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This year, we are thrilled to welcome Anne Schopf, FAIA, Mehrdad Yazdani, Assoc. AIA, Eric Cesal, Assoc. AIA, and Vivian Lee, AIA, to Austin this May to serve as the jury for our 2018 Design Awards.

Anne Schopf, FAIA

Anne Schopf is Design Partner at Mahlum. Schopf continually challenges teams to question deeply and listen intently to support the firm’s goal of creating healthy and sustainable spaces for their clients and the communities they serve. Under her leadership, Mahlum was recognized with the 2014 American Institute of Architects Northwest and Pacific Region (AIA NWPR) Firm Award.

A dedicated champion of design excellence and environmental stewardship, Schopf’s projects and professional activism continually enhance the discourse on design and place. With more than 80 regional and national design awards to her credit, she continually strives for the highest quality of design within strict parameters of performance.

Schopf is the recipient of the 2013 AIA NWPR Medal of Honor, the highest commendation presented to an individual by the region, recognizing excellence in design, the practice of architecture, architectural education, and service to the profession. Elevated to Fellow in the AIA in 2007, she received a bachelor’s of architecture and bachelor’s of science in both civil engineering and building sciences from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. She is a registered architect in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, New York, Colorado, Montana, Wyoming, Louisiana, Hawaii, Alaska, Missouri, and New Jersey.

Mehrdad Yazdani, AIA

Mehrdad Yazdani is design principal at Yazdani Studio. Named by Progressive Architecture as one of the world’s top emerging architects in 1990 — just three years after graduating from Harvard University’s School of Design — Mehrdad’s design philosophy is focused on maintaining an environment of exploration, tempered with a realistic sense of each client’s needs and pragmatic details. As a design principal of his firm’s national practice and the director of the Yazdani Studio of CannonDesign, he possesses deep experience designing complex work across the globe. His buildings are responsive to context, climate, and culture, while achieving enduring value with a conscientious respect for client budgets and schedules.

Throughout his career, Mehrdad’s work has garnered more than 90 major design awards and publication in national and international journals, including The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Architectural Record, Dezeen, Fast Company, BusinessWeek and more. His work has been exhibited around the world and is held in permanent collections at the MoMA and SFMOMA.

Eric Cesal, Assoc. AIA

Eric J. Cesal is a designer, writer, and noted post-disaster expert, having led on-the-ground reconstruction programs after the Haiti earthquake, the Great East Japan Tsunami, and Superstorm Sandy. Cesal’s formal training is as an architect, with international development, economics, and foreign policy among his areas of expertise.

Cesal has been called “Architecture’s First Responder” by The Daily Beast for his work leading Architecture for Humanity’s post-disaster programs from 2010 to 2014.  He has been interviewed widely on the subjects of disaster and resilience by publications such as The New Yorker, Architectural Record, Architect Magazine, Foreign Policy Magazine, and Monocle.

Cesal holds advanced degrees in Architecture and Construction Management, as well as an M.B.A. from Washington University in St. Louis., where he was both a Howard and Joyce Wood Fellow, as well as the recipient of the Jerome Sincoff Scholarship. He is currently a visiting lecturer at University of California, Berkeley, where he conducts studios and seminars on contemporary issues in disaster and resilience. He also serves as the special projects director for the Curry Stone Foundation, a U.S. nonprofit that seeks to support and empower community-driven social impact design. 

Vivian Lee, AIA

Vivian Lee is an associate partner at Richard Meier and Partners. Prior to joining the firm, she lived and worked in Europe and Asia. Her current portfolio includes the Oaks Frontline Apartments & Villas in the Czech Republic, the Taichung Condominium Tower in Taiwan, and the 101 Market Street Hotel & Residential Tower in Newark, New Jersey. Her contribution to the firm’s creative portfolio also includes the recently completed SoMA Master Plan and Teachers Village Charter Schools and Workforce Housing in Newark, New Jersey; Seamarq Hotel in Gangneung, South Korea; OCT Clubhouse in Shenzhen, China; and Italcementi i.lab in Bergamo, Italy.

Many of her projects have been published in various domestic and international magazines, including Architectural Record, Architect, Detail, Casabella, and Abitare. Lee dedicated 10 years to Teachers Village, starting with the SoMa Master Plan in Downtown Newark and subsequently completing the design, documentation, and construction of two charter schools and three residential buildings, all achieving LEED Neighborhood Development Silver Certification. Her commitments to conscientious and sustainable design are the key principles that contributed to the success of the project, resulting in healthy, green buildings with an elevated quality of life, in an environmentally sensitive community. Lee received her bachelor’s in architecture from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and a Summa Cum Laude master’s in architecture from Syracuse University in Florence, Italy. She is a registered architect in New York and is co-chair of the AIANY Women in Architecture Committee, where she mentors young architects and promotes women in leadership and design roles in the practice.

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