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40 Under 40 class of 2022 winners: Meet the architects

40 Under 40

40 Under 40 class of 2022 winners: Meet the architects

Of the up-and-coming AEC professionals to be named 40 Under 40 class of 2022 winners by the editors of Building Design+Construction, 22 make their living in the architecture profession.


By ROBERT CASSIDY, JOHN CAULFIELD, QUINN PURCELL, DAVID BARISTA | November 1, 2022
Pictured: 2022 40 Under 40 winner Gerardo Gandy, Assoc. AIA, AIGA, Associate and Brand Experience Practice Area Leader with Gensler, based in the firm's Austin, Texas, office.
Pictured: 2022 40 Under 40 winner Gerardo Gandy, Assoc. AIA, AIGA, Associate and Brand Experience Practice Area Leader with Gensler, based in the firm's Austin, Texas, office.

Last week, the editors of Building Design+Construction named the winners of the 17th Annual 40 Under 40 competition. Of the up-and-coming AEC professionals to be named to the class of 2022, 22 make their living in the architecture profession. Meet the architects below. 

View the entire 40 Under 40 Class of 2022. Check out the 40 Under 40 class of 2021 and 40 Under 40 class of 2020

Interested in submitting a candidate for the 2023 40 Under 40 awards? The entry materials will be posted at https://www.bdcnetwork.com/bdc-awards-programs in early February 2023. Reminders will be posted regularly in the BD+C Daily 5 newsletter. Sign up for our free BD+C Daily 5 daily newsletter

 

MEET THE ARCHITECTS - 40 UNDER 40 CLASS OF 2022
 

 

 

ENCLOSURE EXPERT 

Janna L. Alampi, AIA, Principal Architect and Owner, EPICx Studio, BD+C 40 Under 40 Class of 2022 winner

Janna L. Alampi, AIA, NCARB, BECxP, CxA+BE, CABS, CPHC
Principal Architect and Owner
EPICx Studio
Ankeny, Iowa

AGE: 39

EDUCATION
Bachelor of Architecture, Iowa State University

ACCOMPLISHMENTS 
Launched firm at age 34, and has completed 100+ projects

One of only two females in Iowa to be awarded Building Enclosure certifications from the University of Wisconsin-Madison

The only female in Iowa who is a PHIUS-certified Passive House consultant, and the only person in Iowa who is an air barrier specialist certified by the Air Barrier Association of America

Recognized as a Citizen Architect by AIA Iowa for multiple years (2017, 2019, 2020, 2021)

EXTRACURRICULARS 
Founder and past chair of the Building Enclosure Council of Iowa

Currently serves on the National Institute of Building Sciences’ Building Enclosure Council (BEC) National

Participated in the Education and Program Committee for Iowa Women in Architecture

Participated in the Building Enclosure Commissioning Train the trainer Workshop held at Iowa State University

OFF THE CLOCK
Supporter and fundraisers for Youth Emergency Services and Shelter

Mentored high school students in the Waukee Aspiring Professional Experience program

She and her husband Frank co-own a photography business called Stardust Photo

Avid reader, especially the Dragonlance fantasy shared-universe novels

SECRET LIFE 
Grandfather played accordion with The Mom and Dads, a western-style musical group that earned 10 gold records and three platinum records

WHAT IS THE BEST CAREER OR BUSINESS ADVICE YOU HAVE EVER RECEIVED?
“Think about what needs to be done, make that your calling, and don’t limit yourself with labels like ‘architect’ or ‘designer.’ One of my college professors, Thomas Leslie, gave a commencement speech to a graduating B.Arch class at Iowa State University, and that particular advice stuck with me. I started my career traditionally as an architect, and this was a terrific reminder to continue my own path to help design a better world.”

WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR SINGLE BIGGEST PROFESSIONAL ACHIEVEMENT SO FAR?
Janna’s greatest professional accomplishment so far has been the founding the Building Enclosure Council of Iowa in 2016. But she also embraces work-life balance and says being a mother of four young children is an equal achievement. (She was eight months pregnant with her third child when she started her architecture firm.) 

 

 

 

 

SELF-FULFILLED FOODIE

Brent Amos, AIA, LEED AP, Principal, Cooper Carry BD+C 40 Under 40 class of 2022

Brent Amos, AIA, LEED AP
Principal
Cooper Carry
Alexandria, Va.

AGE: 39

EDUCATION
Master of Business Administration, Johns Hopkins University

Bachelor of Architecture, Auburn University

ACCOMPLISHMENTS
Became a partner at his firm at the age of 33, and is one of the youngest Principals in the firm’s history

Project recognized for “Best in Show” design with AIA PV’s 2021 Excellence in Design award

Among Brent’s awards, the Krone Engineered Biosystems Building at the Georgia Institute of Technology earned a Design Merit Award from the American Institute of Architects

EXTRACURRICULAR
Previously served on the Board of Directors for AIA Atlanta, was leader of AIA Atlanta’s Young Architects Forum (YAF) establishing several new programs that continue nearly ten years later, and was a member of ULI DC’s Young Leadership program

Encourages clients to embrace innovative technologies, such as virtual reality and unique design schemes that simplify processes and advance learning capabilities

Guest lectures at several universities including Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech

Mentored and advised students during a Leadership Development Expedition in Belize, applying his leadership skills to real-life scenarios outside his typical firm-leadership responsibilities

OFF THE CLOCK
Enjoys cooking, especially American regional barbeque. “Follow the smell of burning hickory to find me!”

Friday nights with loud record-playing music and a whiskey

Woodworking to exercise his passion for design and craftsmanship

SECRET LIFE
“Many people are surprised to learn that I’m not on social media.”

Brent’s parents were a part of the original crew that launched CNN. His late father was the mastermind behind Headline News, and the idea of turning on the news and getting a rundown of the headlines in the first five minutes was his brainchild. (Brent didn’t believe the stories until his wife found the launch video, in which his father was interviewed about the concept.)

WHAT IS THE BEST CAREER OR BUSINESS ADVICE YOU HAVE EVER RECEIVED?
Rick, a former colleague and colorful Senior Project Manager for 14 years until he retired, said: “People don’t hire you for your abilities or expertise, they hire you for you.” As a self-diagnosed extrovert, it’s also hard for Brent to adhere to Rick’s second piece of advice: “Listen more than you speak.”

WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR SINGLE BIGGEST PROFESSIONAL ACHIEVEMENT SO FAR?
“It is hard to focus on a single achievement as there have been so many great ones. From completing my first project, getting licensed, serving as lead on my first project and seeing it through from start to finish, project design awards, and so on, I equate my achievements to the professional growth and development I’ve made over the years. The Latin phrase ‘Sic Transit Gloria’ (all glory fades) resonates with me. When one achievement is met, you must work towards the next. My most significant achievement throughout my career was becoming a partner at my firm at the age of 33. That promotion validated years of focused hard work and thought leadership.” 

 

 

 

 

MARVELOUS MENTOR

Adaeze Cadet, AIA, NOMA, NCARB, LEED AP BD+C, Design Principal, HOK, BD+C 40 Under 40 Class of 2022 winner

Adaeze Cadet, AIA, NOMA, NCARB, LEED AP BD+C
Design Principal
HOK
Los Angeles, Calif.

