Arthur Cohen is CEO and co-founder of LaPlaca Cohen, the nation’s leading strategic marketing and communications firm serving the unique needs of cultural organizations. He consults to organizations throughout the world, working with management, Board members, collectors, foundations, sponsors and educators on audience development, communications and strategic planning issues. Cohen also oversees LaPlaca Cohen's ongoing research project, CultureTrack, the largest ongoing study tracking the shifting attitudes and behaviors of cultural audiences in the United States. He is recognized as instrumental in advancing the field of cultural branding and organizational vision development through his professional, academic, and lecturing activities. These include speaking engagements to cultural professionals throughout North America, South America and Europe. Full bio
Cohen serves as an Associate Professor at New York University, where he teaches Cultural Branding—a course he created for NYU's Visual Arts Administration program at the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development for graduate students in that program as well as MBA students at the Stern School of Business Administration.
He has also guest lectured at a number of leading colleges and universities including Columbia University and Yale University.
Cohen is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania (magna cum laude with Distinction in the Major, 1982), Harvard Business School (MBA 1988; President of the Marketing Society) and attended the London School of Economics (concentration in Philosophy, 1987).
Prior to co-founding LaPlaca Cohen, he served as a consultant to a number of major museums; public relations consultant to Giorgio Armani; and Communications Director and later acting Deputy Director at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston. Previously, he held brand management positions at Procter & Gamble and Gillette. Arthur is the Vice Chairman of the Smithsonian Archives of American Art, and a Board member of: the American Federation of Arts; the Architectural League of New York; The University of Pennsylvania/Institute of Contemporary Art; and the Provincetown Art Association and Museum. He also serves on the Modern and Contemporary Collections Committee of the Harvard University Art Museums, and the Visiting Committee of the Center for Experimental Medicine at Harvard Medical School. He lives in New York City and Cape Cod.
Pascale Sablan is a Senior Associate S9Architecture and Founder and Executive Director of Beyond the Built Environment – a for-profit with a mission to create a more just, culturally reflective, and sustainable built environment. Pascale has extensive experience designing mixed-use, commercial, cultural and residential projects across the U.S. and around the world. Her work has been recognized with a number of awards and honors, including the Pratt Alumni Achievement Award, the NOMA Prize for Excellence in Design and the AIA Young Architects Award. In 2017, Pascale was featured on the cover of Building Design + Construction magazine as one of the 40 Under 40 rising stars in the industry. She holds a Bachelor of Architecture from Pratt Institute and a Master of Science in Advanced Architectural Design from Columbia University. Pascale is the 315th African American female registered architect in the U.S. Earlier this month, she was named President Elect of the National Organization of Minority Architects after previously serving as the group’s Northeast Regional Vice President and being named Member of the Year.
Helle Lis Søholt
Helle is Founding Partner and CEO of Gehl. She started the company with Professor Jan Gehl in 2000. Through her leadership, strategic and organizational talent, the office has developed a knowledge base and experience portfolio that is respected internationally in the field of urban design and urban development. Over the years of its existence, Gehl has been awarded multiple prizes and recognitions for their contribution to making cities more livable and sustainable around the world. Full bio
Today, Helle is a prominent leader in her field. Over the past years, Helle has acted as an advisor to the City of Copenhagen and other great cities in Scandinavia like Oslo, Stockholm and Gothenburg, advocating for a new alternative to traditional planning with and for people.
Helle is often leading and facilitating large change processes in cities, where she aims to move those involved from a traditional planning approach, towards a 21st century value-based planning model, centered on people. Using her pragmatic idealism, Helle manages to facilitate processes where people become the drivers of change. She enjoys fast idea generation, solving complex urban challenges and facilitating processes by engaging multiple stakeholders. Internationally, Helle has worked in cities such as Cape Town, Sao Paulo, Mexico City, Seattle, New York, Vancouver, London, Beijing, Kuala Lumpur and Melbourne adding to her global experience in the field of urban design and development. She has extensive international urban design experience at various levels of intervention and at a multitude of scales – from urban research and analysis, visioning and strategy to design development and implementation.
In 2010, Helle was awarded membership of the Danish Arts Society, as well as the Danish Dreyer’s Prize of Honor for Architects in Denmark. She also serves as a member on several boards of foundations, organizations and committees, such as the Realdania Foundation in Denmark and the Danish Federal Realestate Development Agency.
In addition, Helle has served as a keynote speaker focusing on the issue of urban quality, quality of life and mobility at a wide range of internationally renowned conferences. She also regularly forms part of design competition juries, expert panels and debates. She is a strong advocate for healthy urban living, supports compact urban form, human scale and mobility for all. In contrast to urban complexity, Helle enjoys gardening, healthy food and art exhibitions and theater plays which offer visual pleasure and artistic expression.
Helle is educated as an architect from the Royal Academy of Fine Arts and the Copenhagen Business School in Denmark, the University of Washington in Seattle, USA and IMD in Lausanne, Switzerland.
Wouter Vanstiphout is a historian of architecture and a member of the Dean Team of the Independent School for the City, as well as a partner in the Crimson Historians and Urbanists research collective—both located in Rotterdam, Netherlands. Wouter has held numerous esteemed positions in academia, from Professor of Design and Politics at the Technical University of Delft to Visiting Professor of Geography, Landscape & Cities at the Akademie der Bildende Künste in Vienna (2008–2009) to Professor of Architecture and Urban Planning at Technical University, Berlin (2004–2006). He is also a member of the Reflection team of VROM, Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment, The Hague and serves on the board of SKOR, Foundation Art and Public Space, Amsterdam. Publications include: De Collectie, bijzondere stationsgebouwen in Nederland [The Collection: Remarkable Train Station Buildings in the Netherlands] (2009) and WiMBY!, Verleden, Heden & Toekomst van een New Town [WiMBY!, Past, Present & Future of a New Town] (2007). Exhibitions with Crimson include: Rotterdam Maakbare Stad, International Architecture Biennial Rotterdam, at the Netherlands Architecture Institute, Rotterdam, 2009; and WiMBY!, Boijmans van Beuningen in Rotterdam. Vanstiphout lives and works in Rotterdam and Schiedam.
