AIA Austin 2022 Design Excellence Conference

August 24-26  |  Hybrid  Option to attend either virtually or in person.
Aug 24 Half day of virtual sessions and half day of in-person project tours.
Aug 25-26 Two days of in-person or virtual courses. In-person and the Design Expo held at the Austin Central Library.

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Conference Details

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Keynote Speakers

Wednesday, August 24, 9:10am (virtual)
Ifeoma Ebo, LEED AP, NOMA 
Founding Director, Creative Urban Alchemy, LLC 

Ifeoma is an experienced Urban Designer & Strategist with a proven track record in transforming urban spaces into platforms for equity and design excellence. Through leadership roles in urban design & development initiatives funded by the United Nations, FIFA and the NYC Mayors Office she has excelled in managing multidisciplinary teams towards the planning and implementation of projects supporting racial, social and cultural equity.  She is currently an Adjunct Professor at Syracuse University and Columbia University where she teaches on the intersection of urban design and equity. As the founding Director of Creative Urban Alchemy LLC, she is a highly sought-after consultant on equitable urban design and sustainable development strategy for city governments and civic institutions internationally.

Thursday, August 25, 9:30am
Peter Mullan
Chief of Architecture and Urban Design, Austin Transit Partnership

Peter Mullan brings decades of experience working in public space design and community engagement to Austin Transit Partnership. He believes Project Connect is an extraordinary opportunity to reinforce and enhance Austin's diverse and human-centered urban fabric. Peter comes to the Austin Transit Partnership from the Waterloo Greenway Conservancy, where he served as CEO since 2015. An innovative public park system built around a restored Waller Creek, including the transformed Waterloo Park and Moody Amphitheater opening in 2021, Waterloo Greenway will give the Austin community a new public gathering place, combining access to art and culture with an immersive natural experience in the heart of the city. Before moving to Austin, Peter played a critical role in the creation of the High Line in New York, a global model for next-generation public spaces. A licensed architect by training, Peter is a graduate of Princeton University and the Yale School of Architecture, where he was the recipient of the Alpha Rho Chi medal for Leadership.

Friday, August 26, 9:30am
Melodie Yashar
Director of Building Design & Building Performance, ICON

Melodie Yashar is the Director of Building Design & Performance at ICON, a construction technologies company focused on large scale additive manufacturing for Earth and in space. Melodie oversees the architectural direction of ICON’s built work as well as the performance of ICON’s building systems to deliver optimally-performing structures that shift the paradigm of homebuilding on Earth and beyond. Collaborating across technology and construction teams, her department supports design and construction of dignified and resilient terrestrial housing solutions in addition to supporting the development of ICON’s off-world construction systems. Melodie teaches undergraduate and graduate design studios at Art Center College of Design. In previous roles Melodie was a Senior Research Associate with the Human Systems Integration Division at NASA Ames via San Jose State University Research Foundation (SJSURF), as well as a co-founder of Space Exploration Architecture (SEArch+), a research group developing human supporting designs for space exploration.



Wednesday, Aug 24 (VIRTUAL ONLY)  

8:00 AM
Inventing Architecture: Designing with new Construction Methods
Ashley Heeren, AIA, LEED AP BD+C
Lake|Flato, an architecture firm that has long been at the forefront of sustainable design, will discuss the implications of designing for new construction technologies through the lens of recent innovative projects that incorporate 3D-printed concrete, mass timber, rammed earth, factory prefab, and pre-engineered metal buildings. Many of these projects are the results of thoroughly integrated efforts that embrace technological innovation, sustainability, and timeless place-based design principles all while solving for issues specific to their unique construction. Ashley Heeren (Associate, Lake|Flato Architects) will lead a discussion into the concept of architecture specifically tailored to these methodologies, sharing ways in which architects can push the perceived boundaries of construction.

9:10 AM    
Keynote: Designing for Intersectionality and Inclusion
Ifeoma Ebo, LEED AP, NOMA 
There is incredible diversity in the ways we experience and use spaces and places. However, historically the urban landscape has been used as a tool to establish inequitable power/social relationships resulting in an exclusive and disempowering spatial experience for some. As architects and designers, how can we ensure that we are creating equitable spaces and infrastructure that are inclusive to all? This lecture will explore various principles and practice of using design to address equitable access, and environments of safety and well-being particularly for communities of color. The event will inspire attendees to consider intersectionality in design and what it means to design truly inclusive and empowering spaces.

10:20 AM   
Si-glo: Enhancing the connection between nature, art and culture
Daniel Woodroffe, Jason Radcliff, and Kim Harding
1 LU
Inspired by the revitalized ecosystem and the many thousands of new plants installed at Waterloo Park, si-glo featured a series of towering, inflatable, internally illuminated agave sculptures. Ranging in size from 12 feet to over 30 feet in both height and diameter, the installation elevated the century plant to epic proportions to celebrate the new, long-lasting life introduced in the heart of Austin. Gigantic, glowing, and soft to touch, the inflatables delighted audiences and honored Waterloo Greenway’s mission of enhancing connections between nature, art, and culture.

11:30 AM    
SMPS Austin Presents: Help me help you: how to maximize marketing and technical efforts to win more work
Janki DePalma
1 LU
Ever feel like there is never enough time in the day to pursue new work? The marketing person begs for information to finish an rfq while the technical staff is buried in project deliverables and can't find time to help. How can the two work together to find and win quality projects? SMPS Austin brings leading marketing professionals and architects/engineers to discuss how empathy can be key to working together more efficiently and winning more work. Learn from members of firms of all sizes as they discuss how to make the marketing process work better for everyone, even during the busiest of times. This presentation is geared for firms of all sizes with or without dedicated marketing help who struggle with responding to proposals in both the private and public sectors.

Thursday, Aug. 25
Sessions will take place in-person at Austin Central Library in three areas: Main Event Center, Gallery, or the Demonstration Area as noted on the course description. Only the Main Event Center sessions will also streamed via Zoom, the others will be in-person only.

8:00 AM - Hybrid (Main Event Center + Zoom)
Accessibility Compliance Stories from Field Inspectors (ADA)
Andrea LaCour and Elaine Andersen
More than 30 years have passed since the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) became law. How is it that mistakes are still being made in the built environment? With plenty of photographs and real-life examples, the presentation will focus on both accuracy and common errors in with both ADA and TAS we see across the state. Examples include: baby changing tables in the way, pools without accessible entry, assembly areas without seating, locker rooms, and many more. The session will also include stories of a few key court cases and how legal precedents can create errors in the field.

9:15 - 9:30 - In-person only (Demo Area)
Nano session: Questions to Ask When Selecting Wood Products
Brandon Berdoll
.25 LU/HSW
Local sawmill owner shares insider information on questions you should be asking when sourcing wood products.

9:30 AM - Hybrid (Main Event Center + Zoom)
Keynote: Making Architecture in Public: Aspiration, Collaboration, Perspiration, Persistence, Joy
Peter Mullan
Peter Mullan, Chief of Architecture and Urban Design for Austin Transit Partnership, will share his experience working on large public projects in both New York and Austin, reviewing both the technical challenges and social opportunities, and highlighting the diverse contributions from architects, landscape architects, urban designers, institutional stakeholders, governments, philanthropists, real estate developers, and individuals from the community, working together for the benefit of all. The talk will highlight details for several transformational transportation projects in Austin, which will revolutionize the city and bring equity and equality to Austin in many ways, as transit will offer access and affordable transportation to people from all over Austin and the surrounding suburbs.Peter Mullen

10:40 AM - Hybrid (Main Event Center + Zoom)   
How Technology In LED Lighting Impacts An Emotional Response
Charles Thompson, FAIA, CLD
1.5 LU/HSW
The Role Technology Plays In Led Lighting Systems Is Undeniable. The Program Will Compare Lighting Design Results That Evoke A Response From Users And The Relationship Of Technology To The Solution. Additional Detail Will Relate How A Lighting Design Process Impacts The Design Detailing And Construction Of Lighting Improvements.

10:40 AM - In-Person only (Gallery)
Restoration, Ecology and Resiliency at Pease Park, Kingsbury Commons
Wendy Dunnam Tita, FAIA, IIDA, LEED AP; Heath Riddles; Mell Lawrence, AIA; Nathan Quiring, AIA; and Stephanie Saulmon, PLA, ASLA
1.5 LU/HSW
This panel will share the background, planning and design of Phase One of the Pease Park Vision Plan, the comprehensive blueprint for the rehabilitation, preservation, and enhancement of the park's cultural, recreational, and natural features.  Kingsbury Common has achieved a Preservation Austin Award, an AIA Austin Design Award, a 2022 Texas ASLA Honor Award, and Sites Gold Certification.

1:00 - 1:15 - In-person only (Demo Area)
Nano session: Powder Coating - Plenty of Durable Options
Channing Wilson
.25 LU/HSW
Powder coating is a dry finishing process known for durability, performance, and a smooth application process on many products from everyday appliances to tough machinery. This learning unit will take an in-depth look at powder coatings while outlining the history of its development. It also illustrates the powder-coating application process, the differences between powder and liquid finishes, and other powder-coating specifications. It concludes with the features and benefits of powder coatings while emphasizing the advantages to health and the environment as VOC free. The benefits of using nontoxic exterior powder coatings with unlimited color options over liquid coatings are also included.

1:15 PM - Hybrid (Main Event Center + Zoom)       
A Path to Better Buildings: Cost Optimizing through Energy Modeling
Josh Leger, NCARB, AIA; Miguel Walker; Trey Farmer, AIA
In this course we will discuss the importance of energy modeling for cost-optimizing a high-performance project. We will look at several case studies from single-family and multi-family projects using WUFI Passive for gap analysis between code minimum, proposed design, and Passive House Standard/Net Zero performance criteria. We will look at cost-optimizing projects for energy performance and budget leading to a net-positive, comfortable, and healthy project.

