Anjan Chatterjee is Professor of Neurology, Psychology, and Architecture at the University of Pennsylvania and the founding director of the Penn Center for Neuroaesthetics. He received his BA in Philosophy from Haverford College, MD from the University of Pennsylvania and completed his neurology residency at the University of Chicago. The past Chair of Neurology at Pennsylvania Hospital, Dr. Chatterjee’s clinical practice focuses on patients with cognitive disorders. His research addresses neuroaesthetics, spatial cognition, language, and neuroethics. He wrote The Aesthetic Brain: How we evolved to desire beauty and enjoy art and co-edited Brain, Beauty, and Art: Bringing Neuroaesthetics in Focus as well as Neuroethics in Practice: Mind, Medicine, and Society, and The Roots of Cognitive Neuroscience: Behavioral Neurology and Neuropsychology. His editorial services have included: American Journal of Bioethics: Neuroscience, Behavioural Neurology, Cognitive and Behavioral Neurology, Empirical Studies of the Arts, European Neurology, Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, Journal of NeuroPhilosophy, European Neurology, Neuropsychology, and The Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts. He received the Norman Geschwind Prize in Behavioral and Cognitive Neurology from the American Academy of Neurology and the Rudolph Arnheim Prize for contributions to Psychology and the Arts from the American Psychological Association. Dr. Chatterjee is a founding member of the Board of Governors of the Neuroethics Society, the past President of the International Association of Empirical Aesthetics, and the Behavioral and Cognitive Neurology Society. He serves on the board of The Global Wellness Institute and has served on the boards of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia, Haverford College, the Norris Square Neighborhood Project and the Associated Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired.
Anthony creates cascading design impacts by connecting patterns that scale from space planning to urban design. His unique approach to sustainability strategy establishes building blocks that influence the environmental, social, and economic impacts of climate design. As a global leader of Gensler’s Climate Action & Sustainability consulting practice, Anthony champions the craft of high-performance and net zero design solutions. He is a climate architect that prioritizes climate action with integrated sustainable design strategies and impactful sustainability services. Anthony is currently the chair of the AIA Large Firm Roundtable Sustainability Subcommittee and is a contributing writer to Metropolis magazine.
Measurable Impact: How ESG elevates good design into responsible action
1. Understand how the principles of ESG apply to the architecture and design industry.
2. Discover how to dig deeper with your clients when they ask for an “ESG Compliant” something.
3. Learn how ESG goals can help to create more responsible and sustainable designs, and why this is becoming increasingly important for businesses.
4. Understand the importance of looking beyond the building for benefits.
5. Explore best practices and innovative strategies for achieving ESG goals in architecture, and how they can be applied in different practice areas.
After studying architecture at ETH Zurich, Barbara Buser worked in Africa for over ten years: as a site engineer for a water supply project in Southern Sudan, and building up the Maintenance Department as well as renovating the buildings and infrastructure of the University of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania. Back in Basel, together with Eric Honegger, she opened the architectural practice Baubüro in situ, the urban think tank Denkstatt, the project for intermediate uses Unterdessen and the engineering planner for circularity Zirkular with over 100 collaborators altogether today.
Her focus lies on sustainable construction, reduction of waste and CO2 emissions. She initiated and lead various important transformation projects such as Unternehmen Mitte, Gundeldinger Feld, Markthalle Basel, Hanro and Ziegelhof in Liestal, always starting from and valuating the existing structures, buildings and social context. She also co-founded several cooperatives in order to foster affordable housing in the cities. At Lagerplatz in Winterthur she initiated the pilot project K.118 – a six story building made up from 70% used construction elements, thus saving 60% of the CO2 as compared to a new construction. The experience is compiled in the book “Reuse in Construction – a compendium of circular architecture” edited by Park Books in 2022. Buser received several awards for ecological building and sustainability, as well as the Swiss Grand Prix Meret Oppenheim for her life’s work and the Holcim Global Gold award for sustainability for the K.118.
Buser is presenting the urgency of reuse in various conferences all over the world and was asked to join ETH as a visiting lecturer. Her latest civic action is the foundation of the volunteer association RE-WIN for the export of used, yet intact windows from Switzerland to Ukraine, as an answer to the Russian invasion.
