Inside SCI-Arc

CLASS NOTES: fall 2011

Class Reunions
Alumna Sara MacDonald (M.Arch ‘92) is planning the M.Arch Class of 1992 20th Anniversary Reunion. Those interested can contact her at


Dean Nota, FAIA (B.Arch ‘74) of Dean Nota Architect is featured in Entra Magazine's summer 2011 edition for his design of the Robb Residence in Manhattan Beach, Calif. Nota is also profiled in the German md Magazine, in a feature duly titled "Der Notable Mr. Nota."

Richard Levy (B.Arch ‘78) is nominated to become a Fellow of the AIA. His architectural photography work has been exhibited and published throughout the U.S. and Europe, and he recently received an Honorable Mention, Professional Category from the Advertising Photographers of America (APA). Levy is part of a select group of professionals listed by the National Park Service and the Getty Conservation Institute as capable of performing true archival photography. Most recently, he was brought in to document the restoration of a number of well-known historic and cultural monuments, including the Downtown Los Angeles City Hall Seismic Rehabilitation, the Los Angeles County Hall of Justice, the Entenza Residence Case Study House, and the Glendale Railroad Station.

Ralph Mursinna (B.Arch ‘78) of RMA is currently at work on a residential addition/remodel project for artist Light Bob (Bob & Bob) in Mar Vista, Calif. Completion is scheduled early 2012.

Michael Folonis (B.Arch ‘79) and his firm Michael W. Folonis Architects has won a 2011 National Healthcare Design Honor Award from the AIA and the Academy of Architecture for Health, in the Unbuilt category, for the design of the 50,000-square-foot UCLA Outpatient Surgery and Oncology Center in Santa Monica, CA.

Steven Lombardi (B.Arch ‘79) is working on the design of the Housing Retreat on the Osa Peninsula in Coast Rica, where construction is scheduled to begin January 2012. Most recently, Lombardi opened a storefront office in Ocean Beach that promotes "architecture to go," a balance between for profit and nonprofit work/practice. In addition to designing private homes, Lombardi continues to design lighting fixtures out of recycled materials for commissioned works and for nonprofits like "Make a Wish Foundation" in San Diego.


Michael Blatt (M.Arch ‘85) and partner Alice Fung are the recipients of a 2011 Honor Award from the AIA Pasadena Foothill chapter for their work on the Sequoyah School in Pasadena, Calif.

Anne Troutman (M.Arch ‘85) is hosting a solo show of her current photo-relief work Condition of the Waters from November 5–December 7, 2011 at Harris & Ruble Art in Hollywood, California.

Liza Gunaratna Chandra (M.Arch ‘86) completed a two-year remodeling project of an Italian-inspired villa in Mulholland Park, where she now resides with her husband and two children. Most recently, the house was featured in Indonesian Tatler and Tatler Homes. She also runs an office in Kemang, South Jakarta.

Ron Kappe (M. Arch ’86) of Kappe+Du Architects in the San Francisco Bay Area completed the first phase of construction of the Town of Truckee Service Center Administration and Maintenance Buildings in October. His firm also started construction of the Napa City Bus Transit Administration Building and the Lake County Middletown Library and Senior Center.

B.G. Shanklin (M.Arch ‘86) is principal of ThreePoint Design Associates in Little Compton, R.I. He is involved in residential, commercial, and institutional design and has been an adjunct faculty at the School of Architecture, Art, and Historic Preservation at the Roger Williams University in Bristol, R.I. since 1998.

Debra Carol Haddock (B.Arch ‘88) completed the reconstruction of her stone casale in Poggio di Guardea, Italy and has launched the estate as a rental property for vacations, reunions, weddings and events. Haddock hopes for the opportunity to host SCI-Arc alumni as guests.


Matthew Fineout (M.Arch ‘90) and Douglas Hanson co-founded Smart Architecture in 2010, after working at Frank O. Gehry & Associates for several years. Specializing in the application of digital technologies to advance the art of construction, Smart Architecture recently designed La Machine, an interactive installation in Grand Central Terminal, NYC, designed for the global launch of the Lacoste L1212 clothing collection. The firm also consulted for Fernando Romero on the Soumaya Museum in Mexico City, with Fineout acting as architect-in-charge of the building envelope. The firm is also currently engaged in a master planning project in the fashion district of downtown Los Angeles.

