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headshot of Hernán Díaz Alonso

Hernán Díaz Alonso

SCI-Arc - Hernán Díaz Alonso

SCI-Arc Director/CEO

Hernán Díaz Alonso assumed the role of SCI-Arc director beginning in the 2015 academic year. He has been a distinguished faculty member since 2001, serving in several leadership roles, including coordinator of the graduate thesis program from 2007–10, and graduate programs chair from 2010–15. He is widely credited with spearheading SCI-Arc’s transition to digital technologies, and he played a key role in shaping the school’s graduate curriculum over the last decade.

In parallel to his role at SCI-Arc, Díaz Alonso is principal of the Los Angeles–based architecture office HDA-x (formerly Xefirotarch). His multidisciplinary practice is praised for its work at the intersection of design, animation, interactive environments, and radical architectural explorations. Over the course of his career as an architect and educator, Díaz Alonso has earned accolades for his leadership and innovation, as well as his ability to build partnerships among varied constituencies. In 2005 he was the winner of MoMA PS1’s Young Architects Program (YAP) competition, and in 2012 he received the Educator of the Year award from the American Institute of Architects (AIA). He won the 2013 AR+D Award for Emerging Architecture and a 2013 Progressive Architecture Award for his design of the Thyssen-Bornemisza Pavilion/Museum in Patagonia, Argentina.

Díaz Alonso’s architectural designs have been featured in exhibitions at the Venice Architecture Biennale, the London Architecture Biennale, and ArchiLab in Orleans, France, as well as included in exhibitions at such leading museums as the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA); the Art Institute of Chicago; and MAK Centre, Vienna. The work has been widely published in magazines, journals, and books, including the Excessive monograph of Xefirotarch. The office is currently working on a new monograph to be published by Thames and Hudson. Díaz Alonso’s work is in the permanent collections of the FRAC Centre, Orleans, France; SFMOMA; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Thyssen-Bornemisza, the MAK Museum, Vienna; and the Art Institute of Chicago.

A gifted educator, Díaz Alonso has been acknowledged throughout the years with prestigious appointments; these include Yale University’s Louis I. Kahn Visiting Assistant Professorship of Architectural Design (2010), Visiting Design Studio Faculty at the GSAPP at Columbia University (2004–10), an ongoing appointment as architectural design professor in the Urban Strategies Postgraduate Program at the University of Applied Arts Vienna, and as a Distinguished Faculty Member at SCI-Arc. In spring 2015 he served as Yale University’s Eero Saarinen Professor of Architectural Design. Díaz Alonso was named by DesignIntelligence as one of their 25 Most Admired Educators for 2018-2019 and won the American Academy of Arts and Letters Architecture Award in 2019.

John Enright

SCI-Arc - John Enright

Vice Director/Chief Academic Officer

John Enright, FAIA, has been practicing architecture for thirty years, and has taught at SCI-Arc since 2001. As Vice Director/Chief Academic Officer, Enright oversees various school functions, including academic programs, planning and operations, accreditations, admissions and recruitment, IT, the fabrication shop, and the robot lab. Prior to his current position, Enright served as undergraduate program chair from 2010 to 2015.

Enright is founding principal of Griffin Enright Architects, based in Los Angeles, CA. Griffin Enright’s work has been extensively published; locally, nationally and internationally, and has received dozens of awards for design excellence including, local, state and national AIA Awards and The American Architecture Award from the Chicago Athenaeum. Enright has taught design studios and technology seminars at SCI-Arc, Syracuse University, University of Houston, and the University of Southern California. His academic research focuses on design and building technology, including new digital paradigms as applied to fabrication and construction. He has served on the advisory committee of the national AIA’s Educator Practitioners Network, and he currently serves on the Los Angeles Mayor’s Design Advisory Panel and NCARB's Integrated Path Evaluation Committee. Enright received an M.S.Arch from Columbia University and a B.Arch from Syracuse University.

