CREATIVITY CONFERENCE 2021
SPEAKER BIOS

Annie Chu, FAIA, IIDA
Founding Principal, Chu+Gooding Architects

Annie Chu, FAIA, IIDA, is an architect, interior designer, educator, and a founding principal of the award-winning Chu+Gooding Architects in Los Angeles. In her 38 years in practice, Annie has worked extensively with world-renowned museums, cultural facilities, and educational institutions, including MOCA, Hammer Museum, J Paul Getty Center, The Huntington, Autry Museum of the American West, Studio Museum in Harlem, Southern California Public Radio, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association. Leveraging her design reputation, Annie champions Interior Architecture as a distinct and emerging discipline, advancing design excellence through teaching, public speaking, design juries, and her leadership in the civic and professional realms, including her role on the City of Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Commission, the Mayor’s Design Advisory Panel, the National AIA Interior Architecture Advisory Group, Contract Magazine’s Editorial Advisory Board, Architecture California (arcCA), and the IIDA International Board of Directors. In 2014, Annie received the International Interior Design Association’s Leadership Award of Excellence from the Southern California chapter of the IIDA. A dedicated educator since 1990 in architecture and design schools across the country and abroad, Annie was recognized with the distinguished Presidential Honoree Educator Award by the Los Angeles Chapter of the AIA in 2016.

 

Carmen Zella
Founder & Director, Now Art

Carmen Zella is an award-winning public art curator and producer. She is the Owner and Creative Director of NOW ART, an established art agency in Los Angeles that designs, consults, produces, and installs artworks for both civic and private clients. In 2016, along with distinguished curator, Heidi Chang, she co-founded the non-profit organization NOW ART FOUNDATION to bring progressive and socially important public art works to Los Angeles. Having worked with numerous international and local artists, Carmen’s adherence to the intrinsic value of art in the public realm, and her belief in site-specificity, has resulted in widespread acclaim. She has produced highly recognized projects, across a variety of platforms; including the renowned Liquid Shard in downtown Los Angeles’ Pershing Square; the revitalization of the Triforium, recipient of the LA2050 grant; and the activation of the air-raid sirens for the LA Philharmonic’s production of War of the Worlds. She has collaborated with a diverse range of partners, such as the City & County of Los Angeles, Lincoln Property Company, Trammell Crow Company, and the Museum of Social Justice. In 2019, Now Art and its collaborators were recipients of the Building Team of the Year award by the American Institute of Architects LA for the cultural murals at La Plaza Village. Carmen’s most recent work is Luminex LA, a sound/video exhibition of video artwork from six internationally-recognized artists, projected across a select group of downtown Los Angeles buildings. As an exploration of environment and meaning, and in keeping with Carmen’s belief in the necessity of accessible art, this event was free to the public.

 

Craig Hodgetts
Partner, Hodgetts + Fung

With a broad background in theater arts, automotive engineering, and architecture, Craig Hodgetts brings a far-reaching vision to the design of complex, multi-faceted environments. While best known for the ingenuity he applies to projects requiring a high degree of technical and aesthetic synthesis, he is equally at home in a dynamic collaboration with multiple stakeholders. His celebrated design for a tensile structure at UCLA with partner Hsinming Fung, was followed by a series of landmark civic and cultural facilities including the Hollywood Bowl and the Egyptian Theater. In the years since, he has been granted patents for a mobile logistics center, a prefabricated classroom, and an evacuated tube structure for the hyperloop transportation system. Always a passionate advocate for technical innovation and its bearing on culture and sustainability, Craig has created innovative projects for the California Institute of the Arts, Art Center College, and the City of Nashville. A prolific writer, he has contributed essays and observations to LOG, the Los Angeles Times and The Architect’s Newsletter, as well as signature books on science-fiction icon Syd Mead and architect James Stirling, and has just published “Swimming to Suburbia” a collection of critical essays he has written on design and urbanism.

