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People

Staff
Susannah Bohlke
Director of Operations

sbohlke@vanalen.org
212 924 7000 x 11

Susannah Bohlke is the Director of Operations at Van Alen Institute. Prior to joining Van Alen, Susannah worked for four years as the Director of Development at Storefront for Art & Architecture, where she oversaw fundraising and grants administration, assisted in the realization of more than one hundred public art exhibitions, events, and performances, and edited two of Storefront’s self-published books.

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Andrew Brown
Associate Director of Research

abrown@vanalen.org

Andrew Brown is Associate Director of Research at Van Alen. Prior to joining Van Alen, Andrew researched internship improvement strategies for high school students, while earning his M.P.A. from the Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service at New York University. The findings of that research were published and presented at City Hall to officials from the NYC Department of Education and the mayor’s office.

Jerome Chou
Senior Manager, International Projects

jchou@vanalen.org
based in Basel, Switzerland

Jerome Chou is an urban planner, landscape architect, and community organizer. He has worked at Flint Public Art Project, where he developed dozens of temporary installations, events, and workshops in partnership with residents in Flint, Michigan; and at the Design Trust for Public Space, where he led projects to retain garment factories in Midtown Manhattan and to expand urban agriculture throughout New York City.

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Ruth Cole
Grant Writer

rcole@vanalen.org

Ruth Cole is a dedicated urbanist and development professional with more than ten years’ expertise in fundraising and strategic planning for nonprofit organizations working in architecture and design, urban regeneration, city parks, public art, and the environment. Prior to joining Van Alen, she previously worked in development for City Parks Foundation, Environmental Defense Fund, and the Design Trust for Public Space. Originally from London, she holds a B.A. in politics from the University of Sussex and a graduate degree in communications from the University of Westminster.

Anjali Fisher
Administrative Assistant

afisher@vanalen.org
212 924 7000 x 13

Anjali Fisher is the Administrative Assistant at Van Alen. She is a graduate of American University’s School of International Service, where she studied International Relations with a focus on sustainable urban development. While in school, she interned for Food & Water Watch, and conducted research for Alarife Urban Associates, where she investigated housing budgets in Latin America and their implications for urban sprawl. Anjali is particularly interested in the creation of public spaces as a means to integrate diverse people across the city.

Julia Gallagher
Project Manager

jgallagher@vanalen.org

Julia Gallagher is an architect, educator, and project leader.  With over 10 years of experience, Julia has held a range of roles managing and implementing design projects throughout the world.  Prior to working with Van Alen Institute as a Competitions and Workshops Consultant, Gallagher worked with prestigious design firms in New York City including Rockwell Group, Spacesmith, and Slade Architecture.  Beyond design, Julia has management and community development experience working in the non-profit sector with the Guggenheim in Abu Dhabi, Global Studio in Johannesburg, and Urban Think Tank in Caracas, Venezuela.

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Anne Guiney
Director of Strategic Initiatives

aguiney@vanalen.org
212 924 7000 x 10

Anne Guiney is a writer, editor, and project developer. Prior to joining Van Alen Institute, she led the Institute for Urban Design, a multi-disciplinary think tank of urbanists that represented the United States at the 13th Annual Architecture Exhibition of the Venice Biennale with Spontaneous Interventions: Design Actions for the Common Good.

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Rachel Infeld
Development Manager

rinfeld@vanalen.org
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Rachel Infeld is Development Manager at Van Alen Institute. Prior to joining Van Alen, she spent three years at the Municipal Art Society of New York, where she advanced the organization’s major fundraising events and handled day-to-day development activities. Rachel received an M.A. in Community Development and Planning from Clark University where she also graduated with a B.A. in Government and International Relations with a concentration in Urban Development and Social Change.

Jessica Lax
Associate Director of Competitions

jlax@vanalen.org
212 924 7000 x 20

Jessica Lax is an urbanist and activist driving social equity and inclusion through design, economic development, and community engagement. Prior to joining Van Alen Institute, Jessica worked at the New York City Economic Development Corporation, where she launched the NYC’s first vacant lot activation projects and low-income entrepreneurship incubator. She also worked for the NYC Department of Transportation, where she implemented Queens’  first neighborhood bicycle network and initiated in the redesign of Queens Blvd, previously one of the most dangerous boulevards in the world.

