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Posts tagged ‘Member Profile’

Sean Winchester, AIA: Member Profile

Sean Winchester, AIA brings over 25 years of experience in the building industry. He started his career in construction as a carpenter, woodworker, and stair fabrication specialist. He operated Winchester Woodworks as a stair design fabricator, and Kingstud Construction, a type V framing contractor. Though still in possession of all ten fingers, Sean closed down the shops in 2002 in order to return to university to study architecture.

As an architect, Sean brings his technical knowledge and construction experience to all of his work. As a designer he brings craftsmanship and structure and intense, honest materiality characterize much of his design. As a project manager, Sean has had the privilege to lead both small teams and large, multinational teams on projects ranging from 10,000 to over 1 million square feet. The majority of this experience has been in commercial renovations, tenant improvements and corporate interiors for global technology clients. He also has experience with GSA, education, residential, civic and worship facilities.

For the last seven years, Sean practiced with Studios Architecture in San Francisco, becoming the Associate Principal. He recently joined the team at Byrens Kim Design Works in Oakland where he designs and manages educational and civic projects. He leads the firm’s practice standards and training programs, writes and maintains office graphic and BIM standards, and generally keeps the fields plowed.

Master of Architecture, 2008
Montana State University, Bozeman

Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Design, 2007 – Highest Honors
Montana State University, Bozeman

Member Profile: Margaret Parker Salop, AIA

Margaret Parker Salop is accustomed to adapting to new environments while staying true to her passion. She grew up in a military family, living in cities and on bases all over the United States. She received a Bachelor of Arts from Stanford University in Urban Studies, focusing on Architecture and Urban Design, and a Master of Architecture from University of Washington, where she studied historic preservation. Her early historic building projects in Seattle were all collaborations with non-profit housing and service providers; Margaret soon realized that her love was less with the historic buildings, and more with the non-profit mission.

Back in the Bay Area, Margaret began at HKIT Architects in 1997, for the opportunity to work on affordable family and senior housing, particularly mixed-use urban projects with supportive services. In 2006, her career evolved into a consulting role for two architectural firms, working with firm leadership on marketing, public relations, and business development. In 2010, Margaret switched over to the client side, serving as an Owner’s Rep for independent schools, particularly at Escuela Bilingüe Internacional in Oakland and Emeryville. Assisting these institutions to meet their institutional goals through the development of new campus facilities was a new way to put her design experience into practice.

Margaret recently returned to where she began her career: at HKIT Architects, managing the planning and design of affordable housing for a variety of non-profit developers. Recent projects include two multi-family communities in Walnut Creek, both built on challenging sites adjacent to the freeway and near to BART; these will provide much needed housing for under-served low-income families. Other current work includes design of an affordable family housing project in San Francisco and a 51-unit apartment building for low-income seniors in West Oakland.

Margaret’s primary interests are in the business of architecture, and how firms can thrive in the work of designing sustainable, beautiful, community-serving buildings, particularly for schools, low-income families, and our elders.

When she’s not at work, Margaret serves on the Board of Directors of Shotgun Players, a Berkeley theater company, where she contributes to the business side of making great art. She lives in Oakland with her high-school twins, husband, and incorrigible dog.

Lan T. Ly’s Path to Architecture: Member Profile

After receiving his B.A. in economics from Rutgers University, Lan T. Ly, Assoc. AIA worked at Merrill Lynch in the marketing department of the insurance group. His main responsibilities were to generate sales ideas for over 14,000 financial consultants. Because he was interested in UI and UX of web design, he was a natural fit to lead the development of the insurance group’s intranet. Lan worked with web designers, the art and sales department and developers to deliver a site that was easy to use.

After Merrill Lynch, he joined a music start-up in New York City where he was responsible for design, concepts, and managing a team of web designers and developers. This role satisfied his left and right brain.

At twenty six he had a “quarter life crisis.” Something was still missing. He had to take a leap of faith. Naturally he moved to Barcelona said he studied at the University of Valencia during his junior year at Rutgers. In Barcelona, he lived a few blocks from Mies van der Rohe’s Barcelona Pavilion where he rediscovered Gaudí. Seeing the passion, commitment and artistry of Gaudí he decided to pursue a career in architecture.

Upon returning to the U.S., he moved to Pleasant Hill. He enrolled in architecture classes at Diablo Valley College where he met Max Jacobson. Max Jacobson and Murray Silverstein were co-authors of “A Pattern Language,” and co-founders of JSW/D in Berkeley. At JSW/D Lan worked on affordable housing projects which he found important because of his family’s roots as refugees from Vietnam.

Lan has only worked at East Bay firms: first at David Kesler Architect and later at Charles Debbas Architecture. The modernist and conceptual work at these firms helped prepare him for graduate school.