David Baker, FAIA, LEED AP, founded David Baker Architects (DBA) in 1982 and is an industry leader in urban housing design. Sustainability is a driving principle for all of DBA projects: The firm designs to improve places and lives, connect to nature, maximize positive impact, limit resource use, and bet proactively on the future. At the nexus of home, community, and climate action, DBA forges partnerships and seize opportunities to shape resilient, human-centered places at all scales. David is a co-author of 9 Ways to Make Housing for People (ORO Editions). David was elevated to the AIA College of Fellows in 1996, and in 2009 received the Hearthstone BUILDER Humanitarian Award honoring the 30 most influential people in the housing industry of the past 30 years. Along with his partner, Yosh Asato, he is a founder of StoreFrontLab, a participatory space in San Francisco that explores the storefront as a place of community, creativity, and local industry.
Educated in France, Ms. Ety Benichou joined Englekirk in 2001 and has participated in the structural design of commercial facilities inclusive of residential, regional retail, office, mixed-use, hotels, and parking structures as well as the design of various institutional facilities. Ety spearheads the mass timber expansion team for Englekirk through her collaboration with WSP’s International panel of Mass Timber experts; together they are able to bring that specialty to the West Coast. Ety is also an active member of AIA LA COTE, which teams with local leaders in the City of Los Angeles to incentivize developers in using sustainable structural systems, and is a part of the University of Colorado-led related research group REACT. In addition to her involvements, Ety has been providing lunch and learn seminars to inform architects, developers, and general contractors on the vast opportunities within Mass Timber systems, including
introducing them to suppliers to help strategize pricing solutions. She has developed extensive experience in the design of various types of structures including steel, prestressed concrete, and cast-in-place concrete with a particular specialization in wood structural systems. Utilizing her experience with mixed-use developments, Ety has incorporated that knowledge to integrate solutions to addressing affordable housing needs through wood over podium construction alternatives. She has been active in disseminating these advances through work sessions with framers and general contractors as well as other sectors of the industry including her peers, developers, and architectural colleagues.
Ety is a registered Civil and Structural Engineer in the State of California.
LEVER Principal Jonathan Heppner has 20 years of design and management experience working with significant civic and creative organizations. As a native Oregonian, his interest in timber detailing and construction led to his management role on Framework, the first mass timber high-rise project in the US to receive permitted approval. Jonathan directs LEVER’s timber research, including the 40+ mass timber tests completed for Framework, and under his leadership the firm was recently awarded a USFS Wood Innovations Grant. He has worked closely with the US Forest Service, US Department of Agriculture, and universities researching mass timber to better understand its benefits for seismic resilience, and associated design methodologies for new and existing timber buildings to better support owner and occupant’s physiological, jurisdictional, and aspirational needs. He is currently engaged in mass timber rocking wall archetype design and research with the NHERI TallWood Project.
Mr. Collins is a licensed architect and a LEED Accredited Professional and is currently a Principal at Partner Energy and Director of the Sustainability/Green Certifications team providing design consulting, and project management for projects pursuing green certification such as LEED, GreenPoint Rated and others; Zero Net Energy, energy modeling, commissioning, and HERS verifications. He has over twenty years of experience in architecture, urban design, and sustainable design consulting, his experience includes design, construction administration, building energy / water benchmarking and analysis, resource conservation measures, and green certification project management. Mr. Collins is also a Certified Sustainable Building Advisor, a Green Globes Professional, a Green Globes Assessor, and an ARC Performance professional. He has provided design and consulting solution for various types of buildings including institutional, office, mixed-use, retail, schools, and multifamily residential properties. Mr. Collins has led the completion of more than 50 Green certified projects including LEED Platinum and Net-Zero projects for new buildings and existing construction for Partner Energy clients.
Loriane is the director of Superuse Studios North America. She has been working on dissipating the practice of the reuse of materials and components. Initially focused on building design, the work evolved across sectors into a system’s design practice comprising material flows analysis for waste prevention through industrial symbiosis relationships. She has been focused on the development of local networks that will improve material circularity based on design, economic and cultural shifts.