AGE: 39

EDUCATION
Master of Architecture, Prairie View A&M University

Bachelor of Architecture, Prairie View A&M University

ACCOMPLISHMENTS
Joined HOK as Design Principal for the LA office in 2021; one of only 11 design principals in HOK’s 1,700-person global firm, and the first female and first BIPOC design principal

One of the four partners leading the LA office

NCARB member (Black women comprise only 0.4% of licensed architects in the U.S.)

At HKS (2005-2021), named Design Director at age 37 and Principal at 38; led design for HKS’s Los Angeles hospitality practice

Founding member, HKS Xchange Committee, which selects the firm’s Xchange Fellows, HKS J.E.D.I. Council, HKS LA Core Rep Team, and HKS LA Design Fellowship

EXTRACURRICULAR
Mentor, ACE Mentorship Program, USC Architecture Guild, and Cal State University Long Beach interior design class

USC Architecture Guild and First 500 board member

OFF THE CLOCK
Enjoys sewing, especially recreating “Beyoncé’s amazing costumes”

SECRET LIFE
Has seen every Marvel movie at least two times – “Black Panther” is her “absolute favorite”

As a child, she met Dick Gregory and Mohammad Ali when they visited her home; her mother worked with them in the civil rights movement

She’s a twin, but her parents didn’t know it until they were born

WHAT IS THE BEST CAREER OR BUSINESS ADVICE YOU HAVE EVER RECEIVED?
“My mother would always say, The operative word is “through.” Meaning that no matter what obstacles came my way, I knew I would get through. That helped me get through the draining architecture studio classes, around naysayers who couldn’t see a black woman as a design leader, and through complex challenges to design the best solutions for my clients.”

WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR SINGLE BIGGEST PROFESSIONAL ACHIEVEMENT SO FAR?
“My biggest professional achievement is building the knowledge and the skills to grow in my career so that I can be a role model and mentor for aspiring architects. We design for diverse populations in various neighborhoods so it’s imperative to cultivate more women and BIPOC students and emerging professionals to become architects so that their point of view can be incorporated into the design of the built environment.” 

 

 

 

 

ENGAGING MENTOR, CREATIVE THINKER

Eduardo Castañeda, Assoc. AIA, LEED GA, Senior Associate, CallisonRTKL, BD+C 40 Under 40 Class of 2022 winner

Eduardo Castañeda, Assoc. AIA, LEED GA
Senior Associate
CallisonRTKL
Dallas, Texas

AGE: 34

EDUCATION
Master of Architecture, University of Texas Arlington

Bachelor of Science, Architecture, University of Texas Arlington

ACCOMPLISHMENTS
AIA National Associate Award (2020)

Led the conceptual design (approved by the Atlanta City Council) of the Northside Drive pedestrian bridge, linking the Vine City MARTA station to Mercedes-Benz Stadium

Led the design for Block 4, in Busan, South Korea: three high-performance residential towers (39 to 48 stories) that respond to the local climate and context of the adjacent park

Designer for the exterior of the 1,027,000-sm hyperconnected microcities mall that encompasses a ski slope, retail shops, hotel, restaurants, and entertainment district in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

CBRE Urban Photography of the Year – Americas Winner (2019)

Member, CRTKL Social Action Committee

EXTRACURRICULAR
President, AIAS Chapter, UT Arlington – led effort to establish a seat on the AIA Dallas board for UTA

Chair, Latinos in Architecture (LiA), Dallas/Fort Worth chapter

Organized a clay shoot that raised $50,000 toward an endowment for LiA scholarships

Chair, Ken Roberts Memorial Delineation Competition, the world’s longest-running architectural competition

Chair, Career Building Committee, Texas Society of Architects

OFF THE CLOCK
Collects and creates contemporary art

SECRET LIFE
Lead designer and team captain for Fetch House, a doghouse made from 1,000 3D-printed tennis balls (auctioned for $1,600 for SPCA of Texas)

His father helped build Dallas’s Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center, designed by I.M. Pei 

WHAT IS THE BEST CAREER OR BUSINESS ADVICE YOU HAVE EVER RECEIVED?
“In 2014, I recruited six students to attend Advocacy Day in Austin alongside >300 members of the Texas Society of Architects. On Advocacy Day, TSA members converge on the Capitol to visit with legislators and advocate for the profession and the built environment. One of the TSA member architects told me, I encourage you as a young leader to keep yourself engaged, continuously learn from one another, and create opportunities for educational, social, and architectural ideas to activate your workplaces and communities. As a minority in the field of architecture it is important for me to embody a driven passion toward addressing and advocating through mentorship and design excellence.”

WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR SINGLE BIGGEST PROFESSIONAL ACHIEVEMENT SO FAR?
“My contributions to the profession and the community that will continue to help eliminate the barriers for minorities trying to enter the profession, making diversity and inclusion commonplace in the practice of architecture. As a minority in the field of architecture, it is important for me to embody a driven passion toward addressing and advocating through mentorship and design excellence.”

 

 

 

 

HOPEFUL HISTORIAN

Christina Dikas, Associate Principal, Senior Architectural Historian, Page & Turnbull, BD+C 40 Under 40 Class of 2022 winner

Christina Dikas
Associate Principal, Senior Architectural Historian
Page & Turnbull
San Francisco, Calif.

AGE: 39

EDUCATION
Master of Architectural History, Certificate in Historic Preservation, University of Virginia

Bachelor of Arts, Sociology, University of California

ACCOMPLISHMENTS
Director of Page & Turnbull’s Cultural Resources Planning & Research Studio

Has contributed heavily to Page & Turnbull’s large-scale survey projects, including the City of San Francisco’s South of Market (SOMA) Area Plan Historic Resource Survey of over 1,100 properties

EXTRACURRICULAR
Nominated and selected as a Trustee for the California Preservation Foundation (CPF), the state’s non-profit advocacy and education organization, in 2018

Received the 2012 San Diego Historical Resources Board Excellence for Cultural Diversity Award

OFF THE CLOCK
Besides being in nature, Christina loves photography, and is learning how to use a large-format film camera

For the last two years, Christina has been authoring a young adult historical fiction novel. At 465 hours (and counting), her second draft is in the works and she hopes to get it published in the next five years

SECRET LIFE
Christina used to couchsurf while traveling abroad. Not only would her hosts share a couch (or inflatable mattress) to sleep on, but also their time. “I visited a pirate-themed bar in Quebec, went to a backyard barbeque with locals in Trieste, Italy, and enjoyed a food and wine festival at Sacre Coeur in Paris with my hosts. It was an invaluable way to understand places through people who lived there.”

Growing up, Christina had taken an interest in lighthouses and their histories about the people who tended them. “I discovered architectural history classes, and my early interest in lighthouses expanded to many types of buildings.”

WHAT IS THE BEST CAREER OR BUSINESS ADVICE YOU HAVE EVER RECEIVED?
“As I have progressed in my career, my trajectory has been like many—I no longer do all the ‘on the ground’ work that I enjoyed in my earlier years. A few years ago, I received a piece of advice from a career and life coach, which was to find ways to creatively incorporate into my life what I was starting to miss. Since then, I’ve tried to reserve time for myself to contribute to certain interesting projects beyond project management. This advice also led to my current passion project, a historical fiction novel, for which I’ve been able to indulge many hours of time into all the historical research I want.”

WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR SINGLE BIGGEST PROFESSIONAL ACHIEVEMENT SO FAR?
“It was an honor to be nominated and selected as a Trustee for the California Preservation Foundation (CPF), the state’s non-profit advocacy and education organization, in 2018. It has been especially rewarding to have co-chaired the annual conference and to develop educational workshops for my professional colleagues and peers.”

 

 

 

 

WORKPLACE FUTURIST 

Elizabeth Fallon, AIA, Project Architect, Associate, HKS, BD+C 40 Under 40 Class of 2022 winner

Elizabeth Fallon, AIA
Project Architect, Associate
HKS
Chicago, Ill.

AGE: 35

EDUCATION
Master of Science, Architecture and Urban Design, Columbia University

Bachelor of Architecture, Syracuse University

ACCOMPLISHMENTS
Helps lead HKS’s Commercial Interiors practice

Partners in the execution of the firm’s federal design-build projects

Led the development of the firm’s internal flexible work policy, FWx (Flexible Work Experience), co-authoring the policy for the firm’s future strategic direction

Led the HKS entries for “Equality Can’t Wait” Competition (2021) | “Communities of Care” with CADRE & Atlas of Care and “Breaking Bias in Architecture" with The Architect’s Foundation & the Center for WorkLife Law

Co-author of HKS’s three-part “Future of Work” research series

At Gensler, led the Consumer Goods Workplace Practice, 2015-2020

EXTRACURRICULAR
Represented HKS at the Target Gender Equity Program, a function of the UN Global Compact

OFF THE CLOCK
Avid baker (specialty: puff pastry) and knitter (cables and colorwork)

SECRET LIFE
Loves visiting Walt Disney World: “I appreciate witnessing firsthand what a space and place can do to inspire such joy in people.”

Her paternal grandfather, Howard Fallon, was a paratrooper in the 101st Airborne and jumped on D-Day as part of the Normandy invasion. He was later shot down in Holland, survived, and was awarded the Purple Heart

WHAT IS THE BEST CAREER OR BUSINESS ADVICE YOU HAVE EVER RECEIVED?
“My favorite professor at Syracuse, the late Bruce Abbey, said that the value of architectural education was not in the technical or design aspects, but how we trained our brains to work. We saw problems and solutions differently than others, and we should never lose sight of that. He also advised his students to embrace discomfort. If you were ever feeling too comfortable in a job or a task, something was wrong. He encouraged us to continuously challenge ourselves—something I try to live by every day.”

WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR SINGLE BIGGEST PROFESSIONAL ACHIEVEMENT SO FAR?
“I was honored and humbled when I was asked to help lead the development HKS’ internal flexible work policy in the Spring of 2020. I had just arrived at HKS in February and to be recognized for my expertise in an area I am so passionate about was something I was incredibly proud of. Two and a half years later we have accomplished a lot, and yet still have a lot of work to do! Crafting a thoughtful, progressive approach to flexible work for the creative and collaborative design profession is a big challenge.”

 

 

 

 

AUSTIN ARCHITECT

Gerardo Gandy, Assoc. AIA, AIGA, Associate, Brand Experience Practice Area Leader, Gensler, BD+C 40 Under 40 Class of 2022 winner

Gerardo Gandy, Assoc. AIA, AIGA
Associate, Brand Experience Practice Area Leader
Gensler
Austin, Texas

AGE: 35

EDUCATION
Master of Architecture, Rhode Island School of Design

Studies in Mesoamerican Architecture, Brown University

ACCOMPLISHMENTS
Named as AIA Austin’s Associate Member of the Year in 2018 for “best exemplifying the highest qualities of leadership and unparalleled dedication to the AIA Austin Chapter, the community, and the profession of architecture.”

Received the 2020 Austin Under 40 Award in the Category of Architecture, Engineering, and Construction

Established the ACE Mentor Program of Austin to inspire young minds to pursue careers in architecture and design

EXTRACURRICULAR
Gerardo led the creation of Amazing Cities, a coloring book created using sketches and drawings of past and present Gensler projects

Serves on the Board of Advisors for Austin Design Week, bringing together creatives across disciplines and across Austin to share their talents, projects, ideas, and workspaces while inviting in the larger community

OFF THE CLOCK
Gerardo enjoys spending time with his French Bulldog, Pritzker (named after the Architectural Prize), browsing art galleries for design inspiration, and antique shopping with his father

He also spends his time video-chatting his mother at Whole Foods for live grocery recommendations, and has an “unhealthy obsession with the entire Taylor Swift discography.”

SECRET LIFE
His great-great-grandfather was José Venustiano Carranza, the 44th President of Mexico (1917-1920). As a leader in the Mexican Civil War following the overthrow of the dictator Porfirio Díaz, he was elected as the first president of the new Mexican Republic

WHAT IS THE BEST CAREER OR BUSINESS ADVICE YOU HAVE EVER RECEIVED?
“Measure twice, cut once.”

WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR SINGLE BIGGEST PROFESSIONAL ACHIEVEMENT SO FAR?
“In 2015, I established the ACE Mentor Program of Austin to inspire young minds to pursue careers in architecture and design. Prior to the founding of the local affiliate, Austin city lacked a comprehensive outreach program aimed at engaging high school students interested in the building industry. Serving as the founding Chairman for ACE Austin, I had the opportunity to see the program transform from a simple idea into one of Austin’s leading youth mentoring programs. Throughout the years, ACE Austin has impacted the lives of nearly 500 area students, providing more than 3,500 hours of mentorship annually and awarding more than $150,000 in scholarships and awards.”

 

 

 

 

COMMUNITY-MINDED DESIGN STAR

Michael I. Howard, AIA, ASLA, AICP, Principal, Director of Planning & Interiors, Parkhill, BD+C 40 Under 40 Class of 2022 winner

Michael I. Howard, AIA, ASLA, AICP
Principal, Director of Planning & Interiors
Parkhill
Frisco, Texas

AGE: 39

EDUCATION
Master of Landscape Architecture, Texas Tech University

Bachelor of Science, Architecture, Texas Tech University

ACCOMPLISHMENTS
Started as a CAD draftsman at Parkhill in 2007; named youngest principal and partner at age 36

Holds licenses in architecture and landscape architecture and certification as a city planner

Opened Parkhill’s Frisco, Texas, office in 2013; now leads a staff of >50

Graduate, Leadership Frisco (Frisco Chamber of Commerce); chair of curriculum, Leadership Frisco Advisory Council. Helped raise >$20,000 toward the construction of the Frisco Community Garden

EXTRACURRICULAR
Member, Board of Adjustment and Construction Board of Appeals, City of Frisco, Texas

Member, Board of Directors, Frisco Family Services (social services nonprofit); chair, FFS Mayor’s Golf Classic planning committee

Committee chair, Focus on Frisco

Committee chair, Frisco Young Professionals (2017-19)

OFF THE CLOCK
Drummer in an ’80s rock cover band, Mr. Tonight. “We take your favorite songs from the ’80s and make them sound like they were written by Metallica.”