Shalini Agrawal brings over 25 years of experience of community-engaged practice, and has dedicated her career to bringing diversity and equity in design, art and architecture. She is co-director of Pathways to Equity, a leadership experience for equitable community-engaged design, and founder and principal of Public Design for Equity, an equity-driven practice for equity-driven outcomes. Shalini is on the board of Architects Designers and Planners for Social Responsibility, and Association for Community Design, as their Director of Fellowship. She is Associate Professor in Critical Ethnic Studies, Interdisciplinary Design Studios and Decolonial School at California College of the Arts.
Alicia Ajayi explores the layered complexity of people, place, and power. Trained as an architect, researcher, and writer, her work engages the narratives that create the spaces we inhabit. After receiving a dual masters in architecture and social work from Washington University in St. Louis, Alicia worked as an associate designer at MASS Design Group. There, she was a member of the design team for the ground-breaking Memorial to Peace and Justice in Montgomery, Alabama, a site dedicated to the racial terror and lynching throughout US history. Alicia works with community development corporations, private developers, and nonprofits to create visions of spaces that reflect their mission and goals for positive change. Currently, Alicia lives and works in New York City as a designer, researcher, and consultant. She is also the project manager at BlackSpace Urbanist Collective.
Stacey Anderson has built her career around a passion for fostering interdisciplinary collaboration, unlocking capacity, and effecting meaningful change in cities. She is currently the Associate Director of Special Initiatives for the Van Alen Institute, where she convenes design professionals with diverse stakeholders to tackle the most urgent urban challenges. Prior to Van Alen, Stacey worked at the leading civic advocacy organization, The Municipal Art Society (MAS), as director of programs, and co‐founded an adaptive‐reuse park initiative in Brooklyn called The Tanks. Stacey was a participant in the civic leadership program, Coro (LNY29), and holds her Master’s degree in Urban Social Policy from the University of Amsterdam. Her thesis research examined the effects of gentrification on Turkish immigrant communities in post‐reunified Berlin, Germany.
Julian Arrington is a lead designer in SmithGroup’s DC Cultural Studio. A proud graduate of Howard University, Julian has shaped concepts for multiple museum projects including a museum to address the history of slavery in Richmond, Virginia, the Universal Hip Hop Museum, the Gilcrease Museum, the Museum of Pop Culture and others. A proponent of community-informed design, Julian has helped to lead stakeholder-engagement efforts to craft designs that reflect the goals ands aspirations of the people they serve.
Ron Bogle, Hon AIA, brings decades of experience from the world of architecture, education and philanthropy to the challenge of leading Reimagine America’s Schools. With core funding from Schmidt’s Futures, Ron is leading a national initiative to bring together thought leaders from education, technology, design and the civic community to rethink public education and the built environment of America’s schools.
A creative social entrepreneur, Ron is currently President of the National Design Alliance, which he founded in 2018. Previously he served as the President and CEO of the American Architectural Foundation. In his 15 years at AAF, Ron transformed the American Architectural Foundation into a dynamic national leadership organization with a completely new portfolio of national programs to help shape our cities, neighborhoods, schools and neighborhoods. As managing partner of the Mayors’ Institute on City Design while at AAF, Ron was directly involved in helping educate, inform and support mayors on the challenges of infrastructure design in cities. This program supported over 1000 mayors on community and civic design. Drawing on his work with Mayors, Ron launched a large portfolio of national programs to improve strategies for infrastructure design and sustainable and resilient design in cities.
David Brown is the 2021 Artistic Director for the Chicago Architecture Biennial and is a designer, researcher, and educator based at the School of Architecture at the University of Illinois at Chicago. David investigates non-hierarchical, flexible, and variable approaches to urban design. For more than a decade, David’s work has focused on The Available City, an ongoing speculation on the potential of Chicago’s city-owned vacant land. David’s work has been exhibited in the Venice Architecture Biennale (2012), the Chicago Cultural Center’s Expo 72 (2013), the Chicago Architecture Biennial (2015), and received a grant from the Graham Foundation in 2011. In 2006, David curated the exhibition Learning from North Lawndale: Past, Present + Future at the Chicago Architecture Foundation (now the Chicago Architecture Center). Brown has lectured on his work at Columbia University’s Center for Jazz Studies and the Politecno di Milano and has taught at Florida A&M University and Rice University. David is a long-time collaborator of the Chicago Architecture Biennial, having been a participant in the inaugural 2015 Biennial and presenting two pop-up exhibitions and a series of youth programs for the 2019 edition.
Elgin Cleckley, Assoc. AIA, NOMA, is an Assistant Professor of Architecture at UVA with an appointment in the Curry School of Education and the School of Nursing. He is a designer, director, and principal of _mpathic design – a Design Thinking pedagogy, initiative, and professional practice focusing on intersections of identity, culture, history, memory, and place. After studying architecture at the University of Virginia (’93) and Princeton University (’95), he collaborated with DLR Group (Seattle), MRSA Architects (Chicago), and Baird Sampson Neuert Architects (Toronto) on award-winning civic projects. He was a Muschenheim Fellow at the University of Michigan (1998), teaching undergraduate studios at the University of Illinois, Chicago.
Before joining UVA’s Design Thinking program in 2016, Elgin was the 3D Group Leader and Design Coordinator at the Ontario Science Centre (Toronto), Science Content and Design Department, and Agents of Change Initiative, since 2001. Elgin is the recent winner of several notable honors, the Armstead Robinson Faculty Award, the 2020 ACSA Diversity Achievement Award, and the Dumbarton Oaks Mellon Fellowship in Urban Landscape Studies.
