-long commitment to social justice. She is a skilled cultural strategist and project manager with 25 years’ experience collaborating with leading and emerging artists, civic leaders and diverse communities to produce artwork, public engagement activities, and event-based programming that enrich and advance our communities. Webb holds an MFA in Arts Leadership from Seattle University and a BFA in Art History and Sculpture from the University of Colorado. Full bio

Webb published Placemaking and Social Equity: Expanding the Framework of Creative Placemaking, lectures on the intersections of art and social issues, and is the recipient of Seattle University's Social Justice and Community Engagement award.


David B. Williams

David B. Williams is a naturalist, author, and educator whose award-winning book Too High and Too Steep: Reshaping Seattle’s Topography explores the unprecedented engineering projects that shaped Seattle during the early part of the twentieth century. His other Seattle-related books include Seattle Walks: Discovering History and Nature in the City, The Street-Smart Naturalist: Field Notes from the City, and Waterway: The Story of Seattle’s Locks and Ship Canal. Williams is also interested in the connection between people and the geology around them, which led him to write Stories in Stone: Travels Through Urban Geology, which explores building stone from around county. More information is on his website GeologyWriter.com.