Speaker Bios Powerful 7
Annie Chu, FAIA, IIDA
Annie Chu, FAIA, IIDA, is a founding principal of Chu+Gooding Architects, a lifelong educator, and a champion of Interior Architecture. Since founding her firm in 1996, Annie has worked extensively with world-renowned arts and cultural institutions, including Hammer Museum, MOCA, The Huntington, Autry Museum of the American West, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association. Most recently, Annie was selected to provide Interior Architecture services for the Los Angeles Convention Center Renovation & Expansion project. Her leadership in the civic and professional realms has included the IIDA Board of Directors, Contract Magazine’s Editorial Advisory Board, and the Cultural Affairs Commission for the City of Los Angeles.
Billie Tsien, AIA
Billie Tsien along with Tod Williams founded their New York architecture practice in 1986. Their studio focuses on work for institutions such as schools, museums, and not-for-profits with designs that value experience, permanence and enduring vision. Some of their notable projects include the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia and the Lefrak Center in Prospect Park Brooklyn. Their current work includes The Obama Presidential Center in Jackson Park Chicago, the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City, and the renovation of David Geffen Hall at Lincoln Center. In parallel with her practice, Billie maintains an active academic career and is the current president of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
Barbara Bestor, FAIA
Barbara Bestor, FAIA is the Principal and founder of Bestor Architecture. Raised in Cambridge, MA, she received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Harvard University and a Master of Architecture degree from SCI-Arc. She is a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects and serves on the Board of SCI-Arc, the Los Angeles Conservancy, and the Silverlake Conservatory of Music. Barbara has consistently pursued experimental architecture that engages the city through design, art, and urbanism. The architectural form is explored through experiments in spatial arrangements, graphics, and color. Her varied and progressive body of work connects with people on many levels, often outside the boundaries traditionally delineated for architecture. She believes that good design creates an engaged urban life and embraces the ‘strange beauty’ that enhances everyday life experience.
Her 24-person architectural design practice was established in 1995. Known for the new headquarters for Beats By Dre (recipient of a National AIA Honor Award for Design), Snap, Inx., and Nasty Gal; Blackbirds, an innovative small lot housing complex in Echo Park, and a variety of custom residences and restaurants, Barbara spearheads a practice that fosters community, intimacy and joy.
Currently she is exploring urban design issues that directly affect Los Angeles and beyond with a modern sensibility that will create enduring impact. Ventures include the new IKAR: a Jewish Center for Social Innovation, exhibit design for LACMA’s upcoming Scandinavian Design and America, 1890-1980 (opens 2021), transitional development studies for San Fernando Road along the LA River, and the recently opened Ashes & Diamonds Winery in Napa. The Floating Bungalow House in Venice, CA was featured in MOCA’s 2013 survey of contemporary LA architecture. In addition, she led the revitalization effort for John Lautner’s Silvertop, a recipient of awards from the LA Conservancy, DOCOMOMO and the AIA.
Barbara received her undergraduate degree from Harvard University and her Master of Architecture from SCI-Arc. She is the executive director of Woodbury University’s Julius Shulman Institute.
Anne Fougeron, FAIA
Anne Fougeron is an award‐winning architect recognized nationally for her diverse portfolio of projects serving institutional, commercial, healthcare and residential clients. Whether transforming existing buildings or creating entirely new environments, her thoughtful, rule‐challenging designs address each commission’s unique aspirations, opportunities and challenges. In practice for over three decades, Anne remains personally involved in her firm’s work, collaborating with clients and consultants to realize each project. In 2019, she received the AIA California Distinguished Practice Award, one of the region’s highest honors.
Working across an array of building types and budgets, Fougeron Architecture crafts enriching environments that uplift the spirit, awaken the senses, and benefit the human endeavors they were designed for— be it work, education, wellness, or family life. This approach confronts conventions within the field to argue for design strategies that support the full range of their inhabitants’ needs and fosters connections to their physical and cultural contexts. From the most modest to the grandest of the firm’s commissions, one sees a rigor and discipline rooted in a fundamental respect for all people and the experiences our buildings will engender.