Megumi Hironaka brings over 20 years of experience in the planning, design, and construction of higher education, civic, and mixed-use developments throughout California. She brings a technical expertise in managing and producing all architectural project documentation with a focus on designing and developing highly sustainable and healthy buildings. As a WELL Accredited Professional, Megumi is dedicated to improving working and living environments through design solutions that promote creativity, well-being, and community. She is serving as a Chair for the AIA Los Angeles, Committee on the Environment (COTE).
Michael Bulander, AIA, LEED AP is a design principal at HED. His design work has been focusing on an integrated approach to sustainability. He is keen on constantly updating the knowledge repertoire, constantly learning and unlearning. A special focus in his research has been the topic of urban mining, embracing the circular economy, designing for deconstruction and the aesthetic implications of ‘reuse’. The inherent stories-, the patina-, the historic properties of materials in the context of ‘the urge to give form’ is a tension that drives his innovations.
Mitchel Le Heux joined Englekirk in 2011 after his studies in New Zealand and Italy. His expertise is in the design of mid-rise concrete and wood structures and historic retrofits. He has a strong background in Earthquake Engineering and has analyzed and designed Steel Moment Frames, Special Concentrically Braced Steel Frames, Wood Shear Walls, and Concrete Shear Walls. Mr. Le Heux has been responsible for the design of retail, residential and commercial structures.
As Woods Bagot’s global sustainability leader, Russell leads the firm’s response to climate change and ecological imperatives across our operations, culture, and projects. Trained as both an engineer and architect, his career encompasses sustainable practices at all scales, including large-scale urban master plans, climate action plans for cities, sustainability management planning, and sustainability certifications for commercial office, residential, mixed-use buildings, hospitals, airports, and museums. Russell has taught environmental systems at the Southern California Institute of Architecture since 2011, where his courses focus on urban microclimates, circular economy approaches to design, and zero carbon architecture. His research includes a 2014 book on façade design, Kinetic Architecture, and a 2016 Bellagio Fellowship from the Rockefeller Foundation to advance his study of air quality in urban public spaces.
In 2019, he was the curator of the US Pavilion, RECKONstruct, at the Milan Triennale, which focused on materials life cycle assessments and the emerging circular economy. In his previous role leading sustainable design in LA for the global engineering firm, Arup, Russell developed the net zero energy design for the new US Embassy in Beirut, which is a LEED ND-certified compound targeting a LEED Platinum rating for the main embassy building with a comprehensive carbon reduction plan accounting for operational energy, water, mobility, and materials. Russell also directed the technical team for the Green New Deal for the City of Los Angeles released in 2019, which mapped a pathway to zero emissions by 2050. His cultural work includes sustainability consulting for the Guggenheim Museum in Abu Dhabi, currently in construction, as well as many years supporting the technical design of the American Pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale. He has a BS in architectural engineering from Kansas State University and an MA in Architecture from the University of California, Los Angeles.
Michelle Kam-Biron is a California licensed structural engineer and recently joined Boise Cascade where she will utilize her Mass Timber experience as Commercial Business Development Manager. Her mass timber experience includes working as a Mass Timber Specialist at Structurlam, a mass timber manufacturer and supplier, Vice President of Education with American Wood Council (AWC) and Senior Director with WoodWorks. Prior to joining the wood industry, Ms. Kam-Biron had several years of experience as a consulting Structural Engineer. She currently volunteers her time on NCSEA, SEAOSC and ASCE-SEI committees in addition to being a Past-President of SEAOSC. Recently, she has received the Susan M. Frey NCSEA Educator Award and was inducted into the SEAOC College of Fellows.
Amy Leedham is an Associate at Atelier Ten. As a registered architect, Amy combines her expertise in building physics and architecture to foster communication between the design team and technical consultants in support of ambitious goals.
Amy leads Atelier Ten’s carbon practice and has greatly advanced the firm’s approach and process to reduce the carbon impact of our projects. From evaluating the challenges of high rise mass timber, to balancing forest health and supply chain challenges, to addressing the missing pieces in embodied carbon accounting, Amy approaches carbon issues with a holistic perspective, always keeping an eye on the bigger picture.
Beyond Atelier Ten, Amy has taught sustainable design practices at University of California Berkeley, the Academy of Art University in San Francisco and lectured at the Architectural Association in London. She holds a M.Arch in Sustainable Environmental Design from the Architectural Association in London and a B.S. in Architecture from Northeastern University.
