Inside SCI-Arc

CLASS NOTES: fall 2010


Dean Nota (B.Arch ’74) was advanced to Fellow by the AIA at the national convention in Miami, FL in June. Nota is the principal of Dean Nota Architect, AIA, based in Hermosa Beach, CA.

Chad Overway (B.A. ’77) was received the Octavius Morgan Distinguished Service Award by the California Architects Board for his volunteer efforts. For more than 15 years, he has been a volunteer with the Board’s supplemental exam commissioners. Overway is a senior partner with Overway Partners in San Francisco.

Rue T. Fort (B. Arch '76) was hired as a senior associate and senior project architect with HGA Architects and Engineers, where he oversees healthcare and higher education projects in the firm's Los Angeles office. Before joining HGA, he served in leadership roles for several architecture firms in the Los Angeles area. He is a member of the National Organization of Minority Architects and the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Los Angeles Chapter.

Michael Folonis (B.Arch ’79) of Folonis Architects, designed a 45,000 square-foot Outpatient Surgery and Oncology Center for UCLA. The center is the first of its kind in the nation to achieve gold-level LEED certification for new construction. The fully funded project has been on the fast-track after gaining approvals from the Santa Monica Planning Commission, and is expected to be completed in 2011. In addition to his practice, Folonis is a faculty member at SCI-Arc.


Edmund Einy (B.Arch ’83) a design director at gkkworks, was advanced to Fellow by the AIA at the national convention in Miami, FL in June. In addition to this honor, Einy received Citation Awards from the AIA San Fernando Valley chapter for his Grass-Road House in Simi Valley and the Briski Residence in Silver Lake were honored at the San Fernando chapter’s annual awards gala in January.

David Randall Hertz (B.Arch ’83) has been selected to do an advertorial for Rado watches to appear in Conde Nast Publications. Hertz’s Wing House in Malibu, CA is made of 100% reclaimed materials and is slated to be completed this fall.

Annie Chu (B.Arch ’83) has been appointed to the City of Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Commission. Chu currently serves as the 2010 Chair of the AIA National Interior Architecture Committee and as editorial board member of the AIACC journal arcCA. Chu is a founding principal with husband Rick Gooding (B.Arch ’84) of Chu+Gooding Architects in Los Angeles.

Kiyokazu Arai (M.Arch ’83) recently won a two-stage international competition on the development of an architectural concept for an international business center with an Intercontinental hotel in the city of Yerevan, Armenia. This project was unanimously chosen by the competition’s jury in both stages. Arai is principal of his firm, Arai Architects, and is also an architecture professor at Kyoto Seika University.

Osborne Architects, founded and operated by Polly Osborne (M.Arch ’86) won the Honor Award for Excellence in Design from the AIA Monterey Bay chapter, as well the Excellence in Stability Award for a LEED platinum home in Venice, CA.

The work of Robin Donaldson’s (M.Arch2 ’87) Shubin + Donaldson Architecture is explored in the new book Live+Work: Modern Homes and Office: The Southern California Architecture of Shubin + Donaldson. Published by Oro Editions, the visually immersive monograph includes 23 projects from 1998-2009, juxtaposing creative commercial spaces and distinctive residences.

Mina Javaherbin (B.Arch '87) launched her first book, Goal!, in April, at a signing party hosted at the Aliso Viejo Library in Orange County, CA. Published by Candlewick Press, depicts the story of a group of South African kids united by their love of soccer.

Hitoshi Abe (M.Arch2 ’89) principal of Los Angeles and Sendai-based firm Atelier Hitoshi Abe (AHA) and current chair of the Department of Architecture and Urban Design at the University of California, Los Angeles, exhibited his installation, late summer, known as len-tic-u-lar-is at the SCI-Arc Gallery. The exhibition is a 1:7-scale-model of a proposed roof structure for the Japanese American Cultural & Community (JACC) Plaza in Los Angeles that mediates the sky, the terrain and fuses the boundary between them. The JACC is the first architectural subject that AHA will tackle in Los Angeles.


Bob Schatz (B.A. ’90) principal of Allusa Architecture, has been working on a new 2,300-square-foot home and recently completed the Mexican restaurant Por Que No. Both projects are based in Portland, OR.

Automotive artist Richard Lewis (B.Arch ’90) was among several artists who exhibited work at the 28th annual Dana Point Concours d’Elegance on June 27 at the St. Regis Resort in Dana Point, CA. Lewis is a structural engineer and has had solo shows at the Automotive Hall of Fame and the San Diego Automotive Museum. He has exhibited at the Auburn cord Duesenberg Festival and is a member of the Guild of Motoring Artists.