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Isabel Miesner
Competitions Coordinator

imiesner@vanalen.org
212 924 7000 ext. 19

Isabel Miesner is the competitions coordinator at Van Alen. Prior to joining Van Alen, she oversaw community engagement at ReThink Studio, a transportation planning consulting firm. She currently serves on the Red Hook New York Rising Community Reconstruction Planning Committee and is on the advisory committee for the RETI Center which focuses on workforce development through resilience, education training, and innovation in low-income communities. Isabel holds a Master of Science in City & Regional Planning from Pratt Institute where she focused on public space planning and design, and a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology from UCLA.

Brent Roach
Development and Database Coordinator

broach@vanalen.org
212 924 7000 x 30

Brent Roach is the Development and Database coordinator. Prior to joining Van Alen, he worked in public facing roles with Lori Bookstein Fine Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  He is a graduate of New York University’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study, where he studied the intersections of art history and gender/sexuality.

Chloe Stagaman
Special Programs & Communications Coordinator

cstagaman@vanalen.org
212 924 7000 x 16

Chloe Stagaman is the Special Programs and Communications Coordinator at Van Alen. Prior to joining Van Alen’s team in January 2015, Chloe worked with the Judd Foundation in New York and the French Cultural Services of the Midwest in Chicago. She holds a B.A. in French with a minor in the History of Art and Architecture from DePaul University, where she wrote her honors thesis on the vitality of visual and verbal in female contemporary art.

Steven Thomson
Programs & Communications Manager

sthomson@vanalen.org
212 924 7000 x 12

Steven Thomson works at the intersection of media and the built environment. Prior to arriving at Van Alen, he served as Content Director of Architizer, an editor at Phaidon Press, and worked in the communications department at the Menil Collection. Steven holds a graduate degree in urban studies from University College London, where his research focused on landscapes of gentrification. His writing has appeared in The Architect’s Newspaper, Cite, Curbed, and Urban Omnibus.

INTERNS

Aman Bardia, Research
Gene Duval, Programs
Clara Gross, Research

BOARD OF TRUSTEES
Stephen Cassell, Chair
Principal & Co-Founder, Architecture Research Office

Stephen Cassell is principal and co-founder, with Adam Yarinsky, of Architecture Research Office, a New York-based firm practicing modern architecture and visionary urbanism. The practice has completed more than seventy-five projects nationwide for clients such as Goldman Sachs, Princeton University, Prada, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The firm’s portfolio of work includes civic, academic, commercial, residential, and conceptual architecture.

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Hunter Tura, First Vice Chair
President & CEO, Bruce Mau Design

Hunter Tura is the President and CEO of Bruce Mau Design, Inc. (a member of the MDC Partners network of companies) where he is responsible for driving global growth in all business sectors and expanding the legacy of the BMD brand. Under his leadership, BMD has clarified its service offerings, expanded its network of collaborative partners, and has actively pursued new markets. He has taken on the task of advancing BMD’s role in the conversation around contemporary design, design education, and rethinking the contemporary design organization.

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Jared Della Valle, Second Vice Chair
President, Alloy

Jared Della Valle has been a real estate professional and architect for more than 18 years and has managed the acquisition and predevelopment of more than 1 million sf in New York City along the Highline, in the Hudson Yards and in DUMBO, Brooklyn. He is a member of the U.S. Green Building Council. He has previously taught at Columbia University, Syracuse University, Washington University, Parsons School of Constructed Environments and Lehigh University. Jared has widely lectured at major universities and institutions and his work has been the subject of more than 50 articles and publications including a monograph entitled “Think/Make” published by Princeton Architecture Press.

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Raymond Quinn, Treasurer
Principal, Arup

Ray Quinn is a Principal in the New York office of Arup, a global firm of engineers, planners, designers and consultants. He joined Arup in London in 1990 following undergraduate and graduate studies in engineering at the University of Dublin and University of London, King’s College, and a short career in manufacturing industries in the US and the Middle East. He has worked in the New York office of Arup since 1993 and has held numerous leadership positions in the firm, including managing partner of the New York office, Board member of Arup’s Americas Region, and membership of Arup’s global HR executive. Ray also is an MBA graduate of International Institute for Management Development (IMD), Switzerland.

Jessica Healy, Secretary and Chair, Competitions Committee

Jessica Healy is a real estate developer with more than twenty-five years of experience and has worked with major financial institutions, governmental agencies, cultural institutions and not-for-profits. She has managed the design, engineering and construction of a wide range of building types from corporate headquarters to single-family affordable housing, traveling museum structures to federal courthouses. She has completed projects in NYC and Minneapolis in the United States including Goldman Sachs’ new world headquarters in lower Manhattan and federal courthouses in lower Manhattan and Minneapolis.

