Meet the Street Seats Jury

May 21, 2018 | | View Comments

Join us in welcoming the high-caliber experts who will judge each unique Street Seat design!


The deadlines have whizzed past, the entries have arrived, and the Street Seats applications are now closed! Between now and the Model Gallery Opening & Semi-Finalist Announcement on June 7th, our jury has their work cut out for them. To celebrate, we want to share some of our illustrious judges with you!

As the VP of Sales & Marketing at ACME, a custom fabrication and event production studio in NE Portland, Suzy Alexander is responsible for directing and overseeing client-facing personnel. She became a partner in 2013, with a focus on enhancing the client experience. Prior to ACME, she spent 15 years within the retail industry and has brought a deep knowledge and understanding of customer service, merchandising, and operations.


Kregg Arntson manages Portland General Electric’s Corporate Social Responsibility department and serves as executive director of the PGE Foundation. He oversees corporate and foundation grantmaking, corporate sponsorships, volunteer engagement, employee giving campaign and safety/energy education programs, as well as PGE’s sustainability initiatives and reporting. Currently, he’s a member of RACC’s Arts Education Committee  and Creating Connection, an Oregon-led national arts research initiative.


Iris Boulware has over 22 years of experience overseeing all phases of large construction projects, including corporate office tenant improvements, higher education, restaurant, and retail projects. She currently works as a Project Manager for Howard S. Wright. Iris also serves as Vice Chair for the Portland Chapter of the ACE Mentor Program, a national nonprofit organization that mentors Portland area youth interested in the Architecture, Construction and Engineering Trades.


Leroy E. Bynum, Jr. currently resides in Portland, Oregon, having joined Portland State University as Dean of the College of Arts and Humanities this Fall. Bynum holds voice and opera performance degrees from the University of Georgia, the University of South Florida and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and has received performance certificates from the Mozart Conservatory in Salzburg, Austria and the Berlin Conservatory in Berlin, Germany, having been awarded a Fulbright Fellowship for vocal study.


Stephanie Gioia is an independent consultant working at the intersection of organizational challenges and design thinking. Helping organizations get to clarity is Stephanie’s superpower. Her practice combines facilitation, human-centered design, visual communication, strategy analysis, and organizational behavior design tools. Stephanie teaches at the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford, the University of Oregon Executive MBA program, and the MFA in Collaborative Design program at PNCA.


Brittney Herrera is a Senior Workplace Strategist for SERA Architects, a demonstrated leader, and active philanthropist. While technically a red-headed step-child, that label has not stopped her from becoming a trusted advisor and designer for some of the top Tech firms in the world. Her designs are home to the likes of TripAdvisor, edX, LogMeIn, EnerNOC and Blackduck Software. She is a former President of IIDA New England and a current board member of The Arthritis Foundation’s Oregon Chapter.


Ed Herrera, Senior Designer at BRIC Architecture, Inc., has long been interested in art, design, and how the two intertwine in the urban fabric. He draws on his own life experiences of childhood in the Philippines and growing up in Southern California to be resonating inspirations for provoking connections and collaborations. Having lived in San Diego, Boston, and now Portland, his involvement in multiple architecture communities has enabled him to explore professional collaborations in each region.


Local native Andee Hess is the founder of Osmose, an interior design firm focused primarily on hospitality, retail, and high end residential design. Osmose’s work is anchored in strong conceptual stock, which develops from the soul of a project and informs the moods and direction of the experience. Custom furniture and lighting are regular extensions of their design approach – continuously collaborating with new artisans and industries. Portland projects of note:  Ava Gene’s, House Spirits Tasting Room and Salt & Straw.


Robb Hunter is a Senior Product and Experience Designer at INDUSTRY, a multidisciplinary team of experts that work beyond the traditional categories of product design to create end to end solutions that shift markets. With a background in industrial design, Robb specializes in bridging the gap between strategy and execution through a deep understanding of form, materials, manufacturing and human-centered thinking. He has lead programs for global brands including Nike, World Kitchen, & HP.


