Speakers and Panelists


Opening Keynote


Amy Liu

Amy Liu is vice president and director of the Metropolitan Policy Program at Brookings and the Adeline M. and Alfred I. Johnson Chair in Urban and Metropolitan Policy. She is a national expert on cities and metropolitan areas adept at translating research and insights into action on the ground. As director of Brookings Metro, which Liu co-founded in 1996, she pioneered the program’s signature approach to policy and practice, which uses rigorous research to inform strategies for economic growth and opportunity. Liu has worked directly on such strategies with scores of public and private sector leaders in regions around the country, including Chicago, Kansas City, Phoenix, upstate New York, and New Orleans. Full bio

Most recently, Liu authored “Remaking Economic Development: The Markets and Civics of Continuous Growth and Prosperity,” in which she argues that city and metropolitan leaders must adopt a broader vision of economic development that can deliver economic growth, prosperity, and inclusion for all residents. 

In 2011, Liu was lead editor of “Resilience and Opportunity: Lessons from the Gulf Coast after Katrina and Rita,” a volume of essays exploring ways to accelerate the region’s recovery. This built on her co-authorship of the New Orleans Index, a multi-year series of reports that tracked New Orleans’ progress in the aftermath of Katrina.

Liu also has extensive experience working with states and the federal government to develop policies and strategies to support cities and metropolitan areas. In 2013, Liu served as a special advisor to the U.S. Secretary of Commerce, guiding policy priorities related to trade, innovation, and data. In 2010, Liu co-authored “Delivering the Next Economy: The States Step Up,” outlining a model for states to support bottom-up regional innovation.

Prior to her work at Brookings, Liu was Special Assistant to HUD Secretary Henry Cisneros and staffed the U.S. Senate Banking Committee’s subcommittee on housing and urban affairs. Liu serves as an advisory board member for ACT of Alexandria, a local community foundation, and as a trustee of Hopkins House, a Northern Virginia early childhood education non-profit that serves low-income families. Liu holds a degree in social policy and urban studies from Northwestern University. In 2015, she completed the High Impact Leadership Program at Columbia Business School.


Featured Participants


Kerstin Adams

Kerstin Adams joined the Chicago Architecture Foundation in 2015. In her role as marketing coordinator, she manages the organization’s e-communications strategy, conducts audience research and writes editorial content. Kerstin’s prior experience includes arts marketing in non-profit settings, social media strategy and clinical social work. Full bio

She also completed a clinical research thesis that explored using empathy to improve rape prevention programming on college campuses. Kerstin has a bachelor’s degree in art history from Stanford University and a master’s degree in social work from St. Catherine University/University of St. Thomas.


Julia Bachrach

Julia S. Bachrach is a consulting historian, preservationist, and urban planner. She previously served as historian and planning supervisor to the Chicago Park District for 28 years. Her books include The City in a Garden: A History of Chicago’s Parks and Inspired by Nature: The Garfield Park Conservatory and Chicago's West Side. Full bio

She also contributed essays to AIA Guide to Chicago Architecture, Oxford Companion to the Garden, Midwestern Landscape Architecture, and Encyclopedia of Chicago and soon-to-be published Art Deco Chicago.


Rusty Bienvenue

Rusty Bienvenue has served as Executive Director of the Houston Chapter of the American Institute of Architects and the Architecture Center Houston Foundation since October, 2010. Rusty has 20 years experience running non-profit professional associations having run two large legal associations prior to joining AIA Houston. Full bio

He is a recovering attorney who began his career as a prosecutor with the Harris County District Attorney’s Office and later worked for a large Houston law firm defending multi-national corporations involved in large scale product liability litigation. Rusty was born in Houston, but grew up in 11 different cities (small towns really) in 7 different states. He returned to Texas to attend the University of Texas at Austin and to Houston to attend the University of Houston Law Center. He intends to stay put until retiring to Tuscany.


