MOBIUS LA 2010 Presenter Bios: Friday June 25th

MOBIUS LA 2010 Presenter Bios: Friday June 25th

4th annual MOBIUS LA @ Dwell on Design
June 24-26, 2010 | LA Convention Center
One Place. One Event. All of your Continuing Education Units.



[listed in alphabetical order by last name]

Michael Cervantes, AIA - Build LACCD
(LACCD: Building a New Paradigm for Design and Construction)

  • Michael Cervantes is BIM Manager for Los Angeles Community College District's Sustainable Building Program. Currently employed at G Crew Construction Services, Michael is a licensed Architect, LEED Accredited Professional, and has worked in the architectural profession in California since 1996 with experience both as a Project Architect and CAD/BIM Manager. Prior to working for LACCD, Mr. Cervantes has previous experience working in the public sector as a Design Associate for The San Jose Redevelopment Agency. Michael earned a Bachelor's Degree in Arts and Architecture from the University of California, Berkeley in 1996, and was a participant of the Ford/Mellon Summer Research Program at Princeton University in 1995.

Alex Clifford - LA County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LACMTA)
(CA High Speed Rail: Coming to Your Neighborhood?)

  • Alex Clifford has been with the MTA since 2001. He currently serves as the Executive Officer of High Speed Rail, overseeing Metro’s interest in LOSSAN and Metrolink and facilitating the arrival of high speed trains in Los Angeles County. Prior to this position, he served for a little over five years as the General Manager for the Metro Gateway Cities Service Sector. He also served on the Intercity Rail Joint Powers Authority, the RCTC/SANBAG California High Speed Rail Subcommittee and the California/Nevada Super Speed Train Commission. He was a Riverside City Councilman for eight years.

Timothy J. Corbett - SmartRisk
(Characteristics of High Performing Design Firms)

  • Timothy J. Corbett, founder and President of SmartRisk has over 25 years of experience developing risk and performance management programs for design professionals. Tim implemented model programs for numerous A/E firms including Bechtel and EGG and held VP positions with insurance carriers DPIC and Zurich with Underwriting, Risk Management and Claims Analysis responsibilities. A member of AIA, ACEC and USGBC, Tim sits on national committees, is called upon as a speaker, published on the topics and owns copyrights to risk management strategies and programs. Mr. Corbett holds a BS Degree, Security & Risk Management, MS Degree, Management, Environmental studies degree, Architecture Design Certificate and is LEED certified.

Patricia Diefenderfer - Community Planning Bureau, City of Los Angeles
(CA High Speed Rail: Coming to Your Neighborhood?)

  • Patricia Diefenderfer is a City Planner with Department of City Planning of the City of Los Angeles. Currently, she oversees the Department’s long range planning efforts for Downtown Los Angeles. She is one of two people in the Planning Department leading interdepartmental and inter-agency coordination of the High Speed Rail project in Downtown Los Angeles on behalf of the City. Her most recent project has included working with stakeholders to prepare design guidelines for the Broadway Theater and Entertainment District. She has 10 years of urban planning experience as a planner with the City of Los Angeles.

Mehrdad Farivar, FAIA, Esq. - Morris Polich & Purdy LLP
(Know and Exercise Your Lien Rights)

  • Mehrdad Farivar, a partner at Morris Polich & Purdy LLP, focuses his practice exclusively on the construction industry. He specializes in representing design professionals, owners, developers, subcontractors and material suppliers in litigated matters, as well as in the preparation and negotiation of design, construction and related contracts. Mr. Farivar is a former practicing architect licensed in California and the UK, and is a fellow of the American Institute of Architects. He counsels his clients on business and risk management issues, including: entity formation, partnership agreements, licensing, structuring, project and construction management, copyright, design-build contracts, construction and related claims and liens.

Helen Ferraro - Build LACCD
(LACCD: Building a New Paradigm for Design and Construction)

  • Helen Ferraro currently works for the Build-LACCD program as a Request for Proposals (RFP) and Contracts Administrator for Design-Build projects. Prior to that, she worked as a Contracts Administrator for Xcel Energy in Minneapolis. She is a non-practicing attorney licensed in the state of Minnesota.

Arthur Golding, AIA - Arthur Golding & Associates
(CA High Speed Rail: Coming to Your Neighborhood?)

  • Arthur Golding, architect and urban planner has two degrees from Yale University and is an Adjunct Professor at USC. He is a founding director of the Watershed Council. He has been actively involved in discussions regarding High Speed Rail and studies along the LA River Corridor.