1:15 PM - In-person only (Gallery)
Austin Energy Green Building 2022 Commercial Rating Updates  
Mark Leger, Lindsey Machamer
Join Austin Energy for an overview of the updated 2022 Austin Energy Green Building Commercial Rating. For more than 30 years, Austin Energy Green Building (AEGB) ratings have advanced innovations that enrich the community's environmental, economic, and human well-being. As Austin grows, AEGB evolves the rating systems to raise local standards for energy efficiency, water quality and conservation, indoor environmental quality, material resources, and site development. For 2022, AEGB has updated the Commercial Rating to align with the newly adopted Austin Climate Equity Plan, Water Forward, the Zero Waste by 2040 Plan, and Austin Energy’s Generation Resource Plan, as well as advances in building technology and practices and lessons learned over the past six years. This presentation will review the update process, the desired outcomes, and the differences between the 2016 and 2022 ratings.

1:15 PM - In-person only (Demo Area)
Housing Affordability in an Integral Ecology, or No Bigotry in My Backyard
Jason Haskins, AIA
Design for Equitable Communities is an integral part of sustainable design. The human environment and natural environment deteriorate together, with the poorest and most vulnerable bearing an excessive portion of the burden of that deterioration. And yet efforts to improve affordable access to dignified housing are met time and time again with vitriolic opposition predicated on fear, ignorance, and prejudice. This course will explore some of the common opposing viewpoints that arise in the process of developing, designing, and building affordable, mixed-income, and mixed-use projects. In addition, attendees will learn how to calculate the metrics used to assess affordability, understand the relative affordability of different housing types, and give context to what different income levels and terminology actually mean. No one housing or funding type will solve our affordability crises, so we will explore a range of project types architects can get involved with and how to support the non-profit organizations, public entities, and for-profit developers all working in different ways to make sustainable, dignified housing available to all.

2:25 PM - Hybrid (Main Event Center + Zoom)       
Law and the Architect: 2022 - A Smorgasbord of Thoughts on Architectural Practice and Risk Management
Matt Ryan, Hon. AIA; and Robert Derner
1 LU
Explore the legal rules and risks affecting Texas architects in this interactive session that will leave attendees with a toolbox of best practices and implementable strategies to review contracts, manage risk, mitigate conflict, avoid professional grievances and common sources of trouble, and anticipate legislative action. Conversation will also touch on brand-new AIA forms just released in 2022, strategies on negotiating the best available terms, and TBAE Rules.

2:25 PM - In-person only (Gallery)
Designing and Constructing Parametrically Shaped Structures
Beth Zetzman, PE; Isaac Small; Sunnie Diaz, AIA, LEED AP; Sean O’Brien
1 LU
Case study of Confluence Park and Scottsdale Arizona Civic Center Amphitheater and 360 Canopy. Panel Presentation on working with Rhino and other software to define, design, and construct complex parametrically shaped buildings.

3:35 PM - Hybrid (Main Event Center + Zoom)   
Exploring Design for Energy with Passive House and Mass Timber: Three Case Studies
Greg Esparza, Mark Larson, Trey Farmer, AIA
1.5 LU/HSW
Passive House and Mass Timber are two areas of innovation in design and construction that offer significant promise for addressing the Design for Energy and Design for Resources principles of the Framework for Design Excellence.  These three case studies were built by Austin designers or builders both as their personal homes and opportunities to demonstrate their commitment to pushing for more Net Zero Energy and Net Zero Carbon homes in Austin. Two Certified Passive House projects and one Mass Timber project will be presented and each case study offer valuable insights on the benefits and challenges of integrating emerging methods and materials into residential design and construction.

3:35 PM - In-person only (Gallery)  
Climate-Change Responsive Architecture: Rethinking how we are designing homes and buildings  
Peter Pfeiffer, FAIA; Alan Barley, AIA
Climate change is making our environment hotter and less comfortable. We are air-conditioning much more than just a generation ago. This should be reflected in how we design and build our homes and buildings. Why are current technology-based green building programs a far cry from the original goals & aspirations of the movement?  As thought leaders, we must re-think our approach, so we have homes that are truly sustainable, resilient, and climate-responsive from the start. Topics explored - more efficient plans, right-sizing, smarter kitchens, lighting flaws, glare-free daylighting, smarter roofs, etc. to ensure healthier living in tune with the climate, so our homes use fewer resources to “live and perform better – by design.

3:35 PM - In-person only (Demo Area)
Making films about architecture: Telling the story about how design can transform a space.
Gustavo Bernal, Alexandra Chaves, AIA; Jess Deaver, AIA
1 LU
This panel will demystify the process of making films about architecture, explaining how to create a video: Styles of videos, techniques, methods, and general costs. This will be an informative discussion with (3) panelists who will share their expertise -creating architecture films and sharing their processes speaking directly in the language of designers, helping them understand the importance and value of creating visual content for their firm, the discourse of architecture, and creative development.

Friday, Aug. 26
Sessions will take place in-person at Austin Central Library in three areas: Main Event Center, Gallery, or the Demonstration Area as noted on the course description. Only the Main Event Center sessions will also streamed via Zoom.

8:00 AM - Hybrid (Main Event Center + Zoom)   
Disability and Homelessness - stories...access in the unhoused crisis (ADA)
Andrea LaCour, Elaine Andersen, Megan Matthews, Arlene Ellwood
As our Nation is in a home crisis and lacking affordable housing, more and more people are becoming homeless. Disability is a big contributor to the number of folks unhoused, so much so that even at the Federal level, HUD’s definition of a Chronically Homeless Individual includes a person having a disability.  As more organizations are providing funding to aid in the housing crisis, we must not forget about the importance of ensuring these housing options are accessible, even when the ADA may not apply. This session will share stories from Austin-based Community First Village and Foundation Communities, showcasing a tiny home village and a multifamily development model. We will also discuss the plethora of accessibility requirements on multi-family design and the lack of requirements for single-family residential and how Design Guidelines were developed for tiny homes not typically subject to any accessibility regulations.

9:15 - 9:30 - In-person only (Demo Area)  
Nano session: Now and Wow of BIM
Louisa Burk and Virna Scharunovych
.25 LU
This presentation addresses how BIM technology can improve deliverables, efficiencies and communication between AEC professionals.

9:30 AM - Hybrid (Main Event Center + Zoom)   
Keynote: Disrupting the Homebuilding Industry: 3D Printing and the Future of Advanced Automated Construction in Architecture
Melodie Yashar
1 LU
Additive construction and digitally-native design workflows enable new architectural vernaculars and possibilities in design, the emerging regulatory landscape, as well as the science and performance of architecture and building systems. ICON is disrupting construction, and architects have a crucial part to play in this new building landscape. ICON's Director of Building Design and Performance, Melodie Yashar, will discuss the company's innovative technological advances, and give attendees a glimpse into ICON’s work with NASA developing construction technologies to build permanent infrastructure off-world.

10:40 AM - Hybrid (Main Event Center + Zoom)   
Housing Equity for a Growing City
Moderator: Ashley Grzywa, AIA, WELL AP, LEED Green Assoc.
Panelists: Claire Hempel; Sarah Satterlee; Nefertiti Jackmon; Lucy Begg, AIA; Sarah André MA, MSCR
1.5 LU/HSW
The City of Austin is facing an affordable housing crisis, and has a growing population that is dealing with housing insecurity. AIA Austin Women in Architecture (WiA) and AIA Austin Committee on the Environment (COTE) will moderate a panel discussion on housing equity, the Missing Middle and the accessibility of various housing typologies through land development and residential design. The panelists represent diverse industries including architecture, landscape architecture, city services, non-profit and development. The discussion will address challenges and highlight opportunities for interdisciplinary planning and design to promote equitable growth in our city.

10:40 AM - In-person only (Gallery)  
The Life and Death of a Density Bonus Program
Michele VanHyfte, AIA; David Carroll, AIA
1.5 LU/HSW
A detailed breakdown of Austin's Downtown Density Bonus Program outlining its strengths and weaknesses as a policy intended to incentivize affordable housing and other community benefits. It will be structured as a multi-speaker presentation that provides information and case studies at first, then it will transition to a brainstorming session. The speakers will have a dialogue with the audience and get their input on potential paths for the program's future. This program is the backbone and foundation for all other affordable housing incentive programs in Austin and will inform new city-wide programs. With Austin's housing supply, economic segregation and affordability crises at an all-time high, now more than ever our city needs programs and policies that will effectively and efficiently help alleviate these burdens. AIA Austin can provide valuable expertise and ideas for how these programs can succeed. 

1:00 - 1:15 - In-person only (Demo Area)  
Nano session: Comprehensive Hand Hygiene Design
Chloe Lee
.25 LU/HSW
Highly communicable diseases have elevated easily accessible hand hygiene stations from a nice-to-have to an essential amenity in every space. Hand sanitizer stations now need to be thought of as permanent fixtures, not owner provided consumables. This course aims to educate the participants on applicable regulations, recommendations, and best practices with regard to designing hand sanitizing fixtures into architectural spaces.

1:15 PM - Hybrid (Main Event Center + Zoom)   
High Design meets High Performance
Charles Upshaw, PhD; Denisse Hudock, AIA; Kate Bren
Within every design process, a natural tension exists between achieving architectural aesthetic vision and optimizing engineered systems. This tension is fundamental to design choreography, and when orchestrated correctly, leads to both high design and high performance. This presentation centers on the ability of project team members with diverse roles and priorities (developer/owner, builder, architects, and engineers) to effectively collaborate on a project starting early in the design process. The common goal was to achieve several high performing luxury residences in West Austin. Presenters include 1) the project developer/architecture team, firmly rooted in the market dynamics associated with building luxury speculative residences, and 2) the engineering and performance consulting team, with an outcome-driven approach that prioritizes occupant visual and thermal comfort, energy and water resiliency, and indoor air quality. Presenters will discuss the give-and-take design conversations needed to work together. Despite their differing priorities, they worked together to fine tune the placement and orientation of windows to reduce glare and promote daylight autonomy. They collaborated on optimizing the mechanical system concept and massing to promote the best thermal comfort and air quality outcomes. And they established appropriate shelter in place spaces and equipment necessary to meet the energy demands of that space to allow for safety and resiliency in uncertain times.