Cynthia Bowen

Cynthia Bowen is the Director of Planning for Rundell Ernstberger Associates (REA), a national planning, urban design and land architect firm founded in 1979. An active APA member, Bowen has held a number of leadership positions including president of the APA Indiana Chapter and vice chair and secretary/treasurer of the Chapter Presidents Council. She is currently the President of APA. Full bio

Bowen is a graduate of Ball State University with degrees in urban and regional planning and environmental science and design. Cynthia manages complex, multi-discipline planning and urban design projects both in the US and abroad. Most of Cynthia’s work focuses on land use, economic development, revitalization, aesthetics and regulations. Cynthia works with clients, stakeholders, and community leaders to create plans that transform neighborhoods physically, socially and economically. Cynthia’s strength is building consensus, creating understandable linkages between policy, design, and regulations and other implementation mechanisms. Besides her US based work, Cynthia has led projects in the Middle East focused on creating cities and neighborhoods that were integrated, secure, and contained a mix of jobs, residential, retail, parks, schools, mosques, and gathering areas.


Karin Brandt

Karin Brandt is the CEO and co-founder of coUrbanize, a digital platform that helps real estate developers and municipalities modernize and simplify community outreach to build better projects faster. Karin holds a master’s degree in city planning from MIT and began her career in urban development working at Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, where she co-edited Infrastructure and Land Policies. Full bio

While in urban planning, she saw development opportunities stymied by NIMBYism at community meetings. Determined to make an impact on how cities grow, Karin launched coUrbanize in 2013 and joined the TechStars Boston accelerator. Since founding the company, coUrbanize has supported over 200 projects across the US and Canada to help residents and project teams build better communities together.


Shirl Buss

Shirl Buss is a designer, educator and urban planner. For more than 25 years, Shirl has worked with children and adults on architectural, interpretive design and community development projects, with a specialty in consensus-based participation in the design process. Shirl holds an M.A. in Human Development from Pacific Oaks College, and an M. Arch. and Ph.D. from UCLA Graduate School of Architecture and Urban Planning. Full bio

She is an award-winning researcher and educator who has lectured in design and architecture at San Francisco State University, UCLA, UC Berkeley, and California College of the Arts. As an educator and designer Shirl has directed programs, facilitated professional development workshops and taught K-college students in schools, museums and informal settings including SFMOMA, Asian Art Museum, Museum of Children's Art and Headlands Center for the Arts.


Kareem Cousar

Kareem Cousar is a Project Manager with the Facilities Services group at the University of Chicago focusing on construction and design-related projects. His most notable project was managing the construction of the Laboratory School’s Gordon Parks Arts Hall, a 90,000 GSF facility dedicated to the visual and performing arts. Full bio

Originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Kareem earned his B.A. in Architectural Studies from the University of Pittsburgh, M.A. in Architecture from Illinois Institute of Technology, and completed a Post Graduate Fellowship at Carnegie Mellon University. Kareem became a dedicated member of NOMA in 2010, and has played an integral role in the Project Pipeline Summer Architectural Camp since 2015. In his role as Co-Vice President, Kareem plans to help I-NOMA further develop the already successful Project Pipeline model. Most recently Kareem has successfully managed the Project Pipeline Summer Architectural Camp bringing in 150 students and 113 volunteer mentors.


Ned Cramer

Ned Cramer is editor-in-chief of ARCHITECT, and editorial director of ARCHITECTURAL LIGHTING, ECO-STRUCTURE, and METALMAG, published by Hanley Wood, a Washington, D.C.-based business media company. Prior to joining Hanley Wood, Cramer served as the first full-time curator of the Chicago Architecture Foundation (CAF) where he organized public programs and exhibitions such as "A Century of Progress: Chicago's 1933-34 World's Fair" and "New Federal Architecture: The Face of a Nation." Full bio

At CAF, projects under Cramer's direction received support from foundations and corporations such as Altria, Boeing, the Driehaus Foundation, the Graham Foundation, and the McCormick-Tribune Foundation. He speaks regularly on architecture, design, and related issues. The Avery Architectural Index lists nearly 100 articles with Cramer's byline, many written in his former capacity as executive editor of Architecture magazine. The recipient of an Arts Administration Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, Cramer has held positions at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C., and the Menil Collection in Houston. Cramer is an alumnus of the Rice University School of Architecture. He was born and raised in St. Louis.


Cassandra Di Prizio

Cassandra serves as a consultant in The Alford Group’s East division. She has more than eight years of experience in fundraising, marketing and communications in social service and private education organizations. She focuses on supporting clients’ strategic planning, campaign feasibility and market analysis studies and project management needs. Her experience in working with high profile donors and volunteers in resource development departments of all sizes allows her to customize tools, resources to meet clients’ needs at every level. Full bio

In addition to her Master’s in Nonprofit Management, Cassandra also holds graduate certificates in Fundraising Management, Organizational Development and Nonprofit Governance. Cassandra leverages her extensive practical experience in fundraising as well as her education in nonprofit management best practices to help clients develop creative approaches to maximize opportunities while overcoming organizational challenges. Prior to joining The Alford Group, Cassandra was a development and marketing professional focusing on corporate and foundation relations, large scale event planning and engaging young professionals through junior board service.