Gary J. Hartnett, AIA - IBI Group
(Weaving Transit Facilities into an Existing Urban Fabric: The Downtown LA Regional Connector)

  • Mr. Hartnett has over 30 years of professional experience as an architect and urban designer on a variety of architecture, urban design and transportation planning projects throughout North America and Asia including: Historic Train Stations, Public Spaces, Streetscapes, Mixed-use Complexes, Commercial Office Buildings, high density housing, recreational centers, and manufacturing complexes. Mr. Hartnett is a leader in the transit design industry and is highly skilled at developing design solutions for major transit projects including light rail, heavy rail, streetcar, commuter rail, and bus transit systems at grade, for all types of facilities in all configurations. Mr. Hartnett has worked on Light Rail projects in Seattle, WA, Portland, OR, Los Angeles, CA, Phoenix/Tempe, AZ, Denver, CO, Cleveland, OH, New York City, NY, Boston, MA, Washington, DC, and Taipei Taiwan. Many of these transit projects are distinctive and have become signature facilities for the transportation systems and communities they serve. Mr. Hartnett also has a focused experience managing and leading design professionals on large, complex, urban transportation projects. His responsibilities have included project management coordinating design and construction documentation work produced by large teams of architects, artists, and engineers; monitoring costs for constructability; ADA compliance; systems integration; LEED Certification, green building practice, quality control and quality assurance; value engineering; and providing design team direction and technical expertise. His transit design experience includes the development, collaboration, coordination and integration of public art programs for transportation projects.

Robert Hartung - Build LACCD
(LACCD: Building a New Paradigm for Design and Construction)

  • Robert Hartung, DBIA, currently serves on the AIACC IPD Steering Committee and was a contributing author to the recent AIA/AIACC IPD publications. Robert is a senior instructor for DBIA's Professional Designation courses and a frequent speaker on the subject of IPD and design-build at industry workshops and university classrooms. He is the Senior Design-Build Advisor for LACCD's $3.5 billion building program.

Christopher Hawthorne - Architecture Critic, LA Times
(Placemaking at its Best: Creating the "There-There")

  • Hawthorne has been the architecture critic for The Los Angeles Times since fall 2004. Previously he was the architecture critic for Slate, a contributing editor for Metropolis magazine, and a frequent contributor to The New York Times, where his work appeared in the Arts and Leisure, House & Home, and Op-Ed sections. He has also written for The Washington Post, The San Francisco Chronicle, The New Yorker, New York magazine, and many other publications. He has taught at the Graduate School of Journalism at the University of California at Berkeley and Columbia University.

John Kaliski, AIA - Urban Studio
(Placemaking at its Best: Creating the "There-There")

  • John Kaliski has completed architecture and urban design projects in Southern California and nationally during twenty years of practice. His work has been recognized with awards from the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and the American Planning Association (APA). Recent projects include two automobile showrooms in Calabasas, California and Woodland Hills, California respectively, façade improvements for commercial buildings in Pacoima, California, and mixed-use, multi-family, small-lot subdivision, work force and single-family housing projects throughout Los Angeles. At present he is also working on the North Hollywood Vision Study for the Community Redevelopment Agency of the City of Los Angeles (CRA/LA), and housing and development guidelines for Los Angeles Bel-Air community.

Silvia Kuhle, AIA, LEED AP – Morphosis?
(Design & Construction of the Cooper Union New Academic Building in NYC)

  • Silvia Kuhle, a licensed architect with 16 years of experience in the field, received her Diploma in architecture from the Technische Universität in Darmstadt, Germany and her Master of Architecture from Columbia University. Kuhle’s initial tenure at Morphosis spanned more than 10 years, from 1996–2007, during which time she rose to the level of Principal, and managed a broad range of award winning educational, institutional, governmental, and cultural projects. In 2009, Kuhle rejoined Morphosis to assume responsibility for the financial overview of the firm. As Project Manager, Kuhle led many significant Morphosis projects, including the award-winning, fast-track design/build Caltrans District 7 Headquarters in Los Angeles, the Hypo Alpe-Adria Center in Klagenfurt, Austria, and the firm’s winning design submittal for the new Alaska State Capitol. Kuhle managed the firm’s competition-winning design for the Phare Tower in Paris, a building that aims to establish new benchmarks for sustainable design while providing an iconic landmark in the Parisian skyline. Most recently, Kuhle served as Project Manager for 41 Cooper Square, the new academic building for the Cooper Union in New York City. As Project Architect, Kuhle was responsible for the University of Cincinnati Student Recreation Center and the Children’s Museum Los Angeles project. Other projects that Kuhle has been involved in at Morphosis include the International Elementary School in Long Beach, for which she performed full-time on site project administration, and the Science Center School in Los Angeles, for which she performed constructability reviews. In 2007, Kuhle joined the architecture firm Standard as a full time partner. Silvia Kuhle has taught design studios at UCLA; she has lectured and juried reviews at SciArc, UCLA, USC and Cornell University.