1:15 PM - In-person only (Gallery)  
Austin State Hospital Brain Health Center: What Design Can Do for Brain Health Care
Brian Roeder, AIA
The new Austin State Hospital will serve as the anchor of the Brain Health Campus and part of ambitious master plan developed by a consortium of innovative stakeholders. The ASH Resign has initiated construction on a 240-bed inpatient building which will offer brain health care to some of the most vulnerable members of the central Texas community. This presentation will discuss the role of this cutting edge building in the State’s effort to integrate its inpatient care model within the full spectrum of brain health services, create partnerships among care providers and establish a presence in the community that visibly defies stigma. It will discuss the evolution of the building plan and how the organization of the building’s components supports the progressive recovery and emergence of patients from living quarters into the greater care community. The presentation will highlight the historical importance of the outdoors and how access to it is achieved to support positive outcomes. We will share the processes of managing monumental change in the healthcare environment and how involving key users is working to ensure future success at the new Austin State Hospital.

1:15 PM - In-person only (Demo Area)  
Spill the Tea! Developing on 4th Street and it's impact on the LGBTQ+ community
Joe D'Elia, AIA; Tim Petersen, AIA; Tina Cannon; Kevin Koch, AIA
As the city continues to grow, the need to development and repurposes some spaces has also risen. What if one of those spaces was your home? Your safe haven from the outside world? Can redevelopment of LGBTQIA+ spaces hinder or enhance the community? What's at stake for the end users when outside forces want to change their environment?  

2:25 PM - Hybrid (Main Event Center + Zoom)   
Designing with Wood: Short-term Solutions vs. Long-term Investments
Brandon Berdoll
This course serves as a guide to identifying what type of projects can be successfully produced quickly for short-term solutions and what type of projects require the attention to detail for long-term investments.

2:25 PM - In-person only (Gallery)  
Award-Winning Restaurant Design
Jamie Chioco, Assoc. AIA; Philip Keil, AIA; Maija Kreishman, AIA; Scott Magic, AIA
The design of a restaurant is dense with programmatic and operational requirements.  It is a challenge to incorporate and coordinate each of these elements for a cohesive end product.  These four restaurants not only successfully achieved this goal, but they did so within the context of an elevated design concept.  We will hear from each of these award-winning architects, who will explain their processes and inspirations.The Restaurants:
•    Easy Tiger at the LINC by Furman + Keil Architects (Philip Keil, FAIA presenting)
•    Uchi Miami by Michael Hsu Office of Architecture (Maija Kreishman, AIA presenting)
•    Sip Pho by MAGIC architecture (Scott Magic, AIA presenting)
•    Paperboy Restaurant by Chioco Design (Jamie Chioco, Assoc AIA presenting)
This lively discussion will be moderated by established restaurant enthusiast Eric Rauser, AIA of Rauser Construction. Discussion Topics:
•    Explanation of the programming process and how to engage the restauranteur as a client
•    Engaging with Operations: from kitchen equipment to diner experience
•    Renovation, Tenant Finishout, or Ground-up?  What was the development process like?
•    What were the main drivers of design?  Can you explain the form-giving concepts?

3:35 PM - Hybrid (Main Event Center + Zoom)  
The Specialist vs. The Multidisciplinary Architect: A Case for Holistic Design
Lorena Vieyra, Assoc. AIA
1 LU
Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. Eero Saarinen. Frank Lloyd Wright. At mid-century, these designers gained architectural notoriety, but who would they be without the Barcelona chair or the tulip table? While the architecture was noteworthy, it was their holistic environments—complementary interiors and bespoke furniture solutions—that would distinguish their designs and define their legacies. Yet over the years, specialties have become special. Architects have narrowed themselves to single lanes: contemporary, net-zero, mixed-use, tiny houses. Experts have become defined by a singular expertise, leaving little room to leave a mark with interwoven, specified solutions. However, there’s plenty to be contended against disparate design. One may argue a diverse set of designers bring unique perspectives to each design discipline: an architect for one need, industrial designer for another. Lorena Vieyra of Vieyra Arquitectos in Mexico City breaks the mold and argues the case for one designer designing it all. A renewed framework of design thinking—a holistic approach from a single lens—serves to create unified, cohesive environments that revive the iconic ideology via modern-day means.

3:35 PM -  In-person only (Demo Area)  
Post Occupancy Evaluations - Key to healthy and successful buildings
Shivani Langer, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, WELL AP; Christy Bickel, AIA, LEED AP
This Post Occupancy (POE) study will discuss actual user satisfaction and utilities data gathered from at least 4 Middle Schools in Texas. The user satisfaction study was completely unbiased and done through a 3rd party (Center for the Built Environment - University of Berkeley) survey, which allowed us to also determine our buildings' performance in relation to other worldwide school buildings in their database. This study is also not about what works in concept, it gives us lessons learnt and proof of the successful or not so successful sustainable design strategies. The study will discuss the WELL Building Standard in relation to user health and wellbeing and how this Standard further emphasizes the need for POEs. Through this study, we hope to be able to encourage the use of post occupancy evaluations and inform future design decisions made by clients, the designers and by the industry.

Tours (Wed. Only)

Wednesday, Aug. 24
Note: All tours are sold separately on the registration page. Tours are sold individually and are not included in any general admisison ticket price. Purchase tour tickets here.

11:30 AM  
Tour - Ann Richard's School for Young Women Leaders
Jayna Duke, IIDA, LEED AP ID+C; Jarrod Sterzinger, AIA, LEED AP; 
Named for the 45th Governor of Texas, the Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders is a college preparatory public school of choice for girls in grades 6–12. A part of the Austin Independent School District (AISD), the school was originally established in 2007 at a 1950s era middle school campus that was no longer in use. The aging facility resulted in a learning environment that was deteriorating and lacked the ability to best support the unique curriculum and approach to instruction. With a learning philosophy centered around collaboration, STEM technology, and a culture of ‘making’ for all students, the project design team was charged with the modernization of the campus to support 21st century learning. Hosted by students and design team members, join us for a tour of the new updated exemplary 21st century facility.

1:00 PM
Tour - The Loren at Ladybird Lake  
Bobby Tait, AIA; Nikki Morgenthaler, AIA; Alexer Taganas, AIA; Alex Kurek
1 LU  
The Loren at Lady Bird Lake, the premier hotel and residential project at the urban intersection of Riverside Drive and Lamar Boulevard, is uniquely situated between Zilker Park and Downtown Austin. Architects from Rhode Partners will present the luxury project’s history, planning and design intent as attendees tour the condos, hotel rooms, and amenity spaces. 

2:30 PM    
Tour - Oracle
Jim Susman, FAIA; Will Gresham, AIA; Eileen Wright, AIA; Kaitlin Hogan; Darrell Westcott, AIA; Claudia Rodriguez; Paul Suttles, AIA; Brittani Long; and Susanne Harrington
Tour of Oracle's new Headquarters Building Complex.

4:00 PM    
Tour - Indeed Tower
Matt Leach, AIA; Corey Boden, AIA; Wendy Dunnam Tita, FAIA, IIDA, LEED AP
Located in the heart of downtown Austin, Indeed Tower re-envisions an entire block with a new tower, renovated historic Post Office and plaza. The new 36-story, glazed office tower is situated on the eastern portion of the block. Its sculptural form and transparent base allow the building to make a mark on the city’s skyline while also celebrating its historic neighbor. The tour will explore the project from below top to bottom including amenities, a discussion of sustainable systems.


Elaine Andersen
Elaine Andersen | Co-Founder & Accessibility Specialist at Contour Collective
A designer with over 20 years of experience in managing projects from the design phase through final construction. Mrs. Andersen’s design experience includes extensive knowledge of building codes and ordinances for both commercial and multi-family facilities. Elaine is a Registered Accessibility Specialist in Texas and a National Certified ADA Coordinator, having consulted on over 500 projects in Texas alone. Elaine is also a Navy Veteran, bringing a valuable real-world perspective to accessibility.

Sarah Andre
Sarah André, MA, MSCRP
| Owner, Structure Development
Ms. André has worked in affordable housing since 1994. Her experience includes both consulting on and development of a variety of affordable housing options. Since 2005 her focus has been on multifamily development using Low Income Housing Tax Credits. In this capacity she has been involved in the creation of more than 13,000 units of multifamily housing across Texas with investments of more than $900MM. Awards for her work include honors from Livable City, Envision Central Texas, Preservation Texas and a Jack Kemp Chairman’s Award from the Urban Land Institute. Ms. Andre has held positions at Diana McIver & Associates, The Enterprise Foundation and Austin Revitalization Authority. In her capacity as an employee, she oversaw the development of the Juniper-Olive Historic District on East 11th Street in Austin, a single-family development including new construction and historic rehabilitation. Ms. André founded the Austin CHDO Roundtable in 2002 and chairs Austin’s Affordability Strategic Council for the Urban Land Institute.

Alan Barley
Alan Barley, AIA

Co-owner and Principal of Barley|Pfeiffer Architecture, Alan holds Texas licenses in Architecture and Interior Design, and is lead designer and artist for this award-winning firm. Alan’s design success is due to his uncanny ability to synthesize client visions & needs to create stimulating and elegant architectural forms and spaces. Clients appreciate his ability to draw realistic images of the collaborative thoughts during in-person or virtual design meetings. Alan Barley earned a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Texas at Austin and is a life-long student of design theory, history, design communication and planning. Alan oversees design, production, and graphic communication. His experience includes a large portfolio of site-specific custom homes and renovations, boutique commercial and institutional projects, amenity centers, and feasibility studies. Alan is active in many other fields of artistic expression and besides being husband to Didi and father to three, he is an accomplished illustrator, guitarist, and furniture designer. He serves as Assistant Scoutmaster for Boy Scout Troop 229 in Austin Texas.

Lucy Begg
Lucy Begg, AIA

Originally from the UK, Lucy’s stateside experiences span from a small town in rural Alabama (at the Rural Studio) to the West Coast (grad school at Berkeley) to over a decade in Austin running Thoughtbarn alongside her husband Robert Gay.  Their work focuses on architecture and public art projects in urban neighborhoods that synthesize an economy of means with inventive material strategies, well-crafted details and a responsiveness to social and environmental context.  Lucy was the recipient of the 2020 AIA Austin Emerging Professional Award and has served on the Publications Committee of Texas Architect magazine, as chair of Blackshear Elementary's 'Little East' arts festival, and as a board member of Civic Arts and Pecha Kucha Austin.  She lives with Robert and their two kids on a 2500sf lot in the Holly St neighborhood and is a champion of land use reform in Austin that would allow more families to do the same.

