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Interview with Elena Manferdini – XX|LA Episode 023

This episode features Elena Manferdini, the recipient of the ICON award at the 2019 LA Design Festival. This interview was recorded at the event at Row DTLA. Elena is the Graduate Chair at Sci-Arc and principal of Atelier Manferdini. Elena’s striking exuberance, charisma, and rigor is completely evident in her work, which ranges in scale from product design, to graphic facades and entire buildings. Her process often incorporates cutting edge technology as an integral part of the design,...


Interview with Helena Jubany – XX|LA Episode 022

Helena Jubany, FAIA has a real knack for developing leaders, as well as a sharp business acumen. Helena’s 30 year career specializing in education and public sector architecture included 17 years of building her own practice, prior to mergers with NAC Architecture and Osborne. Loyal listeners will remember my interview with Leslie Sydnor in Episode 15, where Leslie spoke incredibly highly of Helena as her mentor. In fact, I was so struck by what Leslie had to say about Helena, that I felt...


Interview with Rachel Allen – XX|LA Episode 021

What I admire about Rachel Allen is the pragmatic, intelligent, and unapologetically hard-working ethos that she brings to her work. As founding principal of RADAR (Rachel Allen Development Architecture Research Inc.), her success relies upon her ability to understand the viewpoints of people she's working with in order to communicate effectively and harness the strengths of her team. The pay off of RADAR's hard work is evident in their growing project list, such as their role as Design...


Interview with Mina Chow – XX|LA Episode 020

In episode 20, we're putting the "LA" in XX|LA by speaking with an architect who is also a film maker! Mina Chow is an architect and professor at the USC School of Architecture. She is also the director, producer, and star of the documentary "Face of a Nation: What Happened to the World's Fair?" The film is about Mina's journey as an idealistic architect and daughter of immigrants, as she discovers why America abandoned World's Fairs. Michael Sorkin calls it an "urgently dispiriting but...


Interview with Rennie Tang and Sara Wookey – XX|LA Episode 019

I'm fascinated by architects who work in interdisciplinary and collaborative ways, and my latest guests bridge architecture and dance in a fascinating way! In this episode, I speak with Rennie Tang and Sara Wookey, the artists and creators behind Punt.Point. Punt.Point was commissioned by the Van Abbe Museum in 2013 and acquired for their permanent collection in 2018. Rennie and Sara are practitioners who come from architecture and dance backgrounds respectively, with training and interest...


Interview with Irma Ramirez – XX|LA Episode 018

Irma Ramirez is a professor in the architecture department and director of the China Study Abroad program at Cal Poly Pomona. Her accolades include the NCARB Grand Prize, National Lynton Citation for Distinguished Engaged Scholarship for the Habitat 21 Sustainable Settlements Project in Tijuana with Corazon, and awards from the American Planning Association and American Institute of Certified Planners and Environmental Design Research Association for work in the China program. She also...


Interview with Claret-Cup – XX|LA Episode 017

In this episode, I spent an evening chatting with the women of Claret-Cup at the Los Angeles Brewery Artists Colony. Claret-Cup was co-founded by Bojána Bányász and Donatella Cusmá, two architects who bonded over a love of Los Angeles, a shared value that architecture does not only serve its private owners, and a desire to work outside the normal bounds of a traditional practice. Their work crosses over to disciplines like fashion, graphic design, food making, and community building, and...


AWA+D Panel Discussion – Episode 016

This episode is a live recording of a panel discussion, featuring Association for Women in Architecture and Design (AWA+D) members Lise Bornstein of KFA, Wena Dows of Wena Dows Designs, Marisa Kurtzman of Frederick Fisher and Partners, Brenda Levin of Levin & Associates Architects, Kate Diamond of HDR, and Nina Briggs of The Fabric, moderated by XX|LA host Audrey Sato. It was recorded on Sept. 30 at WUHO, which is Woodbury University’s Gallery space right on Hollywood Boulevard. Our event...


Interview with Leslie Sydnor – XX|LA Episode 015

Leslie Sydnor is an architect now working as a Director / Planning Project Manager at Cumming Corporation. Leslie grew up in New York City wanting to effect change in the built environment, and so she went on to study architecture at Yale and then UCLA. After about 20 years in architecture, having risen to the level of Associate Principal, Leslie left her traditional career in architecture to work on the other side of things in project, program, planning, and construction management....


Free School of Architecture – XX|LA Episode 014

In this live recording of the XXLA Architects Podcast, I visit the Free School of Architecture at WUHO Gallery on July 24, 2018 and have a discussion with some of the participants to hear more about this innovative 6 week experience. Attend the closing party and find out more about Free School of Architecture Friday, July 27 from 6:30pm at WUHO Gallery: 6518 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90028 Participants in the episode (listed in no particular order): Alejandra Ramirez, Nathan Halimi,...


