Steve Dumez is Principal and Director of Design of the New Orleans based design studio Eskew+Dumez+Ripple. Under his design leadership, the firm has received numerous prestigious awards for design excellence, including more than fifty national design awards and over 100 additional awards at the local, state and regional levels. In 2014, Eskew+Dumez+Ripple was the recipient of the Architecture Firm Award, the highest honor the American Institute of Architects bestows upon an architectural practice in recognition of sustained design excellence and extraordinary contributions to the profession and broader society.
Steve has been a frequent lecturer, guest critic and keynote speaker at various institutions across the country, and his work has been featured in numerous national and international exhibitions, books and publications. Steve also maintains an active involvement in the American Institute of Architects, where he has served on numerous design awards juries and in various leadership positions, including serving as President of both AIA Louisiana and AIA New Orleans. He received a B Arch from Louisiana State University (1982) and a M Arch from Yale University (1989).
Elaine Molinar is an architect and Managing Partner of Snøhetta’s US offices, a 65-person interdisciplinary design studio which takes an integrative approach to architecture, landscape, and interior architecture, as well as graphics and branding.
Her commitment to the issues of social and physical well-being influence her work not only as a design leader but also as an employer and cultivator of Snøhetta’s growing practice. Her early training in classical dance and performance brings an insightful understanding of ergonomics, perception, and comfort to the environments we design and inhabit. Her experience in the design of theaters, libraries, and the workplace has given Elaine an in depth understanding of complex programmatic issues and has positioned her well to champion design from the user’s point of view.
In 2005, she helped found Snøhetta’s New York office after the firm was awarded the National September 11th Memorial Museum Pavilion at the World Trade Center in 2004, the office’s first commission in the Americas.
Elaine currently leads general management, strategic planning and business development at Snøhetta. She is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, a member of the American Institute of Architects and is a LEED accredited professional. Elaine also serves on the board of trustees of the Van Alen Institute.
Brett Steele (AA DIPL, HON FRIBA, FRSA) is the first architect appointed as dean of the UCLA School of the Arts and Architecture (UCLA Arts). He is a frequent visiting lecturer, presenter, and critic at universities, cultural centers, and offices worldwide as well as a leader in arts and architecture education. Brett is a teacher, writer, and leading voice on architecture, cities, and education. He has served on arts and architecture commissions, juries, and policy planning initiatives around the world and has been appointed reviewer and advisor of arts and architecture schools in the U.S. and abroad. His academic experience and scholarly interests focus on the modern and contemporary conditions of arts education and culture, and he has written extensively on the expansive circumstances of today’s electronic, computational design studios.
Prior to his appointment as dean of UCLA Arts, Brett was the director of the Architectural Association School of Architecture (AA) in London, where he led a decade-long transformation and expansion of one of the world’s most renowned schools of architecture. The AA’s alumni include Pritzker Prize, RIBA, and AIA Gold medal winners including Lord Richard Rogers, Cedric Price, Rem Koolhaas, and Zaha Hadid, with whom Brett collaborated closely early in his career.
Brett has convened and hosted programs at art and architectural biennales that have included leading designers, artists, philosophers, curators, and architects. In 2014, on the centennial of the most influential 20th century architectural project, Le Corbusier’s Maison Dom-Ino, Brett commissioned a 1:1, building-sized working model of the prototype structure, which was installed at the Venice Architecture Biennale. He launched the AA Visiting School in 2008, which now operates design workshops, courses, and public programs in more than 50 locations worldwide, embedding the arts and architecture in wider communication networks and promoting learning, exchange, and experience.
Brett is the editor and author of Negotiate My Boundary (2002); Corporate Fields (2005); Design as Research (2005); First Works: Architectural Experimentation of the 1960s & 1970s (2009); Supercritical: Peter Eisenman Meets Rem Koolhaas (2009); 014: Projection & Reception (2012); Net Works: The Rise of Collaborative and Distributed Architecture (forthcoming, 2019); and Machine Works: The Rise of Modern Architectural Automation (forthcoming, 2020). His articles, interviews, and lectures have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times, Arch+, Architectural Design, Architectural Review, A+U, AA Files, Harvard Design Magazine, World Architecture, Log, Domus, Monocle, Icon, on CNN, the BBC, and other outlets. Brett is the founder and series editor of Architecture Words, which has published critical writings of Denise Scott Brown, Rem Koolhaas, Peter Eisenman, Max Bill, Sylvia Lavin, Detlef Mertins, Kengo Kuma, Toyo Ito, and others.
Brett grew up in Oregon and Idaho, and studied at the University of Oregon, the School of Architecture and Allied Arts, and the San Francisco Center for Architecture and Urban Studies at the San Francisco Art Institute before receiving his diploma in architecture from the AA in London.
He is married to architect Natasha Sandmeier with whom he has two children. Brett’s pastimes include long-distance running and fly fishing.