At LPC West, Abbey Ehman is responsible for development management and sustainability practices throughout the Greater Los Angeles region. Her background includes architecture, development, and construction management, with a primary focus on efficient project delivery and the cost-effective integration of sustainability measures. Abbey spearheads strategy and initiatives within LPC West’s ESG Leadership Task Force; and she is championing the firm’s corporate social responsibility and sustainability efforts.
Throughout her career, Abbey has managed the design and construction of high-profile projects covering all asset types throughout Southern California. Some of her most notable projects include the successful delivery of a $30-million retail development in Downtown Los Angeles, and the master planning and entitlements of a 250-acre, mixed-use, healthy living community in Bakersfield. Her work includes managing design teams, project costs, and schedule restraints to ensure all projects are delivered on time and within budget.
Prior to joining LPC West, Abbey led Trammell Crow Company’s Sustainability Task Force to implement platform-wide measurement and verification tools. She previously worked with the U.S. Green Building Council to launch the LEED® Pilot Program.
Ismar has been practicing for 15 years and he is currently a Senior Associate and Senior Project Architect, focusing on ending the housing crisis by creating places that foster social, equitable, and sustainable communities.
As the Chair for the 2×8 Student Scholarship and Exhibition committee in 2017, Ismar helped bring back this event that has awarded over $100,000 in scholarships. 2×8 is now the flagship event for Architecture for Communities Los Angeles, an AIA LA non-profit that was formed to communicate the value of design to all people. Ismar has led discussions in past AIA conferences and other non-profit organizations addressing the housing crisis, climate change, and equity and inclusion. He has volunteered as a mentor and participates in critiques in local schools. He has also supported the LA Mayor’s Office to fund MBE in underserved areas during the pandemic through pro-bono services. As the 2021 COTE Chair, Ismar also led issues of carbon neutrality, resiliency, climate justice, and equity. In addition to the sustainability initiatives, he is involved in government policy change and advocacy efforts across the State.
As a first-generation immigrant from Nepal, Gauri’s interest in affordable housing design work is inspired by an understanding of the rootlessness that is at the heart of the immigrant experience. From age 17, when he moved to the United States, he has sought to create connections for immigrants, refugees, and communities of color. As a design professional he continues to bring this community focus lens to his design and advocacy work in building affordable, culturally specific housing. As a BIPOC design professional and Principal at SERA Architects, he focuses primarily on affordable housing and public projects. He has managed the development of his first affordable housing projects, the Orchards of 82nd in the Jade District in Portland, Oregon. Since then, he has designed the Hattie Redmond Permanent Supportive Housing, Tigard Senior Housing, and the Civic Drive Work Force Housing in Gresham. Gauri’s civic involvement influences his architectural work. His first civic engagement effort was working with the Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon (APANO) in a door-to-door campaign for public campaign financing in 2010. On behalf of APANO, he led organized trips to the state capitol and served as translator for immigrants, refugees, and people of color to express their needs to legislators. He served on the APANO Board and served as chair from 2015 to 2017. Currently he serves on the ROSE CDC Board of Directors, APANO’s Community Development Committee, and the Real Estate Committee for the Division Midway Alliance, providing guidance to affordable housing developers. He is a co-founder of Room for More which is a collective of BIPOC AEC professionals that work on advocating for increase in diversity in the building and construction industry. He is recently being recognized as a 2023 Building Diversity Honoree for championing and building diversity in the construction industry.
Tahmores “Tommy” Zandi, with over two decades of experience in the field, has honed his expertise as a technical architect dedicated to decarbonizing the built environment. In SOM’s LA Studio, Tommy is a champion for the firm’s various sustainability initiatives, including the AIA 2030 Commitment –an industry-wide action plan to reach carbon neutrality by 2030. On each project, he seeks to make it the most environmentally responsible version of itself. Tommy’s recently completed projects include the new LAX Airport Police Facility and University of California Santa Barbara San Joaquin Apartments, both projects in which passive strategies improved building performance. Currently, amongst other assignments he is leading the technical design for a major film studio on Toronto’s waterfront.