As a person who learns best by doing, Lan had no intentions of going back to school but work was scarce during the Great Recession. He only applied to UC Berkeley and was accepted. For his thesis he focused on affordable prefabrication for the 99%. He designed and built a prefabricated dwelling unit that was easy to assemble, affordable and code-compliant.

After receiving his M.Arch from UC Berkeley in 2014, Lan decided to work in landscape architecture. At Hood Design Studio, he managed the Yerba Buena Island Hilltop Park (regional park on top of the island) and Peralta Hacienda Historical Park (birthplace of Oakland). Both were landscapes that dealt with the detritus of time, memory and the built environment. He completed the construction administration for the landscape at San Francisco’s Bayview Opera House.

Lan has managed public art projects at Princeton University (glass and steel towers representing the legacy of Woodrow Wilson), at San Diego International Airport (a 275 ft. long x 12 ft. tall glass wall of light and color), and in Santa Monica (monumental sandstone sculpture representing the geologic history of the city).

In early 2018, Lan returned to architecture. He is currently a project designer in the healthcare group at Ratcliff Architects. He is elated to be in a supportive environment where he can continue to grow as a designer and global citizen. His intermediate goal is to get licensed.

Lan is married to a social worker. Their two young daughters keep them exhausted and therefore grounded. They live in beautiful Oakland.

Matt Maneval, AIA: Member Profile

Originally from San Diego, Matt Maneval, AIA grew up surrounded by new construction and development. This early exposure to architecture led him to attend the Summer Exploration of Architecture program for high school students at the University of Southern California. This month long program introduced him to basic concepts of architecture and sketching, and had such a great impact on him that he attended USC’s five year Bachelor of Architecture program and eventually become a Teaching Assistant at the same summer program he attended.

While at USC, Matt studied abroad in Barcelona through a collaborative design studio with Spanish students and also volunteered teaching a creativity class to elementary school students through the USC’s Joint Educational Project. He also interned at HMC Architects, Innovation and Design in Architecture and The Autry National Center, where he worked on a variety of projects from healthcare to museum exhibit design. Matt’s graduate thesis explored the potential of 3D scanning and printing systems as a design tool and was nominated for material and innovation thesis awards.

After graduating from USC in 2015, Matt accepted a position at the Los Angeles architecture firm Modative. He worked on several design-build small-lot subdivision projects where he was involved in all aspects of each project from preliminary site planning to giving neighborhood outreach presentations. In 2016, Matt moved to Oakland where he returned to HMC Architects as a Designer, eventually being promoted to Project Coordinator.

Matt is currently working on Higher Education projects including a physical education complex and a fine arts complex in the East Bay. Apart from project responsibilities, Matt is also involved with HMC’s Designing Futures Foundation and helped coordinate HMC’s participation in charitable events like the LEAP Sandcastle Classic. Matt received his California Architect’s license in early 2018 after taking all licensure exams in one year and is an active contributor to HMC’s licensure committee.

Outside of the office, Matt enjoys playing piano and volunteering as a Big Brother with the Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Bay Area.

Tay Othman, AIA: Member Profile

I was born, raised and educated in Iraq, and studied local architecture and urban planning principles at Alnahrain University, prior to interning in post-war reconstruction and infrastructure rehabilitation projects.

Tay Othman, AIA, LEED AP BD+C

Being pushed by the geopolitical turmoil in the area, I moved to Jordan in 2006. Seeking personal safety and hope, I helped co-establish a small animation studio, and worked as an art director for film and TV commercials for few years. In 2010, I was granted refugee status and moved to the United States. Later that year, I Joined AIA Santa Clara Valley as a part of the emerging professionals committee, then started to lead the local ARE study groups from 2012-2013. I also served as the chair of the Emerging Professionals Committee from 2013-2015. In 2016, after obtaining my license in California, I was elected as architect chair for the Bay Area Young Architects, helping with mentorship, license stewardship and the organization of events and firm tours. Recently I transferred to AIA Eastbay to participate in local programs around Oakland and Berkeley.

My career path was native to the Silicon Valley and the Bay Area, starting at Gensler in San Jose as a Job Captain and BIM specialist where my main focus was commercial office buildings for technology companies. Five years later, I moved to DES Architects and Engineers in San Francisco as a project architect to work on education, higher education and mixed-use projects. My current project is a 130,000 sf mixed-use- development with a historical preservation scope in downtown Redwood City.

Aside from my current employment, I’m running a home atelier for weekend enjoyment by working on small design projects and computational exploration and fabrication for buildings and objects.

Rick Kattenburg, AIA: Member Profile

Rick Kattenburg, AIA

The son of an American Foreign Service officer, Rick Kattenburg, AIA lived in Asia and Europe as a child. His experiences abroad came to influence his architectural style, which is based heavily on classical concepts found in many European and Asian buildings.