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Byron Bell, Emeritus

Byron Bell is a Registered Architect in the States of Connecticut, New Jersey, and New York as well as a Registered Planner in the State of New Jersey. He received his B.A. from Princeton University in 1957 and his M. Arch. from Columbia University in 1962. Mr. Bell has been a partner in Byron Bell Architects & Planners since 2012 following serving as partner and principal in a number of predecessor firms.

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Robert Bernstein
Partner, Holland & Knight

Robert S. Bernstein is a partner of Holland & Knight, a global law firm with more than 1,200 lawyers and other professionals in 27 offices throughout the world.  Rob is based in New York, and is a member of his firm’s Construction Industry Practice Group. He focuses his transactional and dispute resolution practice on real estate development and construction in both domestic and international markets.  Rob’s recent projects include major museums, hotels, luxury residential properties and clean energy power plants.

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Kai-Uwe Bergmann, International Council Founding Co-Chair
Partner & Head of Communications, Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG)

Kai-Uwe Bergmann is the Chair of the Van Alen International Council and a Partner at BIG, who brings his expertise to proposals around the globe, including work in North America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Kai-Uwe heads up BIG’s business development which currently has the office working in 17 different countries as well as overseeing BIG’s communications. Registered as an architect in the USA (six states), UK, and Canada (one province), Kai-Uwe most recently contributed to the resiliency plan The Dryline to protect 10 miles of Manhattan’s coastline.

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Mark Gardner, Program Leadership Council Co-Chair

Mark L. Gardner is a principal at Jaklitsch / Gardner Architects (J/GA). Located in New York City,  Jaklitsch / Gardner Architects is an award-winning design practice and studio that works across scales from product design to interiors to buildings.

Mr. Gardner has led many of J/GA’s design initiatives, and works to best understand the role of design as a social practice. His firm has won an AIA National Honor Award and numerous AIANY, NOMA and Architizer design awards. The practice is currently working with a non-profit partner on a Honey Bee Study Center in Dodoma, Tanzania.

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Jenn Gustetic
Public Sector Innovation Expert*

Ms. Gustetic is the Program Executive for Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR/STTR) at NASA Headquarters. The NASA SBIR and STTR programs fund small businesses approximately $200M annually for research, development, and demonstration of innovative technologies that fulfill NASA needs and have significant potential for successful commercialization. Previously, Ms. Gustetic worked at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy as the Assistant Director for Open Innovation where she was responsible for scaling the use of open innovation approaches like prizes, crowdsourcing, and citizen science across the Federal Government.

*VANguard Board Member

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Kim Herforth Nielsen, International Council Co-Chair
Founder, 3XN Architects

Kim Herforth Nielsen is the founder of 3XN Architects, which has offices in Copenhagen and Stockholm. Nielsen contributes his design vision and leadership to all of the firm’s major projects. He holds Denmark’s highest architectural honor, the C.F. Hansen Medaille, is a Knight of the Order of the Dannebrog, Chairman of the Architecture Committee at the Danish Arts Foundation and a chartered member of RIBA and of the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts.

Hana Kassem
Director, Kohn Pedersen Fox

Hana Kassem, Director at Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates, has more than 20 years of experience as an architect. Since joining KPF in 2001, she has led the design of a variety of academic, science research, cultural, transportation, hospitality and commercial mixed-use projects in the United States, Europe and the Middle East. Ms. Kassem’s experience includes the new Advanced Science Research Center at CUNY’s City College campus in New York City as well as the Red Hook Houses for NYCHA, a Post-Sandy Resiliency and Recovery project.

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Andre Kikoski

Andre Kikoski is the founder of Andre Kikoski Architect, a Manhattan-based multi-disciplinary design firm that is committed to artistic innovation regardless of budget, genre, or client. Andre received his Masters degree in Architecture at Harvard University, earning Distinctions for Innovation in Design and Technology. Prior to founding the firm, Andre worked for I.M. Pei, Richard Meier, and Peter Eisenman, among others. Andre served as a member of the Executive Committee of the Harvard University Graduate School of Design Alumni Council.

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Jing Liu
Founding Partner, SO-IL

Jing Liu is Founding Partner and Principal of SO – IL and an avid educator. Jing Liu co-founded SO – IL in 2008 with an emphasis on building cultural projects as an indispensable part of urban infrastructure. Her projects include Frieze Art Fair in New York City, Kukje Gallery in Seoul and the CTF Museum in Hong Kong. Liu is actively involved in the office’s interdisciplinary research projects, including the Stillspotting event with the Guggenheim Museum, Pollination at the Chengdu Biennale, and the Spiky series at the China International Architectural Biennial. Through these projects, she has led the SO – IL team to explore new fabrication methods and to confront the sociopolitical issues of urban space through mediums outside the conventional architectural platform.