Building a getaway in the woods with his wife; they call it their “YOLO cabin”

Youth soccer coach

SECRET LIFE
Played drums for the Court Jesters, Texas Tech basketball’s pep band

His grandfather, a tile contractor, worked on the Bacardi Building, in Miami, known for its detailed exterior tile mosaic mural. An icon of the mid-century International style, it is on the National Register of Historic Places. “I display a photo of the building in my office.”

WHAT IS THE BEST CAREER OR BUSINESS ADVICE YOU HAVE EVER RECEIVED?
“In college I heard the comedian Steve Martin talking about what it takes to be successful. His advice: ‘Be so good they can’t ignore you.’ This resonated with me and reminded me to focus on continuous learning and getting better at my craft each day.”

WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR SINGLE BIGGEST PROFESSIONAL ACHIEVEMENT SO FAR?
“I am most proud of the projects completed in my own community, including a senior center, school natatorium, and an office building for a local nonprofit organization. It is incredibly rewarding to know that my work contributes to shaping the future of my community.”  

 

 

 

 

ADVENTUROUS ARCHITECT

Amy Karn, AIA, NCARB, CDT, Senior Project Architect, HMC Architects, BD+C 40 Under 40 Class of 2022 winner

Amy Karn, AIA, NCARB, CDT
Senior Project Architect
HMC Architects
Ontario, Calif.

AGE: 38

EDUCATION
Bachelor of Architecture, University of Southern California

ACCOMPLISHMENTS
Lead technical architect, Cuyamaca College Student Services building

Senior project architect on major HMC education projects: Cal State University Fullerton Housing Expansion, Mira Costa College Health and Wellness Hub, Mt. San Antonio College Athletics Complex, and Palomar Community College Fallbrook Education Center

Member, HMC DEI Committee and HMC Emerging Leaders Forum

Created HMC’s continuing education program, “So You Want to Be an Architect,” to increase peer mentorship and help fill the staffing gaps in the AEC sector

Had her own firm, Amy Braun Architects (2014-2019)

EXTRACURRICULAR
President, AIA Inland California

OFF THE CLOCK
Enjoys needlework; working on a self-designed piece that portrays Coccinelle, a Parisian trans woman actress from the 1950s and 60s

Oil painter, stretches and preps the canvas herself; last piece (for her twin sister) was 48x60 inches

SECRET LIFE
Avid motorcyclist; takes a two-week road trip on her 2018 Harley-Davidson Road Glide every year, once going from Ontario, Calif., to Houston and back on side roads

Learned freehand drawing in junior high. “I still use freehand and constructed perspective drawing nearly every day in my work.”

WHAT IS THE BEST CAREER OR BUSINESS ADVICE YOU HAVE EVER RECEIVED?
“My best advice: to interrogate every detail and aspect of my work. I was working on a new ‘historically themed’ wooden train platform, and the senior technical architect asked me what kind of bolt head and finish we would use. I hadn’t even considered that the fasteners would imply age and either sell or ruin the design story. Reinforcing the design story through architectural detailing has become a key element in my work ever since.” 

WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR SINGLE BIGGEST PROFESSIONAL ACHIEVEMENT SO FAR?
“The completion of HMC’s Cuyamaca College Student Services building, where I was the lead technical architect. I’m incredibly proud of the design execution and of the effect the project will have on existing and future students. The project reshapes the front door of campus and increases outdoor public space across several terraces. While not my largest project completed, this project will be more impactful to the entire campus and end users than any other of which I’ve been a part.”

 

 

 

 

DEDICATED DESIGNER

Dusty Lake, AIA, NCARB, ALEP, K-12 Education Client Lead, DLR Group, BD+C 40 Under 40 Class of 2022 winner

Dusty Lake, AIA, NCARB, ALEP
K-12 Education Client Lead
DLR Group
Columbus, Ohio

AGE: 33

EDUCATION
Master of Architecture, Ball State University

Bachelor of Science, Architecture, Ball State University

ACCOMPLISHMENTS
Earned her Accredited Learning Environment Planner (ALEP) designation (and at the time of submission, is the only person in Alabama with this certification)

Received the 2020 Editor’s Choice Award from the UNI School of Thought Design Competition

Was the Project Architect for the award-winning Career Innovation Center at Lyman High School, Fla.

EXTRACURRICULAR
Devoted two years to studying biophilia and how the built environment impacts the cognitive development of children

OFF THE CLOCK
When her free time isn’t being consumed by her eight-month-old son, Dusty and her family enjoy traveling, hiking, walking with their two Australian Shepherds, and exploring their new home city

SECRET LIFE
Dusty doesn’t particularly enjoy vacations that involve typical relaxation settings such as sitting around on the beach or at a spa. When she goes on vacation, she wants to explore a new city or go hiking up a mountain. “My husband and I traveled for three weeks for our honeymoon, visiting thirteen cities in three countries.”

In addition to exploring new cities, Dusty has lived in four states within the past three years, and even skydived at 18,000 feet

WHAT IS THE BEST CAREER OR BUSINESS ADVICE YOU HAVE EVER RECEIVED?
“In the current climate of fast schedules and demands to do more from clients and employers, the best piece of career advice was from a friend and colleague on when to say no.”

WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR SINGLE BIGGEST PROFESSIONAL ACHIEVEMENT SO FAR?
“Earning my Accredited Learning Environment Planner (ALEP) credential is my most recent, and largest professional achievement. It signifies excellence in the planning and design of K-12 educational facilities and demonstrates my commitment to these environments. My professional career has been built on a passion to design spaces that I believe have the biggest impact on users. Students. The most rewarding achievement is creating learning environments with memorable first-day experiences that excite students to learn.”

 

 

 

 

CLIMATE CHANGE STRATEGIST

Vincent Martinez, Hon. AIA President, Chief Operations Officer Architecture 2030 BD+C 40 Under 40 Class of 2022 winner

Vincent Martinez, Hon. AIA
President, Chief Operations Officer
Architecture 2030
Seattle

AGE: 38

EDUCATION
Bachelor of Science, Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Washington

ACCOMPLISHMENTS
Member, AIA Committee on Climate Action and Design Excellence

Over 15 years, has personally developed or led most of this organization’s strategic initiatives, including its AIA+2030 Professional Education Series

Supported the research, development, and launch of the World Green Building Council’s Advancing Net Zero initiative and Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment

Co-founded the 2030 Districts, a P3 model for high-performance building districts that has been adopted by 23 North American cities

EXTRACURRICULARS
Speaks nationally and internationally about architecture, design, energy, economics, public policy, and climate change

Has been widely published in several business journals

OFF THE CLOCK
He’s a singer-songwriter of Americana music. Vincent is also a founding member of the Bushwick Book Club Seattle, a group of musicians and artists who write and perform songs inspired by books

Spends most of his non-work time with his wife Liliana, and two young children, Theo and Leora

SECRET LIFE
Fresh out of college 16 years ago, Vincent was looking for a way to contribute to the nascent green building movement, when Edward Mazria was starting Architecture 2030. At their first meeting, “I basically told him I was going to work for him,” even though the organization’s mission and funding had yet to be sorted out. Vincent quit his job the next day and taught high school math and science to pay his bills while Architecture 2030 coalesced.

Both sides of his family derive from generations that have been in Northern New Mexico for 400 years. One result: “I have more cousins than I can count.”