Interview with Margot Siegel — XX|LA Episode 013

Margot Siegel was born in 1932 in Germany, and as a child, she went on to live in Paris and then New York, as her family fled from Nazi occupation. She describes herself as always being somewhat of an outsider, having experienced the shock of new countries and cultures, and then becoming an architect in a time where it was highly unusual to be a woman and an architect. She attended Pratt Institute, graduating with her architecture degree in 1955. Finding that others weren’t giving her the...


Interview with Ginger Tanzmann — XX|LA Episode 012

Do you want to start your own practice, but aren't sure how to go about getting work? Ginger Tanzmann knows how you feel, and she asked herself those same questions. In 1978, Ginger had $20,000, two rooms in the Bradbury Building, and the passion to pursue her dream of owning her own architecture business. In this interview with Virginia (better known as Ginger) Tanzmann, FAIA, we hear the stories of Ginger’s long and illustrious career, including how she built The Tanzmann Associates from...


Interview with Deborah Weintraub – XX|LA Episode 011

Today’s guest is Deborah Weintraub, Chief Deputy City Engineer for the Bureau of Engineering in the City of Los Angeles’ Department of Public Works. Deborah is the first architect and woman to hold the position, and in this role has overseen projects like the LA River Revitalization Master Plan and the 6th Street Viaduct, which is currently under construction. Through this work, she had made major contributions to the city and its future, applying her architectural background and training...


Interview with Ingalill Wahlroos-Ritter – XX|LA Episode 010

Episode 10 features Ingalill Wahlroos-Ritter, Dean of the School of Architecture at Woodbury University and Director of WUHO (Woodbury University Hollywood) Gallery. Ingalill was elevated to the College of Fellows in the AIA this year, a high distinction awarded to only 3 percent of AIA members. She serves on the advisory board of the LA Forum for Architecture and Urban Design,* and previously was on the Board of the AIA|LA. Prior to her tenure at Woodbury, Ingalill taught at Cornell,...


Interview with Ena Dubnoff – XX|LA Episode 009

This episode features Ena Dubnoff, an architect and artist who had a diverse career since graduating at the top of her class, and as the only woman in her class, from USC in 1960. Ena has her Masters of Architecture from Columbia, and throughout her career taught at Penn State, Sci-Arc and USC, and worked at the offices of William Pereira, A. Quincy Jones, and Skidmore, Owings, & Merril. She established her own practice specializing in projects for non-profit organizations, such as...


Interview with Elizabeth Timme – XX|LA Episode 008

This episode features Elizabeth Timme, founder and co-executive director of LA-Más with Helen Leung. LA-Más is a non-profit urban design organization that helps lower-income and underserved communities shape their future through policy and architecture. During this episode, Elizabeth talks about LA-Más, and some of the exciting work they are doing in our city. Elizabeth and Helen were just named Emerging Voices by the Architectural League of New York, and Elizabeth is also part of the...


Interview with Wena Dows – XX|LA Episode 007

This episode features Wena Dows, a residential designer who had her own practice in Los Angeles for over 60 years, after graduating from UC Berkeley in 1950. She talks about what it was like to go to architecture school in the late 40s, how she found work and then went on to build a successful practice and raise three kids. I believe that Wena has made the world I entered into a better place, and I am thankful to share her stories here with you. Wena has also formerly chaired the AWAF...


Interview with Sarah Lorenzen – XX|LA Episode 006

This episode features Sarah Lorenzen, professor and former chair of the architecture department at Cal Poly Pomona, partner at TOLO (formerly Peter Tolkin Architecture), Resident Director at the Neutra VDL House in Silverlake, and recently elected Director to the Board of Directors at AIA|LA. Sarah speaks about her education and background in architecture as an alumnus of Smith College, Atlanta College of Art (BFA), Georgia Tech (M.Arch), and SCI-Arc (M.Arch, MR+D) and took a one-year...


Interview with Nina Briggs – XX|LA Episode 005

Episode 5 of the XX|LA Architects Podcast features an interview with Nina Briggs, founding principal at THE FABRIC, award-winning educator, and creator of a documentary film "Practitioners". "Practitioners" gives us a view into the diverse and extraordinary careers of women in and around the architecture community in Los Angeles, and sheds light onto these women’s undeniable impact upon our community. During this episode, Nina tells us about the film and her goals for the project. She...


Small Business Round Table – XX|LA Episode 004

Episode 4 of the XX|LA Architects Podcast features an informal round table discussion on the topic of starting a small architecture business. Architects and entrepreneurs Harper Halprin of HH Design, Luciana Tagliaferri of Tagliaferri Architects, and host Audrey Sato of Sato Architects discuss the ups and downs of starting their own practices, including topics like getting work, how we knew we were ready to go it alone, work/life balance, contracts, and diversification. Connect with us! HH...