Martin Felsen

Martin Felsen, FAIA co-founded UrbanLab in 2000. He is a registered architect in Illinois and New York, and is an Associate Professor in the Illinois Institute of Technology’s (IIT) College of Architecture. After working for Eisenman Architects, Stan Allen Architects and 1100 Architects in New York, he and partner Sarah Dunn established UrbanLab, a collaborative architecture and urban design firm. Full bio

UrbanLab strives to respond to the complexity, growth and unintended consequences of the modern city by developing a catalogue of architectural, infrastructural and urbanistic design strategies, in particular examining natural and artificial systems underpinning the built environment. His research focuses on public space, public infrastructure and public resources in American (and American-style) cities and megaregions.

Martin serves on the Board of Archeworks, a non-profit educational organization working on contemporary community-based urban design issues in Chicago. He also serves on the Board of Places: Design History Foundation and the Editorial Advisory Board of the Architect’s Newspaper.


Michael Ford

Michael Ford is a designer, born and raised in the city of Detroit. Ford received his Masters of Architecture degree from the University of Detroit Mercy (UDM), where he completed his graduate thesis titled “Hip Hop Inspired Architecture and Design.” He has worked as a designer at Hamilton Anderson Associates located in Detroit, Mich. and as an adjunct professor at his alma matter. Ford has also worked as a designer at Flad Architects located in Madison, Wisc. Full bio

Ford has spent the past decade working to blur the lines between professional practice and academia. He is dedicated to stimulating cross disciplinary discourse between practitioners and residents on the sociological and cultural implications of architecture and urban planning on its inhabitants. More specifically, Ford has unveiled the subconscious roles of historical architectural figures such as LeCorbusier in envisioning the built environments which necessitated the birth of hip hop culture. Currently, Ford is an instructor in the architecture program at Madison College, and Co-Founder of The Urban Arts Collective, where he created and conducts The Hip Hop Architecture Camp™ with the mission to increase the number of minorities in architecture and urban planning.


Eva Franch

Eva Franch is an architect, curator, educator and lecturer of experimental forms of art and architectural practice. In 2004, she founded her solo practice OOAA (Office of Architectural Affairs) and since 2010 is the Chief Curator and Executive Director of Storefront for Art and Architecture in New York. Franch specializes in the making of alternative architecture histories and futures. Full bio

In 2014 Franch, with the project OfficeUS, was selected by the US State Department to represent the United States Pavilion at the XIV Venice Architecture Biennale. Franch has taught at Columbia University GSAPP, the IUAV University of Venice, SUNY Buffalo, and Rice University School of Architecture.


Cathy Crane Frankel

Cathy Crane Frankel is vice president of exhibitions and collections at the National Building Museum and oversees an exhibition team as well as the logistics, schedule, and budget. Frankel leads the curatorial team to develop the Museum’s exhibition program and coordinates the production of the Museum’s exhibitions. Full bio

Among the exhibitions that she has directed during her tenure at the National Building Museum are the acclaimed House & Home, as well as the series of ambitious exhibitions that focused on sustainability and the built environment, and history-based exhibitions such as House of Cars: Innovation and the Parking Garage and Eero Saarinen: Shaping the Future. As a member of the Museum’s senior staff team, Frankel also participates in the development of the Museum’s long-term and strategic planning. Prior to joining the National Building Museum in 1999, she held the position of exhibitions manager at the Corcoran Gallery of Art as well as a variety of education program roles. Frankel has an MAT from the George Washington University and a BA from Dickinson College.


Christine Gaspar

Christine Gaspar is Executive Director of the Center for Urban Pedagogy (CUP), a New York-based nonprofit whose mission is to use the power of design and art to increase meaningful civic engagement. She partners with designers and community organizations to create visually-based educational tools that help demystify complex issues from zoning law to sewage infrastructure. Full bio

The projects are designed with and for advocacy organizations to help increase their capacity to mobilize their constituents on important urban issues. CUP's print, audio, video, and media projects, along with tactile interactive workshop tools, are in use by dozens of community organizers and tens of thousands of individuals in New York City and beyond.