John Comazzi is Associate Professor + Director of the Design Thinking/Design Practices Program at the University of Virginia. Hired as part of the University's "Cluster Hiring Initiative," John has partial appointments in the School of Nursing and the School of Education and Human Development where he collaborates on interdisciplinary teaching, research, and curriculum development. Prior to joining the faculty at the University of Virginia, he held teaching positions at the University of Michigan (Lecturer 1999-2006), and the University of Minnesota (Assistant Professor 2006-2012, Associate Professor with Tenure 2012-2017) where he was the Director of the Undergraduate B.S. Degree Program (Major in Architecture) from 2012-2015.
John’s teaching, research, and scholarship focus on the following areas: mid-century Modern architecture and design; design theory and criticism; architecture photography; the design of active learning environments for PK-12 education; and design-build practices. He is the author a monograph on Balthazar Korab, one of the most prolific and celebrated architecture photographers of the Modern era, and is currently writing a monograph on the Miller House and Gardens in Columbus, IN (forthcoming from Princeton Architectural Press, 2021/22).
Erin Cullerton is the Founder and Chief Strategist at Design Agency Co, a boutique public relations and brand strategy firm. Erin has been helping creative brands successfully expand their marketplace visibility for nearly two decades. As the former Deputy Director and Director of Communications for the American Institute of Architects in San Francisco, Erin leverages extensive knowledge of the practice of design with established industry connections, deep media savvy, and proven best practices to position our clients for exposure to the right audience at the right time.
Through the years, Erin has launched numerous community engagement initiatives, including the successful Architecture and the City festival, the nation’s first month-long design festival, and most recently the Making LA conference. As a former journalist, her writing on design and culture has appeared in ARTnews, Metropolis, ReadyMade, Surface, Time Out London, and Wired, and she is the editor of the publications Contemporary Prefab Houses and Young Architects Americas. Erin sits on the editorial advisory board of The Architect’s Newspaper and formerly co-ran Design East of La Brea (or de LaB), an educational design nonprofit known for throw some of the “best offbeat design experiences” in Los Angeles. She is an honorary member of the American Institute of Architects, San Francisco.
Emily E. Czarnecki, NCIDQ is a Senior Associate and Senior Interior Designer with JCJ Architecture. Emily has been an integral contributor to JCJ’s education practice group over the last 16 years and has dedicated her 22-year career to understanding the influence space and the built environment has on student achievement and strengthening school culture. She collaborates closely with a broad range of stakeholders throughout the project process - starting with programming, spatial conceptualization and documentation through to interior materials and furniture selection and final installation. She has worked on a wide variety of projects including the Caleb Dustin Hunking School in Haverhill, MA, the Barack H. Obama Magnet University School in New Haven, CT and the Cattaraugus Early Learning Center in Irving, NY. In addition to her project work, she has presented topics related to design for education at the regional and national level and has assisted the Massachusetts Higher Education Consortium with the design for their Innovation Areas at their annual furniture expo in Worcester, MA. Emily earned her Bachelor of Arts in Interior Design at the University of New Haven and holds a certification in Interior Design through the National Council for Interior Design Qualifications.
Marieke de Veer is a Senior Project Developer at Tinker Imanineers, and telling stories and creating spaces that matter is Marieke’s main motivation. Marieke’s background in film and theatre and international work experience on the side of the client have helped de Veer develop a clear sense of what moves the visitors. At Tinker, Marieke is primarily involved in coordinating and supervising master plans, concept visions, and project management.
Nathan Dennies is the Associate Director of the Baltimore Architecture Foundation where he helps manage the organization and its programs, including Doors Open Baltimore. Nathan serves on the boards of the Baltimore City Historical Society, the Friends of The Jones Falls, and the Greater Baltimore History Alliance. He also manages the Greater Hampden Heritage Alliance, a community preservation organization in his neighborhood. Nathan is an avid birder, amateur gardener, and a passable bartender.
Sarah Weissman Dirsa is an architect and Associate with KG+D Architects in Mount Kisco, NY. KG+D specializes in school architecture and buildings rooted in the community. Sarah’s work focuses on creating dynamic spaces in which people can be inspired, healthy and connected. She has a particular interest in finding overlaps between curriculum and design to produce Next Generation Learning institutes that motivate and excite both students and educators. Prior to joining KG+D, she was an Associate at HOK where she co-founded HOK IMPACT and served as the first ever Global Chair of Social Responsibility. Sarah is the recipient of several awards including the 2015 AIA Young Architects Award, the 2015 ENR Midwest 20 Under 40 Award, and the 2013 BD+C 40 Under 40 Award. She was selected as a Next City Vanguard in 2012, was a fellow in the New Leaders Council class of 2013, and was named in 2013 in St. Louis Magazine as part of the Generation Now. She received her undergraduate degree in English from Binghamton University and received a Masters in Architecture and a Masters in Urban Design from Washington University in St. Louis.
Line is the Director of Exhibitions at Utzon Center – centre for architecture and design in North Jutland and the last building by internationally renowned Danish architect, Jørn Utzon. As director, she is deeply involved in the curation and design of exhibitions at the Utzon Center in collaboration with Danish and international architects and studios. Line’s background is in architecture and in 2017 she completed her PhD on Jørn Utzon and the critical-creative influence of his travel studies. Since 2018, she has been guardian and leading expert on Jørn Utzon’s private archive collection, now in the belonging of the Utzon Center.
Will Fowler is the Emeritus Programs Director for the Architectural Foundation of San Francisco where he served as the instructional leader for the AFSF Build San Francisco Program. An educator with over thirty years experience in the classroom, Will has received numerous awards for his work with advanced educational technology and curriculum development. As a middle school teacher, Will pioneered the use of advanced visualization technology in his social science program. At the high school level he created innovative learning communities based on design thinking and project based learning. As a graduate instructor for Dominican University of California Will was instrumental in establishing the online education program for the department of education. His students’ work has been showcased at a variety of state and national educational conferences. He is the co-author of two books on the use of technology in the classroom and continues to advance the use of technology in integrated studies programs. Since his retirement to the California foothills, he divides his time between musical performance and educational consulting.