Brandon Berdoll
Brandon Berdoll
| Berdoll Sawmill
Brandon Berdoll and his wife Brandi established Berdoll Sawmill in 2009. The business focuses on supplying high quality hardwood slabs and lumber. Brandon works closely with local architects, furniture makers, interior designs, and homeowners alike, to meet their specialized needs. Brandon has spent the last 13 years and thousands of hours perfecting the art and science of milling, drying, and flattening hardwood slabs. Many of the machines that he uses are either heavily modified or are machines that he designed and built, including a 100” wide jointer/planer. Although he has a passion for his trade, his true love is spending quality time with his family. Brandi and Brandon have been married for 14 years and have 3 children. Clay (10), Emily (7), and Luke (3). Around the sawmill, it is common to see him with the kids working on projects together and teaching them valuable life lessons. The kids enjoy driving golf carts, four wheelers, skid steers, welding, building jumps, hunting, fishing, and raising chickens.

Gustavo Bernal
Gustavo Bernal

Gustavo Bernal received his Bachelor's in Animation and Visual Effects from the Academy of Arts University. Born in Caracas, Venezuela, Gustavo has strong roots in his Hispanic heritage and multicultural background. With over fifteen years of experience, he previously worked for prestigious advertising agencies and production companies in Venezuela and New York City, including Havas, The Vidal Partnership, Adrenalina, and Warner Brothers Television. In addition, he had edited projects with well-known celebrities and personalities such as Spike Lee, Quest Love, Thalia, Aurora, Moby, Gorillaz, KT Tunstall, Lilly Allen, Nestor Carbonel, Robin Thicke, Danny Meyers, and Magic Johnson. Gustavo brings a unique vision as a filmmaker and creator to all the projects he works on, with his interest in film editing, visual effects, and storytelling. He has been actively involved with AIA Austin since 2018. He is the filmmaker behind WiA'  Profiles' interview video series. He has won several awards for his work in advertising and independent filmmaking.

Cristy Bickel
Cristy Bickel, AIA, LEED AP
, Principal, Senior Project Architect
Cristy is a Principal and Senior Lead Architect in the Austin Office with over 30 years architectural experience.  She has been a part of Stantec since 2001 and has extensive experience in the design and coordination of projects ranging in size from small renovations to large 400,000+ sf facilities.
As Senior Lead Architect, Cristy serves as a technical advisor and oversees the daily aspects of project design, coordination, and documentation. Cristy brings critical and creative problem-solving skills to every project to provide unique solutions for each client and shares her expertise to provide high quality projects across the state. Cristy has been part of Stantec’s Sustainability Research and Benchmarking program since 2018. With a focus on Post Occupancy Evaluations, she shares the lessons learned from these evaluations with design teams, facilities owners and colleagues to inform future designs.

Corey Boden
Cory Boden, AIA

Cory Boden is an associate principal at Page, where he is a leader in the corporate commercial studio, focusing on high-end, urban, mixed-use projects. With over 15 years of professional experience, he been instrumental in a number of notable large-scale developments across the country; including 111 West Wacker on the Chicago River, Millennium Tower in downtown Boston and Indeed Tower in Austin.
Having moved to Austin in 1998, he obtained his architectural degree from UT-SOA and is both a licensed architect and interior designer, as well as a certified passive house consultant. Cory has developed a breadth of experience with being involved on several significant projects from concept through construction, and enjoys using the insight that affords him into developing solutions that are coordinated, constructible and delightful.

Kate Bren
Kate Bren, Engineer in Training
| Project Coordinator, Positive Energy
Kate Bren is a sustainable design engineer and project coordinator at Positive Energy. She supports Positive Energy’s performance consulting with her skills in computer-assisted architectural modeling, system design, and project coordination. She brings an understanding of a broad range of modeling tools; experience with energy efficiency and solar systems; and success managing projects and teams to each project. Kate utilizes her graphic design skills to relay complex concepts to both engineers, architects, and homeowners. She has also generated marketing and organizational materials for both Positive Energy and the Humid Climate Conference. Kate holds dual degrees in Architecture and Architectural Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin. While at UT, she biked to Alaska in 2018 as a part of Texas 4000 for Cancer. She is currently completing 200 hour training with Practice Yoga.

Louisa Burk
Louisa and J.T. Burk started CADeshack in 1997 with the excitement of the 3D Virtual Building technology and how it transformed design flexibility. CADeshack soon partnered with GRAPHISOFT North America to provide solutions and services to clients all over Texas, solutions that increase productivity and profitability with a simplified workflow. Since JT’s passing in 2019, Louisa continues to value the longstanding BIM client relationships and develop new ones so that more design professionals across Texas can discover the joy in BIM and be empowered to focus on great architecture.

Tina Cannon
Tina is currently the President & CEO of the Austin LGBT Chamber of Commerce after recently serving as the Vice President of Government Relations with the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce. Cannon also served as a Senior Policy Analyst for the City of Austin. Prior to her work in politics, Ms. Cannon has been a seasoned entrepreneur having spent many years in the Austin startup space. Ms. Cannon served as an Entrepreneur-in-Residence for Texas State University and has been a guest blogger for

David Carroll
David Carroll, AIA

David Carroll is a Partner, and Director of Multifamily Architecture, at Urban Foundry Architecture in Austin. He believes that every citizen should make their community a better place. To this end, in 2015 he was appointed to the City of Austin Design Commission, where he was elected Chair for five consecutive years. City Council also appointed him to the Joint Sustainability Committee in 2019, to help oversee the development of the new Climate Equity Plan. Mr. Carroll was awarded the AIA Austin President’s Award in 2016 for this work in advocacy and urban design related issues and in 2018 received the AIA Austin John Nyfeler Award for Community Service for his work with Austin’s Land Development Code Revision. For his continual efforts in local advocacy, AIA National named Mr. Carroll one of their Citizen Architects for 2021.

Alexandra Chaves
Alexandra Chaves, AIA
| Project Manager, Restructure Studio
Alexandra Chaves, AIA is a Project Manager at Restructure Studio where her organizational skills, professionalism and eye for detail allow her to excel. Venezuelan born, Alexandra initiated her Architecture studies in Caracas, Venezuela at Universidad Santa Maria. In 2002, she came to the US to complete her degree. She holds a Bachelor’s in Fine Arts majoring in Architecture and Masters in Architecture from SCAD. In 2006, She moved to NYC where she worked in different boutique Architectural firms dedicated to custom residential design. Alexandra finally moved to Austin in 2018 to be closer to family, and has found the working culture at Restructure Studio to be the perfect balance between being a working mom and daily work life tasks. Moving forward, she plans to pursue licensure in Texas. She has been actively involved with AIA Austin since 2018. She is the creator and chair of the WiA ‘Profiles’ interview video series subcommittee for WiA Austin.

Jamie Chioco, Assoc. AIA
Jamie Chioco is the founding principal at Chioco Design LLC with over twenty-five years designing and managing commercial, residential and institutional projects. He graduated from the University of Oklahoma School of Architecture with top honors in 1995. As a longtime resident of Austin, Jamie is deeply connected to and concerned with the city’s quality of growth and design. Jamie is integrally involved in every aspect of the design process from conception to completion and is motivated by his clients goals and opportunity to learn something new, adding to the diversity of his firms experiences.

Joe D'Elia
Joe D'Elia, AIA

Bio coming soon.

Janki DePalma
Janki DePalma

Janki DePalma is the Director of Business Development for Kirksey Architecture, with over 20 years of experience in the architecture, engineering and construction industry.  She’s a connector at heart who believes there always is room to widen the circle and give people a sense of belonging.   Janki is a frequent speaker on topics such as networking, emotional intelligence and women in construction.  She is the president for the Society for Marketing Professional Services, a board member of ACE Mentors and AIA Austin and active with ULI.  A San Francisco native, Janki can be found rooting for the Warriors, 49ers and Giants. 

Jess Deaver, AIA
Jes Deaver, AIA
Jes graduated in 2016 from the University of Houston Graduate School of Architecture and Design and in 2005 earned her Bachelor of Science Degree in Radio-TV-Film from the University of Texas at Austin. She has worked as a designer at Pfeiffer Architects in Los Angeles where she assisted with the design of the nationally awarded Gonzaga University Myrtle Woldson Performing Arts Center, and the technology commons at the historic downtown Los Angeles Public library. Jes is currently a design architect and project manager at Nick Deaver Architect. As a writer and filmmaker, Jes has worked on music video, commercials, independent films and documentaries in Texas and New York City. Her short film “Mother of Pearls” was an official selection of  the 2004 Dallas Women in Film competition and her screenplay “Drawn” was a runner-up in the 2005 Great American Film Festival. Her science fiction writing is published in Texas Architect Magazine and the literary journal The New Engagement. Her most recent articles ¬center on environmental and community impacts in Texas. In 2020 Jes served as the Chair for the AIA Austin (WiA) Women in Architecture committee, working to establish the WiA Film Series, writing and directing the film “A Violet Horizon” alongside Gustavo Bernal and Alexandra Chaves, Assoc. AIA and exposed members in a drive-in cinema experience to Lina Bo Bardi, a prominent female architect in mid-century Brazilian Design.

Robert Derner
Austin construction attorney Robert Derner is all about focus. His deeply analytical mind, insatiable work ethic, and exacting attention to detail fuel his review and analysis of complex construction contracts and his approach to resolving industry disputes. Robert’s practice centers mainly on professional services agreements for architects, engineers, and professional consultants—but regardless of the players, he scours each document to identify potential risks, untapped opportunities, and legal gray areas that can be leveraged during negotiation.
In disputes, he uses these same skills to assess risks and help resolve conflicts involving breaches of contract, construction defects, and payment claims. Robert drills down to identify the critical issues of each case by thoroughly reviewing the project file, distilling key facts, and bringing clarity to the sprawling detail of a construction project—all with an eye toward helping clients chart the most straightforward and efficient path to resolution.

Sunnie Diaz
Sunnie Diaz, AIA, LEED AP
| Project Architect at Lake Flato
Sunnie is passionate about discovering, designing and unveiling an architecture that responds to a site’s vernacular cultures and is rooted in place. As a Project Director, Sunnie works closely with clients to ensure design is successfully carried out during construction. Sunnie is skilled at carefully managing coordination between all consultants involved in the project from design through construction. She thoroughly enjoys exploring how buildings will uniquely respond to the various cultural aspects of a place’s inhabitants in the most sustainable approach possible.
When she’s not at work, you can find Sunnie cycling with Bicycle Heaven, researching and experimenting in her Monarch Butterfly and Pollinator Habitat garden at home, or boating at Canyon Lake. She is also an Ambassador for She Shreds Women's Off Road, a non-profit organization project that aims to promote a fun, positive, and inclusive environment to build female camaraderie and empowerment in the disciplines of off-road cycling.