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Jonathan Marvel
Principal, Marvel Architects

Jonathan is the founding principal of Marvel Architects. Jonathan has taught design studios for over nineteen years at schools such as Columbia, Harvard, Parsons, Pratt Institute, and Syracuse University. He is a former board member of the New York Chapter of the AIA and currently serves on the preservation committee of the Municipal Art Society, the streetscape committee for the New York City Art Commission, and sits on the boards of the Isamu Noguchi Museum and the Buckminster Fuller Institute.

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Elaine Molinar
Partner & Managing Director, Snøhetta

Elaine Molinar began her career as a designer of the Alexandria Library in Egypt after participating in the initial conception for Snøhetta’s winning competition entry.  Throughout her time with Snøhetta, Elaine has held key positions in major cultural projects and competitions in the Middle East, Europe and the United States.  She currently leads general management, strategic planning and business development at Snøhetta.

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Sarah Whiting
Dean of Architecture & William Ward Watkin Professor of Architecture, Rice University

Since 2010, Sarah Whiting has been the dean and William Ward Watkin Professor at the Rice University School of Architecture, which acts as a think tank of research and production while preparing graduates to think, negotiate and collaborate. Whiting is also a partner of WW Architecture, a practice that she co-founded with her partner, Ron Witte, in 1999. WW recently completed the EL House in Houston, which received a Texas Society of Architects design award. Their competition entry for the Oujda soccer stadium also received a TSA award. They are currently completing design development of the Kaihui Exchange, an environmental, agricultural and business tourism center outside Changsha, China, which is expected to break ground in early 2017.

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International Council
Kai-Uwe Bergmann, International Council Founding Co-Chair
Partner & Head of Communications, Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG)

Kai-Uwe Bergmann is the Chair of the Van Alen International Council and a Partner at BIG, who brings his expertise to proposals around the globe, including work in North America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Kai-Uwe heads up BIG’s business development which currently has the office working in 17 different countries as well as overseeing BIG’s communications. Registered as an architect in the USA (six states), UK, and Canada (one province), Kai-Uwe most recently contributed to the resiliency plan The Dryline to protect 10 miles of Manhattan’s coastline.

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Kim Herforth Nielsen, International Council Co-Chair
Founder, 3XN Architects

Kim Herforth Nielsen is the founder of 3XN Architects, which has offices in Copenhagen and Stockholm. Nielsen contributes his design vision and leadership to all of the firm’s major projects. He holds Denmark’s highest architectural honor, the C.F. Hansen Medaille, is a Knight of the Order of the Dannebrog, Chairman of the Architecture Committee at the Danish Arts Foundation and a chartered member of RIBA and of the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts.

Denzil Gallagher

Denzil Gallagher is a principal of BuroHappold Engineering where he specializes in integrated environmental solutions. A leader in delivering groundbreaking design and technologies, Denzil helps forge new models for collaborative design by engaging the full project team – clients, architects, consultants, and builders – to enhance building performance. His creativity and passion has contributed to pioneering integrated, high-performance buildings worldwide, including the Genzyme Center completed in 2001 in Cambridge, MA – one of the first LEED Platinum Certified office buildings in the United States – and the recently completed Tower at PNC Plaza in Pittsburgh, PA – a technologically advanced and sustainable office high-rise that exceeds LEED Platinum certification, and is billed as the “greenest commercial building in the world.”

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Craig Schwitter
Managing Principal, BuroHappold Engineering

Craig Schwitter is a principal who founded the first U.S. BuroHappold Engineering office in New York City nearly 20 years ago. Under his leadership, the global firm has expanded to multiple cities throughout the United States and now totals more than 240 staff regionally. Craig is a champion of integrated engineering and the appropriate use of technology, which allows his projects to be flexible, efficient, and engaging for users. Focused on creating innovative structures for the built environment, Craig has led the successful delivery of many iconic projects that have transformed cities throughout the world.

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Phil Coffey

Phil Coffey set up Coffey Architects a decade ago to pursue his passion for people and place. Since 2005, Coffey has been consistently included in some of the most prestigious exhibitions and awards within the architectural profession including the Architects Journal 40 under 40 awards in 2005 and Faces of British Architecture Exhibition 2011. In 2015 Coffey Architects ‘Exposure’ exhibition at the RIBA explored Phil’s passion for architecture and photography and the way in which empathy, context and light informs the work of Coffey Architects.