Darin Johnstone

SCI-Arc - Darin Johnstone

Acting Undergraduate Co-Chair, Design Studio

Darin Johnstone is Design Studio faculty at SCI-Arc and a Los Angeles-based architect and educator. He is Principal of DJA (Darin Johnstone Architects) established in 2004. DJA engages architecture as an overarching discipline accepting a wide range of design challenges spanning scales and genres. Recently DJA has designed and completed renovation projects and planning work for ArtCenter College of Design in Pasadena including the Ahmanson Auditorium, the Peter and Merle Mullin Gallery, and the Bruce Heavin and Lynda Weinman Alumni Gallery. Johnstone’s work has been exhibited internationally and published in Architectural Record, Azure, Domus, Dwell, Form, Frame, Interior Design, Los Angeles Times, Surface, and Architect’s Newspaper amongst others. Johnstone has received numerous awards including multiple AIA awards for built works and grants for academic endeavors. He also led a collaboration between SCI-Arc and Habitat for Humanity resulting in the design and construction of the multi-award winning IVRV house. Johnstone received his Bachelor of Architecture from California State Polytechnic University of Pomona and a Master of Science in Advanced Architectural Design from Columbia University.

William Virgil headshot

William Virgil

SCI-Arc - William Virgil

Acting Undergraduate Co-Chair, Making+Meaning Coordinator, Design Studio, Visual Studies

William Virgil (M.Arch 2, '16) is an artist, educator, Army veteran, cofounder of Brash Collective and Design Studio, Visual Studies faculty, and Making+Meaning Coordinator at SCI-Arc. Virgil holds a Master of Architecture from SCI-Arc, a Master of Human Resources, and a Bachelor of Architecture from Florida International University. Virgil has acted as a guest critic at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute School of Architecture (RPI), Syracuse, and Kent State Universities. Before returning to teach at SCI-Arc, he lectured at RPI. While studying at SCI-Arc, Virgil both taught as an assistant to Frank Gehry in a studio examining Prisons of the Future and collaborated with Gehry Partners. He has also taught studios and seminars in SCI-Arc's Design of Cities postgraduate program. Virgil's work has been exhibited domestically and internationally at Hauser & Wirth, A+D Museum, LACI LA Kretz Innovation Campus, SCI-Arc Gallery, One Night Stand LA with Familiar Primitives design team, Kent CAED, Armstrong Gallery in Ohio, and Arsenal Gallery in Poland.

His research operates by a deranged consumption of visual culture. His detail-oriented work prioritizes high craftsmanship while obsessing with creating high-level details in computational modeling. Virgil's interest lies in multidisciplinary formal design explorations between ordinary objects and eccentric modeling techniques. As digital refinement allows him to reference architecture history and notions of class and value while generating work that acts as a portal for reflection on new forms.

Elena Manferdini

SCI-Arc - Elena Manferdini

Graduate Program Chair

Elena Manferdini contributes more than fifteen years of professional experience to her role as SCI-Arc Graduate Program Chair. She has been teaching design studios and visual studies seminars at SCI-Arc since 2003, serving most recently as coordinator of Graduate Thesis.

Manferdini graduated from the University of Civil Engineering in Bologna, Italy and later received her Master's of Architecture and Urban Design from the University of California Los Angeles. In 2004 she founded Atelier Manferdini in Venice, CA where she is principal. In 2011, she was one of the recipients of the prestigious annual grants from the United States Artists (USA) in the category of architecture and design. Manferdini was awarded the 2013 COLA Fellowship given by City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs to support the production of original artwork. That same year, she received a Graham Award for architecture, the 2013 ACADIA Innovative Research Award of Excellence, and was selected as recipient for the Educator of the Year presidential award given by the AIA Los Angeles.

In 2019 Manferdini was honored with the ICON Award as part of the LA Design Festival, which is a prize that recognizes iconic women who have made an indelible mark on Los Angeles, culture, and society in general through their work, character, and creative leadership.

David Ruy

SCI-Arc - David Ruy

Postgraduate Programs Chair, MS Synthetic Landscapes Coordinator

David Ruy is an architect, theorist, and director of Ruy Klein. David received his M.Arch degree from Columbia University and his B.A. degree from St. John’s College where he studied philosophy and mathematics. Ruy Klein examines contemporary design problems at the intersection of architecture, nature, and technology. Encompassing a wide array of experimentation, Ruy Klein’s projects study the mutual imbrications of artificial and natural regimes that are shaping an ever more synthetic world. The work of Ruy Klein has been widely published and exhibited and has been the recipient of numerous awards recognizing the firm as one of the leading experimental practices in architecture today. Their work is part of the permanent collection of The Museum of Modern Art in New York City and The Frac Centre in Orléans, France.