Jayna Duke, IIDA, LEED AP ID+C | Interiors Practice Leader at O'Connell Robertson
Jayna has 14 years of experience in Interior Design. Her passion for creating places that support and empower it’s occupants to reach their goals is at the heart of each project. As the firm’s Interiors Practice Leader, Jayna leads a team that shares that Mission and is adept at finding it for projects of all sizes, budgets, and complexities. Projects including planning, design, furniture selection, art, and design concepts. Jayna and her team provide a depth of expertise in education, healthcare, and corporate design. This depth and variety allow them to connect to each project uniquely and find the Mission that will drive your project.

Arlene Ellwood
Arlene Ellwood, Assoc. AIA
| Architectural Design Coordinator at Mobile Loaves & Fishes
Arlene Ellwood is the Architectural Design Coordinator at Mobile Loaves & Fishes, which operates Community First! Village, providing 51 acres of permanent, supportive, and affordable housing to our formerly homeless neighbors in Austin, TX. She has degrees in architecture and engineering from the University of Texas at Austin, and work experience in arts-based planning and engagement. She is deeply committed to sustainable, inclusive, and community-engaged design.

Greg Esparza
Greg Esparza

Greg Esparza has over 10 years of experience in custom residential design and construction as a co-founder of Moontower Design Build in Austin, TX.  For the past few years, he has been immersed in researching and constructing a “plant-based” house of hemp, cork, and cross-laminated timber for himself and his family in East Austin.  In 2022, Greg established a sister company to Moontower, Cross Cabin Build & Supply, in order to promote climate-friendly homebuilding through distribution of plant-based insulation and high performance building materials, and general contracting and consulting services on mass timber homes.  Greg has a Bachelor of Science of Architectural Studies from the University of Texas at Austin.

Trey Farmer
Trey Farmer, AIA

Trey Farmer is a partner at Forge Craft Architecture + Design. Trey received his M.Arch from The University of Texas at Austin and has 15 years of experience in sustainable design and construction.  He came to Austin from New Hampshire via New Zealand and Northern California where he worked and studied English, architecture, permaculture and natural building.  He is a LEED AP (BD+C) and a Certified Passive House Consultant (CPHC) as well as a certified permaculture designer and teacher. Trey is on the Austin Passive House Alliance Board and the national Passive House Alliance Council.  He spends his free time with his wife, son and fur-child on the greenbelt, in their garden or in their certified Passive House home.

Will Gresham, AIA
A Principal at STG Design, Will has been with the firm since 2011. As a Project Architect, he brings over a decade of experience on project types ranging from medical office buildings to multi-phase corporate campuses. Will excels at prioritizing Owner goals in design, schedule, and budget, and leading a team of consultants and contractors to achieve those goals. He is also involved with several local organizations including the Board for the Austin Foundation for Architecture and Real Estate Council of Austin, to name a few.

Ashley Grzywa
Ashley Grzywa, AIA, WELL AP, LEED Green Assoc.

Ashley is an architect in Lake|Flato’s Urban Environments Studio, located in Austin. She is passionate about equitable design that improves human and environmental health. Through project work and outside research Ashley continues exploring the role of the built environment in shaping healthy occupant behavior. Ashley is a Chair of the AIA Austin Committee on the Environment (COTE) and served as Chair of AIA DC Design + Wellbeing Committee from 2017-2019. Ashley received a Bachelor of Science in Architecture from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities and Master of Architecture from the University of Maryland, College Park. When she’s not working Ashley is outdoors, traveling, playing board games, dancing, and attending theater and music performances.

Kim Harding
Kim Harding

Originally from the New Jersey shores of the Atlantic, Kim re-routed her Manhattan-based career in Architecture and moved Southwest to study Landscape Architecture at the University of Texas. Charmed by Austin's weird culture, she decided to stay and help make it weirder, and by weirder she means increasing the presence of natural systems in cities. Kim is interested in how local ecologies can inform urban places, from large systems like watersheds down to the details of material connections.

Susanne Harrington
Susanne Harrington is a principal of Asterisk, an Austin design firm that creates engaging, content-rich places that encourage people to learn, think, and interact via branding, signage, and architectural graphics. She helps businesses, developers, and architects to create spaces that delight audiences, strengthen brands, and connect people. Susanne has led her firm’s 5+- year engagement with STG Design on the development of signage and wayfinding and more than 200 unique installations and experiential graphics for Oracle’s Waterfront campus in Austin.

Jason John Paul Haskins
Jason John Paul Haskins, AIA + NCARB + LEED AP BD+C

Jason Haskins is the Director of Architecture at h+uo architects in Austin, Texas and 2022 Chair-Elect of AIA Austin Design Voice. Jason’s professional practice focuses on enacting and embodying solidarity, subsidiarity, and human dignity in the built environment. He brings a wide range of experience in socially and/or technically complex projects to his work. Jason’s expertise includes multi-family, mixed-use, workplace, and institutional place-making. Participatory design, multi-disciplinary planning, emerging technologies, and data-driven design play a significant role in his process. Jason holds a B.S. in Architectural Studies and an M.Arch from the University of Texas with additional coursework at Columbia University and the Liturgical Institute at the University of Saint Mary of the Lake. As an independent researcher, historian, and photographer, he writes about liturgy, architecture, and history on the blog Locus Iste ( Jason’s research centers on the architecture of the 19th- and 20th-century liturgical movements across Christian denominations. His teaching experience includes architectural studios, continuing education, symposia and conferences, and adult religious formation. Recent publications include an essay on Ellsworth Kelly’s “Austin” for Texas Architect and "Eugene Wukasch & Mid-century Lutheran Architecture in Texas” in Modernism and American Mid-20th Century Sacred Architecture, edited by Anat Geva. Jason has also worked as a development analyst for mixed-use, family-friendly, and deeply-affordable housing. He has also been a digital asset librarian, computer programmer, and noise-musician.

Ashley Heeren
Ashley Heeren, AIA, LEED AP BD+C
| Associate
Ashley helps lead Lake|Flato’s Austin office with a focus on designing urban environments that celebrate and enhance the remarkable connections between people and places. Her work has ranged from sustainable campus planning to boutique hospitality design, across diverse communities and ecosystems. Each of her projects creatively responds to its particular context while staying rooted in high-performance design strategies. Ashley studied architecture at Yale and Harvard GSD, after which she helped start Low Design Office with colleagues from school who shared her interests in socially-minded design. After completing experimental design-build work in Austin, she joined Lake|Flato in San Antonio to work on more public-spirited projects across the US. In 2016, Ashley helped open LF’s Austin office, returning to a city where she strives to prioritize resilient place-making and to celebrate local ecologies amidst a rapidly-transforming region. Ashley is a licensed architect in Texas. She has contributed to various local initiatives; with AIA, she has been a co-chair for Women in Architecture and helped establish AIA Austin’s Leadership Collective to engage emerging architects in professional development opportunities. She enjoys serving as an invited design critic at schools of architecture including UT Austin, UT San Antonio, UC Berkeley, and California College of the Arts.

Claire Hempel
Claire Hempel

Claire Hempel joined Design Workshop in 2011 and is overseeing a wide range of projects including streetscapes, community planning, and urban design efforts. Claire has been a task leader for a variety of both local and international projects, including urban and regional parks, resort and tower designs, and comprehensive community and environmental planning throughout Texas. Claire’s professional interests include public engagement, planning on multiple scales and empowering smaller communities by providing them with the right tools to achieve environmental, economic and community goals. Claire also serves on the Austin Planning Commission and several local Boards focused on improving the quality of life for those in the Austin region, including The Trail Foundation, the Red Line Parkway Initiative and the Friends of Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge.

Kaitlin Hogan
Kaitlin is an Associate at STG Design and possesses experience designing for corporate and tech clients including Oracle and Apple, as well as several multi-family developments. Her expertise is in both the creative and the technical, giving her a broad design production perspective. She employs an iterative design process using parametric technology – and inspiration from the occasional musical – to create unique spatial solutions.

Denisse Hudock
Denisse Hudock, AIA
| Managing Partner & Principal Architect, System D Architecture
Denisse Hudock is Managing Partner and Principal Architect at System D Architecture. She grew up in Monterrey, Mexico and is a licensed architect in Arizona, Texas, and Colorado. After practicing for 17 years in the USA, her design experience ranges across scales and product type from urban infill development, site feasibility, and master planning to historic additions, luxury single family residential and high-rise design along with unique interior remodels. With a passion for the design+build process, her practice specializes in bespoke design solutions and the ability to resourcefully solve challenging circumstances. Leading a multidisciplinary design studio, Denisse leverages all resources to curate teams where collaboration and attention to detail while prioritizing the client’s wants and needs result in monumental architecture that brings joy to life. She is a mother of two, a proud science nerd, talented cook, and poetry addict. She is also Partner in Interni Austin and President of the Austin Foundation for Architecture.

Nefertiti Jackmon
Nefertiti Jackmon

Nefertitti Jackmon is a Cultural Strategist serving as Austin’s first Community Displacement Prevention Officer. Jackmon leads the Housing and Planning department’s Displacement Prevention Office where she is instrumental in developing and leading strategic development, programming, and outreach to address displacement of households, including the $300 million anti-displacement investments for Project Connect, described as a “comprehensive transit system expansion that will help transform Austin into one of the most sustainable, inclusive and innovative regions in the country.” Jackmon collaborated with department leadership, partners, and her team to successfully program and deploy over $100 million in tenant stabilization services due to COVID-19, including RENT, the City’s response to provide emergency rental assistance to households in need. In January 2022 she was listed as one of Texas’ Top 100 Influential leaders impacting the Texas economy by the Austin, Houston, Dallas, and San Antonio Business Journals. Prior to joining the Housing and Planning Department, she had served in the nonprofit sector for more than 25 years. A native of California, she obtained her BA in English from California State University, Fresno and her Master’s in African American Studies from the University at Albany. Nefertitti enjoys spending time with family and friends including traveling with her son James Houston Rhodes. She also enjoys spending times outdoors, hiking, kayaking, and camping.