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Susanna Sirefman

Susanna Sirefman is the founder and president of Dovetail Design Strategists, the leading independent architect selection firm in the United States, which provides a comprehensive range of services designed to determine the right architect for a client’s building program. Trained as an architect at the renowned Architectural Association School of Architecture in London, England, Ms. Sirefman has authored five books on contemporary architecture and is a regular contributor to The Wall Street Journal.

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Jeff Risom
Partner & Managing Director, Gehl Studio

As Managing Director of Gehl Studio in the US, Jeff leads the San Francisco and New York based teams. In his time at Gehl, Jeff has worked with both public and private clients as well as non-governmental organizations in Europe, the USA, Latin America, India and China. Jeff’s background and design experience provides him with a unique insight into the technical, as well as social aspects of urban design.

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Scott Grady
Director, Haptic Architects

Scott Grady graduated from the Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London in 2003 and co-founded Haptic Architects in 2009. Scott has previously run design unit 7 at the Bartlett, along with fellow Director Tomas Stokke. He continues in his role as educator, attending crits at UCL, Greenwich & other London schools, whilst working as a Design mentor at Oxford Brookes.

 

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Tomas Stokke
Director, Haptic Architects

Tomas Stokke is a co-founder of Haptic, having previously established and led the Oslo-based office, Arkitekturverkstedet, and co-founded the London office Metropolitan Workshop. Haptic was established in 2009 and is based in London and Oslo, with a design philosophy that is inspired by nature and formed through a critical, iterative process. A strong emphasis is given to the user experience. Haptic means ‘the sense of touch’. A shift away from the optical to the haptical benefits the users of our buildings.

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Tony Grist
Principal & Owner, HASSELL

Tony Grist is a joint Head of Design for Architecture at HASSELL, an international, design practice with studios in Australia, China, South East Asia and the United Kingdom. In this pivotal leadership role he shapes design outcomes on the practice’s major projects worldwide.

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Mark Loughnan
Principal & Owner, HASSELL

Mark Loughnan has more than 20 years of design experience on internationally significant architecture projects across Australia, Europe, North America, and China particularly those with a public or civic focus.

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Hana Kassem
Director, Kohn Pedersen Fox

Hana Kassem, Director at Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates, has more than 20 years of experience as an architect. Since joining KPF in 2001, she has led the design of a variety of academic, science research, cultural, transportation, hospitality and commercial mixed-use projects in the United States, Europe and the Middle East. Ms. Kassem’s experience includes the new Advanced Science Research Center at CUNY’s City College campus in New York City as well as the Red Hook Houses for NYCHA, a Post-Sandy Resiliency and Recovery project.

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Manuelle Gautrand
Founder & Principal, Manuelle Gautrand Architecture

Manuelle Gautrand is the Founder and Principal architect at MANUELLE GAUTRAND ARCHITECTURE in Paris, where she is responsible for the design and construction of a diverse range of buildings, including cultural facilities (theatres, museums, cultural centres), offices, housing, and commercial and leisure facilities. Gautrand works with large public clients and institutions in France and abroad. Her firm garnered international acclaim in 2007 when they designed the Citroën showroom, « C42 », on the Champs-Elysées in Paris.

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Francine Houben
Architect/Creative Director, Mecanoo

Francine Houben (b. 1955) began to formulate the three fundamental concepts of her architectural vision whilst studying at the Technical University in Delft, the Netherlands. Designing primarily for People, constructing spaces that are relevant to Place, and forging connections that give a building Purpose have remained consistent, underlying values to Mecanoo’s practice over the past three decades.

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Jasper Tonk
Associate Director, New York, Mecanoo

As an architect and project manager, Jasper Tonk has been integral to the delivery of several complex public and commercial office buildings across the Mecanoo portfolio. Most notably the Delft Municipal Office and Train Station and the Zaans Medical Centre. He is currently working on the New York Public Library as a Design Manager serving as day-to-day client contact and link between Mecanoo, the local architect and consultants.

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Tom Kundig
Principal / Owner, Olson Kundig Architects

Tom Kundig is a principal and owner of Seattle-based Olson Kundig Architects. Over the past three decades, Kundig has received some of the world’s highest design honors, from a National Design Award from the Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum to an Academy Award in Architecture from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. In 2014, Kundig was included in Architectural Digest’s AD100 and in 2012, he was inducted into Interior Design magazine’s Hall of Fame.

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Alan Maskin
Principal / Owner, Olson Kundig Architects

Alan Maskin is a partner and principal at Olson Kundig Architects. For over two decades he has focused primarily on the design of cultural projects including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Visitor Center, Zooraji ­Park in Busan, South Korea, and the Bezos Center for Innovation at the Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI). His work has been published in a variety of national and international media including The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, Architectural Record and The Wall Street Journal.

