Jing Liu
Founder and Principal, SO – IL

Jing Liu is Founder and Principal of architectural design firm SO – IL in Brooklyn, NY. In her practice, Liu builds cultural projects as an indispensable part of urban infrastructure, engaging architecture with the larger sociopolitical issues faced by urban spaces. Her projects range from artistic collaborations with contemporary choreographers and visual artists to master plan and major public realm design in major cities around the world. She believes strongly that design should and can be accessible to all, and that architecture offers us an open platform to nurture new forms of interaction. To that end, Liu sees community engagement and collaboration across disciplines central to her role as a design lead.

Lori Ferriss, AIA
Director of Sustainability and Climate Action, Goody Clancy

Lori Ferriss, AIA, PE, LEED AP BD+C, the Director of Sustainability and Climate Action at Goody Clancy, leads research and project initiatives for premier educational institutions that are renewing heritage campuses while advancing climate action goals. Her professional practice as an architect, structural engineer, and conservator combines broad policy development with deep technical insights to promote a culturally and environmentally sustainable world through design. She is an international speaker and author on building reuse as climate action, and she holds roles as a City of Boston climate policy advisory, the 2023 Chair of the AIA Committee on the Environment, and a steering committee representative of the Climate Heritage Network. She holds a BS in Architecture and a Master of Engineering in High Performance Structures from MIT.

Nina Kinoti-Metz
Co-Founder, Studio Parallel Architecture + Design

Nina Kinoti-Metz was raised in numerous countries in Africa. One of her favorite past times of visiting the open air markets exposed her to the concept of color and pattern which gave rise to a keen interest in painting and birthed her love for art and design. She undertook a bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts from Binghamton University with specialization in Printmaking and Drawing and later she went for a master’s degree in Interior Architecture from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn NY. With tenures at some design giants such as FXFOWLE Architects, Clodagh Design and then Dattner Architects, she honed her design skills and quickly worked her way up to project manager while working on many different project types from commercial interiors to high end residential, civic/educational projects to luxury hotels and retail.

In 2004, along with her life and work partner Christopher Metz, AIA, founded Studio Parallel which is a Brooklyn based full-service Architecture and Interior Design. The firm developed a distinct work methodology that involves a project-by-project ramp up or down in team size, which enables SP to keep overhead generally lower and thus can meet very specific and tight budgetary, schedule or phasing requirements through different scales of project. This feature has been of particular benefit in the post pandemic normalcy of remote working, ever tightening budgets, travel, and supply chain restrictions. Plus the ability to bring different expertise to the table specific to each project.

With their collective and extensive experience in hospitality, commercial, residential, and educational building types, together with clients they often work from business conceptualization to real estate selection, branding, architectural design, construction and to the opening party! The design is done along a narrative with one main concept and just like in any good story, the space, its characters, and visuals support this vision. With that in mind, Studio Parallel leverages their diverse experience to stimulate exchange of ideas that translate clients’ needs and culture into unique environments that are thoughtful, expressive, and timeless.


Dana Cuff
Director, cityLAB-UCLA

Dr. Cuff engages spatial justice and cultural studies of architecture as a teacher, scholar, practitioner, and activist. Her leadership in urban innovation is widely recognized both in the U.S. and abroad. In 2006, Cuff founded cityLAB, a research and design center that initiates experimental projects to explore metropolitan possibilities. In 2019, cityLAB expanded its social and political engagement by creating coLAB in the Westlake/MacArthur Park neighborhood of Los Angeles, in long-term partnership with community organizations. cityLAB represented the United States at the 2010 Venice Architecture Biennale, was featured on CNN and in Newsweek magazine, and was named one of the top four urban think tanks in the country by Architect Magazine. The lab’s “housing first” research demonstrates that affordable, well-designed housing and neighborhoods are attainable foundations of equitable cities. cityLAB has developed sustainable, high-performance, low-cost housing prototypes for infill sites ranging from backyards to schoolyards. In 2017, after a decade of research that included a full-scale demonstration house built on the UCLA campus, Cuff co-authored California State legislation, effectively opening 8.1M single-family lots for secondary rental units.
Since 2013, Cuff has led a cross-disciplinary team at UCLA with a substantial multi-year award from The Mellon Foundation for the “Urban Humanities Initiative.” UHI offers students from architecture, urban studies, and the humanities a radical platform for cross disciplinary, impactful, urban scholarship and action. Cuff co-authored a book about this effort entitled Urban Humanities: New Practices for Reimagining the City (MIT Press, 2020). This is the most recent of numerous books, including Architects’ People (with W.R. Ellis; 1989), Architecture: The Story of Practice (1989), The Provisional City (2000), and Fast Forward Urbanism (edited with R. Sherman, 2011). Dana Cuff publishes and lectures extensively about the modern American metropolis, architectural agency, affordable housing, and architecture’s potential for creating more just cities. Dr. Cuff recently received three prestigious awards that describe her career: Women in Architecture Activist of the Year (2019, Architectural Record), an international prize for Researcher of the Year (2019, Architectural Research Centers Consortium), and Educator of the Year (2020, American Institute of Architects Los Angeles).

Georgina Huljich
Associate Professor, UCLA Architecture and Urban Design
Director, Patterns

Georgina Huljich is an Associate Professor at UCLA Architecture and Urban Design and an alumni of the M.Arch.I program, having graduated with distinction in 2003. She has been a Visiting Professor at Yale, UPenn; UC Berkeley, TIT in Tokyo and Di Tella University in Buenos Aires. Georgina has been a member of the Board for CAP UCLA since 2015 and has served on National Juries for the Rome Prize and AIA Awards. She is the recipient of many awards, the most notable being the prestigious US Artists Fellowship in 2013; an endowment that recognizes America’s most accomplished and innovative artists.

Georgina is Director of Patterns, together with Marcelo Spina. Patterns has gained international recognition as one of the most intriguing and progressive firms working in architecture today, with completed projects in the U.S., South America and Asia. Their work has been exhibited worldwide, most notably at the Venice Biennale in Italy, The Chicago Biennial, the Art Institute of Chicago, The San Francisco MOMA, The Vienna MAK Museum, where it is also part of the permanent collections.

Huljich has previously worked for the Guggenheim Museum, the architectural firm Dean/Wolf architects in New York, and as a project designer at Morphosis in Los Angeles. She was the 2005-06 Maybeck Fellow at UC Berkeley.

Hilary Noll, AIA
Associate Principal and Sustainability Integration Leader, Mithun

Hilary is an architect and social-impact designer specializing in sustainability. A background in environmental studies and community development informs her approach of working with groups through participatory engagement to achieve place-based solutions that address issues of resilience, social justice, health, ecology, and decarbonization. As an Associate Principal and Sustainability Integration Leader at Mithun, she advances high performance design firm-wide on a variety of project types – focused primarily on multifamily affordable housing, ecological infrastructure and community-serving spaces. Recognition of past work includes Architectural Record, the Drylands Design Competition; the Natural Talent Design Competition; and ‘Best in Show’ award at the USGBC-NM Green Built Tour. Hilary has been named a Heritage Scholar, Udall Scholar, and Enterprise Rose Architectural Fellow.