Beatrice Galilee is a curator, critic and cultural consultant specializing in the field of contemporary architecture and design. Beatrice is internationally recognized for her worldwide experience in curating, designing and conceiving original and dynamic city-wide biennales, museum exhibitions, installations, conferences, events and publications, bringing together the world’s most important institutions with cutting edge practitioners. Her research and writing has been published in journals, newspapers and magazines.
She is the founder and executive director of The World Around, a New York-based conference and platform for cultural discourse whose critically acclaimed first event took place in January 2020. Between 2014-2019, Beatrice was the first curator of contemporary architecture and design at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York where she organized exhibitions and installations on the Met Rooftop, and public programs of contemporary architecture, art, photography, film and design, launched the acclaimed public program for architecture, In Our Time: A Year of Architecture in a Day, as well as acquisitions and collections research.
From 2006-2009 Beatrice was Architecture Editor for Icon Magazine, one of Europe’s leading publications in architecture and design. Beatrice’s writing has been published in a number of international magazines and books as well as daily newspapers. Beatrice is a PhD candidate at the Royal College of Art in London, with a Masters in Architectural History from Bartlett UCL and a degree in Architecture from Bath University.
Wonne Ickx is a cofounder of PRODUCTORA, formed in 2006 with Abel Perles, Carlos Bedoya, and Victor Jaime. Wonne is also a cofounder of LIGA, Space for Architecture, an independent platform that promotes emerging Latin American architects. PRODUCTORA´s work is distinguished by an interest in precise geometries, the production of clearly legible projects with limited gestures and the search for timeless buildings in their material and spatial resolutions. PRODUCTORA has been actively involved in teaching both in local Universities such as the Universidad Iberoamericana, Centro de Diseño, TEC de Monterrey and Universidad La Salle in Mexico City as well as abroad. The partners of PRODUCTORA have been teaching studios at UCLA - California, IIT - Chicago and Harvard GSD - Cambridge.
Warren James is an architect and urban designer, and the Director of Art Omi: Architecture; he is also a guest curator, published author, lecturer and visiting professor. The architecture and planning studio he founded, WAJA+P, has designed both PINTA: Modern and Contemporary Latin American Art and FLUX Art fairs in New York, and worked on exhibitions for The Museum of Modern Art, Cooper-Hewitt Design Museum, Museo del Barrio, Museum of The City of New York, and Museo de Arte de Ponce. As part of a multidisciplinary team the firm worked on the planning and development for the proposed National Latino Museum in Washington, DC. Warren studied architecture and urban design at Cornell and Columbia. His architectural drawings are in the permanent collection of the Cooper-Hewitt Museum, Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico, and Centre Canadien d'Architecture.
Rebecca Johnson is an experienced nonprofit executive with expertise in nonprofit management, real estate development, and community and economic development. Rebecca is passionate about community engagement, diversity and inclusion, sustainability, and design thinking approaches to solving some of our cities' largest problems.
As Executive Director of AIA Philadelphia and the Center for Architecture and Design, Rebecca enthusiastically represents the interests of the architectural community in Philadelphia, as well as creates compelling programming to engage and excite the public about architecture and design. Rebecca has been an staunch advocate for young women and women in leadership, serving on the Board of the Pennsylvania Women's Campaign Fund for four years and co-founded REPRESENT! Political Action Committee to help elect strong, women in Pennsylvania. Rebecca earned a bachelor’s degree in Sociology at Lehigh University; a master’s in Sociology-Urban Studies at Georgia State University and a JD from Temple University Beasley School of Law.
Elyssa Kane serves as the Development Manager at the joined the Community Design Collaborative, which she joined in 2018 after securing resources for a variety of nonprofit organizations in the Philadelphia region over the past 19 years. She is responsible for leading the Collaborative’s staff and volunteer efforts in fundraising. Most recently, Elyssa oversaw a diversified development program at the Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site. Previously, she raised funds in the community development and social service sectors. She holds an MBA from Georgetown University and a BA in Art History from the University of Pennsylvania.
Rachel Kaplan is dedicated to nonprofit institutions focused on creative placemaking, community engagement, and education through design initiatives. Kaplan currently serves as the interim director of the Chicago Architecture Biennial (CAB)—expanding her role that began with the 2015 inaugural CAB edition, The State of the Art of Architecture. She also served as director of programming for ProjectArt, an organization that provides free after school art programs for students in the Chicago Public Libraries, taught by local social practice artists. Additionally, she has worked with EXPO CHICAGO, Chicago Architecture Foundation, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and Scope International Contemporary Art Show. She holds a master’s in arts administration and policy with a focus in management and business from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a bachelor’s in international relations from the City College of New York. She is a member of the Chicago Loop Alliance Placemaking Committee, which aims to improve downtown Chicago through creative activations.
Keane is a design education leader and innovator. Founder of Architecture and Interior Architecture programs at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, she is a Professor of Architecture and Environmental Design, a partner in STUDIO 1032, and Creative Director and Co-Founder of the NEXT.cc STEAM by Design e-Learning Resource. She works on Green Initiatives along the Chicago Milwaukee Corridor and believes it is the right of every child to connect with the built and natural environments during childhood. Her innovative work is recognized by the American Institute of Architects Illinois for Dissemination of Architecture Education; Association of Architecture Organizations for Media Education; Association of Collegiate Architecture Schools for Creative Achievement in Education; American Architecture Foundation; United States Green Building Council for Excellence in Green Building Education, Union of International Architects for Built Environment Education for Children; The Art Institute of Chicago for Urban Engagement.