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Jay Berman

Jay L. Berman, AIA, is a design partner at Pei Cobb Freed & Partners, where he has led some of the firm’s most important building and planning assignments. His practice is focused on planning and design of complex projects that frequently straddle the boundary between public and private realms, usually involve diverse stakeholders, and often require extensive rezoning, public approvals, community review, and government sanctions.

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Dana Getman
Associate Principal, SHoP Architects

Dana Getman is an Associate Principal at SHoP leading some of the firm’s most complex projects. Dana received a Bachelor of Architecture from Cornell University (2004), and a Master of Architecture II from Yale University (2008). She recently completed project management of 111 West 57th street, a 1400 foot tall terracotta and bronze supertall residential tower located adjacent to the original Steinway showroom overlooking Central Park. Among other projects, she also led the team during key phases of design and construction for the East River Waterfront including Pier 15 and the Esplanade, which create 14,000,000 sf of public space along the East River.

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Craig Dykers
Founding Partner, Snøhetta

Craig Dykers is a Founding Partner of the international design practice, Snøhetta. His interest in design as a promoter of social and physical well-being is supported by ongoing observation and contributes to the development of an innovative design process.

Craig has led many of Snøhetta’s prominent projects internationally, including the Alexandria Library in Egypt, the Norwegian National Opera and Ballet in Oslo, Norway, the National September 11 Memorial Museum Pavilion in New York City, and the recently completed Ryerson University Student Learning Centre in Toronto, Canada.

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Elaine Molinar
Partner & Managing Director, Snøhetta

Elaine Molinar began her career as a designer of the Alexandria Library in Egypt after participating in the initial conception for Snøhetta’s winning competition entry.  Throughout her time with Snøhetta, Elaine has held key positions in major cultural projects and competitions in the Middle East, Europe and the United States.  She currently leads general management, strategic planning and business development at Snøhetta.

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Nat Oppenheimer
Executive Vice President/Principal, Silman

Nat Oppenheimer joined Silman in 1988. He has extensive experience in the areas of new construction, renovation, sustainable engineering, and historic preservation, and is Principal in Charge of much of the firm’s institutional work. Recent projects include the addition to and renovation of the Harvard University Art Museum; the new 220,000-square-foot building for the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City’s Meatpacking District; and the new Police Academy located on 35 acres in Queens, NY. He has also led many of Silman’s best-known residential projects in New York City and around the country.

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Carla Swickerath
CEO / Principal, Studio Libeskind

Since joining Studio Libeskind in 1999, Carla Swickerath has gained diverse experience in cultural, civic, retail, commercial, residential and planning projects around the world. She has lead many of the Studio’s successful project teams from concept design through to completion—including the Crystals retail complex at CityCenter in Las Vegas, the Hyundai Haeundae Udong I-Park residential development in Busan, Korea, and the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco. Ms. Swickerath has also led the complex World Trade Center redevelopment process from the initial competition phase to the present.

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Trey Trahan
Founder & CEO, Trahan Architects

Trey Trahan is Founder/CEO of Trahan Architects, APAC, nationally and internationally renowned for innovative design and creative use of materials. He is the recipient of four National AIA Honor Awards, and has won numerous international design competitions. He is fluent in all phases of design and construction administration, and has been principal-in-charge on projects totaling over $1 billion.

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Carl Bäckstrand
Partner & Vice President, White

Over the past ten years, Carl Backstrand has held various management positions within White. Strategic development is fundamental to Carl’s role, both in his former position as Regional Director and in his current role as Director of White International and Vice President. In addition to his role at White, he is also a board member of the Sustainable Business Hub of Scandinavia, member of the Board of Directors’ ARQ Research Foundation, and on the Board of Directors of the Swedish Association of Architects.

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Monica von Schmalensee
CEO, White

Monica von Schmalensee is an architect and the CEO of White arkitekter. Monica has a great interest in the changing landscape of urbanity and the interplay between society and place. She applies a strategic approach and drives the leadership for a sustainable future, partly as her role as the Chairman of Sweden Green Building Council.

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Jonas Edblad

Jonas Edblad, Architect SAR/MSA, has extensive experience in urban design and planning of public buildings, universities, schools, cultural centers, commercial complexes and offices. As project architect for the award-winning projects such as Aula Medica, Spira performace arts center, the Chalmers student union building and Aranäs high school, he has a great importance for the project implementation.