Philip Keil, AIA
Philip Keil joined with his former employer Gary Furman to form their eponymous firm Furman + Keil Architects in 2005. With degrees in both industrial engineering and architecture, Philip loves the left brain / right brain thinking inherent in architectural design: exploring the natural tensions between function and beauty, balancing pragmatic concerns like gravity and waterproofing with artful composition of materials, light, and texture.
Furman + Keil Architects is an award-winning design firm known primarily for their Texas-regional custom homes, small commercial and hospitality projects. The firm’s work has been widely published in local and national media.
Philip received the 2016 AIA Austin Community Service Award for his contributions to the local Austin Community. He served as AIA Austin chapter President in 2014, and Texas Society of Architects chapter director in 2019-2020. His firm Furman + Keil Architects received the AIA Austin Firm Achievement Award in 2010.

Kevin Koch, AIA
Kevin is an Architect of the Texas Capitol and has served as an Austin Historic Landmark Commissioner since 2016.  Landmark Commissioners work directly with owners and developers to help craft design and construction plans compliant with the Secretary of the Interior's Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties.   As a project manager for the Governor's Mansion Restoration, Old General Land Office Building preservation, and several major preservation projects at the Texas Capitol, and as an owner of a 1939 home in Central Austin, he has a broad range of expertise in a variety of historic construction types.

Maija Kreishman, AIA
Maija Kreishman, AIA, is Principal at Michael Hsu Office of Architecture (MHOA), where she has been a critical member of the firm since 2007. In addition to managing a broad range of architecture and interior projects, Maija oversees strategic visioning, studio culture, operations, marketing and business development.
Maija’s passion for food and travel has shaped her design perspective and developed in her a penchant for hospitality design. Prioritizing experience, her design approach seeks to engage and connect the user to a space by prompting a response to interiors, materials and furnishings.
Maija holds a Bachelor of Science in Architecture from the University of Virginia and a Master’s in Architecture from The University of Texas at Austin, where she has also served as a guest lecturer. Maija’s notable projects include La Lucha, da Gama, multiple Shake Shack locations, Montrose Collective, MKT, South Congress Hotel, Heights Mercantile, among many others nationwide.  

Alex Kurek
Alex Kurek
Alex Kurek is an experienced project designer with a diverse portfolio, ranging from high-end custom residential to innovative academic and corporate developments to signature hospitality and residential towers. Due to her work on various project types, she has developed an organized approach to design with a high attention to detail at all scales. Alex belives that design should enhance the human experience and enjoys the collaboration with clients and consultants to achieve thoughtful and well-designed buildings. Alex brings with her experience at internationally renowned firms Bohlin Cywinski Jackson and Gensler.

Andrea LaCour
Andrea LaCour
| Co-Founder & Accessibility Specialist at Contour Collective
Ms. LaCour is a Registered Accessibility Specialist in Texas and a National ADA Coordinator with 15 years’ experience in accessibility compliance. Andrea has provided ADA consulting on over 500 projects across the country; having consulted on hundreds of projects in the greater Austin area and dozens of affordable housing specific projects. Ms. LaCour understand the differences in accessibility requirements from the ADA to TAS to FHA. She is a sought-after presenter, with over 100 presentations under her belt including AIA, ASLA, ASCE conferences and the national ADA Symposium. Andrea is also passionate about volunteerism - this is her 9th year for Big Brothers Big Sisters & 6th year at ACE Mentor Program of Austin.

Shivani Langer
Shivani Langer, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, WELL AP

Shivani is a LEED and WELL Accredited Principal, Senior Project Architect and Regional Sustainability Leader at Stantec with over 20 years of architectural design experience including 15 years of experience in Educational facility design. Since her post graduate degree in Sustainable Design in 2003, she has been incorporating high performance and sustainability goals in all projects in various firms she has been a part of. She has worked with many school districts and higher education clients throughout Texas on a variety of project types and sizes. She has also served in the role of an architect and sustainability coordinator for many high performing buildings including net zero energy and net zero energy ready projects. As a Senior Project Architect, she leads many large project teams involving various disciplines. She has worked in the capacity of a leader for architectural projects, research projects, firm-wide and BC wide initiatives and in various sustainability leadership groups. Her thoroughness, attention to detail, eye for design, passion for sustainability, collaboration and communication skills make her an asset for any project, the firm and the industry. Shivani has been leading Stantec's Sustainability Research and Benchmarking program since 2013. The research under this program includes many aspects of sustainability with the goal to constantly learn and inform future designs, design processes and decisions.  Shivani has led post occupancy evaluation studies in many projects that have informed other research topic needs. She has been instrumental in AIA 2030 commitment efforts within Stantec and at SHW group (the original firm before Stantec acquisition). She has been leading design efforts for various sustainability related learning tools in school buildings and in the community.

Mark Larson
Mark Larson

Mark Larson is a Certified Passive House Consultant and Project Manager for Lake Travis Homes.  Mark Larson started his career in corporate real estate. He decided to make the leap into building because he loved that side of the business. If he was going to completely change careers and build houses, he wanted them to be the best ones on the market which is how he discovered Passive House.  In 2019, Mark built one of the first certified Passive Houses in Texas as his personal home. Mark is a board member of Passive House Austin.

Mell Lawrence, AIA
Mell studied architecture at the University of Texas in Austin. After working with Charles Moore and a partnership with Paul Lamb, Mell started his firm in 1991. Mell Lawrence Architects was voted 2001 AIA Austin Firm of the Year in recognition of its consistent excellence in design and contribution to creating a unique architecture. His work has been published extensively and been recognized with design awards at local, national, and state levels. In 2007, Mell was honored as a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects in Los Angeles. He hails from Houston.

Matt Leach
Matt Leach, AIA

Matt Leach is a design principal at Page where he practices as architect and educator. Matt’s portfolio of work includes a wide range of award winning commercial, institutional, and public design work with an emphasis on legacy projects. He has contributed to several Central Texas landmark projects including the Austin Airport Expansion, Indeed Tower, The Dell Medical School at UT Austin, and the Austin Federal Courthouse. Matt holds architectural degrees from Georgia Tech and UTSOA. As an educator, Matt has served on advisory committees for UTSOA and UTSA, and has taught courses focused on the technical resolution of design, including Construction Seminars and Comprehensive Design Studios.

Chloe Lee
Chloe Lee

Chloe Lee is a salesperson for Vaask, a company created around a unique hand sanitizing system. Chloe earned a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Rochester, focused on Applied Music Voice and secondary piano. She has a strong background in teaching both music and other subjects in English and Korean, which she speaks fluently. While earning her degree, Chloe also partnered with the city of Rochester on a project giving lectures on the importance of diversity in music education. In her free time, Chloe enjoys cooking and is learning how to cook Korean food from her mom and grandmother.

Josh Leger
Josh Leger, NCARB, AIA

Josh Leger was born in the Ozarks before moving to the desert of Arizona. He received degrees in Architectural Studies and Sustainability from Arizona State University. After a short stint coaching basketball, he moved to Texas and received his Master of Architecture degree from UT Austin. He has worked at Lake Flato and McKinney York Architects. He is currently at Forge Craft Architecture + Design and co-chair of AIA Austin Committee on the Environment. He is an advocate for climate positive design and spends his free time riding bikes, playing basketball, and cuddling with his cat, Rupert.

Mark Leger
Mark Leger

Mark Leger has been with Austin Energy for nearly 10 years, with experience in both green building and energy efficiency. At Austin Energy Green Building, he consults with architects and engineers to lessen the environmental impact of buildings and to incorporate design and construction practices that elevate the quality of life of Austin’s residents. Prior to joining Austin Energy, he worked as an acoustical consultant. Mark is both a LEED BD+C AP and WELL AP.

Brittani Long
Brittani is a Creative Lead at STG Design with several years of interior design experience on projects of varying scope, and scale in sectors such as corporate, justice and healthcare. She designs with the understanding that people in different industries, companies, and even departments work in different ways, finding inspiration using creative applications to adapt to these differences. Brittani believes that a well-designed space translates to a better workplace and has applied her acumen to projects for clients including Oracle, Resideo and ShipStation.

Lindsey Machamer
Lindsey Machamer

Lindsey Machamer is a Project Manager with the Austin Energy Green Building Commercial Team. She is the representative for Austin-Bergstrom International Airport and assists AUS in green building rating for new facilities as well as bringing sustainability to planning and operations. She has a B.S. in civil engineering and a B.A. in environmental studies from Worcester Polytechnic Institute and a M.S. in engineering management from Tufts. Lindsey’s past experience involves working as a site civil design engineer in New England with experience in stormwater design, local and state permitting, municipal vulnerability preparedness planning, and more.

 Megan Matthews
Megan Matthews
| Director of Design at Foundation Communities
As Director of Design, Megan has overseen design and construction on over a dozen  multi-family developments with over 1000 units of affordable housing in Central Texas. Knowing the built environment has a huge effect on our health and happiness, her goal is to create positive spaces that are accessible for people to call “home”. Megan is a licensed architect in the State of Texas with over a decade of architectural design experience. She holds a Bachelor’s of Architecture degree from The University of Texas at Austin.

Nikki Morgenthaler
Nikki Morgenthaler, AIA
Nikki's years of experience in New Orleans and New York prior to joining Rhode Partners has helped shape her approach to design and leadership. With over 17 years of experience, she has worked on projects of various scales and types from hospitality and commercial developments to student housing and residential towers. She believes that design is in the details and enjoys the complexity and challenge of complicated sites and projects.

Sean O’Brien, AIA | Lake Flato
Design Staff

Desmon Odunusi
Desmon Odunusi, AIA
| Design Voice 2022 Chair
Enthusiastic and passionate design professional with a history in retail, commercial, and educational design. I strive towards creating impactful spaces that give opportunities to all that engage the space. I believe that that positive and enriching experiences aid in building stronger individuals and communities, and I strive to design spaces serving that charge.

Tim Petersen, AIA
Tim is currently the co-chair for the LGBTQIA+ Alliance. This position has afforded him the opportunity to nurture his belief that community-engaged design has the power to create safe spaces. As a project designer at Chioco Design, he focuses on bar and restaurant design, where he is able to further explore the relationship between design and community. Tim received his Master of Architecture from UT Austin, where he focused on the social and environmental implications of architecture. Outside of architecture, he likes to attend drag shows on 4th Street with his friends and partner. 