Pablo La Roche is an associate vice president in CallisonRTKL’s Los Angeles office and a leader for the firm’s Performance-Driven DesignTM initiatives, focusing on sustainable design for the commercial practice group. His expansive portfolio includes sustainable buildings all over the world designed with state-of-the-art tools. A tenured professor of architecture at Cal Poly Pomona University, Pablo is also an accomplished author; he has written more than 130 technical papers for journals and conferences, and his book Carbon Neutral Architectural Design placed in the top ten in Amazon’s Energy and Buildings category. He is also past president of the Society of Building Science Educators and chair of the solar buildings division of the American Solar Energy Society.
Vikas Shrestha combines practical design experience with technical expertise in sustainable design. As the Director of Sustainability at Steinberg Hart, Vikas leads CoLab, the firm’s Sustainability Team. CoLab provides sustainable design analyses to both internal and external clients, including climate analysis, energy modeling, solar studies, and daylight studies to inform the firm’s award-winning designs. For over 20 years, Vikas has served as a key resource in sustainable design, guiding the firm’s design teams in formulating green design strategies as well as technical support for implementation. In addition to his responsibilities as an Associate Principal, he leads in-house educational and training programs on sustainable design and the LEED Rating System. His leadership was essential to the success of Steinberg Hart’s sustainability accreditation program, which in just a few years has led to nearly 60% of the firm’s design staff obtaining one or more green building accreditation.
Avideh Haghighi is an Associate Principal and Licensed Architect at ZGF where she dedicates herself to designing a regenerative built environment. As a Sustainable Design Leader, she guides ZGF teams in discovering synergies between building, social, and ecological processes. Avideh has a diverse body of leading edge, high-performance projects including schools, large mixed-use developments, and institutional projects including the largest Net-Zero Carbon building currently under construction in the United States. With a career equally rooted in design and advocacy, Avideh’s long list of affiliations in the AEC community include former Living Future Los Angeles co-facilitator, former AIA|LA COTE co-chair, current AIA California Climate Action steering committee member, and current USGBC-LA Board member.
As the Director of Housing Development at Holos Communities, Audrey oversees all aspects of housing development. She evaluates each project within its physical, social, economic, and political environment and uses that as her foundation for the project’s vision and scoping. Audrey initiates joint ventures as well as partnerships with service providers, general contractors, and architectural firms best suited for each development and its surrounding community.
JED is a principal with more than 25 years of professional experience in designing large-scale projects. His experience includes the architectural design of diverse building typologies including office , institutional, multi-family residential, and mixed-use developments. JED earned a Bachelor of Arts in Architecture from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and a Master of Architecture Degree from Virginia Tech. JED’s knowledge of the building industry is complemented with his interest in green building technologies and advanced computer modeling. JED has taught architectural courses as well as been a studio critic at Berkeley, USC, Art Center, and UCLA Extension. He has been a guest speaker at USC’s BIM symposium as well as AIA LA’s 1.5° Symposium on Climate Change. His commitment to green building technologies has led to leadership positions with a number of organizations including Passive House California where he is the current board president and a board member of AIA Los Angeles where he steers the Membership Committee. He is involved with the US Green Building Council-LA and was the Abstract Review Committee for 2018 Municipal Green Building Conference & Expo and was a Co-Chair on the Greening Committee for the 2016 Greenbuild Conference. In addition, JED leads the Johnson Fain Sustainability and Resilience initiatives and oversees the firm’s contributions to the AIA 2030 Commitment.
Alison Crowley is a Senior Real Estate Development Manager at Skanska and currently oversees the construction of Kaye, a 324-unit high rise residential development in downtown Seattle. Alison has more than a decade of experience in real estate development, ranging from managing the entitlements and permitting for large scale master plans and multi-family urban infill projects, to leading design and construction of a mass timber modular prototype for affordable housing, to overseeing construction on residential, civil, retail, and office developments. Alison’s interests include sustainable building technologies, resilient design, and equitable placemaking. Prior to Skanska, Alison’s career has included work at Sidewalk Labs, an Alphabet company focused on developing a standardized kit of pre-fabricated mass timber building elements, as well as holding director level and development manager positions in both non-profit and commercial real estate development. Alison holds dual Masters degrees in City Planning and Real Estate Development from MIT School of Architecture & Planning as a well as a BA from Georgetown University.