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Gert Wingårdh

Born in Skövde in 1951, Gert Wingårdh spent his early years in Gothenburg. After studying history and theory of art he quickly settled on architecture. Soon after graduation in 1975 he started his own practice. It has grown steadily, and Wingårdhs Arkitektkontor today is one of the largest architect practices in Sweden, with about 169 employees and with projects in several continents.

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Johanna Hurme
Co-Founder, 5468796 Architecture

Johanna Hurme is an architect and a founding partner of Winnipeg based 5468796 architecture. Johanna came to Canada during the mid 90’s, graduated with a Masters of Architecture degree from the University of Manitoba and worked for several years in Winnipeg prior to establishing 5468796 Architecture with Sasa Radulovic in 2007. Working around a single table, the practice unites the diverse knowledge and experience of twelve young professionals.

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Sasa Radulovic
Co-Founder, 5468796 Architecture

Radulovic immigrated to Canada from Yugoslavia in the mid 1990’s. After graduating from the University of Manitoba with a Master of Architecture, he worked with Cohlmeyer Architects Limited.  In 2007 he co-founded 5468796 Architecture along with Johanna Hurme. The firm unites the diverse knowledge and experience of twelve young professionals, working around the same table.

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Program Leadership Council
Andy Bernheimer, Program Leadership Council Co-Chair
Founding Principal, Bernheimer Architecture

Andrew Bernheimer is a Brooklyn-based architect and Assistant Professor at the Parsons School of Design. Bernheimer leads an eponymous firm responsible for a wide variety of residential, civic, and cultural projects, including new multi-unit affordable housing developments across the five boroughs as well as award-winning private residences in the northeast region. He recently edited “Timber in the City”, a book featuring innovative practices in wood construction published by ORO Editions. Bernheimer sits on the Advisory Board of the Institute for Public Architecture, is a fellow in the Forum for Urban Design, and is a member of the Architectural League of New York.

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Katherine Chia, Program Leadership Council Co-Chair
Partner & Founder, Desai Chia Architecture

Katherine Chia is a partner and founder of Desai Chia Architecture in New York City. The firm’s work focuses on bold yet eloquent design concepts, sustainable strategies, and the craft of building.  Desai Chia’s projects have received numerous awards for their evocative and spirited environments;  they include a wide range of cultural, residential, and commercial commissions in the United States and Asia as well as collaborations with artists and product manufacturers.

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Koray Duman, Program Leadership Council Co-Chair
Principal, Buro Koray Duman

Koray Duman is the principal at Buro Koray Duman, an idea-driven architectural practice in New York that brings together an analytical and playful approach to a broad range of projects. Since inception of his practice in 2009, Duman completed several projects in art and design world. The studio designed the headquarters of Council of Fashion Designers of America, a new brand design and flagship stores for furniture retailer Design Within Reach and a studio building and sculpture garden for artist Richard Prince. The studio recently finished the master plan for an artist foundation for Prince, as well as the first building within the foundation’s property. Current work includes a new Islamic Cultural Center in New York and several art gallery projects.

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Mark Gardner, Program Leadership Council Co-Chair

Mark L. Gardner is a principal at Jaklitsch / Gardner Architects (J/GA). Located in New York City,  Jaklitsch / Gardner Architects is an award-winning design practice and studio that works across scales from product design to interiors to buildings.

Mr. Gardner has led many of J/GA’s design initiatives, and works to best understand the role of design as a social practice. His firm has won an AIA National Honor Award and numerous AIANY, NOMA and Architizer design awards. The practice is currently working with a non-profit partner on a Honey Bee Study Center in Dodoma, Tanzania.

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Sara Grant, Program Leadership Council Co-Chair

Sara Grant, AIA, LEED AP, is a partner at Murphy Burnham and Buttrick Architects where her work spans a diverse mix of project types, including cultural, institutional, educational, and residential work. Skilled at the design and management of complex projects, she brings a creative approach to spatial programming and strong design sensibility to all her work.

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Stephan Jaklitsch, Program Leadership Council Co-Chair

Stephan Jaklitsch received his BS in Architecture from the Georgia Institute of Technology and M-Arch from Princeton University. As Principal of his firm since 1998, he has taken his practice from a studio focused on residential and commercial projects in the New York region to an award-winning architectural firm with a diverse, international portfolio of work. Today, with several hundred completed projects around the world, Jaklitsch has seen his work exhibited in New York, Chicago, and London, and featured in prominent international publications.

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Amy Lau, Program Leadership Council Co-Chair
Principal, Amy Lau Design

Founded in 2001, Amy Lau Design creates interiors known for their warmth, expressiveness and impeccable attention to detail. Amy has a reverence for the inherent beauty of natural materials and landscapes, and thoughtfully incorporates elements of each into every project. Embracing both art and design, each personalized space is enlivened with dynamic mixes of vintage and contemporary pieces, and site-specific commissions.