After earning a bachelor’s degree with honors in architecture from North Carolina State University in 1972, Kattenburg moved to California to begin his career at various San Francisco firms. In 1975, Kattenburg began attending UC Berkeley for graduate school, where he studied the American housing industry, building technology, and real estate development strategy. He earned both his master of architecture degree and his California architectural license in 1976.

From March to October 1977, Kattenburg served as the job captain on Macondray Terrace, a $2.5 million, 13-unit wood frame condominium project in Russian Hill, San Francisco for the Hood Miller Partnership. This project won many awards, including the National A.I.A. Honor Award, CCAIA, and the Sunset Magazine Award. He then joined Bull, Field, Volkmann & Stockwell in San Francisco, where he accrued valuable experience in construction management as the project manager on several projects, including River Run Condominiums in Lake Tahoe, the Sentinel Building Highrise Retrofit for Omni Zoetrope in San Francisco, and the UCSB University Center 2 in Santa Barbara.

In 1981, Kattenburg opened Kattenburg & Associates, a private practice in San Anselmo, CA. He and his firm completed various commercial, institutional and residential projects, including the Memorial Park Field House in San Anselmo, the conversion of a 15,000 square foot industrial building in Emeryville into an office complex, and over 40 residential projects across the Bay Area. During this time, Kattenburg worked as a consultant for Treffinger, Walz & MacLeod in San Rafael and George Miers & Associates in San Francisco. He also taught architecture courses at San Francisco State University, UC Berkeley Extension, and the Owner Builder Center in Berkeley.

Kattenburg closed Kattenburg & Associates in 1986 to become a partner at George Miers & Associates, where he oversaw and directed numerous projects. With Miers, he received the Gold Nugget Award in 1989 for the Colby Taylor residence, and again in 1990 for his work as project manager of the new Vallejo Sanitation and Flood Control administration building.

In 1989, Kattenburg reopened Kattenburg & Associates in Benicia. He has completed many new custom homes, remodels, and additions across the Bay Area and in Southern California, as well as commercial and institutional projects. One notable example is the San Ramon Senior Center, which Kattenburg designed in 1992 in collaboration with Wilkinson & Hartman Architects. In 2003, the firm, now renamed Kattenburg Architects, added a 5,000 foot addition and a new 50-car parking lot to the project.

Kattenburg & Associates is based in Orinda, California and continues to provide high-quality architectural service in the Bay Area and beyond. Their specialty remains “fine custom homes and additions” in the Walnut Creek/Lamorinda corridor. Other projects include shops and light commercial work. Visit to see what we’ve been up to.


Shifan Deng, Assoc. AIA: Member Profile

Shifan Deng, Assoc. AIA is a Technical Designer at Gensler. He has always been interested in drawing and chose architecture as his major during undergraduate school in Beijing. After finishing his five-year bachelor’s degree, he continued studying at UC Berkeley and pursued a master’s degree. 

My experience attending UC Berkeley for my Masters in Architecture really broadened my horizon because I not only took courses but also taught undergraduate students during my first year. The differences in education between Beijing and Berkeley made me learn a variety of diverse design approaches. That summer I won ZGF’s summer internship and scholarship and after, was offered a one year internship with UNStudio, which was one of my favorite firms at that time. I decided to take a year off of school to accept the offer from UNStudio, in order to gain more experiences before earning my masters. My new journey had started.

The internship was divided into two parts, half the year in Shanghai and other half in Amsterdam. I appreciated the intense work in Shanghai where I picked up many new skills. I also had an amazing trip in Europe where I experienced numerous architectural masterpieces in-person. During that year, I worked on multiple projects in China and Europe, learning the difference between eastern and western culture in architecture. I developed a special interest in architectural digital tools.  With access to parametric tool tutorials and learning techniques from talented colleagues, I made a lot of progress in digital design approach. When the holidays came, I went on architectural tours to different countries with my colleagues; the splendid architecture and wonderful scenery encouraged me to create better work.

I came back to school with one year of working experience under my belt and finishing my master’s degree. I took on the role of Technical Designer at Gensler and kept exploring my own architectural path. I treat digital tools application as my expertise. I now try to solve traditional questions in a more advanced and efficient way and even started an AIA CES course at Gensler to share my knowledge of Grasshopper to colleagues.

I believe diversity in education and working experience drive me to think differently when facing a variety projects in the design process. Knowledge of digital tools helps me generate solutions in a cross-disciplinary way. I appreciate all the opportunities and resources that I have and will contribute more energy and passion into innovations in the architecture field.