Ruwan Jayaweera is a Senior Associate and Mechanical Engineer at PAE with more than 20 years of experience in design and modeling of sustainable buildings. He has provided expertise for 19 LEED rated or registered projects, as well as several passive, resilient, and Net Zero Energy projects.  Ruwan is also active in giving back to the community, as a mentor with the ACE Mentorship Program and MESA and as a member of the Green Schools Committee.


Jennie Kalberer joined Gerding Edlen in 2011. As Director of Marketing & Design, Jennie conducts in-depth assessments of each market and works in underwriting, positioning and branding of each asset. She is responsible for overseeing design and interiors of development projects and ensuring that community spaces and programming align with the brand strategy. She works in collaboration with the architects and construction teams to create spaces that align with the demographic and principles of Gerding Edlen.


Kaarin Knudson, AIA, is an architect and urban designer who founded her sustainable urban design practice, Larco/Knudson, in 2017. In the decade prior, she led innovative urban design, planning processes, and architecture projects of various sizes throughout western Oregon. As non-tenured faculty in full-time practice, she also teaches urbanism and design studios in the UO College of Design, and is currently co-authoring a book on sustainable urban design.


Cindy Laurila is a corporate real estate manager for Portland General Electric and full time Timbers fan. She graduated from Pepperdine University and proceeded to quickly learn about every product type in the market during her extensive real estate career. After leaving Los Angeles and moving to Portland, she embraced opportunities that led to business development and leadership of portfolio teams for several different regional and national real estate investment firms.


Kari Merkl is the owner of Merkled Studio, a design and manufacturing company based in Portland, Oregon. Merkled Studio’s work has been shown at trade shows and retail stores around the world including the NY MOMA Design Store, ICFF, IDS, and NeoCon. Kari has been designing and creating objects of function for the past 17 years. Kari’s study of architecture eventually led her to the world of industrial design. Her background in spatial aesthetics has informed her sense of conceptual design and hands on fabrication.


Jooyoung Oh is an experienced design researcher and innovation process facilitator based in Portland, Oregon. She uncovers consumer insights through international field research and helps organizations understand their current and future audiences, set their vision and create a roadmap for their vision.  Prior to working as an independent consultant, she worked at Ziba, Innovation and Design consultancy, Lextant, design research consultancy, and also founded and ran her own business called Design Research Collective.


Chris Pellissier is the CFO and Treasurer of The Zidell Companies and is responsible for finance and risk management for the manufacturing, marine leasing and real estate development business. With over 25 years of experience at Zidell, Chris pursued a Master of Real Estate Development at Portland State University. Through this experience, Chris learned the importance of thorough planning and risk analysis for real estate development as well as the sustainability and equity challenges Portland experiences today.


Amanda Petretti, AIA, is the founding partner of Studio Petretti, a design-driven architecture studio working with public and private clients throughout the Pacific Northwest. Amanda embraces opportunities to develop simple, elegant solutions to complex design problems. Her team has led projects large and small, including spaces for higher education, civic engagement, housing, hospitality and creative office.


Trained in Architecture, Andy Powell has pursued this calling on the open fringes of contemporary professional practice since the initiation of his bootstrap design/build practice in 2003.  His work has consistently sought the cultivation of a new model for shaping the built environment: one that fundamentally bridges the gaps that separate Architecture from Building..  In 2013 he founded Superfab, a Portland based design lab and fabrication house that combines design thinking, experienced hands and new era tools.


Richard Ramer is the founder and principal of Ramer Architecture. He studied design at UCLA, graduated from U. C. Berkeley, Cum Laude, with a Bachelor’s Degree in Architecture, and has further graduate studies at Southern California Institute of Architecture. The foundation for his individual practice began while working for Lloyd Wright. He has been chairperson of the Los Angeles AIA Committee on Healthcare and headed the design and construction for a clinic in Borneo, part of Health in Harmony.