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Joel Sanders, Program Leadership Council Co-Chair

In addition to running his studio based in New York City, Sanders is a Professor of Architecture at Yale University. Prior to joining the Yale faculty, he was the Director of the Graduate Program in Architecture at Parsons School of Design and an Assistant Professor at Princeton University. Sanders received both a B.A. and M.Arch from Columbia University. The editor of Stud: Architectures of Masculinity (Princeton Architectural Press, 1996), Sanders frequently writes about art and design.

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PROGRAM LEADERSHIP COUNCIL MEMBERS

Elliot Berkowitz, Riverside Builders
Matthew Bremer, Architecture in Formation PC
Jerry Caldari, Bromley Caldari Architects
Demetrios Comodromos, Method Design
Powell Draper, schlaich bergermann partner
Dunia Dupont, New Lab
Kevin Erickson, The Illinois School of Architecture / KNE Studio
Lisa Frazar, Studio Frazar
Chris Hughes, HG Craft
Scott Hughes, Silman 
Julie Iovine, The Wall Street Journal
Hauke Jungjohann, Thornton Tomasetti
Andrew Kotchen, Workshop/APD
Drew Lang, Lang Architecture
Gareth Mahon, Robin Key Landscape Architecture
Michael Manfredi, WEISS/MANFREDI
Philippe Meyersohn, AJ Madison
Matthew Moss, Think Construction
Ted Porter, Ryall Porter Sheridan Architects
Juergen Riehm, 1100 Architect
Jane Stageberg, BSC Architecture
Carol Swedlow, Aronson’s Floor Covering
Michael Szivos, SOFTlab
Marion Weiss, WEISS/MANFREDI
Stephen Yablon, Stephen Yablon Architecture

Competitions Committee
Jessica Healy, Secretary and Chair, Competitions Committee

Jessica Healy is a real estate developer with more than twenty-five years of experience and has worked with major financial institutions, governmental agencies, cultural institutions and not-for-profits. She has managed the design, engineering and construction of a wide range of building types from corporate headquarters to single-family affordable housing, traveling museum structures to federal courthouses. She has completed projects in NYC and Minneapolis in the United States including Goldman Sachs’ new world headquarters in lower Manhattan and federal courthouses in lower Manhattan and Minneapolis.

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Kai-Uwe Bergmann, International Council Founding Co-Chair
Partner & Head of Communications, Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG)

Kai-Uwe Bergmann is the Chair of the Van Alen International Council and a Partner at BIG, who brings his expertise to proposals around the globe, including work in North America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Kai-Uwe heads up BIG’s business development which currently has the office working in 17 different countries as well as overseeing BIG’s communications. Registered as an architect in the USA (six states), UK, and Canada (one province), Kai-Uwe most recently contributed to the resiliency plan The Dryline to protect 10 miles of Manhattan’s coastline.

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Jamie Hand
‎Director of Research Strategies, ArtPlace America

Jamie Hand brings a background in landscape architecture, project management, and grantmaking to her role as ArtPlace’s Director of Research Strategies. Previously, she served as a Design Specialist at the National Endowment for the Arts, where she launched and managed Our Town -­ the agency’s signature creative placemaking grant program -­ and oversaw the Mayors’ Institute on City Design and the Citizens’ Institute on Rural Design programs. Jamie also worked closely with the Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force to develop the Rebuild by Design competition brief and team selection.

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Andre Kikoski

Andre Kikoski is the founder of Andre Kikoski Architect, a Manhattan-based multi-disciplinary design firm that is committed to artistic innovation regardless of budget, genre, or client. Andre received his Masters degree in Architecture at Harvard University, earning Distinctions for Innovation in Design and Technology. Prior to founding the firm, Andre worked for I.M. Pei, Richard Meier, and Peter Eisenman, among others. Andre served as a member of the Executive Committee of the Harvard University Graduate School of Design Alumni Council.

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Jeffrey Shumaker
Chief Urban Designer and Director of Urban Design, City of New York, Department of City Planning

Jeffrey Shumaker is currently the Chief Urban Designer for the NYC Department of City Planning (DCP).  Over the last seven years with DCP, Jeffrey has worked to ensure a high level of design quality on projects across the city and has helped shape plans for neighborhoods as diverse as Coney Island in Brooklyn, Hudson Yards in Manhattan and Hunters Point South in Queens.  He played a key role in the recent adAPT NYC micro-unit pilot initiative, and previous collaborations with NYCHA.

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