WHAT IS THE BEST CAREER OR BUSINESS ADVICE YOU HAVE EVER RECEIVED?
“Our original director, Kristina Kershner, was a tremendous mentor to me and really gave me a lot of autonomy to find my own way. She was supportive of me working remotely long before everyone was doing it and encouraged me to get out from behind the computer and meet practitioners, educators, and advocates in the building community. As a result, I’ve been supported by hundreds of incredible colleagues along the way and continue to join new communities and efforts that enrich and expand my thinking and approaches to fulfilling our mission.” 

WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR SINGLE BIGGEST PROFESSIONAL ACHIEVEMENT SO FAR?
“I’m most proud of helping to establish the Seattle 2030 District and then the 2030 Districts Network. These private/public partnerships have provided a shared set of targets and vision for the downtown real estate in nearly two dozen cities across North America. But what I love the most about them is the community of passionate and committed people that have come together for this common purpose. I’m honored to have played a part in fostering that community.”

 

 

 

 

CURIOSITY SEEKER 

Kyle MertensMeyer, LEED AP, IIDA, Assoc. AIA Founder, Design Principal, Executive Director August Green, BD+C 40 Under 40 winner class of 2022

Kyle MertensMeyer, LEED AP, IIDA, Assoc. AIA
Founder, Design Principal, Executive Director
August Green, Phoenix
Kaleidoskope, Boston

AGE: 37

EDUCATION
Master of Design Studies, Harvard University

Master of Architecture, Judson University

ACCOMPLISHMENTS 
Since starting his own studio in 2016, Kyle has completed 182 projects in nine countries and 37 cities, several dozen of which were award winners

Two years after starting August Green, he co-founded Kaleidoskope, a virtual reality, visualization, and animation studio

At Harvard, his research has combined quantitative and qualitative data to drive new urban environmental standards

FX Magazine’s 2022 award for Best Global Project (Peacock Cellar in Shanghai, China)

Boston Society of Architects’ 2021 Design Award (Bethesda Medical Center in Haiti)

EXTRACURRICULARS 
While in China, trained and volunteered with Al Gore as a Climate Reality Leader, and spoke internationally on climate and air pollution

Founded, in 2020, Green Missions Foundation, a nonprofit that brings design, development, and construction together for projects within developing nations

Sits on the Board of Health Care in Haiti Inc. 

OFF THE CLOCK
For 28 years, Kyle has performed as a pianist and composer

Has been a competitive tennis player and swimmer

To satisfy his interest in retail fashion design, worked weekends and holidays in Ralph Lauren’s flagship store in Phoenix, where he was responsible for sales and product placement

SECRET LIFE 
Speaks Mandarin at Intermediate and HSK Level 02 proficiency

Kyle’s mother was an interior decorator in Chicago and used to wheel him around the Merchandise Mart in a stroller

One of his ancestors helped write some of America’s first antitrust laws

WHAT IS THE BEST CAREER OR BUSINESS ADVICE YOU HAVE EVER RECEIVED?
“When you feel your career has hit a plateau, don’t get discouraged. Instead, use this time as a moment to focus, improve, and learn a new skill to prepare for the next phase. The first time I felt like my career had lost momentum and purpose, I was in my twenties, and I felt frustrated. Not sure what to do, I turned to a trusted mentor, who helped me build a five-year action plan with short-term and long-term goals. One significant outcome of this experience was creating a new Air Quality Research program for which I organized and received funding from Gensler.”

WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR SINGLE BIGGEST PROFESSIONAL ACHIEVEMENT SO FAR?
“A life-long passion for design and the environment has taken me far and wide in my career. In Shanghai, I first built my own project at age 26, followed by 182 completed projects and a career total of 7.5 million square feet in nine countries and 37 cities. Looking back, I am proud to share that 70% of my life's work has been focused on creating more sustainable and equitable environments.”
 

 

 

 

WOMAN OF INFLUENCE

Ginna Claire Nguyen, Assoc. AIA, Associate Principal, Relativity Architects, BD+C 40 Under 40 Class of 2022 winner

Ginna Claire Nguyen, Assoc. AIA
Associate Principal
Relativity Architects
Los Angeles, Calif.

AGE: 38

EDUCATION
Master of Architecture, University of Pennsylvania

Bachelor of Arts, Pepperdine University

ACCOMPLISHMENTS
Named Los Angeles Business Journal’s Woman of Influence in 2022

Recipient of Boutique Design’s “Boutique 18 Up-and-Coming Designer” award in 2018

EXTRACURRICULAR
Built two award-winning pavilions at international exhibits in Japan and New York

Serves on the board of two non-profit organizations based in Southern California, and organizes Relativity’s pro-bono work for Christian Secondary Technical College (CSTC) in Nigeria

OFF THE CLOCK
Ginna enjoys painting with oils, writing stories and poetry, as well as the outdoors—camping, hiking, rock climbing, road trips, kayaking

When she lived in the city, Ginna planted an urban garden of heirloom vegetables and native flowers in every place she rented, leaving it behind for the next family to enjoy. This year, Ginna and her husband moved to a rural two-acre ranch where they are building a large heirloom garden as well as raising animals

SECRET LIFE
“I changed my handwriting in my 20s. I used to write sentence-case, curvy letters, round circles to dot my Is. When I started studying architecture, I felt like my handwriting didn’t fit in. So I practiced until it became first-nature to write in all caps with sharper corners and more expressive signatures.”

WHAT IS THE BEST CAREER OR BUSINESS ADVICE YOU HAVE EVER RECEIVED?
“I have received such critical advice over the years. If I have to pick one, the most foundational advice I received: Pursue a vocation, not a career.”

WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR SINGLE BIGGEST PROFESSIONAL ACHIEVEMENT SO FAR?
“During the decade-and-a-half of my career, one thing that gives me the most joy is the response I receive from students I taught or co-workers who were encouraged or inspired by my guidance. There is no greater accolade than that, and I am extremely grateful to have worked with inspiring, aspiring architects and administrators over the years.”

 

 

 

 

VIGOROUS VOLUNTEER

Jessica O’Donnell, AIA, NCARB Project Manager, BIM Manager Kitchen & Associates BD+C 40 Under 40 class of 2022

Jessica O’Donnell, AIA, NCARB
Project Coordinator, BIM Manager
Thriven Design
Collingswood, N.J.

AGE: 34

EDUCATION
Bachelor of Architecture, Oklahoma State University

Environmental Studies Certificate, Oklahoma State University

Business of Architecture Certificate, Temple University

ACCOMPLISHMENTS 
2022 AIA Young Architect 

Chaired the Young Architects Forum Summit 30 Committee that created the Mission 2030 Code Red Charrettes and the in-person event in August 2022

2020 AIA Citizen Architect

Over the past seven years, has spoken at more than 20 regional and national engagements

Noteworthy projects include Brook Street Lofts, a 146-unit, 245,000-sf building in Woodbridge, N.J., that is a national case study for the tech company Graphisoft

EXTRACURRICULARS 
NCARB Architect Registration Exam Case Study Subcommittee Coordinator, 2020-present

AIA National 2021-2025 Strategic Planning Committee

ACE Mentorship (Greater Philadelphia area)

Former Chair and Co-founder of AIA New Jersey’s Emerging Professionals Community. Still a board member and committee advisor. 