Ron Verdier (B.Arch ’90) of Verdier Architects in Boonville, CA, was elected president of the board of directors of the AIA Redwood Empire in Santa Rosa. Among recent projects, Verdier designed the Goldeneye Winery, a 25,000-square-foot pre-engineered metal wine production facility in Northern California. Verdier is also a member of the Anderson Valley Housing Association, a local non-profit providing low-income and farm worker housing.

Elissa Scrafano’s (M.Arch ’90) Chicago home project for renowned photographer Leah Missbach Day was featured in the Modern Luxury’s Spring 2010 issue of CS Interiors. Scrafano, principal of Scrafano Architects, designed the Missbach Day’s house which involved the unification of three existing lofts into one large open living space. Scrafano’s other project, an eco-friendly home for Los Angeles Councilman Eric Garcetti and his family, was featured on the cover of Dwell Magazine’s Earth issue and in a related article in April. With offices in Los Angeles and Chicago, Scrafano Architects is a collaborative architecture firm comprised of several SCI-Arc alumni, including associates Carol Lawry Barrett (M.Arch ‘93) Thomas Stallman (M.Arch ‘91), Deborah Mackler (M.Arch ‘94) and junior designer Carolyn Tullis Schonsett (B.Arch ‘03) .

Michael Poris’ (M.Arch ’90) firm McIntosh Poris Associates, based in Birmingham, MI, received first place for Kitchen Design (under 200 sq. feet), first place for Best Overall Home, and first place for Contemporary Architecture (under 4,000 sq. feet) from Detroit Home Magazine’s 2010 Design Awards. Poris has been serving on the board of trustees at SCI-Arc since 2001.

Angela Brooks (M.Arch '91) and her firm, Pugh + Scarpa, received the 2010 National AIA Firm of the Year Award in June and the 2010 AIA California Council of the Year Award earlier this year. Additional AIA honors received this year for Brooks’ firm include the National Housing Award and the Institute Honor Award for their project, Step Up on 5th, a Santa Monica apartment building for the homeless and mentally ill. Brooks was also honored by the USA Networks with a Character Approved award as an innovator, shaping American culture. Brooks was among honorees that were featured in vignettes from February to March on the USA Network.

Mary Lou “ML” Robles (M.Arch ’91) launched her blog in April - Robles authored an e-book titled Better Buildings Guide. She is also the lead researcher at PatternMapping Institute, and is the principal architect and sustainable design consultant for Studio Points Architecture + research.

Christopher Mercier (M.Arch2 ’91) and partner Douglas Pierson of the Inglewood, CA-based (fer)Studio were featured in the March 2010 issue of Angeleno magazine regarding their efforts to change city zoning laws that will allow vacated commercial structures and abandoned compounds to become studios, galleries and lofts for local artists. In addition to this effort, recent work for (fer)Studio includes Culver City’s Father’s Office, the Alessi Gallery in West Hollywood, and a growing list of residential and master planning projects.

Chris Bribach (B.Arch ’92) was featured in an article written by Lisa Boone for the Los Angeles Times in June about a “green wall” project for Raphael restaurant in California. Bribach’s firm, Plants on Walls, is based in San Francisco.

Joel Huffman (M.Arch ’93) was featured in i4 Design Magazine as one of the magazine’s Suite Sixteen of influential design professionals in 2009. Huffman is also a member of the board of directors for the nonprofit M5 Artist Collective, and is owner and principal of his Chicago-based company, Vertu, Inc.

Gaston Nogues (B.Arch '93) and Benjamin Ball (B.Arch '94) of Ball-Nogues Studio, were featured in The Architect’s Newspaper for their installation, Table Cloth, at the UCLA campus. The piece connects 268 finished plywood tables and stools with metal rings and plywood connectors, and drapes them from the second story of the building. In addition, Ball-Nogues Studio received an Innovation Award at the Shenzhen and Hong Kong Bi-city Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism in January for their installation named Built to Wear - a hanging, architecturally-scaled structure comprised of 10,000 clothing items. The piece, created in collaboration with American Apparel, was dismantled over the course of the Biennale as the clothes were distributed to exhibition visitors.

The project of Robert Thibodeau (M.Arch '93) of duArchitects, Sharkey Residence, was featured in the 2010 Venice Architectural Tours in late April, as an exclusive architectural tour which preceded the annual Venice Garden & Home. The residence was photographed by Julius Shulman in 2008.