Liesel Haldane, Assoc. AIA: Member Profile

Liesel Haldane, Assoc. AIA started her career at the Florida Park Service while in graduate school for landscape architecture at Florida A&M University.  The Park Service’s Bureau of Design and Construction provided in-house architectural services to the more than 160 parks in the state of Florida.  As an engineering technician, she drafted a 250 seat amphitheater at Big Lagoon State Park, a two-story concessions building at Sebastian Inlet, and a large assortment of ADA renovations, restroom facilities and roof repairs.  Thanks to her early work experiences, Liesel quickly realized that she didn’t want to limit herself to flatwork and happily changed her degree path to architecture.  She started the IDP while still in school, and received her M.Arch. in 2010, just in time for the Great Recession to hit the government sector.

When the economy bounced back, so did she, this time at Hoy+Stark Architects in Tallahassee.  She worked on several projects that have recently been completed, including City Church at Sessions Road and Market Plaza.  City Church transformed an existing warehouse and former skate rink into a sanctuary for contemporary services with a cafe and office spaces.  Challenges included acoustical design of the space for live amplified performances and meeting budget requirements.  Market Plaza was a core/shell project with two simultaneous restaurant tenant improvements. The projects required significant coordination efforts throughout the design phases, as well as on-site construction administration.  Other projects included renovations/additions at local schools, a design study of the state capitol’s parking garage and plaza, as well as a residential pool cabana.  She also became involved in the AIA as the Associate Director of the local chapter, and attended state and national conventions with the Hoy+Stark team.

Liesel moved to California with her husband, daughter, and two Weimaraners in 2015, and very recently settled in Berkeley where she also works, at ELS Architecture and Urban Design.  With only one ARE left to complete, Liesel plans to become licensed in both Florida and California very soon.

Len Freeman, Assoc. AIA: Member Profile

Len Freeman, Assoc. AIA is a 2011 graduate of the University of Texas, Arlington where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in architecture.  As a current member of the National Council of Architectural Registration Board as well as new associate member of the American Institute of Architects, Freeman is on his way as he pursues licensure­­­­­.

Freeman comes from a rigorous academic background that began while attending Oakland Technical High School’s engineering academy in Oakland, which influenced his professional career. With the knowledge he learned, he progressed into his undergraduate studies.  It was not until undergrad that he faced great challenges – sleepless days, nights, months and years that tested his loyalty to his profession. Nevertheless, his dedication allowed him to prevail and he blossomed into the strong critical thinker that he is today. His unique pattern of thought lives between space and anti-space.

He has worked on a variety of project types including, K-12, higher education, residential, commercial and retail architecture. The diversity in project types has helped Freeman grow personally and professionally within the realm of design. In his past role as a project leader, he learned how technology affects project work flows. He also managed the production standards development, while handling construction schedules, budgets, agency requirements. He did all this while performing a variety of tasks involving schematic design and construction administration.

Freeman works as a senior project coordinator for BRW Architects in San Francisco. There he focuses on a variety of municipal, civic and fire station tenant innovation projects. While working with these various projects throughout California and Texas, he upholds the company’s values and commitment to client service. Freeman is unwavering, independent and jumps hurdles without batting an eye. His demeanor remains very calm and professional under pressure and he continues to have fun throughout this evolving world of architecture. My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.  -Mya Angelou

Mercedes E. Harris, Assoc. AIA: Member Profile

In May 2017, I was one of fifteen students to graduate from Oklahoma State University with a professional degree in architecture. Today, I am a long way from home as I work towards a Masters of Urban Design from the University of California, Berkeley. The events that led me to the East Bay, in hindsight, are straight forward enough.

After my third year, I received my first internship designing public schools at a firm in Dallas. The next summer I spent time in Wichita with a firm that specialized in healthcare facilities. Architecture was plan A up until that point – if I didn’t enjoy the field or I flunked out, there was no backup plan. That was until my last two years of school, when I began to read books and watch films about urban design. I took Oklahoma State’s final undergraduate studio, which delved deep into urban issues. I thought I had enjoyed architecture more than anything, but I soon realized I had been working at the wrong scale. Urban Design became my new passion.

Outside of studio, I enjoyed many opportunities on-campus and in the community. I was a Girl Scout troop leader for three and a half years, volunteered at many community events, working mainly with children, and ultimately completed five hundred hours of community service during my ungraduated career. My campus position as a Career Paraprofessional in the College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology (CEAT) was to prepare other students to build their own careers. I’ve been trained in resume building, mock interviews, job search techniques, corresponding with professionals, etc. During my last three semesters, I worked with fellow architecture students to redevelop the student chapter of Construction Specifications Institute (CSI). I also worked with a group of five students to envision the Honors College Student Association (HCSA). When I passed the presidency along, HCSA had over 80 members and $1000 in group-raised funding. CSI, similarly, saw a tripled membership and $600 in group-raised funding.

Upon graduation, I briefly returned to Dallas to work for WRA Architects, the firm where I had my first internship opportunity. I still do contract work for them, writing a type of shorthand specifications. I look forward to my year at UC Berkeley and my time in the East Bay, as well as for whatever comes next.