Christine has over fifteen years of experience in community design. Prior to joining CUP, she was Assistant Director of the Gulf Coast Community Design Studio in Biloxi, Mississippi, where she provided architectural design and city planning services to low-income communities recovering from Hurricane Katrina. She holds Masters in Architecture and in City Planning from MIT, and a Bachelor of Arts from Brown University. In 2012, she was identified as one of the “Public Interest Design 100.”


Juulia Kauste

Juulia Kauste trained in urban sociology and art history with a special interest in issues pertaining to urban architecture and multicultural spaces. Prior to taking the position of Director at the Museum of Finnish Architecture in Helsinki, Juulia was based in New York for a lengthy tenure serving as Executive Director of the Finnish Cultural Institute (1997–2010). At the Institute, she produced, curated, and coordinated touring exhibitions in the fields of art, design, and architecture. Full bio

Juulia holds a Master of Arts degree in Sociology from the Department of Sociology at the New School of Social Research, Graduate Faculty in New York, and a Master of Science degree in Urban Studies from the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. She earned her bachelor of Art degree in Art History at the University of Helsinki, Finland, where she also pursued studies in Nordic Languages and Germanic Philology. She is a frequent speaker at international professional conferences, and has served as a jury member or advisor for several architecture competitions and prizes, including the Europan 11 competition, the European Union Contemporary Architecture Mies van der Rohe Award (served as advisor in 2011, 2013, and 2015, and served as a jury member in 2017), The Public Space European Prize (2012, 2014, and 2016), and the Spirit of Nature Wood Architecture Award (2012). Juulia has also served as commissioner and curator for the Finnish and Nordic Pavilions at the Venice Architecture Biennale.


Niamh King

Niamh King is the vice president for programs and strategic content at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, where she has worked since March 2007. Under her direction, the Council on Global Affairs’ Programs team organizes over 200 events annually, and includes the signature annual events the Chicago Forum on Global Cities, the Global Health Symposium, and the Global Food Security Symposium. Full bio

Prior to joining the Council on Global Affairs, she held positions with Intel, the European Commission, FÁS, and the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. She is a member of the board of directors of The America Ireland Fund Chicago Regional Advisory Board, the Women’s Board of the University of Chicago, the Chicago Project on Security & Threats, and the Japan America Society of Chicago. King earned a BA in international relations and history from the University of Colorado at Boulder and her MA in development studies from the Institute of Social Studies at Erasmus University in The Hague, Netherlands.


Steven Lewis

Steven Lewis is an architect and a tireless advocate for social justice and diversity within the field of architecture. Recently appointed by Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, Steven currently serves as Urban Design Director for the City’s Central Region under Maurice Cox, helping to shape the vision of present and future development. Steven is the AIA 2016 Whitney M. Young, Jr. Award recipient, and was elevated to the AIA College of Fellows in December of 2015. Full bio

In January of 2008, he returned to Southern California to join Parsons as a Design Manager after serving four years with the U.S. General Services Administration’s Office of the Chief Architect in Washington, DC. Steven was a Loeb Fellow at the Harvard Graduate School of Design for the 2006-07 academic year. He was a founding partner of the Los Angeles-based firm of RAW International in 1984, and for the next twenty years, was an essential part of the firm’s growth and success. In December of 2010, he concluded a two-year term as President of the National Organization of Minority Architects, traveling around the country advocating for architects-of-color, while cultivating the next generation of diverse architects and designers. Steven recently launched a consulting practice – “Thinking Leadership – What we Do...Who we Are” – aimed at assisting clients attain superior outcomes through his engagement. More than anything, Steven is a facilitator of partnerships and alliances between groups and individuals who seek to use architecture and design to effect positive change to our world.


Gabrielle Lyon

Gabrielle Lyon joined CAF in the fall of 2014 as the Vice President of Education and Experience. In this role she is responsible for leading the organization's thinking on how to engage youth, educator, mentor and family communities to explore the built environment and design thinking through in-person and online experiences. Gabrielle is a nationally recognized non-profit leader, educator and public speaker on education reform. Full bio

Her background includes founding and leading organizations and initiative focused on leveling the playing field of educational opportunity for underserved youth, particularly in science and technology. Gabrielle co-founded Project Exploration in 1999 and served as the executive director for 11 years. Gabrielle has been recognized as a Chicago Community Trust Leadership Fellow (2010) and a Chicagoan of the Year by Chicago Magazine (2011). She earned 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 Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, where she is an Adjunct Lecturer of Innovation and Entrepreneurship.