Mario Cipresso has over 20 years of global design experience in a broad range of project types including higher education, workplace, cultural, housing, supertall towers and masterplanning. He has received numerous awards for his design work which has been exhibited and published extensively.
As Associate Principal at Hawkins/Brown, licensed architect and LEED accredited professional active in the architecture and planning community, Mario currently serves on the board of the AIA Los Angeles Urban Design Committee. He is an adjunct professor at USC where he teaches architectural design and planning and maintains a close connection to emerging thought and technologies in academia.
Mario has a strong appreciation for nature and can be found exploring and camping in the myriad state and national parks the U.S. has to offer with his wife and two children whenever possible.
Elizabeth is a third generation architect born in Houston and raised in Los Angeles. Watching her parents build in remote locations and start a design school meant that Elizabeth grew to see the practice of architecture as a community-based profession. Growing up in Texas where land use planning and zoning is limited and California where exclusionary zoning practices are historic, Elizabeth is excited by the challenge of Los Angeles where rules are plentiful but often contradictory.
Elizabeth co-founded LA-Más because she saw a need for a design approach to be integrated early on in public projects and civic planning. She believes designers can help create a unified vision, identify creative alternatives, and work in partnership with communities. Elizabeth provides leadership at LA-Más by ensuring all projects are thoughtfully designed and critically engage systemic problems. Elizabeth has extensive experience in architecture and construction administration having worked at MASS Design Group, Ball-Nogues Studio, and Zimmer Gunsul Frasca. Elizabeth has taught design build studios at Woodbury University’s Agency for Civic Engagement (ACE) Center and serves on the Zoning Advisory Committee of Re: Code LA, a city-led effort to transform the city’s outdated zoning code. She holds a master’s degree in architecture from Harvard’s Graduate School of Design and a bachelor’s degree in architecture from the University of Southern California.
David Benjamin is Founding Principal of The Living and Assistant Professor at Columbia GSAPP. He also directs the GSAPP Incubator at the New Museum’s NEW INC. Benjamin’s work combines research and practice, and it involves exploring new ideas through prototyping. Focusing on the intersection of biology, computation, and design, Benjamin has articulated three frameworks for harnessing living organisms for architecture: bio-processing, bio-sensing, and bio-manufacturing.
The Living has won many design prizes, including the Emerging Voices Award from the Architectural League, the New Practices Award from the American Institute of Architects New York Chapter, the Young Architects Program Award from the Museum of Modern Art and MoMA PS1, and a Holcim Sustainability Award. Recent projects include the Princeton Architecture Laboratory (a new building for research on next-generation design and construction technologies), Pier 35 EcoPark (a 200-foot-long floating pier in the East River that changes color according to water quality), and Hy-Fi (a branching tower for the Museum of Modern Art and MoMA PS1 made of a new type of biodegradable brick).
Recognized locally, regionally and nationally for excellence in design within the public realm, Anne Schopf FAIA, Design Partner with Mahlum Architects, strives to create healthy and sustainable communities that support equity and inclusion for all. Under her leadership, Mahlum received the 2014 Firm Award from the American Institute of Architects Northwest and Pacific Region (AIA NWPR). She currently serves as an Advisory Group Member of the National AIA Committee on the Environment.
A founding Principal of LEDDY MAYTUM STACY Architects in San Francisco, William Leddy, FAIA, believes that architecture has an important role to play in leading our communities toward a just, carbon-neutral future for all.
For 30 years Leddy has been a national leader in the design of regenerative architecture that celebrates our place in the natural world. His firm has received over 150 regional, national and international design awards and has been recognized by numerous organizations including the American Institute of Architects, the French Institute of Architects, the Norwegian Association of Architects, the U.S. Department of Energy, and the Urban Land Institute. LMSA is one of only two firms in the nation to have received ten or more AIA COTE Top Ten Green Project awards. Leddy has lectured widely and served as visiting professor at the Southern California Institute of Architecture, the University of California, Berkeley, the California College of the Arts and the University of Oregon. Leddy was elected to the American Institute of Architects College of Fellows in 2003 and has served on the National AIA Committee on the Environment Advisory Group (as chair in 2013) and the AIA California Council Committee on the Environment.
LEDDY MAYTUM STACY Architects was the 2017 recipient of the National AIA Firm Award.
Douglas E. Noble, FAIA, Ph.D., is a tenured faculty member at the USC School of Architecture and a fellow of the American Institute of Architects. He is known for his work in four overlapping arenas: Architectural Computing, Building Science, Architecture Education, and Design Theories and Methods. Noble received the ACSA/AIAS New Faculty Teaching Award in 1995, and the ACSA Creative Achievement Award in 2013. He was named among the “10 most admired educators” in architecture in 2010 and was twice more selected as a “most admired educator” in 2015 and 2018 by DesignIntellegence. Noble is the recipient of the 2017 American Institute of Architects Los Angeles Chapter Presidential Honor as educator of the year.