Peter Pfeiffer
Peter Pfeiffer, FAIA

An Architect, Interior Designer and Building Science Consultant, Peter is professionally licensed in Texas, New York and New Jersey, as well as with the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards. He holds a Master of Architecture degree, with an emphasis in environmentally sensitive design & energy studies from the University of Texas at Austin, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Building Sciences from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Pfeiffer is a LEED accredited professional who has spent 40+ years designing and developing pragmatic high-performance Green buildings and homes. In 2004 he was named a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects [FAIA] for his lifelong achievements in "mainstreaming Green Building" - one of the earlier Architects in America to be recognized for such. Residential Architect magazine cited him as one of the 10 most influential residential architects of the decade.  Peter was nominated for the prestigious Hanley Award for his meaningful efforts to advance Green building in North America. In 2019 at the International Builders Show, Peter was awarded the National Green "Superhero" of the year by Green Builder magazine.  More recently he was selected to speak at the prestigious SXSW conference addressing Architecture and its effect on Climate & Social Action.

Nathan Quiring, AIA
Nathan leads the firm’s public works projects which support Clayton Korte’s interest in enhancing public spaces and bringing communities together. Completed work includes San Gabriel Park in Georgetown, Texas; the Mack Dick Pavilion at Palo Duro Canyon State Park in the Texas Panhandle; and Pease Park in Austin, Texas. Additionally, Nathan helps lead business development and new business for Clayton Korte. Nathan is from the east coast, where he practiced in New York and New Jersey after graduating from Virginia Tech. Nathan is a musician and former museum docent who is a Friend of Manda School, a non-profit working to restore and revitalize the last remaining two-room school house in Travis County. He is also an advocate for the homeless and a former board member of Front Steps. The organist at Central Presbyterian Church, he also plays piano and organ with local bands.

Jason Radcliff
Jason Radcliff

As a Principal with dwg., Jason Radcliff oversees the quality management operations of the firm. His work helps bring the firms’ dynamic and meaningful projects to fruition – always striving for more sustainable solutions through innovative green infrastructure. He is also responsible for dwg.’s research and evaluation of more sustainable building systems and ecological performance enhancements. In addition to his leadership role within the firm, Jason is keenly interested in exploring and promoting soil stewardship.

Heath Riddles-Sanchez
As Pease Park Conservancy CEO, Heath Riddles brings more than 15 years of senior leadership experience in Austin’s nonprofit sector. He has helped raise millions of dollars over the course of his career at organizations like Equality Texas, Texas Advocacy Project, the Long Center for Performing Arts, and The Hispanic Alliance. He has worked as a director at Elizabeth Christian Public Relations and served on the boards of the Austin Gay and Lesbian International Film Festival, The Hispanic Alliance, and Waterloo Counseling Center. Heath is passionate about Austin’s green space and believes Pease Park represents all that makes Austin great. He is honored and humbled to be part of the Pease Park journey.

Claudia Rodriguez
Claudia joined STG Design in 2018, bringing with her experience in the design industry with a background in the corporate, hospitality, and high-residential markets. Possessing both a Masters in Architecture and a Bachelors in Environmental Design, she thoughtfully combines the principles of both to create spaces that will enhance the natural, social, cultural and physical environment of her projects.

Brian Roeder
Brian Roeder, AIA

Brian Roeder serves as Principal-in Charge for Page on numerous Academic, Healthcare, Government, Corporate and Institutional projects.  He approaches each new project with the expectation to collaborate, connect and transform both people and places created.  Brian’s broad technical experience and project management efforts has contributed to several of Page’s award-winning projects.  Many of the most challenging and complex projects of the firm have been successfully delivered with Brian’s leadership poise. His portfolio spans nearly 25 years over much of Page’s core markets and services offered.  The depth of this knowledge is shared and passed on to others through regular training and teaching for continuing education.  Brian is affiliated with various industry organizations and currently serves as a Board Member of the Building Enclosure Council, and as Secretary and Board member of the Texas Military Forces Museum Foundation.

Matt Ryan, Hon. AIA
Matt Ryan, Hon. AIA

As Allensworth’s senior attorney, Matt Ryan’s work centers on management of our construction law firm, industry outreach, and above all, providing guidance to clients from a high-level, strategic perspective. But if you ask him what he does, his response is simply “I help people solve their problems.” Relationships are the driving force in how he practices law, and this is the reason his clients trust him to handle their most sensitive issues.
An incurable extrovert who will never turn down a conversation, Matt is also the firm’s partner in charge of industry outreach—and his own service record demonstrates his longstanding commitment to the field. A former Chair of the Austin and State Bar of Texas Construction Law Sections, Matt has served as an Adjunct Professor of Construction Law and Construction Litigation at the University of Texas School of Law since 2006, and he is a Steering Committee Member of the American Bar Association’s Forum on Construction Law (Division 3 – Design). Above all, he is particularly proud of his honorary membership in AIA Austin, where he served on the Board of Directors for eleven consecutive years, making many friends along the way.

Sarah Satterlee
Sarah Satterlee, AIA

Sarah Satterlee currently serves as Director of Architecture and Site Development for Mobile Loaves & Fishes at Community First! Village, a 51-acre (and growing) permanent supportive housing community for formerly chronically homeless in Austin, TX. In this role, she directs master plan development as the village continues to expand, as well as all design and construction of homes and community buildings. Sarah cares passionately about crafting a built environment that cultivates strong community living, especially for people with unique needs and less access to design services. Sarah previously practiced architecture in her hometown of New Orleans, contributing to residential and commercial projects throughout the city, as well as several community and social outreach focused design/build projects with the Small Center for Collaborative Design. Sarah is a licensed architect and holds a BS from Baylor University and an M.Arch from Tulane University.

Stephanie Saulmon, PLA, ASLA
Native Austinite Stephanie Saulmon studied landscape architecture in New York City, where she lived for 17 years. At the Central Park Conservancy she oversaw renovations of historic playgrounds, archaeologically significant landscapes, and ecological restorations. Stephanie returned to her hometown in 2015, with a new interest in the challenges cities face as they grow.  She promotes the preservation and integration of local ecologies, hydrologic systems, and urban green spaces. She is also passionate about the development of dynamic play environments that engage kids and adults in the natural world. Stephanie oversaw the construction of Kingsbury Commons at Pease Park and is currently working on the Quinta Mazatlan World Birding Center in McAllen, the Campsite at Shield Ranch, and the Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center on Lady Bird Lake.

Virna Scharunovych
Bio coming soon.

 Isaac Small
Isaac Small, BIM Manager
| Associate at Architectural Engineers Collaborative
“I've been passionate about architecture my entire life, and have always wanted to be a part of the process of building. My interest in design, engineering, and technology met at the crossroads of Building Information Modeling.”
Jarrod Sterzinger, AIA, LEED AP | Director of Architecture at O'Connell Robertson
Jarrod’s love of architecture stems from a life-long engagement in education and an appreciation of art, science, math, and computing. Joining O’Connell Robertson for the opportunity to help craft spaces for educational and healthcare facilities, he recently celebrated 14 years with the Firm. As Director of Architecture, he leads the architectural vision for the Firm across all project types, and fosters the design process, ensuring that quality and service exceeds client expectations. Jarrod also serves as O’Connell Robertson’s Education Practice Leader providing knowledge and expertise on 21st century learning environments and a facility’s impact on student and teacher success. One of his most memorable projects with the Firm is Success High School. This project afforded Jarrod a distinct opportunity to work closely with our client and a unique student population to create a school that reflects their values and needs in a solution designed to support a path for achievement and innovative 21st century learning environment.

Jim Susman, FAIA
Jim Susman, FAIA
| Principal at STG Design
Jim is a Founder and Principal at STG Design, an architecture, interiors, and planning firm with offices in Austin and Nashville. As the firm’s director in complex office and corporate campus projects, he has provided team leadership on numerous corporate campus and mixed-use projects for clients such as Dell, Oracle, Google and Seaholm. Jim has contributed to the changing landscape of Austin’s business community, involved directly in the Urban Land Institute, the Downtown Austin Alliance and the AIA at city and state levels.

Paul Suttles, AIA | Associate at STG Design
Paul is an Associate at STG Design, possessing experience working on all project types ranging from mixed-use developments, large corporate campuses to interior finish-outs for clients such as Hunt Companies, Oracle and American Campus Communities. His broad experience gives him a greater understanding of how to effectively design a project from the inside out. Paul spends his free time doing woodworking and takes inspiration from nature, traveling, history and culture.

Alexer Taganas
Alexer Taganas, AIA | Rhode Partners
Alexer is an architect with a diverse portfolio of work, ranging from custom residential to restaurant and hospitality to signature high rise towers. With over ten years of experience, he has prviously worked at locally distinguished firms of Michael Hsu Office of Architecture and Webber + Studio, as well as the internationally renowned office of Sauerbrunch Hutton in Berlin. Alexer earned a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from Manhattan College and a Master of Architecture from The University of Texas at Austin.

Bobby Tait
Bobby Tate, AIA LEED AP
| Rhode Partners
Through his experience managing complex, large scale commercial projects, Bobby Tait has developed an organized methodology to design with a close attention to detail. His knowledge and experience coupled with a collaborative and coordinated approach affords Bobby the ability to manage all aspects of a project from conceptual design through substantial completion.

Charles K. Thompson
Charles K. Thompson, FAIA, CLD
| Principal at ARCHILLUME
Charles Thompson, Principal of ARCHILLUME, is a Fellow in the AIA and an interior designer. He is a professional member of the International Association of Lighting Designers and a member of the Illuminating Engineering Society. In 2019, Charles became the 65th lighting designer in the world to be recognized with CERTIFIED LIGHTING DESIGN credentials. As founder of ARCHILLUME LIGHTING DESIGN, INC. in 1985, Charles has little recollection of what he did before then.  Charles' passions include family, travel, photography and Harley-Davidsons. 