Jonah Lehrer - Contributing editor to Wired Magazine, The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, Nature Magazine, and Outside Magazine
(Placemaking at its Best: Creating the "There-There")

  • Jonah Lehrer is a contributing editor at Wired Magazine. He's also written for the New Yorker, Nature, the New York Times Magazine and Outside. He's the author of two books: How We Decide and Proust Was A Neuroscientist.

Mia Lehrer, FASLA - Mia Lehrer + Associates
(Placemaking at its Best: Creating the "There-There")

  • Mia Lehrer, FASLA, is the president of Mia Lehrer + Associates, known for its design and development of a wide spectrum of ambitious public and private projects that include urban revitalization developments, large urban parks, and complex commercial projects. Born in San Salvador, El Salvador, Ms. Lehrer earned her Masters of Landscape Architecture from the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University. Under the leadership of Ms. Lehrer, the firm has been a leader in creating award-winning designs and distinctive venues for a diverse range of public and private projects.

Michael Lehrer, FAIA – Lehrer Architects
(Placemaking at its Best: Creating the "There-There")

Michael B. Lehrer, FAIA founded his Silverlake-based practice, Lehrer Architects LA in 1985. His work, from the intimate to the monumental, is grounded in the idea that beauty is a rudiment of human dignity. He designs for community with a reverence for light and space as the spiritual essence of architecture. Delight and joy are matters of extreme gravitas in the work. The firm’s work consists of institutional, commercial, residential, industrial, landscape and urban design projects. Lehrer Architects LA has won over major 50 national, state, and local design awards since 1996, including numerous honor awards from The American Institute of Architects, the Chicago Athenaeum, and the International Interior Design Association, among many others. The recently completed Water + Life Museums in Hemet, an internationally honored environmental showcase, are the first LEED Platinum museums in the world. Widely published nationally and internationally, he is regularly called upon to comment about design matters in national and local media to explain the public interest from the architect’s perspective. Educated at Berkeley and Harvard after attending LAUSD public schools, Michael has been on the adjunct faculty at the University of Southern California since 1986; he has taught all levels of design studio from 1st Year through Masters Thesis. He is married to Mia Lehrer, FASLA of Mia Lehrer + Associates Landscape Architecture. They have three children: Benjamin, Rebecca, and Raphael.

Sam Lubell - The Architect's Newspaper
(Placemaking at its Best: Creating the "There-There")

  • Sam Lubell is West Coast Editor for the Architect’s Newspaper. He has written for The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, Travel+Leisure, New York Magazine, Architectural Record and Architect Magazine. He has published three books with Monacelli Press: Paris 2000+, London 2000+, and Living West. His fourth book, Julius Shulman and Southern California: A Personal Portrait, will be released next spring.

Valerie E. Martinez - VMA Communications, Inc.
(CA High Speed Rail: Coming to Your Neighborhood?)

  • Ms. Martinez is helping to change the face of transportation in America. She has worked since 2003 with the California High-Speed Rail Authority, providing strategic political guidance and implementation of a solid CEQA/NEPA-focused outreach program to support the design and engineering of the largest public infrastructure project in U.S. history – an 800-mile system, connecting urban centers throughout the State, revolutionizing mobility in California. Through the years, she has built and rebuilt more than 60 public schools and community colleges, providing guidance through the CEQA process to site, design and construct the projects; and helping to pass a number of general obligation bonds to finance the projects. She is a graduate of USC, was the Chief Consultant for the Latino Legislative Caucus and Press Secretary for State Senator Polanco.

Gerhard W. Mayer, AIA - Mayer Architects
(CA High Speed Rail: Coming to Your Neighborhood?)

  • Gerhard W. Mayer has 25 years of experience in a wide variety of project types, both large and small, on four continents. Among others, Gerhard designed and built hotels, movie studios, airport buildings, educational buildings, shopping malls, a semi conductor FAB for AMD, and multiple residential and mixed use infill projects locally. Gerhard was part of Frank O. Gehry's office for almost 8 years.

Christopher J. Menjou, Esq. - Morris Polich & Purdy LLP
(Know and Exercise Your Lien Rights)

  • Christopher Menjou represents and advises design and construction professionals in project development and adversarial disputes, including mediation, arbitration and litigation. He is also experienced in all phases of business and commercial litigation in state and federal courts. He has represented owners in several multi-million dollar commercial and residential construction disputes.

