Women in Architecture Committee
COMMITTEE CHAIR BIOS 2019
PHOTO: La Moraleja Villa. XTEN. Detail of Photo by Miguel de Guzman

Chair
Lani Lee, AIA

In her role as Architect in SOM’s Los Angeles office, Lani Lee serves as the client liaison for the project team. Her primary responsibilities include the coordination of services for the project – as well as daily communications between the team, consultants, and clients.  Lani brings to life institutional projects that emphasize sustainability and maintain a positive impact on the environment. Her work extends across a broad scope of project types including: large institutes of higher learning, affordable housing, performance spaces, mixed-use urban structures and the restoration of historic buildings. During her two decades of professional experience, Lani has designed school buildings, classrooms, and laboratories where those who learn and teach can flourish.

email Lani

Chair
Annette Wu, AIA

Annette Wu has over 24 years of experience as a designer, project manager, and architect. She has worked internationally on projects including a new corporate headquarters building for BMW in Beijing and the joint-use offices of the Hong Kong Institute of Architects and Architects’ Registration Board. In that fast-paced environment, Annette gained experience developing strong design concepts. Due to the nature of project realization in a short timeframe, Annette’s focus upon returning to Los Angeles was learning from a firm dedicated to the execution of the work through attention to detail in both documentation and construction administration. Today, Annette brings both these emphasis together in project types which transform and engage the lives of the greater community.

As an Associate Principal at NAC, Annette’s focus is on best practices and the processes which ensure a holistic approach to design and execution. She received her BARCH from the University of Southern California and MARCH from Harvard’s Graduate School of Design.

Her award-winning projects include the 110,000 SF Pre K-12 Accelerated School of South Central Los Angeles, the SMMUSD John Adams Middle School Measure BB Administration and Classroom Buildings, the Los Angeles City College Life Science and Chemistry Building Modernization and a LEED Gold Certified Child Care Center in Glendale.

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Vice-Chair
Chiara Bonsignori, Assoc. AIA

Bio to come.

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Vice-Chair
Marine Maroukian, Assoc. AIA

Born and raised in Uruguay, South America, Mariné has earned her architectural license and master’s degree in her native country. For the last 12 years, she has been part of the Los Angeles community, working for firms like Buro Happold, Hatch & Colasuonno, Gensler and DLR Group & volunteering in organizations like AIA LA, USGBC LA, Fuller center for Housing for Armenia, Rose & Alex Pilibos & Homenetmen LA.

Her experience ranges from affordable housing to sports venues, from theme parks to educational facilities.

She has bring to each of the firms she has worked for, the software knowledge of a BIM manager and the construction and documentation knowledge of a PA & PM. Sustainability, Resilience and NetZero projects are her passion and that has make her be part of the USGBC Building Resilience LA Steering Committee for the past few years as well as a sustainability leader for the firms she has worked for.

Her biggest pride are her two kids, Max (9) and Aline (5); with whom she enjoys baking with and going for wall climbing mornings. Marine’s mission is to share with the world how women can have a successful career, a successful family and marriage. She mentors young woman and shares with them how with hard work, perseverance and good attitude all is possible. Currently she is the proud vice co-chair for WiA, AIA LA.

email Marine

Past-Chair
Jenna Knudsen, AIA, LEED AP BD+C – Principal, CO Architects

As a principal and senior project manager, Jenna has dedicated her career in pursuit of new and better ways for architects, engineers, owners and contractors to work together to achieve continual process improvement and innovative design solutions. Her experience and leadership on award winning projects has placed her at the leading edge of digital technologies and integrated project delivery, for which she has spoken extensively and received national recognition. Within CO Architects, Jenna leads the Women of CO (WoCO) initiative that champions the professional development of, and leadership opportunities for, the firm’s female employees. In addition, Jenna leads firm wide hiring and staffing initiatives. She has practiced architecture for 18 years, 16 with CO Architects.

email Jenna

Past-Chair
Melanie Freeland, AIA – Senior Associate, Rios Clementi Hale Studios

Melanie is a licensed Architect, LEED BD+C certified, and was recently named AIACC Young Architect of 2017. Her portfolio includes over a dozen built projects in the US and overseas in a variety of scales and program types.

Melanie brings an infectious enthusiasm for creativity and diligent work ethic to the profession. She is a founding member of The Breakfast Club, a gender equity initiative started at Gensler LA now extended to offices around the world. She routinely speaks at women empowerment events including Lady Boss at the Ace Hotel and is Co-Chair of the WiA AIA|LA. She has co-authored a piece for the AIA/LA newsletter, Architecture and Civic Engagement, A Call to Action. In 2016, she was elected to the Historic Highland Park Neighborhood Council to represent the community of 60k plus residents.

Outside of the office, you might find her exploring the city on two wheels with her husband and young son.

email Melanie


CREDITS
PHOTO: Banner: La Moraleja Villa. XTEN. Detail of Photo by Miguel de Guzman