Jennifer Siegal (M.Arch’94) of Office of Mobile Design, was selected by the Monterey History and Art Association to perform the initial renovation of the Monterey History and Maritime Museum at Fisherman’s Wharf in Monterey, CA. The museum’s lobby will be completed in Fall 2010 and the first floor is scheduled to re-open in early 2011. In addition, Siegal was a guest lecturer in May at the Goethe-Institut in Los Angeles, CA for the series “Rethinking the City.” The event was part of a year-long series of discussion on mobility, transportation and urban planning presented and produced by the Goethe-Institut. Siegal is founder of the Los Angeles-based firm Office of Mobile Design (OMD).

Hadley Arnold (M.Arch '94) and Peter Arnold (M.Arch '94) of The Office of Hadley and Peter Arnold, and Iris Anna Regn (M.Arch '94) and former SCI-Arc faculty member Tim Durfee of Durfee/Regn participated in an invited curatorial project at the Trajector Art Fair in Brussels, Belgium. Each exhibiting team presented a curatorial project within a hotel room, at once referencing the tradition of the 'hotel art fair.' Part of the exhibition which took place in late April at the Brussels-based Hotel Bloom! morphed into a vibrant boutique hotel art fair, with its rooms, conference halls and public spaces providing a platform for a range of international art spaces.

Karen M’Closkey’s (B.Arch ’94) firm, PEG Office of Landscape + Architecture, was one of six practices to receive the 2010 Architectural League Prize for Young Architects and Designers and won the 2010 Emerging New York Architects Prize for the HB:BX Open Ideas competition by the AIA’s New York chapter. In addition, PEG was the featured practice in Landscape World: 33, a publication by the Korean-based architecture and design publication company ArchiWorld Co., Ltd. M’Closkey is also an assistant professor of landscape architecture at the University of Pennsylvania.

Joseph Holsen (B.Arch ’95) led a team at Bohlin Cywinski Jackson that was awarded the Honor Award for Excellence in Architecture by the AIA San Francisco chapter for the new Apple store on the Upper West Side at 67th Street and Broadway in New York City.

J. Michael Ferguson’s (M.Arch2 ’95) Beachwood Canyon project Derondo Drive Residence was featured in the 2010 Dwell on Design Home Tour. Ferguson is founder and principal of the Los Angeles-based firm Space International Inc., has taught at SCI-Arc, and OTIS College of Art and Design, serves on the board of directors for The Los Angeles Forum for Architecture and Urbanism, and has been an invited critic all Los Angeles area institutions as well as the University of British Columbia, University of Toronto, and University of Michigan.

Jeffrey Allsbrook (M.Arch ’95) and partner Silvia Kuhle of Standard were recognized in June by the Los Angeles Business Council as winner of the Single Family Housing category of the 40th Annual Los Angeles Architectural Awards. The winning project, Hidden House – a modern single-family residence located in Glassel Park, CA – was selected as a best-practices example of local architectural innovation. In addition, Allsbrook and Kuhle were featured in the March issue of Angeleno magazine, an edition focused on architecture and design. Allsbrook’s firm has an established reputation in the fashion world, having designed stores such as Jenni Kayne and Maxfield Bleu in West Hollywood, CA and James Perse’s shop in Beverly Hills.

Louis Molina (M.Arch ‘97) and his firm, Good Idea Studio, was featured in the May issue of Dwell magazine. The article featured the firm’s Echo Park project – a revamped, tiny, dilapidated 1923 clapboard house that the firm designed in 2004. Molina moved Good Idea Studio’s office into the ground level and has occupied the 578-square-foot living quarters upstairs.

Rania Alomar (M.Arch ’97) and her team at RA-DA – including alumni Sofia Ames (M.Arch ’97) and Jesse Madrid (B.Arch ’08) - were featured in the Los Angeles Times and Angeleno Interiors for their work on the Animal Wellness Center in Santa Monica, CA. RA-DA is also working on the largest animal shelter in the city of Los Angeles - a 64,000-square-foot dog shelter that will house 225 dogs in outdoor kennels, overlooking native-planted gardens.

Christian R. Pongratz (M.Arch2 ’97) and his partner Martha Perbellini finished their new book, Cyberstone, which investigates digital design and fabrication with natural stone. Pongratz and Perbellini are founders of pONGRATZ pERBELLINI aRCHITECTS in Verona, Italy.

Scott Hughes (M.Arch2 ’97) , formerly of Scott Hughes_Architects, has joined forced with John Umbanhowar (M.Arch ’98) to become hughesumbanhower architects. Their project Beach Road 2 was featured on a show on the Fine Living Network.