OFF THE CLOCK
Regional judge and team mentor, New Jersey School Board Association and U.S. STEAM tank

Since last summer has focused attention on landscaping and farming her home’s backyard. Her first harvest included bell peppers, eggplant, and sugar baby watermelon

SECRET LIFE 
The first word she ever uttered was “no”

She was a Division I athlete on Oklahoma State University’s equestrian team, and continues to ride at least once a week

The rescue poodle she adopted in December 2020 only understood Russian. Now, both dog—named Somyak—and master are moderately bilingual with common phrases

WHAT IS THE BEST CAREER OR BUSINESS ADVICE YOU HAVE EVER RECEIVED?
“Volunteer for everything. If I had not applied for volunteer opportunities that expanded my horizons and challenged my comfort zone, I would not be where I am today. My volunteer time with AIA, NCARB, and other professional organizations has immeasurably changed the trajectory of my professional life and, in turn, positively impacted my personal growth.”

WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR SINGLE BIGGEST PROFESSIONAL ACHIEVEMENT SO FAR?
“Chairing the Young Architects Forum Summit 30 Steering Committee that created the Mission 2130 Code Red Charrettes and the in-person event in August 2022. This summit marked the 30th anniversary of the national AIA Young Architects Forum committee. Mission 2130 asked attendees to create a vision of our society 100 years into the future while developing a ‘challenge’ with actionable steps we can take in the short term to either achieve or avoid that future. This summit challenged how emerging leaders think about the future while re-engaging in dialogues around equitable communities, climate action, and how we plan to develop the built environment.” 
 

 

 

 

 

PHILANTHROPIC LEADER

Ivan O'Garro, AIA, NCARB, Associate, Architectural Designer, SmithGroup, BD+C 40 Under 40 Class of 2022 winner

Ivan O'Garro, AIA, NCARB
Associate, Architect
SmithGroup
Atlanta, Ga.

AGE: 39

EDUCATION
Bachelor of Architecture, Louisiana State University

ACCOMPLISHMENTS
Lead designer on the Gilcrease Museum in Tulsa, Oklahoma, which houses a comprehensive collection representing hundreds of indigenous culture from across North and South America

Member of the design team for Society’s Cage, an interpretive installation highlighting the impact of systemic racism that has been featured on the National Mall in Washington, DC and other prominent locations around the country

EXTRACURRICULAR
Founded SamanHaus, a non-profit design practice focused on supporting children’s institutions in Haiti

Created a comprehensive six-session training program to teach Rhino, a software tool, to the SmithGroup staff

OFF THE CLOCK
Ivan is an avid cyclist and football (soccer) fan. His most significant cycling achievement was a charity ride for the American Diabetes Association, where he rode from Massachusetts to Maine

SECRET LIFE
“People are often surprised at my ability to speak many different languages.” In addition to English, Ivan speaks French, Spanish, Arabic, and is currently learning Portuguese

He graduated secondary school at the age of 16

WHAT IS THE BEST CAREER OR BUSINESS ADVICE YOU HAVE EVER RECEIVED?
“There’s one consistent message that I have heard from multiple mentors throughout my career: Focus on the work—everything else will fall in place from there. It's a straightforward message, but it's something that has resonated with me every time I have heard it.”

WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR SINGLE BIGGEST PROFESSIONAL ACHIEVEMENT SO FAR?
“While I am proud of everything I have accomplished at the various firms where I have worked, my most significant achievement and the most fulfilling work has been through the creation of my non-profit design firm, SamanHaus. While it is relatively small in scale, its impact is life-changing for the people in Haiti who benefit from our work. Working on infrastructure projects that provide children with clean drinking water can change their lives' trajectory.”

 

 

 

 

SOUGHT-OUT STAR

Laura Portney, AIA, Senior Associate, Prellwitz Chilinski Associates, BD+C 40 Under 40 Class of 2022 winner

Laura Portney, AIA
Senior Associate
Prellwitz Chilinski Associates
Cambridge, Mass.

AGE: 38

EDUCATION
Master of Architecture, Boston Architectural College

Bachelor of Arts, Architecture, Clemson University

ACCOMPLISHMENTS
Started an internal Woman in Design Group as a haven for women in her office

Won the AIA Arthur N. Tuttle Jr. Graduate Fellowship in Health Facility Planning shortly after graduating from the BAC

Developed the curriculum for a workshop that she taught for two semesters at the BAC and later presented at the National Healthcare Design Conference in Phoenix, Arizona in psycho-environmental design

EXTRACURRICULAR
Volunteers for Habitat for Humanity in the Greater Boston area

Laura is an active board member advocate, supporter, and volunteer for On the Rise, an advocacy group for women, transgender, and non-binary communities

Co-founded the office band LEED Zeppelin, and composes, sings, and plays piano for the band

OFF THE CLOCK
When Laura isn’t traveling abroad to get exposure to different cultures, design and communities, she’s hiking with her dog Beau, playing the piano and singing, or trying to figure out how to ‘DIY’ stuff in her house. “I’m not very good at it so I’ve relegated myself to only cosmetic upgrades at the moment, but I am hoping to advance to power tools in the near future. I just need to watch a few more HGTV shows.”

SECRET LIFE
Saw Styx in concert before the age of 12—twice

WHAT IS THE BEST CAREER OR BUSINESS ADVICE YOU HAVE EVER RECEIVED?
“When I was first interning with Studio 3 Design Group in Augusta, GA, I was overwhelmed with the day-to-day tasks of an architect and how little I understood about almost everything that was happening. None of it seemed to relate to what I was learning in school. So, I asked one of the principals, Dee Beaird, ‘How do you know how to do all of this?’ His response was ‘You just learn.’ He then went on to explain that your time and experience in the industry will teach you what you need to know. As long as you are open and always listening, you’ll learn it all.”

WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR SINGLE BIGGEST PROFESSIONAL ACHIEVEMENT SO FAR?
“I’ve been lucky enough to work on some very exciting projects throughout my career, I am most proud of the relationships I’ve built over the years. I believe it is only through teamwork and collaboration that a project can really succeed and in that respect, I consider a lot of my projects a great success.”

 

 

 

 

 

BUSINESS AND #BEERSKETCH MASTER

Eric Pros, AIA, MBA, CPD, Director of Design, DS Architecture, BD+C 40 Under 40 Class of 2022 winner

Eric Pros, AIA, MBA, CPD
Director of Design
DS Architecture
Cleveland, Ohio

AGE: 37

EDUCATION
Master of Business Administration, Kent State University

Master of Architecture, Kent State University

Bachelor of Science, Architecture, Kent State University

ACCOMPLISHMENTS
Received the Young Architect Award from AIA National in 2022

Emerging Professional Award from AIA Ohio in 2021

EXTRACURRICULAR
Eric has served as the chairperson for the Grill for Good festival since 2012, which annually raises over $10,000 in charity for Family and Community Services

Was an Adjunct Instructor at Kent State University for six years

OFF THE CLOCK
As a busy architect, Eric doesn’t often make the time for leisurely endeavors, but he’s found a way to combine three of his favorite activities into one experience. Introducing: #BeerSketch. “When I travel, I try to find a local brewery that has a craft beer that connects to the local history or regional flavors—I then will use that beer as a bit of a timer for me while I sketch a notable landscape or local landmark building. When my beer is gone, my sketch is done. If I’ve ‘resolved’ my sketch, then time to chug that beer.”