Stephen Barrett (M.Arch ‘90-‘91), who attended SCI-Arc as a Fulbright scholar, is an associate with London-based Rogers Stirk Harbour + Parners, having worked for Richard Rogers for almost 19 years. He has been project architect on a number of notable buildings including the Bordeaux Law Courts in France, a new terminal at Madrid Airport, and a new control tower at Heathrow Airport, London. Currently, Barrett is leading a team on “Grand Paris,” a strategic metropolitan planning study sponsored by the French state.

Angela Brooks (M.Arch ‘91) and partner Lawrence Scarpa of Brooks+Scarpa Architects received the AIA California Chapter 2011 Merit Award for Architecture for their Cherokee Studios, a 32,000-square-foot mixed-use housing project in Los Angeles. The firm also received 2011 COTE awards for both the Cherokee Studios and the Step Up on Fifth, a 31,600-square-foot mixed-use building that includes 46 apartments for mentally disabled residents. Brooks also received the University of Florida Alumni of the Year award.

Christopher Mercier’s (M.Arch ‘91) Inglewood-based (fer)studio has been voted one of California Home & Design magazine’s “Top 10 Firms to Watch” by a panel of judges including Neil Denari, Hsinming Fung, John Peterson, Tom Buresh, Luke Ogrydziak, Barbara Bestor, Steven Ehrlich, Margaret Griffin, Carrie Byles and David Meckel. The feature was published in the magazine’s September/October issue.

Thomas Stallman (M.Arch ‘91) is an instructor at the Art Institute of California, Hollywood Campus, where he teaches Design Basics-3D, Sketch Techniques and Institutional Design.

PJ Berjis (B.Arch ‘92) leads a design firm specializing in landscape and water feature design. He is currently working on high end homes and commercial projects.

Barbara Bestor (M.Arch ‘92) of Barbara Bestor Architecture received an AIA|LA Restaurant Design Award and a nomination for the 2011 James Beard Foundation Award for her design of Pitfire Pizza in Los Angeles, where she transformed a dark Shakey’s pizza parlor into a light-filled contemporary artisanal pizza restaurant.

Lars Langberg (M.Arch ’92) currently leads his practice in Sebastopol, Calif. A recent project includes working with a group of local residents and professionals to craft and launch an ideas competition for their town. Dubbed The Core Project, the competition is open to architects, artists, planners, landscape architects, schools and others, who are invited to enter their submissions at

Sara MacDonald, AIA, LEED AP (M.Arch ’92) is principal of Rockbarra Studio. She currently resides in New Jersey with her husband, Rob Barnett, and their 4-year-old twins and 18-year-old step-daughter.

Jason Shirriff (B.Arch ’92) completed construction on the St. Isidore Elementary School Library Remodel in Danville, Calif., for which he served as project architect with HKIT Architects. Most recently, he spoke at the East Bay AIA and San Francisco AIA Revit user groups about his use of Revit on the design and development of the Aragon High School Theater, under construction in San Mateo, Calif. He also received awards for his Anschel ink drawings Neon Boulevard and Polis at Artslant. Shirriff was overjoyed to reconnect with fellow alumni Tod Stockwell (B.Arch ‘92) and Kevin Conley (B.Arch ‘92) via LinkedIn.

M. Charles Bernstein (‘92-‘94), AIA LEED AP bought a 1,200-square-foot 1971 modular house in Topanga, Calif. With a very limited budget, Bernstein and his wife completely rebuilt the interior, two thirds of the exterior envelope and plan to add an additional 100 square feet. The two lived in the house during the last 4 months of construction and are now settling in.

Jeremy Levine (M.Arch ‘93) joined the Board of Directors for "Side Street Projects," a non-profit art organization in Pasadena. His firm, Jeremy Levine Design recently completed a solar garden shed for Occidental College, and two of his residential projects, Red Box and Three Trees, will be published in the new book, Passive Architecture, from Braun Publishing.

Benjamin Ball (B.Arch ‘94) and Gaston Nogues (B.Arch ‘93) of Ball Nogues Studio are in the process of completing Yucca Crater, an interactive installation for the High Desert Test Sites initiative located near the Joshua Tree National Park, Calif. Idealized as an oasis for travelers of the vast and arid Mojave Desert, the project merges the theory of earthwork art with a man made structure, presenting a unique opportunity for Ball Nogues to intervene upon the landscape with ecologically-minded and imaginative architecture.

An exhibition by Robert Adams (M.Arch ‘94), The Asclepius Machine: Genetic Diversity and Extreme Urban Euphoria, is on view at UC Berkeley through December 2. Named for the Greek god of healing and medicine, the show explores the relationship of genetic diversity and architecture as a means to re-think contemporary design methodologies and the rich vitality of disability culture. Adams is an assistant professor of architecture at University of Michigan’s Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning.