Michael Kimmelman has been the Architecture Critic for the New York Times since 2011, and has reported from more than 40 countries and twice been a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. His work focuses on urban affairs, public space, housing for the poor, infrastructure, social equality and the environment, as well as on design. A best-selling author, he has won numerous awards over the years. The magazine New York titled an article about him “The People’s Critic.” In March 2014, Michael was given the Brendan Gill Prize for “insightful candor and continuous scrutiny of New York’s architectural environment,” “that is journalism at its finest." From 2007 to 2011, Michael was based in Berlin, covering Europe and the Middle East, having devised the “Abroad” column. While there, he reported on life under Hamas in Gaza, the crackdown on culture in Putin’s Russia, negritude in France and bullfighting in Spain, among other subjects. He was previously The Times’s longtime chief art critic — “the most acute American art critic of his generation,” according to the late Australian writer Robert Hughes. A graduate of Yale and Harvard, adjunct professor at Columbia University and former Franke fellow at the Whitney Center for the Humanities at Yale, he has contributed regularly to The New York Review of Books.
Kristin LaBuz joined Open House New York as the Deputy Director for Development and Communications in January 2018. She has more than a decade of experience working to improve the built environment, including previous roles spanning fundraising, cultural programming, and active design at the Design Trust for Public Space, DUMBO Improvement District and NYC Health. Kristin holds a Masters Degree in Urban Planning from the University of Pennsylvania's School of Design.
Jesse Lazar serves as Deputy Director of AIANY and the Center for Architecture, where he manages all fundraising and development activities for both organizations, including special events, individual giving, institutional grants, and corporate giving. He also oversees the marketing and communications team. Jesse has a long history at AIA New York, having launched his career in 2008 managing programs for the Chapter. Jesse holds an MBA from the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business.
Joshua D. Lee is an Assistant Professor in the Carnegie Mellon School of Architecture, and serves as the Track Co-Chair for the Master of Science in Architecture–Engineering–Construction Management (MSAECM) program. His research interests include sustainable design, adaptable architecture, systems-based architecture, public interest design, post-occupancy evaluation, educational facilities, and qualitative and computational analysis of architectural language. Joshua recently completed his Ph.D. in Architecture at the University of Texas at Austin; his dissertation focused on the School Construction Systems Development (SCSD) project. Prior to that, he earned a Master of Architecture, Master of Sustainable Design, and BA in Marketing. Joshua served as a Lecturer and Assistant Director of the Restoration Institute at Clemson University and as an architect at SOM-NY, SHW Group/Stantec-Austin, and Davis Wince on a wide array of projects. He currently heads the Protean Design Collaborative.
Ryan Lee is a Senior Associate with Woods Bagot, a global architecture studio. He has been a board member with the Architectural Foundation of San Francisco since 2016 and chairs the organization’s Annual High School Design Competition. A native San Franciscan, Ryan was first introduced to AFSF as a high school student.
Kerry Leonard is the Director of Architecture for the Reimagine America’s Schools program. For over ten years he served as a Senior Fellow and Architectural Advisor to the American Architectural Foundation on the Design for Learning program. Kerry believes we have the responsibility to make better places of learning through design. He is an expert in creating leading edge places of learning using inclusive and inventive planning techniques.
For over 35 years Kerry worked for Chicago based K-12 design firms. Since 2016, as an Educational Facility Adviser, he provides facility planning and architectural consulting services to schools, architects and organizations. Kerry advances a culture of continual improvement to create, maintain, improve and enhance educational facilities in the service of students, staff and the community.
In addition to speaking and teaching activities, Kerry participated in the planning and creation of the book “The Third Teacher - 79 Ways You Can Use Design To Transform Teaching & Learning,” a collaborative project of OWP/P Architects, VS Furniture and Bruce Mau Design. He is also a contributor and reviewer of the publication “Good School Maintenance” published by Illinois Association of School Boards (IASB).
Anne-Marie Lubenau, FAIA, is an architect, educator and advocate for excellence in urban design and planning. She focuses on expanding the role of architects in shaping cities by engaging people in the process of design and increasing understanding about the built environment and its impact on our lives. Prior to joining the Bruner Foundation, Anne-Marie was CEO of the Community Design Center of Pittsburgh, worked in architecture firms in Pittsburgh, and developed and taught classes on the urban environment. She regularly contributes to national forums and publications on design, and serves on the Association of Architecture Organizations' Board of Directors.
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.
Kent Martinussen is the CEO of the Danish Architecture Centre, and was educated at international architecture schools and universities, including the Beaux Arts School in Paris and The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Art in Copenhagen from where he holds an MA in Architecture. Kent heads the Danish Architecture Centre (DAC), the national center for architecture and urban planning in Denmark, which is organized as a private-public partnership between the philanthropic fund Realdania and the Danish government. The DAC is a non-profit project organization that delivers public service, B2B development and international promotion within the field of architecture and urban planning. Kent serves as a member of a number of national and international committees, juries and boards, including the international jury panel of the Architecture Biennale in Venice, the steering committee of the Mies Van der Rohe Award and competition juries.
Kent is an advisor to governments, municipalities and corporations on policy making, strategic development and city governance.
Bay Area Teacher John Martoni has an urban planning background and has brought urban design/architecture into his classroom by integrating it with reading, writing, math, science, and social studies. He even published a curriculum called "METROPOLIS: A Green City of your Own!" which is used by museums, nonprofits, and schools across the country interested in teaching kids about architecture and urban planning. Projects by his fourth graders were featured in the Latinos in Architecture Exhibit at San Francisco's "Architecture and the City Festival" alongside work by prominent Bay Area architects. They were the only children invited to participate, and their projects were singled out for praise by Gabriela Carrillo (2017 Architect of the Year) during her keynote address as being "the most important work of the entire festival."
Richard McCoy is the founding director of Landmark Columbus, an organization dedicated to caring for and celebrating the world-renowned design heritage of Columbus, Indiana. Landmark Columbus is best known for its program Exhibit Columbus which alternates programming between symposium and exhibition years.