 

Hsinming Fung, AIA
Design Director, Hodgetts + Fung

Hsinming Fung, AIA has been Principal and Co-Founder of Hodgetts + Fung since 1984, a studio with expertise in the design of unique places for learning, cultural events, and civic functions. H+F’s approach is multifaceted, embracing visitor experience, technology, and iconic presence in a disciplined process, resulting in a bold, uncompromising architecture. The firm’s award-winning projects include the design of the renovated Hollywood Bowl, Menlo-Atherton Performing Arts Center, CalArts’ Wild Beast Pavilion, Jesuit High School Chapel, and Nashville’s new Ascend Amphitheater. Current projects include the renovation of Culver City’s historic Robert Frost Auditorium and a West Hollywood mixed-use development. H+F was awarded the AIA Gold Medal and the AIA CC Firm of the Year Award.Fung has taught at Yale, Ohio State, and Cal Poly Pomona. She is a Past President of both AIA Los Angeles and the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture. She was appointed by Bill Clinton as a Council Member of the National Endowment for the Arts, and has served as a national peer for General Services Administration.

 

Jasna Sokolovic
Co-Founder, Dear Human

Jasna Sokolovic studied architecture at the University of Sarajevo and at the University of Belgrade in former Yugoslavia before immigrating to Canada during the war. She completed her studies in fine arts at Emily Carr University in Vancouver, British Columbia.

 

Mary Trunk
Filmmaker

Mary Trunk is a filmmaker, choreographer and multi-media artist living in Altadena, CA. Her films take seemingly simple subjects—a family’s unraveling, the choices women make as they navigate identities as mothers and artists, how dancers age— and illuminates how each radiates out to bigger questions: how do we make sense of our histories? What paths are available to us? How do we create meaning within our lives? She has been producing and directing documentaries, dance videos, experimental hybrid films and paintings for more than 30 years. Mary is also a film, video and screen dance Professor at Mount St. Mary’s University, Loyola Marymount University and Art Center College of Design. Her work can be found at www.maandpafilms.com and www.musclememoryproject.com.

 

Noel O’Connell
Co-Founder, Dear Human

Noel O’Connell is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin, Madison and holds an MFA from Rhode Island School of Design. He is a Fulbright scholar in art and architecture and spent six years studying and working in art restoration and ceramics in Thailand and China.

 

Sheila Klein
Artist

Sheila Klein was born in Pittsburgh. Her 1st grade teacher wouldn’t allow erasers. Sheila used her rubber-soled gym shoes instead. It was the start of performing with materials. In 3rd grade she was picked for Tam O’Shanters – young artists with exceptional talent and promise that met at the Carnegie Museum. Sheila spent weekends at the museum exploring the visual arts and also performing in plays, making costumes and sets. As a teen Sheila left home to concentrate on making objects that were visually and materially influenced by experimental theater. Arriving in Seattle in 1972 after a stint in San Miguel de Allende at Instituto Allende, she attended the Factory of Visual Art. Her focus on textiles led to mixed-media installations and a pivotal exhibition in 1981 at P.S.1. Realizing she wanted to work in public spaces, she began a creative consultancy with Olson-Walker Architects and co-founded A2Z, a collaborative art+architecture firm. Sheila moved to Los Angeles in 1983, launching an active career in Southern California. In 1995, she returned to the Skagit Valley with her family continuing to build civic projects, work in the studio and pursue personal projects. Klein has exhibited at such diverse organizations as P.S.1, Institute for Art and Urban Studies in New York, Memory and Lands of the 20th Century in Florence, Italy, Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Museum of Art and Design, New York, New York and La Foret Museum in Tokyo, Japan. Klein’s work has been published in art journals and mainstream media including the New York Times, Times of India and National Public Radio. She is the youngest artist included in the book 50 Northwest Artists. “I want to dress the world. Re-make it, as I want to see it, one piece at a time. The world is my studio. performing with materials.”