He has also started a landscaping company to pay his way through Architecture school, and currently manages a large home garden

SECRET LIFE
“I consult on the side as a demonstrative evidence specialist, recreating crime scenes and generating trial exhibits in the form of diagrams, illustrations, and renderings. My specialty is in shooting reconstructions in which buildings or vehicles have been struck by one or more bullets.”

WHAT IS THE BEST CAREER OR BUSINESS ADVICE YOU HAVE EVER RECEIVED?
One of the most meaningful bits of advice that Eric has ever received was from his high school art instructor, Kelson Barber, who always encouraged him to focus on the creative process rather than the end product. “As a perfectionist it was always a struggle knowing that my work wasn’t perfect, but rather a snapshot in time as I honed my artistic abilities. I remember him telling me that an artistic creation is never ‘finished’ it is only ‘resolved’. I’ve long since accepted his logic to be true, and have even come to teach this thinking as a studio instructor—although I’ve adapted his expression into my own interpretation as ‘Design is never done it’s only due.’”

WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR SINGLE BIGGEST PROFESSIONAL ACHIEVEMENT SO FAR?
“I consider leading the team for new Kent Police Station to be my greatest accomplishment. This role pushed me beyond my comfort zone and presented me with opportunities to lead and inspire a diverse team of stakeholders to dare to dream big and work toward the greater good of an entire community. Over the course of three years, I worked closely with my team of designers, consultants, city officials, governing bodies, and community groups to aspire for the most innovative solution to become a symbol of civic pride for the City of Kent and promote a positive public image of law enforcement. The physical building sought to capture the Kent Police Department’s philosophy of community policing, where their officers are deeply immersed into the neighborhoods they serve and integrated in the culture of the city. The officers are present and recognizable in their jurisdiction and work to break down the barriers that exist between the police and the public.”

 

 

 

 

AFFORDABLE HOUSING INNOVATOR

Li Ren, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP BD+C, Project Architect, Perkins Eastman, BD+C 40 Under 40 Class of 2022 winner

Li Ren, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP BD+C
Project Architect
Perkins Eastman
Washington, D.C.

AGE: 32

EDUCATION
Master of Architecture, University of Minnesota

Bachelor of Engineering, Architecture, Chengdu University of Technology

ACCOMPLISHMENTS
Design specialty: senior living and affordable housing projects

Emerging Architect Award, AIA|DC (2021)

U40 Alumni Leader Award, University of Minnesota (2021)

Led the accessory dwelling unit and affordable housing study for Washington, D.C., Wards 7 and 8

Presenter and panelist, NCARB 2021 licensing advisors summit at Miami, focus on ARE 5.0 item development

Presenter and panelist, NOMA 2021 national conference

Adjunct faculty, Virginia Tech Washington-Alexandria Architecture Center; focus on urban regeneration, senior living, and affordable housing

Ward advocate for D.C. zoning change to permit accessory dwelling units

EXTRACURRICULAR
Director at Large and Board Member, AIA|DC (2020-Present)

Founder and chair, Asian American Designers Union, AIA|DC (2018-2020)

Organized the 2020 NCARB Advisory Retreat and the 2021 Advisor Summit in Miami (>300 attendees)

OFF THE CLOCK
History buff; loves documentaries, historical video games, history museums

SECRET LIFE
His great-grandfather was a scholar devoted to the modernization of Chinese education

WHAT IS THE BEST CAREER OR BUSINESS ADVICE YOU HAVE EVER RECEIVED?
“As I was about to leave the University of Minnesota for my first professional job, my mentor reminded me to remember three words: honesty, responsibility, and empathy. Since then, I have kept these three focuses in my career—to keep learning and practicing, and to be an honest and responsible architect.”

WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR SINGLE BIGGEST PROFESSIONAL ACHIEVEMENT SO FAR?
“The Emerging Architect Award I received in 2021 was the most critical and impressive professional achievement I made since I graduate. This award recognizes individuals of all ages who have shown exceptional leadership and made significant contributions to the profession in an early stage of their architectural career in Washington. D.C. The process of preparing for this award gave me a great opportunity to review my past professional experience and force me to think about the next career step. I was working hard on my job, but never make a career development plan until I start to prepare for this award.”

 

 

 

 

EMBODIED CARBON FIGHTER 

Kimberly Seigel, LEED AP, RELi AP, Research Knowledge Manager; Co-Director, Material Performance Lab, Perkins and Will, BD+C 40 Under 40 Class of 2022 winner

Kimberly Seigel, LEED AP, RELi AP
Research Knowledge Manager; Co-Director, Material Performance Lab
Perkins&Will
Boston, Mass.

AGE: 39

EDUCATION
Master of Science, Environmental Management, Duke University

Bachelor of Arts, Environmental Studies, University of California at Santa Barbara

ACCOMPLISHMENTS
Leads the firm’s 60-member Embodied Carbon Working Group and serves as an embodied carbon advisor

Represents Perkins&Will in its role as a partner to pilot the Embodied Carbon in Construction Calculator (EC3) tool

Co-leads the firm’s Carbon Forecast effort, helping project teams deliver carbon assessments in mid-schematic design

Conducts research on the alignment of material health, transparency, and embodied carbon, in partnership with Healthy Building Network

Is one of eight members of the Perkins&Will Innovation Incubator Committee, which oversees the firm’s competitive bi-annual application process, evaluating what gets funded based on innovation, scope, and relevance

EXTRACURRICULARS
Steering Committee Member, AREA Research, a partnership of designers and researchers committed to uplifting communities through strategic vision

Past Chairperson, Data and Metrics Committee, San Francisco 2030 District

Advisory Board Member for Inhabit, Perkins&Will’s podcast about the power of design

OFF THE CLOCK
Hobbies include dance, music (playing and seeing it live), exploring cities, appreciating the abstract, reading about the latest innovations

SECRET LIFE
Has a lifelong dream of being a backup dancer in a hip-hop, R&B, or dance music video. “More specifically, I aspire to be a dancer in one of the music videos for the artist collective, Jungle.”

“My maternal grandfather was both a doctor and a lawyer, really shaping the way our family members refuse to be pigeon-holed.”

WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR SINGLE BIGGEST PROFESSIONAL ACHIEVEMENT SO FAR?
“Tapping into my own well of resilience and perseverance. Throughout my career, I’ve weathered layoffs, organizational changes, economic downturns, mergers and acquisitions, and, unfortunately, loss. These changes have only motivated me to continue communicating the message of sustainability and carbon reduction within the built environment. It’s been a constant in the chaos.”

WHAT IS THE SINGLE BEST PIECE OF CAREER OR BUSINESS ADVICE YOU HAVE RECEIVED?
“‘Same bad, better good.’ People are people, so all organizations will have the same issues of bureaucracy and politics, but not all organizations will offer the same mission or vision. Look for a mission that resonates with you, or the ‘better good.’”