Richard is an experienced cultural leader who has a history of creating unique solutions to complex cultural heritage challenges, curating art projects in public spaces, and teaching in graduate programs. He serves on a number of non-profit boards and committees.
A former Fulbright Scholar to Spain, Richard holds a master's degree in art history from New York University's Institute of Fine Arts and received his bachelor's degree from Indiana University, double majoring in journalism and political science.
Beth Miller served as Executive Director of the Community Design Collaborative, a Philadelphia-based nonprofit that strengthens neighborhoods through design, from 2001-2020. Beth also developed and launched Infill Philadelphia, a series of innovative proactive design initiatives. The seven-cycle initiative the Collaborative coordinated public private partnerships to reimagine underutilized assets, convene conversations, and deliver pragmatic design solutions around emergent themes.
Beth’s commitment to cities and civic engagement extends to her volunteer and public service. She served on the Philadelphia City Planning Commission from 2011 to 2016 and the Design Advocacy Group from 2005 to 2011. She holds a Master’s in Government Administration from the Fels School of Government at the University of Pennsylvania and a Bachelor of Arts in the Growth and Structure of Cities from Bryn Mawr College.
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 Michael’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. Michael has also served as principal on several funded projects with government agencies, foundations and industry groups. Michael has a doctorate from the Philosophy, Interpretation, Culture program at Binghamton University, where his dissertation focused on environmental philosophy and ethics. Michael also serves on the Board of Directors of the Association of Architecture Organizations.
Samantha Nelson has served as Boston By Foot’s Executive Director since May 2012. Previously she was Director of Education and Public Program at the Old State House Museum, operated by the Bostonian Society.
Samantha volunteers with Big Brother Big Sister of Massachusetts Bay, Massachusetts Odyssey of the Mind, a creative problem solving program for children, and she leads the Neighborhood Slow Streets initiative in her Roxbury neighborhood. She holds a BA in history from Boston University, an MA in history from the University of Glasgow, and an MBA in nonprofit management from Simmons College.
Benjamin is a Director of NLA in charge of the Galleries, Programme and Events. Benjamin started as Director of NLA at The City Centre in September 2015 developing several new streams of activity including an Education programme, Exhibitions and Public Events. Shortly after the Lord Mayor opened The City Centre to the public in 2016, Benjamin took on the role as Director of the One City project, a new digital platform for promoting the best the City has to offer to City workers. Previously Benjamin was Head of Operations at the Garden Museum which is where he developed his interest and expertise in green infrastructure and public space. Prior to his role at the Garden Museum, Benjamin worked as a Gallery Manager for a private commercial gallery. He trained in Fine Art to MA level at Central Saint Martin’s School of Art and Design, has curated a number of exhibitions, been a Features Editor and sits on a number of committees for Cultural Development, Sustainability and Diversity in London.
Ceara O’Leary, AIA, is a Co-Executive Director at the Detroit Collaborative Design Center (DCDC), where she leads collaborative community design and planning projects citywide alongside neighborhood partners with a focus on community engagement. She is also a Professor of Practice at the University of Detroit Mercy School of Architecture, teaching public interest design and community development courses. Ceara’s professional work, teaching, research and speaking focus on inclusive design of community spaces, ranging from building renovations and open space design to neighborhood plans and citywide infrastructure strategy. Ceara joined the DCDC in 2012 as an Enterprise Rose Architectural Fellow and is the Immediate Past Chair of the AIA Housing and Community Development Knowledge Community Advisory Group. In 2015 Ceara was named a “Top Urban Innovator” by Next City Vanguard and completed a fellowship with the ULI Larsen Center for Leadership. Previously, Ceara worked with bcWORKSHOP in the Lower Rio Grade Valley and the Gulf Coast Community Design Studio in Biloxi, Mississippi. Ceara graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with Masters degrees in Architecture and City & Regional Planning and she earned her undergraduate degree from Brown University.
Cindy Olnick is a communications consultant for historic places and preservation. She led communications for the Los Angeles Conservancy from 2004 to 2018, overseeing messaging, strategy, engagement, branding, marketing, digital outreach, and media relations. In her own practice, Cindy helps preservation organizations and other nonprofits raise money, engage audiences, and mobilize action. She also works on national initiatives to advance the field of preservation through strategic communications. Cindy co-hosts Save As, a new podcast showcasing innovative research by graduate students in the University of Southern California’s Heritage Conservation Program. She serves on the boards of Long Beach Heritage and Photo Friends of the Los Angeles Public Library. A Georgia native, Cindy worked in communications in Boston before moving to Los Angeles in 2000, largely for its architecture.
Lynn Osmond has served as President and CEO of the Chicago Architecture Foundation since 1996, and led the creation in 2018 of the Chicago Architecture Center, a 20,000-square-foot home that brings architecture into the city’s cultural conversation. Opening the Center included rebranding the organization as the CAC, whose tours, exhibitions, classes and conversations now engage 695,000 people each year. Under Lynn’s leadership, the CAC also initiated Open House Chicago—a free, citywide festival attracting more than 100,000 attendees—and spearheaded the launch of the Association of Architecture Organizations (AAO), connecting 160 members worldwide. More than 85 acclaimed tours led by volunteer docents depart more than 7,000 times annually, while CAC education initiatives reach more than 33,000 youth.
An Honorary Member of the American Institute of Architects since 2005, Lynn serves on the boards of Choose Chicago (Vice Chair) and the Magnificent Mile and is President of International Women’s Forum Chicago. She is founding chair of the Association of Architectural Organizations, a commissioner of the Commission on Chicago Landmarks, and a member of the Commercial Club, the Chicago Network, and the Economic Club of Chicago, among others. Osmond holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Canada’s Queens University and is a graduate of the Advanced Executive Program at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.
Michaele Pride, AIA, NOMA, is a Professor of Architecture at the University of New Mexico. As an architect and urban designer, she emphasizes principles of consensus, collaboration and public engagement in her teaching, research and professional consulting. Michaele’s current work focuses on the intersection between design and public health—seeking ways to create healthy, sustainable and equitable communities.