Charles Warner Oakley, FAIA - Ehrlich Architects
(370 Years of American College Campus Design)

  • Charles "Duke" Oakley was Campus Architect at UCLA for 15 years (1985-2000) during which time that campus evolved from an essentially suburban paradigm to an urban village with the addition of 4.5 million square feet of building, 3 million feet of parking structures, and the renovation of 3.5 million sf, while improving the quality of life for the campus community. Prior to UCLA he had been Director of the Los Angeles Office of John Carl Warnecke & Associates. For the last five years he has been a partner with Steven Ehrlich at Ehrlich Architects. He has a B.A. from Dartmouth College and an M.Arch from Penn.

Jean Oei – Morphosis
(Design & Construction of the Cooper Union New Academic Building in NYC)

  • Jean Oei received her Bachelor of Science degree from Kent State University School of Architecture, and her Master of Architecture degree from SCI-Arc (Southern California Institute of Architecture) where she graduated with distinction. She joined Morphosis architects as a project designer in 1999. Oei has been involved in planning, researching and developing preliminary concepts from early model and diagram stages, through design and construction drawings. Oei’s career at Morphosis began with the Palenque at Centro JVC, a large-scale multi-function arena in Guadalajara, Mexico, situated to function as a gateway to a larger urban development. She was primarily responsible for researching, programming and developing the design, structure and circulation of the 6,250 seat open-air arena. In 2000, Oei was project designer on phase 3 of the award-winning office bank building, Hypo-Alpe-Adria-Center in Klagenfurt, Austria. She spent several months in Graz, Austria working closely with the client on programmatic issues and coordinated the work of the engineers and the production of the construction package. Oei also served as lead project designer for the NOAA Satellite Operations Facility in Suitland, Maryland, a 208,000 square feet building of high tech office space and computer centers with 24-7 operational capability. Oei began the concept design process, working closely with the client and user groups to gain an understanding of the working relationships between the office departments and the satellite control operations center. Because of the unique nature of the facility, an enormous amount of time was spent ensuring that programmatic and technical requirements of the facility were satisfied, in particular the technical criteria of antenna dishes are met, as well as the access and safe maintenance of the dishes. Most recently, Oei has served as a Project Designer/Job Captain for the New Academic Building for the Cooper Union. Capitalizing on her experience with NOAA, Oei was responsible for the programming and concept design of the project, working closely with the client and user groups to gain an understanding of the their unique and collective needs. Oei has maintained involvement throughout all phases of the project and has served as the Job Captain performing full-time on site project administration throughout the construction administration phase. Other projects that Ms. Oei has been involved in at Morphosis include the Science Center School, the Denver Art Museum competition, the Caltrans District 7 Headquarters Competition, the European Central Bank Headquarters and Urban Planning Competition, and the Perth Amboy High School, all projects for which she served as a key project designer.

Bharat Patel - Build LACCD
(LACCD: Building a New Paradigm for Design and Construction)

  • Bharat Patel is director of sustainability with URS and has over 30 years experience in Design and Construction in sustainable development. He is the past chair of the US Green Building Council – LA chapter, and registered engineer in 12 states. Patel has worked in Europe, Asia and America with world renowned: Sir Norman Foster, Sir Richard Rogers and Renzo Piano. His unique experience allows him to examine and provide unique solutions that balance competing concerns in design such as energy, environmental sensitivities, security and costs. He is also an adjunct professor at UCLA for 18 years where he teaches sustainable development.

D. Creighton Sebra, Esq. - Morris Polich & Purdy LLP
(Know and Exercise Your Lien Rights)

  • D. Creighton Sebra is a Partner at Morris Polich & Purdy LLP. His practice focuses on the area of design and construction law. Creighton specializes in representing architects, engineers, contractors, subcontractors, owners and insurers in all aspects of construction law, including contract disputes, delays claims, mechanic's liens/stop notices and other construction related disputes. He also has experience within the construction industry; prior to his legal career, he worked for a civil engineering contractor as a project manager, as well as a project estimator.

Robert Stellwagen, Esq. - Collins Collins Muir + Stewart LLP
(Identifying and Managing Risk on a Project: Beware of the Wolf in Sheep's Clothing!)

  • Robert Stellwagen is a partner at Collins, Collins, Muir + Stewart LLP. Mr. Stellwagen specializes in the representation of design professionals in contract negotiations, corporate transactions, jury and judge trials, mediations, arbitrations, and appeals. He received his B.A. cum laude in political science from the University of California, San Diego and his J.D. from Hastings College of the Law. He has been a speaker at numerous seminars, including groups such as ACEC, CSI, and local AIA Chapters. He is admitted to practice in the California state and federal courts, as well as the United States Court of Claims.