Todd A. Erlandson (M.Arch ‘94) and his team at (M)Arch Branded Architectures collaborated with Deborah Sussman and typographer Andrew Byrom on the design of the exhibition Eames Designs: The Guest Host Relationship, which opened in October at the A+D Museum. The exhibit is part of Pacific Standard Time: Art in LA 1945-1980, a collaboration of more than sixty cultural institutions across Southern California, and is sponsored by a grant from the Getty Foundation.

Jennifer Siegal (M.Arch ‘94) hosted the symposium Motopia: A New Age for Modular Construction at the University of Southern California. Siegal is principal of Los Angeles-based Office of Mobile Design and a visiting associate professor at USC. She and her husband welcomed their first daughter, Sydney Joan Siegal McNamara, in June.

Jeffrey Allsbrook (M.Arch ‘95) and his firm Standard designed the Local Park installation for deLab’s space in front of Local restaurant on Sunset Blvd. Taking cues from Parking Day’s theme, the iconic Hollywood sign, and the context in front of Local, Local Park features four large “topiary” letters that spell the word P-A-R-K. In combination with the existing storefront behind, the sign reads "Local Park." Directed toward Sunset Blvd., the installation grabs the attention of the driving and bus-riding public and leaves the enigmatic impression of a green park at the side of the boulevard. The installation was also featured at ULI at the LA convention center in an exhibition curated by Frances Anderton.

Greg Roth (M.Arch ‘95) and partner Daniel Shapiro launched Modern Bite, a bakery that creates cakes, cupcakes, and cookies topped with modern designs, for sale online. The company relies on Shapiro’s baking experience and expertise and Roth’s eye for aesthetics. Roth practiced with Frank Gehry Associates, Kerry Joyce Associates and Audrey Alberts Design before launching Gregory Roth Design in 2001, which focuses on interiors and graphic design.

David Montalba, AIA (B.Arch ‘96) of Santa Monica-based Montalba Architects, received the 2011 AIA Institute Design Honor Award in Interior Architecture for his design of a 1,900-square-foot sustainable dental office in San Francisco. Since its completion, the project has also received the 2011 Green Good Design Award and Merit Awards in Interior Architecture from AIA California Council and AIA San Francisco. Montalba Architects is currently at work on a private residence in Jackson Hole, Wyo., the design of a new café on Walt Disney Imagineering’s Glendale campus, and the renovation of a ski lodge in Mammoth, Calif.

Rick Miller (M.Arch ‘97) is currently conducting research on the construction and inhabitation of the ger districts in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, with funding help from Fulbright.

Beth Holden (B.Arch ‘98) is currently at work on a new restaurant project for the Knitting Factory, located in an old warehouse building in the San Fernando Valley. She recently completed a Hollywood Hills residence project for photographer Jill Greenberg, featured in a cover story in the LA Times, and in AIA|LA home tours. Launched in October, Holden’s studio includes a gallery showing local artists and a storefront that features her furniture and design objects.

Michael Pinto (M.Arch ‘98) of Osborn Architects had two projects featured at the Center for Architecture in Philadelphia as part of a Community Design Collaborative Showcase: Mudtown Farms, the result of a SCI-Arc class research project to create a series of speculative propositions for a 2.5-acre agriculture site in a city center; and the Miraloma Park Master Plan, selected as one of 62 State of California Proposition 84 Grant applicants to receive funding. Osborn Architects recently completed the LAX Cultural Master Planning Study. Pinto was also selected as a juror for the 2011 AIA Pasadena-Foothill Design Awards.

Jeff Goldberger (M.Arch ‘99) started a mock-architecture blog called Barkitecture at, with the intention to bring humor to the world of architecture. Everyday discussions range from intellectual, to fiscal, to fantastical, to technological. The project is still in development phase, and Goldberger hopes to make the site a fun and disarming read for all architecture aficionados. Forthcoming segments include an opinion page and sections on competitions, education, and travel, as well as a forum.

David Valdes (M.Arch ‘99) works as a part-time project designer and coordinates business development at RoTo Architects. Recent projects include a school in Suzhou, China and master planning projects in Dubai, with RoTo Architects; the LKSC Center for Learning and Knowledge at Stanford's School of Medicine, with nbbj; and the campus center complex at Foothill College, with Perkins+Will. Valdes is also involved in a small start-up for medical innovations, and in 2012, he plans to enter an MBA program with a focus on strategic planning and financing.