Dave Intner, with Southern California Edison’s Building Electrification and Codes & Standards team, is a Licensed Architect, LEED AP and Certified Energy Manager. A graduate of Cal Poly SLO, Dave provides education and outreach supporting Building Decarbonization and Energy Code Compliance Improvement. Dave has 28 years of professional experience split between architectural practice and utility program delivery. Dave serves on the statewide AIA Committee on the Environment, the Central Coast Green Building Council board, and was a voting member on the LEED Energy and Atmosphere Technical Advisory Group (EA-TAG). He is a Past President of the AIA Ventura County, and recently termed off the board of directors of USGBC Los Angeles.
Paul Poirier is a licensed architect in California, Nevada and Alabama and has 39 years of experience designing award winning commercial and residential projects with emphasis on “green” innovation and design excellence. He has provided his leadership to the Central Coast Green Building Council, the Sustainability Project, the Green Building Alliance, the AIA Santa Barbara Chapter, and served as past chair and a current member of the AIA California Committee on the Environment. Recently he has been working with the AIA to roll out the 2030 Commitment program to AIA members across the country through the 2030 Workgroup. Paul is a California Office of Emergency Services certified trainer, and has actively trained architects and engineers across California to be able to respond to major disasters through Cal OES deployment. Paul is committed to maintaining the architectural beauty of the central coast of California, while protecting the environmental quality, resilience and sustainability of our community for future generations.
As Chief Design Officer (CDO), Keith helps guide the firm’s integrated design process and strengthen the connection between sustainability and design excellence. He is an established leader in high-performance design and an advocate for the benefits of a research-based, multi-discipline approach, including engineers, landscape architects and interior designers at the earliest stages of the process. In his CDO role, Keith serves as a resource across all of LPA’s practices and studios. He strives to bring consistency to every aspect of the process, ensuring the holistic approach addresses well-being, conservation, equity and performance on every project, regardless of size and budget. Since joining LPA in 1995, Keith has devoted his career to developing and sharing an integrated design model focused on collaboration, maximizing passive strategies and establishing measurable performance goals on every project. His influence can be found on a wide variety of award-winning corporate and education projects, including the Edwards Lifesciences Campus in Irvine, California; the modernization of the John C. Fremont High School in Los Angeles, California; and the Flight Projects Center at the Jet Propulsion Laboratories in La Canada-Flintridge, California. Keith is a frequent speaker on the importance of data-driven research and the path to a more sustainable built environment. He serves on the AIA’s National 2030 Commitment Working Group, where he helps other firms meet their sustainability targets. He is also a member of the AIA National Large Firm Roundtable Sustainability Working Group, which is focused on sharing knowledge and developing resources for firms across the U.S. In 2021, Hempel was elevated to the AIA College of Fellows, recognizing his significant national contributions to the architecture profession.
As Partner of Studio One Eleven, Michael Bohn, AIA, takes an integrated approach to architecture, landscape, and urban design. One of his focuses is on the studio’s housing practice with an emphasis on modular, transit-oriented developments, affordable housing, and adaptive re-use projects. His experience includes supportive, student, and market-rate projects that serve seniors, families, artists, and the homeless. A sustainability stalwart, Bohn led the development of the firm’s Downtown Long Beach headquarters to LEED platinum and WELL gold certifications and is currently pursuing Net Zero Energy. In addition, he established an awarding-winning landscape studio and co-established an urban design practice that uplifts underserved communities. Bohn received his Architecture Degree from Cal Poly State University, San Luis Obispo, studied at the Ecole de Beaux Arts in Fontainebleau France, and worked at the State Archaeological Camp in Hampi, India sponsored by the British Institute. He is a licensed architect with over 35 years of experience and is a Board Member for the Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Urban Land Institute Affordable/Workforce Housing Council, and the American Institute of Architects California. His work is published worldwide including Forbes, Fast Company, Monocle, Conde Nast, Wall Street Journal, Dwell, and the BBC.