Karin Liljegren, FAIA, IIDA
Karin Liljegren, FAIA, IIDA, has dedicated her career to revitalizing the rich stock of existing buildings in Los Angeles. In 1999, she worked on the very first projects under LA’s Adaptive Reuse Ordinance, which launched her nuanced understanding of the challenges and opportunities of adaptive reuse. Karin is a thought leader in the downtown Los Angeles community and is active with city and county officials in crafting policies that ease the challenges of working on existing buildings. Her impact created the return of historic downtown LA as a livable, walkable neighborhood.
Karin is the founder and principal of Omgivning, the only architecture and interior design firm in Los Angeles that brings buildings and spaces to life through urban and historic revitalization, policy innovation, and custom design. Omgivning uses a macro to micro approach from the urban to the human scale.
At nearly 40 staff, Omgivning is a thought leader in adaptive reuse and touched more than 400 buildings in Los Angeles.
Monica Ponce de Leon
Monica Ponce de Leon is the founding principal of MPdL Studio and dean and professor at Princeton University School of Architecture. Among her many prestigious honors, Ponce de Leon received the National Design Award in Architecture from the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian National Design Museum. She has also been honored with the Academic Award in Architecture from the American Academy of Arts and Sciences; the USA Target Fellow in Architecture and Design from United States Artists; and the Young Architects and Emerging Voices awards from the Architectural League of New York. Her highly acclaimed and broadly published work has received 13 Progressive Architecture (PA) Awards, 13 awards from the American Institute of Architects including the AIA Institute Honor Award for Architecture, as well as the prestigious Harleston Parker Medal from the Boston Society of Architects. In 2016 Ponce de Leon was inducted into the National Academy of Design.
J. Meejin Yoon, AIA
J. Meejin Yoon, AIA FAAR, is an architect, designer, and educator, whose projects and research investigate the intersections between architecture, technology, and the public realm. Soon is the Gale and Ira Drukier Dean at the College of Architecture, Art, and Planning at Cornell University.Before joining the AAP faculty, Yoon was at MIT for 17 years, where she received the Irwin Sizer Award for the Most Significant Improvement to MIT Education, and served as head of the Department of Architecture from 2014–18.
Yoon is cofounding principal of Höweler and Yoon Architecture, a studio recognized for design innovation and excellence. Recent projects include the Memorial for Enslaved Laborers at the University if Virginia, the Collier Memorial, and the MIT Museum. Soon and her studio have received numerous professional awards and cultural honors, including the American Academy of Arts and Letters Award in Architecture, the Rome Prize in Design, Design Vanguard Award, and the United Stated Artists Award in Architecture.
Yoon’s work has been exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, the Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum in New York, the Vitra Deign Museum in Germany, and the National Art Center in Japan. Publications by Yoon include Expanded Practice (princeton Architectural Press, 2009), Public Works (MAP Book Publishers, 2008), and Absence (Printed Matter and the Whitney Museum of Art, 2003).
She received a bachelor of architecture from Cornell AAP and a master of architecture in urban design from Harvard GSD.
An architect and educator committed to design research, Andraos’ writings have focused on climate change and its impact on architecture and on the question of representation in the age of global practice. Recent publications include We’ll Get There When We Cross That Bridge, The Arab City:Architecture and Representation and 49 Cities.
WORKac, a New York-based firm, focuses on projects that reinvent the relationship between urban and natural environments. The firm has achieved international acclaim for the RISD Student Center, the Beirut Museum of Art in Lebanon and a Net-Zero library for North Boulder Colorado.
Hazel R. Edwards
Dr. Edwards’ unique career has combined place-based research with planning and urban design practice and teaching. A native of North Carolina, Dr. Edwards was raised in Washington, D.C. and later graduated from Howard University with the Bachelor of Architecture. She went on to receive degrees from Harvard University (Master of Architecture in Urban Design) and the University of Illinois—Urbana-Champaign (Ph.D. in regional planning). She returned to North Carolina as a Carolina Minority Postdoctoral Scholar at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
She is the co-author of The Long Walk: The Placemaking Legacy of Howard University (Moorland-Spingarn Research Center, 1996), which traced the 127-year history of the physical development of the campus. That project has led to funded research and published work on placemaking at other historically black colleges and universities in the United States. She is currently working on a chapter on Howard for a book focused on race, space, and culture.
She is a certified planner with the American Institute of Certified Planners and was elected to their College of Fellows in 2018. She is the co-recipient of the 2015 Marcia Feld Leadership Award from the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning.