Wendy Dunnam Tita, FAIA
Wendy Dunnam Tita, FAIA, IIDA, LEED AP
| Principal at Page
As an architect, Wendy Dunnam Tita champions the conversation between design, craft, and people to advance and nurture this essential collaboration, and to enrich the human experience of architecture and its making. For more than two decades, Dunnam Tita has sought to integrate innovation, sustainability, and forward-thinking strategy with exceptional design quality. She is a Page Principal, Design Director and one of the firm’s market leaders for the Housing and Hospitality market sector.  Wendy is an AIA Fellow, former AIA Austin Board President, and has served the City of Austin on the Downtown Commission, and Cultural Trust Advisory Committee. She is the 2022 President-elect of Pease Park Conservancy.

Charles Upshaw
Charles Upshaw, PhD
| Lead Engineer, Positive Energy
Charles Upshaw is Lead Engineer at Positive Energy where he leads the Performance Consulting department and overseeing back-up and off-grid energy system design, on-site water system design, and building simulation.   Prior to joining Positive Energy in Summer 2018, he was a Program Manager at UT’s Austin Technology Incubator (ATI).  At ATI, Charles was ‘Lead Instigator’ of the Water RIOT (Water Resiliency with Internet of Things) program, an Economic Development Agency-funded effort to kick-start a ‘smart water’ startup ecosystem in Texas.   Charles Upshaw received his PhD in mechanical engineering from the University of Texas where he spent over eight years in various research positions in the Webber Energy Group.  Charles’ research focused on modeling energy and water flows in the built environment with a multi-disciplinary systems-level approach.  

Michele L. Van Hyfte
Michele L. Van Hyfte, AIA, LEED AP BD+C
| Vice President, Urban Design, Downtown Austin Alliance
As Vice President of Urban Design for the Downtown Austin Alliance, Michele leads urban design, planning, economic and real estate development initiatives that advance downtown as the thriving center of the region. She provides strategic leadership and professional expertise to the organization in architecture, urban design, sustainability, real estate development and economic development. She also leads the organization’s advocacy strategies including the land development code and related regulations. She is a Registered Architect and Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Accredited Professional with 25 years of experience. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Center for Maximum Potential Building Systems, the Advisory Council for ULI Austin and previously served on the AIA Austin Board as an officer, as Advocacy Commissioner and received the John Nyfeler Award for Community Service.

Lorena Vieyra
Lorena Vieyra, Assoc. AIA

Drawing inspiration from vast international experience, award-winning architect Lorena Vieyra brings more than 20 years of residential and commercial experience to her firm, Vieyra Arquitectos, in México City. The firm has designed more than 50 projects varying in scale and typology and provides architectural, interior design, furniture curation, and project management services. Each project led by Vieyra Arquitectos is developed with unique concepts custom-tailored to client needs. The firm is defined by its distinguished architectural style and superior material selection for upscale clients who expect impeccable spaces. Projects have been developed across the United States and in Mexico in Mexico City, Guadalajara, Isla Mujeres, Puerto Vallarta, Los Cabos, Acapulco, Valle de Bravo, and Tepoztlán. Named Architectural Digest magazine’s 2020 Interior Designer of the Year, Vieyra has received numerous accolades, including the 2021 Noldi Schreck Award and the 2019 Firenze Entremuros Award—both recognizing her residential interior design work. She has participated in renowned design exhibitions in Mexico City, including Design Week Mexico, Zona MACO, Mexican Museum of Design MUMEDI, Fine Arts, Museum of Anthropology and History, among others. Vieyra brings a global perspective from her time at the renowned Atellier Mendini studio, having the opportunity to participate in international level projects from Naples to Hannover Germany. She completed her studies at the Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City and the Instituto Europeo di Design in Milano, Italy.

Miguel Walker
Miguel Walker

I was born and raised a son of the Texas high plains, where I learned how to mend fences with the best (and worst) of the remaining cowboys. When it came time to matriculate, I found a new home at one of the state's finest research universities, Texas State University, where I studied English, Archaeology, Philosophy, and Art. I've worked in a robotics laboratory, in the tech industry, in the music industry, and I am currently building my career in the building science field. I have experience helping organizations develop multi-market presences, including building international operations. I'm the director of many things at Positive Energy and I am co-creator/producer of The Building Science Podcast. I am also a co-founder of The Humid Climate Conference, a board member of the Austin chapter of Passive House Alliance U.S., former chair of the AIA Austin Committee On The Environment, a board member of the Texas Society of Architects Sustainability Task Force, as well as one of the co-founders of The Building Science Philosophical Society. I compose and record my own music and produce music for other artists. The intersection of creative work and advocacy has always been important to me and has led to the ever important partnership between myself and the ecology-focused organization, Project Coyote, where I serve in their “Artists For Wild Nature” program. I have been a guest speaker at the Passive House Northwest Conference, The AIA Austin Design Excellence Conference, The ATX Building Performance Conference, as well for architecture departments at The University of Texas, and Texas Tech University, the industrial engineering department at The University of Rhode Island, and the English department at my alma mater, Texas State University. I am an avid meditator, runner, reader, and a proud progressive Texan. I also speak Spanish.

Darrell Westcott, AIA
As an Associate Principal at STG Design, Darrell has worked on a variety of project types ranging in size from 40,000 square foot office buildings to 500,000 square foot corporate campuses for clients such as Oracle, Nabors Industries and FNC. With over a decade of experience, he is the Market Sector Leader for STG’s Commercial Practice Group. Always looking to keep at the forefront design, Darrell enjoys investigating new tools and technologies to help push the limits of design.

Channing Wilson
Channing is a Native Texan, born and raised in the small, German town of Boerne, TX, and grew up around construction with her grandfather’s paving company and dad’s large equipment rental business. She graduated with honors from the University of Texas at San Antonio and has been working in the building industry for nearly 10 years.
She has worked as an Architectural Consultant for Sierra Pacific Windows for the past 6 years, serving the South Texas market; prior to that, she worked for a local millwork company specializing in lumber, woodworking, building materials & hardware, where she discovered that she had an enthusiasm for the building and design industry. Professional passions include assisting clients with details and design, promoting economic growth within the construction industry, and providing education on how we can use sustainable and natural resources in our buildings.
Channing enjoys singing in the Praise and Worship band at church and can be found at the lake most summer weekends with her husband and children.

Daniel Woodroffe
Daniel Woodroffe, PLA

Daniel Woodroffe has practiced landscape architecture internationally for over two decades. Throughout his career, he has collaborated and led diverse design teams to deliver a variety of urban transformations including: dynamic civic spaces, innovative corporate campuses, bespoke hospitality spaces, sustainable green roofs, resilient mixed-use developments and more. His design philosophy blends urban ecology, green infrastructure strategies and innovation with collaboration to deliver spaces that exemplify craft and attention to detail while promoting an agenda of social and environmental change. Through the efforts of his firm, dwg., he has helped shape the city of Austin throughout its greatest period of change. He has developed strong and diverse relationships throughout this process, exposing him to a range of perspectives, contributing to his expertise in the subject matter. Daniel is an Austin Business Journal 40 Under 40 Award for Design & Architecture winner and he is a current board member with AIA Austin and The Cultural Landscape Foundations' Stewardship Council. He previously served as the chair of the ASLA Central Texas Chapter, the Austin Parks Foundation, the Downtown Austin Alliance and the Waterfront Planning and Advisory Board.  Daniel has been recognized for his commitment to community service in 2018 from the SMPS and from ASLA in 2014.

Eileen Wright, AIA
Eileen is a Principal at STG Design, a licensed architect and interior designer with over a decade of industry experience, focused on multi-family developments and workplace design. She is adept at managing internal and consultant teams, as well as on-going client relationships including Oracle and Dell. Eileen enjoys working with repeat clients, getting to know them and how they work in order to make their projects better. 

Beth Zetzman
Beth Zetzman, PE
| Senior Engineer at Architectural Engineers Collaborative
"As a new engineer, everything is exciting and new! However, something interesting I've realized recently is how much easier it is to solve a problem when you have multiple perspectives. In the back of your mind, you have a bird's-eye view of the whole project, while the majority of your work is spent on the smaller details that make it all come together."

The AIA Austin Design Excellence Conference delivers dynamic content through renowned keynote speakers, inspiring breakout sessions, and local project tours, all focused on sustainability, resiliency, and inclusive design through the lens of AIA's Framework for Design Excellence. Conference attendees can earn 18+ LUs over the three-day conference, fulfilling HSW and ADA annual requirements for TBAE licensure and AIA membership.

Attendees can choose either an in-person or a virtual ticket. The conference will be held at the Central Library on Thursday & Friday, August 25-26 or virtually through the conference's online platform. Both tickets include four virtual sessions on the morning of Wednesday, August 24, and onsiteproject tours that afternoon which will available as add-ons to your registration. 

In-person Tours
A few in-person tours will be offered at an extra cost, and space will be limited. Tours will only be accessible with the purchase of the tour ticket, and can be purchased in addition to the conference registration or as a stand-alone event.

Students Attend Free!

If you are a student interested in attending the conference, please email (from your school email address if possible) with your first and last name, school name, student ID, and a breif statement describing your interest in attending. 

Continuing Education Requirements

AIA measures continuing education in learning units (LUs). One hour of continuing education earns one LU. AIA Architect members are required to complete 18 LUs each calendar year. Of those 18 LUs, 12 must be in Health, Safety, and Welfare (HSW) topics. In order to maintain your license in the state of Texas, all registered architects (this includes practicing Emeritus members) must complete at least 12 Continuing Education Program Hours (CEPH) per calendar year. More information can be found on the TBAE website.


Thank you to our sponsors!

Keynote Sponsors:

Andersen Windows & Doors



Encotech Engineering Consultants


Lanyard Sponsor:


Gift Sponsor:

Rogers-O'Brien Construction

Tour Sponsor:

Austin Commercial

Break Sponsors:

Austin Energy Green Building

Foursquare Commercial

Foursquare Builders

Premium Exhibitors:

Berdoll Sawmill


Sierra Pacific Windows



Acme Brick


American Constructors

Arizona Tile

Builders FirstSource


Exclusive Windows & Doors of Austin


Johnson Equipment Company

Lamboo Technologies LLC

The Mendicant Architect, LLC

Miller Imaging & Digital Solutions

Southwest Solutions Group, Inc.

Texas Fenestration, Inc.

Thomas Printworks



Learn about sponsorship opportunities and contact Annissa to sign up or with questions.