Advancing the Education of Young Architecture Graduates through Foreign Travel-Study

2011 Competition Review Panel

Kevin O'Brien, AIA, LEED AP
Kevin O'Brien is a Principal for the Los Angeles office of Pfeiffer Partners, a bi-coastal architectural practice with a focus on civic, cultural and higher education facilities.  As design principal, he provides creative vision and direction to the firm's work.  With over 25 years experience in the design of a wide array of projects, Kevin has cultivated a methodology that finds value in the process as well as the end result. Kevin studied at Emory University in Atlanta and Oxford University in England, before receiving a Bachelor of Science in Architecture from Ohio State University and a Master of Architecture from Yale University.  The recipient of numerous awards for his work, including a Young Architects Award from the Architectural League of New York, Kevin has written, lectured, and exhibited widely. His work has been published in periodicals such as Architectural Record, Metropolis, L. A. Architect, Inland Architect, Casabella, GQ, Progressive Architecture, and Landscape Architecture, among others.

Kevin is a committed educator as well, and has taught architectural design at the University of Southern California and Cal Poly Pomona, where he was an Associate Professor at the School of Architecture for eight years. He has served on academic juries around the country, including UCLA, SCI-Arc, USC, Yale University and Washington State University.  From 1997-2000 he was the Director of the Neutra VDL House.  As an active member of the architectural community, he is a current Board Member for AIALA, and has served as the former chair of the AIACC and the AIA Pasadena-Foothill Awards Committee.

Allison G. Kwok, Ph.D., AIA
Alison G. Kwok, Ph.D., AIA, is an associate professor in the University of Oregon architecture program and a licensed architect. Prof. Kwok teaches design studios, environmental control systems, and green design elective courses. She has taught in New York, California, Hawaii, Hong Kong, and Japan. She is co-author of the recently published Green Studio Handbook (2007) and Mechanical and Electrical Equipment for Buildings (10th ed. 2006) and was a key participant in the University of California Berkeley's Vital Signs Project. Prof. Kwok was Principal Investigator for the Agents of Change curriculum project that addressed building performance through on-site case study development. She is a member of the USGBC's Formal Education Committee and has been a governing member of the Architectural Research Centers Consortium and the Society of Building Science Educators; is an active member of several technical committees for the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers; and is active in the American Solar Energy Society.

Mark von Wodtke, FASLA
Mark von Wodtke has degrees in architecture (from RPI) and landscape architecture (from U.C, Berkeley). He and Brooks Cavin founded the Claremont Environmental Design Group (CEDG)—a multidisciplinary firm that does architecture, landscape architecture and planning. Award-winning projects Mark has done focus on regenerative design. Mark von Wodtke is a Professor Emeritus of Landscape Architecture. During the 35 years he taught at Cal Poly Pomona he worked with John Lyle to establish the landscape architecture graduate program and the Lyle Center for Regenerative Studies. Mark was recognized as an Outstanding Educator by the ASLA. Books written by von Wodtke include—Mind over Media: Creative Thinking Skills for Elec-tronic Media, and Design with Digital Tools: Using New Media Creatively— both published by McGraw-Hill.  For many years, as an advocate for a more sustainable environment, Mark has written articles on environmental issues, ranging from the carry capacity of the Los Angeles Basin, to saving the Packing House in Claremont. He is also the Director of the ACORN Project which is re-establishing oak woodlands in the Claremont Wilderness Park.  In 2000, he founded Energy Harvester, Inc., a renewable energy company which provides building-integrated solar electric and solar thermal systems. He is working on developing power-positive buildings that harvest all the energy they need from the environment.

Pablo La Roche
Pablo La Roche is Associate Professor in the Department of Architecture at California State Polytechnic University Pomona. He has also taught at the University of Southern California and Universidad del Zulia in Venezuela. He has an Architecture and Masters of Science degree from Universidad del Zulia and a PhD from the University of California Los Angeles. He has been a guest lecturer and session chair in international conferences in India, the USA, Venezuela, Mexico and Brazil. Professor La Roche was the principal author of the book published by the Passive Low Energy Architecture Association PLEA, "Keeping Cool: Guidelines to Avoid Overheating in Buildings" and was selected for the exhibit "New Blood: Next Gen" in the A+D Architecture Museum in Los Angeles. La Roche has been a registered architect in Spain and Venezuela, and is an Assoc AIA, and a LEED accredited professional. He has received multiple awards and fellowships including the 2008 NCARB Grand Prize.

Annie Chu R.A.
Annie Chu is a founding principal of CHU+GOODING Architects in Los Angeles, focusing on projects for arts-related and higher education clients. She is a licensed architect in California, with NCARB certification. She has also held licenses in Kentucky and New York. Ms. Chu received a Master of Science in Architecture & Building Design degree from Columbia University in 1989 and a Bachelor of Architecture degree from Southern California Institute of Architecture in 1984. In 1989, she received the Skidmore Owings Merrill Traveling Fellowship to conduct research on Mayan and Incan architecture in Central and South America. In 2004, she received the First Place Award representing the US in RIBA's Diverse City Competition, and joined the RIBA delegation to China.

Her current work includes a Mexican Cultural Center LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes in downtown Los Angeles, an upcoming exhibit design for the Hammer Museum, a new headquarters for Southern California Public Radio (KPCC 89.3) in Pasadena, the Culver Center of the Arts, a University of California Riverside graduate arts facility joining the California Museum of Photography by housing the historic Keystone Mast Stereoscopic slide collection in downtown Riverside, California. In the last few years, she completed the schematic design for the renovation and addition to the Museum of History and Art, Ontario, and the design for the Masters of American Comics joint exhibits at Museum of Contemporary Art and the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles. As part of a strong interior architecture portfolio, several projects received design awards: including a major renovation and addition to the 1950 Harwell Hamilton Harris masterpiece English House, Los Angeles Philharmonic Association's office interior at Disney Hall, the interior renovation of a new home for the Kentucky Museum of Art + Design in Louisville, the “Architecture of R. M Schindler “exhibit at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles and a material intensive experimental showcase for NeoCon West.

Ms. Chu lectured and taught at various schools of architecture across the country for over 16 years and is currently a lecturer at USC's school of architecture. She was a board member of the Los Angeles Forum for Architecture and Urban Design from 1997-2002, a director of the Los Angeles Chapter of the AIA 2000-2002 and the Awards Committee for the California Council AIA from 2006-2009. She is currently serving on the editorial board of the journal arcCA the California Council AIA's journal, and chairs the National AIA Interior Architecture Advisory Group.

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