Christie Swiss, Esq. - Collins Collins Muir + Stewart LLP
(Identifying and Managing Risk on a Project: Beware of the Wolf in Sheep's Clothing!)

  • Christie Swiss is an associate at Collins, Collins, Muir + Stewart LLP. Her practice focuses on design professional liability, public entity liability, civil rights, employment, and construction law. She has represented design professionals in all areas of their practice, including professional liability and contract claims. Ms. Swiss received her B.B.A. in Marketing and French from the University of Notre Dame, an M.A. in French from Bryn Mawr College, and her J.D. from Indiana University School of Law-Indianapolis cum laude. She is admitted to practice in California, the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, and the Ninth Circuit.

Robert Uyeda, FAIA - Tetra-IBI Group
(Weaving Transit Facilities into an Existing Urban Fabric: The Downtown LA Regional Connector)

  • Robert H. Uyeda, FAIA, with over thirty-five years of experience, has built an award-winning architectural, planning and interior design practice in Los Angeles. His commitment to design while meeting his clients’ programmatic and financial needs has built the office exponentially. With the recent merger of IBI Group and Tetra Design, the firm has expanded its’ expertise to include transportation planning, engineering and urban design. He has worked tirelessly on community-based public projects and continues to be heavily involved with each client. His responsibilities include establishing the design philosophy of the office, primary client contact, administration and business development. He continues to direct the firm, Tetra-IBI Group, through its involvement with diverse architectural, urban planning and space planning projects and ensures that the Client’s programmatic requests are responded to in the most creative means possible. It is Mr. Uyeda’s belief that only through open communication can the client realizes maximum benefit from the Architect’s creative process. As a well respected architect and community leader, Robert Uyeda has worked closely with the architectural community. He has served tirelessly on many non-profit boards including: AIA, Los Angeles Chapter, California Council, AIA, Delegate, College of Fellows, American Institute of Architects, Los Angeles Conservancy, Board of Directors, USC Architectural Guild, Director and the Asian American Architects & Engineers, Director and Past-President. He has also been honored by the Los Angeles Conservancy, California Preservation Foundation and the City of Los Angeles. While Mr. Uyeda provides the key vision and leadership for the Tetra-IBI Group, he has continued his commitment to serve his community with several appointments including the City of Los Angeles, Commission Design Advisory Panel, Los Angeles Unified School District, Small Business Advisory Council, Member, Little Tokyo Community Development Advisory Committee and the Little Tokyo Public Arts Task Force. It is through his guidance and clear vision that has built the foundation of Tetra-IBI Group.

Dean J. Vlahos, FAIA - DLR Group WWCOT
(Sleuthing for the Truth)

  • Dean J. Vlahos, FAIA, NCARB, CCCA, LEED AP serves as an architectural expert consultant to the legal profession in preparation for expert testimony involving Architect's Standard of Care, construction industry inter-relationships, building envelope design and analysis, and construction technology. Over more than 30 years of architectural practice, he has successfully completed a wide range of building types totaling over 8 million square feet of building program space at an approximate construction value in excess of 5 billion dollars. Dean holds architectural licensure in five states and CSI certification as both a Construction Document Technologist and a Certified Construction Contract Administrator.

Chester A. Widom, FAIA - Build LACCD
(LACCD: Building a New Paradigm for Design and Construction)

  • Chet Widom, FAIA served as National AIA President in 1995 and currently serves as the Vice Chancellor of the College of Fellows. Chet was the Founding Partner of WWCOT and is currently the Senior Architectural Advisor for LACCD. He has served as a Commissioner for both the Los Angeles Planning Department and the Building Department. He has recently completed his second term on the OSHPD Board and is a member of the Citizen's Oversight Committee for the LAUSD Bond Program.

Nate Wittasek, P.E., LEED AP - ARUP
(It’s Your Time & Money: Understanding Common Accessibility Errors & Omissions)

  • Nate Wittasek is a professional fire protection engineer and codes consultant living in Los Angeles, California. He has been consulting for Arup since 2003 on projects located in the United States, Mexico, China, the Middle East and Russia. He comes from a background of fire fighting, codes consulting, fire engineering research and accessibility dating back to 1993. Nate is actively involved with the AIA, Society of Fire Protection Engineers and the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat and has been teaching at the UCLA Extension and Cal Poly Pomona since 2005.



Last updated: 24-Jan-2013 12:11 PM
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