Kelly Lyons

In summer 2013, Kelly Lyons joined the Cranbrook Educational Community to serve as Curator of Education for the Cranbrook Art Museum, including outreach efforts for engaging both young and adult learners with a focus on art, architecture, and design. Prior to joining Cranbrook, Kelly held teaching, outreach, and administrative positions at the School of Architecture at Carnegie Mellon University. Full bio

She has developed and collaborated on the execution of curricular materials, teacher training, and programs related to K-12 architecture education, and taught collegiate courses on architectural pedagogy. She established successful partnerships with other education focused organizations to expand architecture programming to a greater number of the region’s children, including the Carnegie Museum of Art, the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, and Fallingwater, as well as Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation where she served on the Board of Trustees. Kelly was also developed and oversaw UDream, an 18-week urban design residency program targeting recent college graduates in architecture, urban design, planning, and landscape architecture from underrepresented ethnic backgrounds. Kelly holds a Bachelor of Architecture from Carnegie Mellon University, where she double majored in Philosophy and minored in Design; she also holds a M.S. in Education from Duquesne University. She is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Architecture at Carnegie Mellon, focusing on K-12 architectural education. Kelly serves as a Director for the Association of Architecture Organizations AAO, Co-Chair of AAO’s Architecture + Design Education Network, and on the Historic Districts Commission in Rochester Hills, MI.


Johnston Marklee

Sharon Johnston and Mark Lee are the founding partners of the architecture firm Johnston Marklee. They have taught at major universities including the Harvard Graduate School of Design, Princeton University, the University of California, Los Angeles, the Technical University of Berlin, and ETH Zurich. They have held the Cullinan Chair at Rice University and the Frank Gehry Chair at the University of Toronto. Full bio

Since its establishment in 1998 in Los Angeles, Johnston Marklee has been recognized nationally and internationally with awards and publications. To date, the firm has been awarded over 30 major awards, and a book on its work, entitled House Is a House Is a House Is a House Is a House, was published by Birkhauser in 2016. This followed a monograph on the firm’s work, published in 2014 by 2G.

The firm’s work has been exhibited internationally and is in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Menil Collection, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Carnegie Museum of Art, and the Architecture Museum of TU Munich. Johnston Marklee participated in the inaugural Chicago Architecture Biennial in 2015. 


Jennifer Masengarb

Jen Masengarb joined the Chicago Architecture Foundation in 2000. As the director of interpretation and research she leads CAF’s interpretive focus, serving as the organization’s subject matter expert in architecture – developing new strategies for engaging adult and youth audiences. Her work at CAF crosses several departments, including: volunteers, education, public programs, media, digital, exhibitions, and publications. Full bio

She is also the author of CAF’s three curricular resources for teachers and students in grades K-12 – all of which were awarded a National American Institute of Architects Honor Award for Collaborative Achievement. She regularly appears on WBEZ’s  Curious City investigating architectural mysteries and as a recurring host on the Science Channel’s Impossible Engineering. Trained as an architect and architectural historian, she earned a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Detroit Mercy and a Master of Architectural History from the University of Virginia.


Gabriel Metcalf

Gabriel Metcalf is the president and CEO of SPUR. He is responsible for defining the overall vision and strategy for the organization and has led SPUR through a major expansion of its work. A co-founder of City CarShare and the San Francisco Housing Action Coalition, Gabriel serves on numerous boards and commissions. A frequent writer and speaker on planning and policy topics, he earned a Master's degree in city and regional planning from the University of California, Berkeley College of Environmental Design. Full bio

Gabriel has authored or co-authored such notable articles as "The Northern California Megaregion," "Democracy and Planning," and "The San Francisco Exodus." He is also the author of Democratic by Design: How Carsharing, Co-ops, and Community Land Trusts are Reinventing America (St. Martin's Press, 2015).


Michael Monti

Michael J. Monti, PhD, has served as executive director of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture since 2004. ACSA’s mission is to lead in architectural education and research, and in recent years, under Monti’s leadership, the organization established new scholarly publications, a new portal to architecture schools, and a new volunteer structure that includes a committee charged with inclusion and diversity in architectural education as a top strategic initiative. Full bio

Monti has also served as principal on several funded projects with government agencies, foundations and industry groups. Monti has a doctorate from the Philosophy, Interpretation, Culture program at Binghamton University, where his dissertation focused on environmental philosophy and ethics.