 

 

 

 

ENTREPRENEURIAL DESIGNER 

Ming Thompson, AIA, NOMA, IIDA, Principal and Co-founder, Atelier Cho Thompson, BD+C 40 Under 40 Class of 2022 winner

Ming Thompson, AIA, NOMA, IIDA
Principal and Co-founder
Atelier Cho Thompson
New Haven, Conn.

AGE: 39

EDUCATION
Master of Architecture, Harvard University

Bachelor of Arts, Architecture, Yale University

ACCOMPLISHMENTS
Co-founded (with Christina Cho Yoo) their firm at age 31; now it has two offices and 14 employees and >$1 million in annual revenues (only 2% of women-owned businesses exceed $1 million/year in revenue)

Registered architect in California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New York

AIA Young Architect Award (2020)

AIA Connecticut 2020 Chrysalis Award, highlighting member firms that are gaining recognition in the general design community through a body of built work and continuing commitment to design excellence

EXTRACURRICULAR
Co-founder, Design Brigade, a pro-bono community design program serving New Haven

Co-founder, A Rising Tide, a new initiative to help Asian and Pacific Islander designers overcome leadership hurdles

First-year advisor, Yale College

Critic, Yale School of Architecture

Board of Trustees, Yale-China Association

Board of Directors, AIA Connecticut and New Haven Preservation Trust

OFF THE CLOCK
Baking blogger: “Ming Makes Cupcakes” (>3 million hits)

Passions: hiking, photography, letterpress

SECRET LIFE
Grew up in a honky-tonk barbecue restaurant in Appalachia

WHAT IS THE BEST CAREER OR BUSINESS ADVICE YOU HAVE EVER RECEIVED?
“My partner, Christina Cho Yoo, gave me all the advice I ever needed: Always trust your gut. If a situation feels wrong or an interaction feels a bit off, better to walk away.”

WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR SINGLE BIGGEST PROFESSIONAL ACHIEVEMENT SO FAR?
“When I was 32, my workmate and I started our own firm, Atelier Cho Thompson. It was a wild idea that was both completely naïve and totally brilliant. I’m so glad we took the risk, and now eight years later we have two offices, 14 employees, and dozens of fun and challenging projects completed around the world.”

 

 

 

 

SUSTAINABLE BUILDING WIZ

Rufei Wang, LEED AP BD+C, Senior Environmental Designer, Project Manager, Atelier Ten USA, BD+C 40 Under 40 Class of 2022 winner

Rufei Wang, LEED AP BD+C
Senior Environmental Designer, Project Manager
Atelier Ten USA
New York, N.Y.

AGE: 34

EDUCATION
Master in Design Studies, Energy and Environment, Harvard University

Master of Arts, Architecture, Technical University of Munich

ACCOMPLISHMENTS
Managed >20 projects as sustainability project manager; worked on >50 projects as a key consultant and technical advisor

Worked on the first net-zero-targeted public high school in Hawaii, and on a net-zero-targeted presidential center

Served as a technical support expert for daylight, natural ventilation, and thermal comfort analysis for >15 projects at Atelier Ten

Developed a natural ventilation potential spreadsheet and an outdoor comfort analysis script with surface temperature components for Atelier Ten

EXTRACURRICULAR
Member of the scientific committee and a peer reviewer for six international conferences in sustainability and architecture

Peer reviewer for 13 international conferences; reviewed >55 scientific papers and presentations

Design mentor for the Solar Decathlon Design Challenge 2020

Co-leader, Energy Affinity Group at Harvard Alumni for Climate and the Environment

Guest lecturer and critic for six universities, including the University of Pennsylvania and Wellesley College

OFF THE CLOCK
Has transitioned from weekend contemporary and ballet classes to online dance and workout videos

SECRET LIFE
Considers herself a minimalist, but “it’s definitely getting harder!” with two daughters under age 4

WHAT IS THE BEST CAREER OR BUSINESS ADVICE YOU HAVE EVER RECEIVED?
“Speak up in meetings! When I started my career, I was more comfortable doing research or technical analysis. I was mostly quiet in meetings. My supervisor at Atelier Ten, Leanora Paniccia, has encouraged me to speak up in meetings and be more vocal about my recommendations. I think it’s very important to not just be good at what you do in your early career but also to find opportunities to communicate your thoughts, establish your expertise, and build your influence.”

WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR SINGLE BIGGEST PROFESSIONAL ACHIEVEMENT SO FAR?
“One of my most recent professional achievements was that I helped the Wellesley Science Center New Addition project achieve LEED Platinum certification. The project was initially targeting LEED Gold certification, but Wellesley decided to upgrade to LEED Platinum in the early construction administration phase. There were several challenges given the limited opportunities to change the design, as well as cost and schedule implications. I worked closely with the team to identify credit options and evaluate their feasibilities. The project eventually achieved 80 points, right at the Platinum threshold.”

 

 

 

 

BURROWING BELIEVER

Dominic Weilminster, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, Co-Founder, Points West Design Works, BD+C 40 Under 40 Class of 2022 winner

Dominic Weilminster, AIA, LEED AP BD+C
Co-founder
Points West Design Works
Denver, Colo.

AGE: 39

EDUCATION
Master of Architecture, University of Colorado

Bachelor of Arts, Journalism, Colorado State University

ACCOMPLISHMENTS
Received the 2017 ENR Mountain Region Best Sustainable Project Award for the Fort Collins Utilities Administration Building

Named AIA Colorado’s Emerging Professional of the Year in 2016

EXTRACURRICULAR
Oversees the Downtown Denver Partnership Leadership Program; Fundraising Committee for the Greenway Foundation; Dean’s Advisory Board member for CU Denver’s College of Architecture and Planning

OFF THE CLOCK
Avid ski mountaineer and former adaptive sports ski instructor

Races burros in the Colorado mountains with his wife throughout the summer months. “It’s sort of like going for a trail run, but only more frustrating because your running partner is a donkey.”

SECRET LIFE
“My grandparents on my mother’s side are holocaust survivors. Their incredibly difficult experience during that dark time in world history forms the foundation for a strong work ethic in our family and they have been a life-long inspiration to me to lead a life of love and gratitude.”

WHAT IS THE BEST CAREER OR BUSINESS ADVICE YOU HAVE EVER RECEIVED?
“In business and in life you get out what you put in. Success isn’t awarded, it’s shaped every day in how we engage with the people, problems, and projects that cross our path.”

WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR SINGLE BIGGEST PROFESSIONAL ACHIEVEMENT SO FAR?
“My most meaningful achievement even now was one of my first projects after beginning work in architecture—leading the design of the Denver Human Services Eastside Facility. I always think of that project as a model because it included not only great design, but did so for a truly impactful purpose: to create a dignified place for more than 80,000 Denverites to seek social services.  When the project was newly opened and we were still on-site intermittently wrapping up final construction punchlist items, I was approached by someone who had just visited with their social worker. The gratitude that individual showed for having a place that made him feel like he was doing something positive by seeking assistance rather than they typical social stigma, will forever inspire me in my work.”

 

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40 Under 40

Meet the 40 Under 40 class of 2022

Each year, the editors of Building Design+Construction honor 40 architects engineers, contractors, and real estate developers as BD+C 40 Under 40 awards winners. These AEC professionals are recognized for their career achievements, passion for the AEC profession, involvement with AEC industry organizations, and service to their communities.

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