Dr. Edwards returned to Howard in July 2016 as the first woman in the history of architectural education at the University to be elevated to the rank of full professor and to lead the Department of Architecture, College of Engineering and Architecture. Prior to returning to her alma mater, she taught in the graduate architecture and city planning programs at Morgan State University’s Institute and at The Catholic University of America’s School of Architecture and Planning, where she served as director of the Master of City and Regional Planning program.
Greenwood and her work have been recognized by BUILD magazine; HOUZZ as one of “7 Game-Changing LGBT Architects and Design Pros You Should Know”; the Women Builder’s Council; the New York Business Journal as a “Woman of Influence” and inclusion in OUT magazine’s OUT 100, a celebration of “the most influential LGBTQ people of the year”.
As an advocate, Greenwood continues to speak on behalf of equality in the workplace. Having co-founded OLGAD in the 1990s, Greenwood is recognized as a pioneer in the struggle for visibility in the architecture profession for under-represented individuals most notably leading to the formation of the New York City LGBT Historic Sites Project.
Julia Koerner is an award-winning Austrian designer working at the convergence of architecture, product and fashion design, specialised in 3D-printing. Her work stands out, recognised at the top level of these disciplines, where it has been featured internationally in world-renown museums, institutions and publications. She is founder and director of JK Design GmbH. Her recent collaborations involved 3D-Printed fashion pieces developed with Haute Couture Houses for Paris Fashion weeks and Hollywood Entertainment Productions such as MARVEL’s superhero blockbuster Black Panther. Julia is a graduate of the Architectural Association, London and University of Applied Arts, Vienna; she is a faculty member at the University of California, Los Angeles since 2012.
Dawn Hicks, Assoc. AIA
Dawn Hicks is an Enterprise Rose Fellow, currently working with Venice Community Housing in Venice, California as their Community Design Coordinator and Project Manager. With VCH, Dawn serves as a key member of the housing development team as VCH initiates new construction projects focused on increasing affordable and permanent supportive housing options in Venice, as well as reinvest in several older properties. She is also an integral part of their property management, resident services, YouthBuild and advocacy teams and engages a wide variety of other community members and stakeholders in an approach to community development and participatory project design.
Prior to the Fellowship, Dawn was a design professional in Richmond, VA, where she worked in construction and maintenance, and also served on the city’s Urban Design Committee. Dawn holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Architectural Engineering from North Carolina A&T State University and a Master of Architecture degree from the University of North Carolina-Charlotte, where she focused on the social and economic impacts of Hip Hop on Architecture. Dawn has a passion for enhancing urban environments through influences of social, economic, and cultural forces that help shape built environments and develop inclusive communities in affordable ways.
Nithya Raman has fought to increase resources for slum-dwellers in India, founded a homelessness services nonprofit in Los Angeles, and served as executive director of Time’s Up Entertainment. She lives in Silver Lake with her husband and twin preschoolers. She is currently a candidate for Los Angeles City Council in District 4, who has advanced to the November runoff with one of the strongest showings against an incumbent in LA history. She is a Harvard and MIT trained urban planner.
Los Angeles City Council President Nury Martinez is the first Latina Council President in the City’s 170-year U.S. history. The proud daughter of working-class Mexican immigrants, Martinez is a glass-ceiling shattering leader who brings a families-first and Women’s Rights advocacy to her efforts on behalf of the families in the Sixth Council District and City of Los Angeles.
Martinez helped lead the effort to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour in the City of Los Angeles, created a task force and increased efforts to help women caught in the nightmare of human trafficking.
She is leading a policy initiative to increase “paid parental leave” in the City of Los Angeles in order to end archaic laws that punish women for having children, and so that mothers, and all parents, can properly care for and bond with their new-born infants without fear of losing their salaries or jobs.
Martinez is also dedicated to doing more to address homelessness, while also ensuring the safety and wellbeing of local communities. Council District 6 is home to the most supportive housing for those experiencing homelessness in the San Fernando Valley, and Martinez is
committed to building more while also advocating for a Citywide, Countywide, Statewide and Federal commitment to share the responsibility of housing and serving the homeless equally.
Council President Martinez’ “Green New Deal” is focused on Environmental Justice first and foremost for low-income, people-of-color communities that historically suffer from polluted air, water and land, more than other affluent communities.
Council President Nury Martinez is a graduate of San Fernando High School and California State University at Northridge. She and her husband, Gerry, live in Sun Valley with their young daughter, Isabelle.