After the 1992 civil unrest in Los Angeles, Michaele helped found the Design Professionals’ Coalition, offering assistance to neglected communities of South LA. She left private practice in Los Angeles to become the inaugural Director of the Downtown Design Center at the University of Kentucky in 1996. Prior to UNM, she was at the University of Cincinnati, where she served as the Director of the School of Architecture and Interior Design from 2003-09.
Michaele served on the Cincinnati City Planning Commission and on the Board of Trustees for the Cincinnati Contemporary Arts Center. She recently served on the Design Review Committee for the Sawmill Community Land Trust and on the Healthy Places, Healthy People steering committee for the Con Alma Health Foundation, and has served on several national and international design and awards juries.
Benjamin Prosky is Executive Director of the American Institute of Architects New York Chapter (AIANY) and the Center for Architecture. He previously served as Assistant Dean for Communications at Harvard Graduate School of Design (GSD). In 2009, Ben cofounded ARCHITIZER, and until May 2011 was the Director of Special Events and External Affairs at Columbia University GSAPP. From 2002 to 2005, Ben was Head of Public and University Programs at the Canadian Centre for Architecture (CCA) in Montreal, Canada, and from 1999 to 2002 he was an Exhibitions Coordinator for the Institut francais d’architecture in Paris, France. He currently serves on the boards of the Association of Architecture Organizations, the Advisory Board of the New York Institute of Technology and the Alumni Board of the Packer Collegiate Institute.
Juan Carlos Rodríguez Rivera is a designer, artist, educator and curator passionate about food, lover of ephemeral objects, gradients and anything deemed as kitsch. Juan Carlos was born and raised in the smallest town of Puerto Rico and received an MFA in Communications Design from Pratt Institute in NY. Juan's practice focuses on dismantling colonial legacies in art and design. The ongoing research that informs his work is the study of decoloniality, pedagogy, design and non-western methodologies.
Katherine Sacco is Director of Partnerships at the Urban Design Forum, where she leads the Forefront Fellowship, engaging diverse and emerging leaders in the built environment in addressing social and political challenges facing New York City. She also facilitates Neighborhoods Now, a pandemic‐response community design initiative in partnership with the Van Alen Institute. Katherine previously researched urban planning in Medellín, Colombia; managed interdisciplinary research teams in health and economics; and helped to build the International Innovation Corps, a social impact fellowship program based in Chicago. Katherine holds a BA from the University of Chicago and an MA in anthropology from the University of California, Irvine.
Alan R. Sandler serves as Executive Director of the Architectural Foundation of San Francisco, where he 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.
Dayton Schroeter is a Design Principal who has championed Design Justice advocacy throughout his career at SmithGroup. As a leader of the firm’s Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee, his charge is to lead design projects that address the systemic injustice that architecture and planning have perpetuated for historically disenfranchised communities of color. Leveraging his tenacious passion for design justice with authenticity and creativity, he is currently leading Antiracism efforts in design projects including the National Slavery Museum located at the Lumpkin’s Slave Jail Site / Devil’s Half Acre and a traveling installation called Society’s Cage that sheds national awareness on the intersectional effects of racism on our society’s collective health, safety and welfare. Dayton is the co-author of a research grant called Hidden Voices for the development of a rubric for architects and planners doing community engagement around Black historical sites of trauma and resilience in the United States.
Grace joined New London Architecture as a Programme Manager in 2018, creating content, research and exhibitions for topics such as Boroughs, Housing, Community, Wellbeing and Diverse Leaders. Working on the Diverse Leaders Pledge is an important part of Grace’s commitment and aspirations for an inclusive and accessible built environment industry. Grace continues to work with community interest company, Woodland Tribe, building adventure playgrounds with children at schools, festivals and galleries around the UK. Previously Grace has curated exhibitions for London Architecture Film Festival and architecture and design magazine LOBBY while studying at The Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL, where her enthusiasm for interdisciplinary architecture continues today.
Ellen Soloff is the Director of Tours & Merchandise at Mural Arts Philadelphia, the largest public art program of its kind in the country, and has held this position since 2014. In this role, she oversees a department that runs annually 800+ mural tours and experiences for residents and tourists, as well as manages a team of 28 tour guides. For 12 years, prior to joining Mural Arts, Ellen was the Director of New Business Development at BlueStar Marketing, a branding and promotional products firm. In addition, Ellen has held several tourism marketing, sponsorship and special event management positions with Philadelphia‐centric organizations, such as: The Manayunk Development Corporation, Welcome America, Inc. and Light of Liberty, Inc. Ellen is a graduate of the George Washington University. She is a longtime Center City, Philadelphia resident as and has one daughter who attends the University of Pittsburgh. Also, loves the beach, theater and all kinds of travel.
Anne Surak is the director of Exhibit Columbus, which is a program of the Landmark Columbus Foundation. Exhibit Columbus is an exploration of architecture, art, design, and community that activates the design legacy of Columbus, Indiana. It creates a cycle of programming that uses this context to convene conversations around innovative ideas and commissions site-responsive installations in a free, public exhibition.
Anne is a curator and art dealer whose 18-year-long career in the cultural sector has predominantly focused on the production of collaborative projects and exhibitions. She is the founder of art consultancy firm Art + Space and has worked with clients such as architecture firms Gensler and Smith Group.
Prior to becoming director of Exhibit Columbus, Surak was the inaugural director of Project 4 Gallery in Washington DC, which represented emerging and mid-career American artists.
Hunter is the Founder and CEO of Syndicate X an award-winning strategic brand consultancy with offices in New York, Madrid and Liverpool. Syndicate’s current clients include Changi Airport Group, Lucid Motors, Harvard University, and Tamara Mellon.