Tima Bell (M.Arch ‘00), principal of Tima Winter, recently completed three projects including Salvage, a new bar in downtown Los Angeles, GRATiAE Cosmetics on Fremont Street in Las Vegas, and Hormeta, the flagship cosmetic store in Las Vegas’ Harrah's Casino, which he co-designed with Scott Sullivan (M Arch ’00).

Laura Burkhalter (B.Arch ‘00) recently completed a project for the food truck-turned restaurant, The Flying Pig Café, located close to SCI-Arc at 2nd and Central in downtown LA. The restaurant opened in June.

Nicolas O. S. Marques (M.Arch ‘00) has been at work growing his architectural photography business. Most recently, he has photographed projects in the U.S. and Portugal, with work being printed in local and international publications. He was also invited to exhibit at the Aaroe Group in Old Town Pasadena and is in negotiations with several magazines for additional projects.

Pooja Bhagat (M.Arch ‘01) and her firm Moore Ruble Yudell Architects won a Citation Award from the LABC for the Village Master Plan and Housing in Santa Monica, for which she was project manager and design associate-in-charge. She also received awards for the Pico Affordable Housing Project and Village Housing for Innovation in Design from the Westside Urban Forum, and AIA awards for the Santa Monica Civic Centre Parking Structure and the Chongqing Master Plan and Housing in China. Bhagat is a licensed architect and is LEED BD+C accredited. She has been with MRY for more than 8 years.

Britton Glynn (M.Arch ‘01) and Aaron Glynn received the 2011 International Architecture Award from The Chicago Athenaeum, Museum of Architecture and Design, for the Manhattan Beach, Calif. Surfhouse designed for XTEN Architecture. The two opened their firm, Glynn Designbuild in 2005, working primarily on high-end residential remodeling projects and new construction in the Los Angeles area.

Aidin Khoei’s (MR+D ‘02) project Year 2030, a skyscraper in Belgium that uses air flow created by the exchange between hot and cool air to allow natural support for growing vegetation on the building, was featured by Archi-World. Khoei practices architecture and design in Los Angeles.

Grit Leipert (MR+D ‘02) and Frank Pasker (MR+D ‘02) completed construction on the Nob Hill House, their own certified green home in Mt. Washington. The home was shown in the LA Times and received recognition from the city of Los Angeles for “outstanding creativity in architectural and sustainable design.” It features the first permitted gray water system in Los Angeles and creates all of its electricity on site. Leipert is an associate senior designer with AC Martin and Pasker is a licensed architect and project manager with DDB Architects in Los Angeles; both are LEED APs.

After several years at GKK Works, Lorenz Quinley (M.Arch ‘02) recently moved to Shenzhen, China to take on a Senior Design Manager position with Joseph Wong Design Associates, headquartered in San Diego, with offices in Shanghai and Shenzhen.

Jeremy J. Quinn (M.Arch ‘03) and partner Michele Jaquis, co-founders of the collaborative arts organization Rise Industries, were invited to participate in a residency at the Institute of Cultural Inquiry (ICI) in Los Angeles, which culminated in an exhibition this past summer. Acting as curators, creators and collaborators, Quinn and Jaquis brought their organization’s full membership into the residency, making it the first exhibition to feature all current Rise Industries collaborators.

Elita Seow (B.Arch ‘03) is a senior architectural designer for AEDAS in Hong Kong, where she oversees projects ranging from hospitality, to residential and educational, covering all phases of design, from master planning to construction. She is currently at work on a luxury beach resort in Vietnam and a master plan for the city of Baoyunpian, China. Seow also heads the SCI-Arc Alumni Council regional committee for Asia.

Brian O’Laughlin (M.Arch ’03) has been with Gehry Partners since 2003, and practicing as a California Licensed Architect since 2007. Recent projects include the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY, which includes a 19,000-seat multi-format arena, and Atlantis Sentosa in Singapore, with a themed aquarium, botanical museum, and resort project in collaboration with Greg Lynn and Peter Arnell. O’Laughlin is currently working on the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi Museum in the United Arab Emirates.

Casey Hughes (B.Arch ‘04) of Casey Hughes Architects recently completed the Coldwater Studio, a West Hollywood two-story home which features a recessed balcony carving a rectangular hole in its façade. The house has been featured widely in publications including The New York Times, Dwell, Domus and Dezeen.