With over nineteen years of professional experience and a strong interest in craft and innovation, Simone’s talent lies in the synthesis of management, stewardship and design excellence. As project manager, Simone has contributed to the planning and execution of a wide range of award-winning academic, educational and civic buildings. She has a deep passion for green building, preservation and developing sustainable communities. Her architectural work and professional activism seek to engage and to inspire. She works with clients to find long-term solutions to complex challenges. As a skillful facilitator, she coordinates large stakeholder groups and translates a client’s vision into site and resource-sensitive places of performance and beauty. Simone effectively leads multi-disciplinary teams with a focus on constructability, budget and schedule. Simone is a dedicated champion of environmental stewardship through climate-responsive project design, policy advocacy, and active involvement in AIA Committee on the Environment (COTE) programs at the local and state level. She contributes to global design dialogue and the development of future architects as a frequent speaker, university instructor and studio critic.
Fabian Kremkus has worked nationally and internationally on academic and research facilities, secondary schools, hospitals, and corporate headquarters, sports, and entertainment facilities during his over-25-year architectural career. Since joining the firm in 1999, Fabian has served as the designer for major museum, performing arts, research, healthcare, higher education and justice facilities in Southern California and throughout the country. His enthusiastic devotion to the profession of architecture and craft of building is unsurpassed, and his approach to each project merges design sensitivity with great attention to detail and craft. Fabian holds both a Master of Architecture and a Pre-diploma of Architecture from the University of Braunschweig, Germany.
Brendan is a registered architect with ten years of professional experience in multifamily, commercial mixed-use, and custom homes with expertise in community planning, historic preservation, emergency response, and coastal restoration design and research projects. Most notably, he is a leader in the Torti Gallas + Partners sustainable design practice and is a member of the AIA Los Angeles Committee on the Environment and is active on the AIA CA Climate Action Advocacy Subcommittee. He currently holds a Living Future Accreditation, and has a passion for Biophilic Design and Healthy Materials.
Christopher James is the Business Development Manager for the international engineering firm Holmes. Raised in Southern California, Christopher’s career has garnered 8+ years of experience managing marketing and business development initiatives in the various AEC firms. He’s developed an expertise in strengthening others’ understanding of the value systems within architecture, and how to connect them with a wider audience. As the Business Development Manager of Holmes, Christopher is helping guide the firm as a recognizable voice regarding ambitious and complex architecture. Recently, Holmes has invested in economizing mass timber structural systems. Having worked on over 100 mass timber projects in the last ten years, Holmes provides a unique advantage to owners and architects in navigating building codes across jurisdictions to bring these projects to life. Christopher is a graduate of the University of Southern California (go Trojans!), where he earned his Bachelor of Architecture degree in 2013.
Sabrina has worked on a range of projects including corporate/office developments, healthcare facilities, and educational buildings. She is an advocate and resource for healthy materials at ZGF Architects where she has been for 3 years.
Raised by a hardworking and loving Jamaican family, Christopher challenges the established practices of architecture as a Black designer, spatial advocate, and filmmaker to create spaces for equitable and liberated change. He is the Co-founder of Designing in Color (DCo), an award-winning collective of architects and designers of culture. Designing in Color’s mission aims to diversify the way architecture is taught and practiced to amplify marginalized communities who’ve been historically silenced and erased throughout the design process. Working throughout the country, DCo facilitates educational programming, creates workshops, designs socially responsible projects, and distributes digital initiatives, each meant to dismantle the systemic racism built into the practice of architecture. Full-time he is also currently a job captain at Steinberg Hart in LA. As a designer, he has experience working on affordable housing, workplace offices, and educational services all uniquely created to its spaces equitable for its users. Christopher is also a member of SoCal NOMA where he is actively engaged in youth mentorship through the organization’s pipeline project summer camp. In 2017 Christopher co-founded small talks:LA, a community-based project created to assemble a network of people and construct safe spaces to unify the disparate voices of Los Angeles. Operating as “pop-up” events, this program is an opportunity for all members of a community to engage in dialogue about the current state of their environment and how to change it. With the creation of Designing in Color and small talks: LA, he uses filmmaking as a method to study the current housing crisis across the city as a means of telling stories for narratives unknown. As a creative he believes that new processes that center Black and Brown voices as the expertise of design innovation can create a more just society that unbuilds racism and white supremacy in the built environment.