From 2010 to 2019, he was the President and Chief Executive Officer of Bruce Mau Design (BMD - a member of the MDC Partners network of companies) with offices in London, New York and Toronto, where he was responsible for the firm’s overall strategic direction, creative excellence and global business development. He is passionate about building truly great teams and helping develop strategies that drive growth, engagement and awareness for best-in-class brands. Over the course of the past two decades, he has worked with business, culture and design leaders from organizations such as Netflix, Audi, Asics, The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Allstate, Samsung, GE, Unilever, Sonos, and the Victoria & Albert Museum on a range of brand and design initiatives.
Prior to joining BMD, Tura was Managing Director at 2x4, Inc., responsible for leading operational and strategic business efforts in the U.S. and China as well as overseeing key client relationships for companies including Prada, Nike, P&G, Chanel and Tiffany & Co. Previously was an architectural designer at Rockwell Group in New York where he led design efforts for many projects including the new Greenwich Hotel in New York and the prototype store for Subway. Additionally, he has worked in the office of AMO/Rem Koolhaas where he led brand strategy projects for Harvard University and Condé Nast. He serves on the Design Council for IE Business School in Madrid and was previously an External Advisor and Guest Lecturer at Designskolen Kolding in Denmark. He has served on the design faculty of the University of California and Columbia University, and has lectured at Universities and conferences worldwide.
Tura was the curator of the Canada Pavilion during the 2018 London Design Biennale, a member of the Presidential Design Awards Jury in Singapore in 2017, and was a juror for the 2019 Florence Design Biennale. He is a frequent commentator on design, including “The 22nd Century Brand” for Design Singapore and the documentary “Design Canada."
He received his Master of Architecture degree from the Harvard University Graduate School of Design where he completed his thesis under the direction of Rem Koolhaas and has a BA from Haverford College in the Growth and Structure of Cities. He serves on the Design Council for the IE School of Architecture & Design in Madrid and is a Trustee of the Van Alen Institute in New York.
Rosa Weinberg is a Cambridge, Massachusetts-based design educator and artist trained as an architect. Her creative practice and teaching focus on the body through the design and fabrication of sculptural wearables, assistive devices for people with disabilities, and speculative prosthetics. She uses design as a critical practice by conducting research and interviews to question the status quo and see beyond dominant narratives. Her teaching work has led her to write about teaching and learning in design education. She is highly skilled in digital fabrication and the associated software.
Since 2014, she has taught at NuVu Studio, a full-time innovation school for middle and high school students based on the architectural studio model. At NuVu she is a Senior Coach and the Director of Studio Development. She has taught nearly 60 two- to three-week studios (50-75 hours each), working with students on more than 300 novel projects. During the 2020 Spring term she was on the teaching team for Product and Experience Design for Desirability at Harvard University.
Gregory Wessner became Executive Director of the National Academy of Design in September 2020. Founded in 1825 by a group of young artists and architects, the National Academy is one of the oldest arts institutions in the United States and has been a leading advocate for American art and architecture for nearly two centuries. Prior to the National Academy of Design, Wessner served as Executive Director of Open House New York, where he spearheaded an expanded schedule of programs and activities that helped transform OHNY into one of the leading forums for architecture, design and planning in New York City. Wessner also worked at the Architectural League of New York, where he served in a variety positions including Exhibitions Director. He also served as Chief Administrator at the National Academy of Design School of Fine Arts and the alternative art space White Columns, and at the Parrish Art Museum. Wessner was named an Honorary Member of AIA New York and is a board member of the Association of Architecture Organizations. He was recognized by the Guides Association of New York in 2016 for Outstanding Achievement in Support of New York City. In recognition of his contributions to art and culture in New York City, Wessner received the Award of Merit in 2020 from the American Institute of Architects New York (AIANY), the highest honor given by AIANY to a non-architect. Wessner did doctoral research in art and architectural history at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York and completed undergraduate studies in Art History at Rutgers University.
Appointed in June of 2016, David Whitaker is the President and CEO of Choose Chicago, Chicago’s Convention & Visitor Bureau. Chicago’s tourism and convention performance continue to grow, including over 34 million overnight visitors in 2019. These visitors helped support over 154,000 tourism-related jobs and helped generate over $150 million in State hotel tax revenue and $140 million in Chicago hotel tax revenue.
In addition to overall Marketing, Public Relations, Digital Media and Global Trade Development programs launched domestically and in key international markets to support Chicago’s Visitor Industry, Choose Chicago also has a mandate to target, negotiate and confirm 55 new major convention bookings each year representing 2.6 million room-nights in future business for partner hotels and McCormick Place.
Choose Chicago is Chicago’s Destination Marketing Organization and currently serves and partners with over 1,600 association members representing leading attractions, museums, restaurants, shopping and entertainment districts, meetings and trade show vendors and venues and a direct membership client roster of over 150 hotels.
Prior to joining Choose Chicago, David was Chief Marketing Officer for Brand USA. Before Brand USA, David was President and CEO of Tourism Toronto for 8 years (2007- 2015). Before joining Tourism Toronto, David spent 17 years with the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau most recently as the Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer.
Ann Yoachim is the director of the Albert and Tina Small Center for Collaborative Design and a professor of practice at the Tulane School of Architecture. As director, she oversees programs and projects, executes strategic initiatives and nurtures key relationships of the center. She has 15 years of experience building partnerships across campus-community boundaries to amplify community voice and support meaningful change. As an educator, scholar and administrator, Ann is focused on facilitating interdisciplinary collaboration and shaping built, natural and social environments that impact health and wellness in rural and urban settings. This work has ranged from managing multi-faceted projects on climate change adaptation and resilience to facilitating strategic planning and design thinking efforts for philanthropy. Much of her work falls at the intersection of design, equity, and ecology. Ann holds a Master of Public Health degree from Tulane University and a bachelor’s degree in environmental studies and political science from Dickinson College. In 2012-2013, she was a Loeb Fellow at the Harvard Graduate School of Design.