SCI-Arc faculty member and alumnus Juan Azulay (B.Arch ’98) exhibited his experimental installation known as Matter Management: Vivarium at the SCI-Arc Gallery this past spring. The design explored the relationship between technology, media, and environmental preservation / dereliction.

Wolfram Putz (M.Arch ’98) and Lars Kruckeberg (M.Arch2 ’99), co-founders of Graft, completed the Aria Pool Deck, Restaurant and Bar at the City Center in Las Vegas. Graft has offices in Los Angeles, Berlin and Beijing.


Kirk Phillips (M.Arch ’00) led Hamilton Anderson Associates’ project at the Luxor Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, redesigning the box office, entrance, retail space and theater bar and lounge in preparation for Believe, the new production by illusionist Criss Angel and Cirque de Soleil. The project was featured in the March issue of Contract Magazine.

Josh Taron (B.Arch ’00) was featured on the cover of the May issue of Avenue Magazine, a Calgary-based monthly lifestyle publication. Taron has been teaching architecture at the University of Calgary since 2008.

Ramiro Diaz-Granados (B.Arch ’00) of Amorphis and Heather Flood (M.Arch ’04) of F-Lab were among four SCI-Arc faculty members who collaborated on a piece for The Architect and the Urn exhibition at the Lundgren Monuments Gallery in Seattle, WA. Their entry, “Death by Rock and Roll,” explored the relationship between death and the genre of rock music, where the life of Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain was intimately bound together with the event of his death.

Stephen Gabor (M.Arch '00) and Patrick Allen (M.Arch '00) of Gabor+Allen, were featured for a garden project in the April issue of Garden Design magazine, regarding Gabor's courtyard garden at his residence in Venice, CA.

Kevin Wronske (B.Arch ’02) of Heyday Partnership, based in Los Angeles, CA, received an honorable mention honor for the AIA Los Angeles Chapter’s 2010 Arch Is__ competition.

Satoshi Kamisaka (MR+D ’02) designed a building for the Haga Municipal Library and Museum in Haga Town, Tochigi, Japan that was recently completed. The building is named Chienowa-Kan.

Alejandro Artigas (B.Arch '03) of Artless and fellow partner Thomas John Curtis were featured in the May issue of Los Angeles Times Magazine. The publication's design-dedicated issue lists Artigas and Curtis among "design's fresh faces."

Bill Wagner (B.Arch ’03) started his own firm last year, Cormorant Design, and broke ground on his firm’s latest project, a 3,000 square foot private residence in Northeast Pennsylvania.

Cathy Johnson (M.Arch ’04) and Rebecca Rudolph (M.Arch ’00) , principals of the firm Design, Bitches, based in Los Angeles, CA, received honorable mention honors for the AIA Los Angeles Chapter’s 2010 Arch Is__ competition.

Design studio Layer LA’s co-founders, Emily White (M.Arch2 ’06) and Lisa Little (M.Arch ’06) , worked with the Silverlake non-profit Materials & Applications for two installation projects this year. Fat Fringe opened in March at Fix Gallery and was featured in the April edition of Interior Design magazine. Squid Capsule opened in June at Materials & Applications.

Makoto Mizutani (M.Arch ’05) and Benjamin Luddy (M.Arch2 ’06) of the Los Angeles-based firm Scout Regalia, received an honorable mention for their entry in the Dingbat 2.0 housing competition sponsored by the LA Forum for Architecture and Design.

Shaunt Yemenjian (M.Arch2 '06) of Spacio|Design was featured in Architect Magazine's April issue. The feature documents the entrepreneurial efforts of Yemenjian and partner Kiel Famellos-Schmidt and introduces several recent projects completed by their Fresno-based architecture firm.

Santino Medina (M.Arch2 ’06) and Jason Sidelko (M.Arch2 ’07) lectured at Habitat Expo 2010 in Mexico City in May. Medina and Sidelko presented several projects they are consulting on, including the Museo Soumaya by LAR in Mexico City. They also showcased Gehry Technologies’ use of BIM and 3D digital models to generate pre-built digital views of the project, detect conflicts in the project, help with budgeting and quantity takeoffs, scheduling and sequence planning.

John Klein (B.Arch ’10) and Yu Nong Khew (M.Arch2 ’10) each won scholarships in the AIA-Los Angeles’ annual 2x8 competition for students. Khew received an Award of Honor and a $2,000 scholarship, and Klein received an Award of Distinction and a $1,000 scholarship. The competition was featured in an exhibition at the 2010 Dwell on Design – the largest design event in the West Coast – and culminated with a public reception at the end of May.

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