Joe Schneider is a Senior Vice President at Skanska, based in Portland, Oregon. He has 30 years of experience in the design and construction industry and oversees a variety of market sectors including higher education, public, hospitality, aviation and transportation. His recent resume includes the Porter Hotel—a 297-room boutique hotel in downtown Portland; the architecturally stunning PSU School of Business – Karl Miller Center; and a multi-phased expansion and rebalancing of the Portland International Airport.


Michael Stueve is a Principal and head of UX Strategy at Ankrom Moisan Architects. As a licensed architect, interior designer and brand strategist, Michael brings a unique perspective specializing in the design of creative and culturally rich spaces. His recent projects have ranged from corporate headquarters for fast-growing tech companies and high-end residential projects to community branding and web development. His goal is to always enrich the user experience through brand, culture, and technology.


Sage Van Wing is the executive producer of Oregon Public Broadcasting‘s daily talk show, “Think Out Loud.” She has produced daily news programs at other NPR affiliate stations Vermont Public Radio, KUOW in Seattle and KQED in San Francisco. She graduated from Stanford University with a degree in anthropology. While in Vermont, she became an expert sledder. While in Seattle, she learned to bike in the rain. Sage hopes someday to become an expert taxidermist.


Mauricio Villarreal is a founding partner of PLACE, a globally integrated design studio focused on the craft of placemaking, Mauricio has more than 25 years of experience creating transformative environments that embrace environmental stewardship and provide vital spaces for generations to enjoy. In addition, he is actively engaged with a local community teaching Urban Design Studio at Portland State University School of Architecture and recently serving as the President of the Oregon ASLA.


Lorrie Vogel is the founder of ImagineNOW LLC – a consultancy that accelerates innovation by using the power of design thinking, leveraging over 25 years of innovation, design and sustainability expertise. Lorrie enjoyed a 21-year career at Nike, bringing innovation to all facets of Nike’s products as well as shaping the future of the apparel and footwear industry as the VP of Nike’s Material Science and Innovation.


Paul Wallman has worked in and managed virtually all types of commercial buildings in the Northwest. The building types include Class A office, high-tech, high-rise, college campuses, government buildings, electric utility buildings, Data Centers, laboratories, historic buildings, industrial, retail, and parking garages. Paul was named “Sustainable Advocate of the Year” by the Portland Business Journal.


Jake Weiss is on the marketing team at Klarquist Sparkman, one of the oldest and largest intellectual property law firms in the Pacific Northwest. As part of the firm’s business development activities, Jake’s duties include graphic and web design. He first moved to Portland in 1999 to attend Lewis & Clark College, and has since received a law degree from Rutgers University and a master’s in business from PSU. He is proud to be a part of the Street Seats bench selection process, and is an expert at sitting on things.

Join us the evening of June 7th for the Model Gallery Opening Reception and Semi-Finalist Announcement! The hundreds of Street Seats models will be showcased; a unique opportunity to see the scope of the design talent participating in the competition. Be the first to see the designs that will create the Street Seats exhibition this summer, complete with refreshments and your fellow design enthusiasts.

About Street Seats

Street Seats is an international design challenge which will culminate in an outdoor design exhibition and walking tour around the World Trade Center Portland plaza in Downtown Portland, Oregon. Entrants will participate by designing sustainable outdoor sidewalk furniture with a focus on reuse, using environmentally-friendly materials and innovative construction methods. Design teams will record and submit their process along with their final designs to, in the end, create the public design exhibition.

Street Seats provides an opportunity to improve the visibility and livability of an urban area while being socially and environmentally conscious. Individuals and groups from around the world design an iconic bench, or ‘street seat,’ for the World Trade Center Portland plaza. The area is a lively destination for residents and visitors alike, with access to Portland’s major financial, government, and business institutions, as well as the Tom McCall Waterfront Park and a burgeoning tourism district.

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