Sang Dae Lee (M.Arch ‘04), principal of UnitedLAB, received an Honor Award at the ASLA 2011 Professional Awards for her Regeneration/Yongsan Park project in Seoul, Korea.

Tony Trinh (M.Arch ‘05), Yohannes Baynes (B.Arch’07) and Sam Iravani (B.Arch ‘07) have recently launched a new cross-culture website, The online platform covers topics from art & design, music, and technology to pop culture, and functions as part aggregator and part online magazine featuring original content. The team is also nurturing “The Superslice” into a lifestyle brand and will have limited edition merchandise available in the near future.

Fumio Hirakawa (M.Arch ‘05) and Marina Topunova (M.Arch ‘06) of 24° Studio received an Honorable Mention, Interior Lighting for their Hope Tree project at the Premios Lamp Lighting Award 2011 in Barcelona. Originally shown at the Tokyo Designers Week 2010 and one of the winners of the Environmental Container Competition, Hope Tree evokes nature in a space for display. A second installation, Crater Lake, which won the Shitsurai Art International Competition organized by the city of Kobe, Japan, will be on view at the Kobe Biennale 2011.

Jody Beck, AIA (M.Arch ‘06), principal of Traction Architecture in Tampa, Fla., was recently appointed by the Mayor to the Architectural Review Commission of the City of Tampa, where she will serve a three-year term. Beck also teaches courses in Architectural History and Theory at the University of South Florida and St. Petersburg College.

Benjamin Luddy (M.Arch '06) and Makoto Mizutani (M.Arch '05), co-founders of Scout Regalia, participated in the High Desert Test Sites HDTS 2011 event. Their project, Trail Registry, will be a long-term installation in Pioneertown just outside of Joshua Tree. It is inspired by the registries found at trailheads, and encourages people to leave and/or take a memento tied to the enameled aluminum rods, similar to the way people leave rocks in a pile at the top of a mountain or artifacts near trailheads.

Steve Fuchs (M.Arch ‘06) relocated from Los Angeles, where he was working for Frank Gehry’s digital research lab, Gehry Technologies, and is currently residing with his family in Illinois, where he is helping lead a young graduate program at Harrington College of Design in downtown Chicago. His full-time responsibilities include a mix of theory, methods, and studio classes, curriculum review, college governance, and a wide range of thesis duties, including chairing multiple committees. Part of the reason Fuchs credits as being hired was “a wonderful conversation about our pedagogy of making and meaning” one afternoon at SCI-Arc during an informal interview with his current director. Fuchs is still surfing both in and out of class—leading the advanced digital and computational design specialization using Rhino + Grasshopper, and has found overhead waves year-round on Lake Michigan.

Emily White (M.Arch ‘06) and Lisa Little (M.Arch ‘06) of Layer LA launched a series of projects and installations, including the 3-Horned Beast pavilion at The New Children's Museum in San Diego, which will remain on view for the next two years. A second project produced for the Women Hold Up Half the Sky exhibition at the Skirball Cultural Center features a humongous transparent canopy hovering over the exhibit. In addition, several drawings by Little and White are on view in the Unruly group exhibition at the Arena 1 Gallery in Santa Monica, alongside work by alumna Laurel Broughton (M.Arch ‘06) and SCI-Arc faculty Andrew Atwood and Chandler McWilliams.

Two design proposals by Michael Arellanes II (B.Arch ‘08) of MA2 Architectural Design, an Urban Stadium for Seoul, Korea and a Stage for Miami's Down Town Marine, are featured in the August/September issue of MARK Magazine (No.33).

Nina Marie Barbuto (M.Arch ‘08) opened Assemble, a community space for arts and technology in Pittsburgh, Pa., whose mission is to activate the community with the contributions and presence of the audience and makers. Programs include gallery crawls, workshops, lectures and community activities. Those interested in showcasing their work at Assemble can contact Nina at Assemble is a not-for-profit organization with an active, contributing board.

Joe Tarr (M.Arch ‘08) has been working in Mexico City for the past three years. After a brief stint with TEN Arquitectos, he settled in at his current location with Rojkind Arquitectos.

Adam Grove (M.Arch ‘10) has assumed the position of Level Coordinator for the first year graduate program in architecture at New School of Architecture and Design in San Diego, where he has been teaching since January.


The farm{air} design proposal by Jorge E. Mutis (B.Arch ‘11), which relocates agricultural infrastructure into airborne bubbles and uses helium to keep them afloat above their grounded “docs,” received an honorable mention in the suckerPUNCH Center for Urban Farming Competition.

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