Lynn Osmond

Lynn Osmond assumed the position of President and CEO of the Chicago Architecture Foundation (CAF) in 1996, and she is responsible for overseeing CAF’s comprehensive program of architecture tours, exhibitions, public programs and youth education. Under Osmond’s leadership, CAF has realized 400% growth in revenue and is consistently ranked among the top 10 Chicago cultural institutions. Today CAF serves more than 670,000 people each year. Full bio

Osmond serves on the boards of Choose Chicago, the Magnificent Mile, the Central Area Committee, the Chicago Loop Alliance and the International Women’s Forum. She is a member of Toronto Sister Cities, the Commercial Club, the Chicago Network, the Economic Club of Chicago, the Executives’ Club of Chicago, the Ely Chapter of Lambda Alpha International and Urban Land Institute. Osmond holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Queens University, Ontario, Canada. She is a Certified Association Executive (CAE) and a graduate of the Advanced Executive Program at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.


Becky Quintal

Becky Quintal is the Head of Content of ArchDaily, where she oversees the development and publication of the platform and its global sites in English, Spanish, Portuguese, and Chinese.


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.


Hallie Rosen

Hallie Rosen is the Director of Volunteer Engagement at the Chicago Architecture Foundation. In this role, she is responsible for the recruitment and training of nearly 500 of the Foundation’s volunteers including docents and visitor experience volunteers. Since arriving at CAF, Hallie has trained 150 docents to conduct CAF’s architecture tours. Full bio

Prior to coming to CAF, Hallie created and developed the inaugural volunteer program for the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center, which opened in 2009. Throughout her 30 year career in the not-for-profit sector, she has had an opportunity to work with volunteers at all levels – on boards, on committees and in the soup kitchen! She received her bachelor’s degree form UCLA.


Carol Ross Barney

Carol Ross Barney, FAIA, has been in the vanguard of civic space design since founding Ross Barney Architects in 1981. With a career that spans over 40 years, Carol has made significant contributions to the built environment, the profession, and architectural education. As an architect, urbanist, mentor, and educator, she has relentlessly advocated that excellent design is a right, not a privilege. Full bio

Her body of work occupies a unique place within the panorama of contemporary architecture, being exclusively composed of work in the public realm. Carol’s projects vary in type and scale, but uphold a deep commitment to the role architecture plays in life quality. This has manifest itself in spaces that transition urban dwellers from point A to point B and enrich the metropolitan experience; to buildings that are environmental stewards, showcasing sustainability in an overtly compelling way; to spaces that inspire young children and the brightest minds of tomorrow to learn, invent, and break boundaries.

For nearly two decades, Carol’s studio has been working along Chicago’s Rivers. These efforts include the design of the Chicago Riverwalk and studies on all one-hundred-and-fifty-miles of riverfront across the city. The goal: reconnect people with the dynamic and changing life of the City’s natural resources.

Carol is the recipient of over 100 design awards, including two AIA Committee on the Environment (COTE) Top Ten Project Awards, the AIA’s Thomas Jefferson award for Public Architecture and the AIA Illinois Gold Medal. Other Notable projects include the Bloomingdale / 606 Trail Master Plan, CTA Cermak-McCormick Place and Morgan Street Stations, Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation, James I Swenson Civil Engineering Building, and the Oklahoma City Federal Building.


Chase Rynd 

Chase Rynd, Hon. ASLA, a nationally recognized leader in the museum and arts communities, has held the position of executive director of the National Building Museum since September 2003. Prior to his work at the National Building Museum, Mr. Rynd was appointed executive director and CEO 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. Full bio

A former longtime Seattle resident, Rynd was the founder of Equivalents Gallery, which he operated for eight years. Appointed by Seattle’s mayor to the Seattle Arts Commission in 1988, Rynd went on to serve two consecutive terms as the Commission’s chairman. In 1990, Security Pacific Bank recruited Rynd to develop a public gallery space that would serve the community with a variety of activities 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; American Association of Museums; and Mid-Atlantic Association of Museums. He sits on the Boards of the American Friends of Chantilly, France; the Downtown DC BID; Penn Quarter Neighborhood Association; the Richardson Architecture Center, Buffalo; and the Association of Architecture Organizations.


Catherine Staniland

Catherine is Director of New London Architecture (NLA), a centre for discussion, debate and information about the future shape of London. NLA’s mission is to bring people together to shape a better city. NLA has established itself over the last decade as a broker between all those involved in planning and designing the future of London and as an independent champion for the capital’s built environment. Full bio

A year-round programme of events, research, exhibitions and awards examines all issues affecting London’s built environment and invites all those with a stake in the future of the city to have their say – built environment professionals, politicians and the public. The NLA’s work is supported by a growing membership of over 500 organisations from across the public and private sectors. The NLA galleries at The Building Centre in WC1, centred around a giant interactive model of central London, are free to visit six days a week. Catherine has acted as assistant curator on NLA exhibitions including New Ideas for Housing, Public London, Great Estates, London’s Growing Up! and Smarter London. She is also on the board for the Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain.


Sharon Sutton

Sharon Egretta Sutton, PhD FAIA is a public scholar who promotes inclusivity in the cultural makeup of the city-making professions and in the populations they serve, and also advocates for participatory planning and design processes in disenfranchised communities. She has served on the faculties of Pratt Institute, Columbia University, the University of Cincinnati, the University of Michigan, and the University of Washington. Full bio

Sutton, who previously practiced architecture in New York City, was the twelfth African American woman to be licensed to practice architecture, the first to be promoted to full professor of architecture, the second to be elected a Fellow in the American Institute of Architects (AIA), and the first to be president of the National Architectural Accrediting Board. She holds five academic degrees—in music, architecture, philosophy, and psychology—and has studied graphic art internationally.

Sutton's scholarship explores America's continuing struggle for racial justice. Her funding has come from the Ford Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, W.K. Kellogg Foundation, and Hewlett Foundation, among others. Her latest book, When Ivory Towers Were Black, portrays what was undoubtedly the nation's most audacious effort to recruit African American and Latino students to Columbia University's School of Architecture.

Sutton received the Medal of Honor from both AIA New York and AIA Seattle, and the Whitney M. Young Jr. Award from AIA National. She is a distinguished professor of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture and an inductee into the Michigan Women’s Hall of Fame. Currently, Sutton is professor emerita of architecture, urban design, and social work at the University of Washington and professor at large in New York City.


James Taylor-Foster

James is ArchDaily's European Editor-at-Large, based between London, Venice, and Rotterdam.


Jamee Telford

Jamee Telford serves as the Vice President for Visitor Experience at the National Building Museum. She is responsible for creating and implementing high quality experiences for the Museum’s visitors. Ms. Telford cultivates external partnerships for creative and collaborative events that greatly enhance the opportunities offered at the Museum. Full bio

Projects include the Museum’s Summer Block Party initiative, Hill Country’s Backyard BBQ on the West Lawn, the Museum’s Concert Series, and Great Hall Yoga Program. As a member of the Museum’s senior staff team, she participates in the development of the Museum’s long-term and strategic planning. Ms. Telford also directs all aspects of the Visitor Services Department for the Museum.

Joining the National Building Museum in 2007, Ms. Telford served as the Teen Programs Manager. She provided leadership for teen initiatives until her promotion to oversee the Museum’s Visitor Services Department in 2011. She has previously held education positions at the Mabee-Gerrer Museum of Art, Washington National Cathedral, and the International Spy Museum. Ms. Telford has a B.A. in History and Communications from St. Gregory’s University and a M.A.T. in Museum Education from The George Washington University.


Weston Walker

Weston Walker is Design Principal in Charge of Studio Gang’s New York office, where he leads a talented team of architects and a diverse portfolio of projects. Weston’s work spans many different types and scales, including cultural institutions, universities, civic buildings, and towers. His current projects include a major expansion of the American Museum of Natural History, a new firehouse for FDNY Rescue Company 2, and 40 Tenth Avenue in New York’s Meatpacking District. Full bio

Weston is a graduate of Yale University, where he received his Master of Architecture and was awarded the AIA Henry Adams Medal. He received his Bachelor of Arts in Music from Cornell University, graduating summa cum laude for his thesis work exploring systems of perception and meaning in both musical and architectural spaces. He is a licensed architect in New York and Illinois, a member of the American Institute of Architects, and a Fellow of the Urban Design Forum of New York.