Katherine Chia, FAIA, Co-founder and Principal, Desai Chia Architecture
Nina Kinoti-Metz, LEED AP, Co-founder and Principal, Studio Parallel Architecture+Design
Anik Pearson, AIA, Founding Principal, Anik Pearson Architect,
Suchi Reddy, AIA, Founding Principal, Reddymade Architecture and Design
Alexandra Barker, FAIA, Founding Principal, Barker Associates Architecture Office (BAAO)
About the Speakers:
Katherine Chia is a founding principal of Desai Chia Architecture. Since 1996, she and her partner & husband, Arjun Desai, have established the firm’s reputation for authentic design, creating inspiring environments expressive of light, materials, and spaces that foster collaboration. Desai Chia’s projects have been published extensively and received many accolades including numerous AIA Design Awards and American Architecture Awards, numerous Interior Design Best of Year Awards, and an AIA Institute Honor Award. In 2018, ARCHITECT Magazine ranked Desai Chia Architecture #19 in the nation for Design. The book “The Women Who Changed Architecture”, to be released by Princeton Architectural Press in March 2022, has included Katherine and her work in the chapter titled “Raising the Roof.” Chia grew up in New York State and Belgium. She earned her Master of Architecture degree from M.I.T. and received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Amherst College. Prior to founding Desai Chia Architecture, she worked for Maya Lin on numerous art and architecture commissions. She is a Trustee Emerita of Amherst College, a former Trustee of the United Nations International School, and a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects. Katherine is an active Board member of the AIA NY and the Center for Architecture, serving as the Treasurer for both organizations. Chia grew up in New York State and Belgium. She earned her Master of Architecture degree from M.I.T. and received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Amherst College. Prior to founding Desai Chia Architecture, she worked for Maya Lin on numerous art and architecture commissions. She is a Trustee Emerita of Amherst College, a former Trustee of the United Nations International School, and a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects. Chia is an active Board member of the AIA NY and the Center for Architecture, serving as the Treasurer for both organizations.
Nina Kinoti-Metz is co-founding principal at Studio Parallel, a Brooklyn-based full-service architecture and interior design firm she leads with her partner, Christopher Metz. The two principals each have extensive experience in hospitality, commercial, residential, and educational building types, and they typically work on projects from start to finish: business conceptualization, real estate selection, feasibility studies, branding, architectural design, construction management, and even the opening party! Kinoti-Metz and Metz design the idea along a narrative with one main concept and, just like in any good story, the space, characters, and visuals support this vision. With that essential gravitational point located, Studio Parallel then leverages their diverse experience to stimulate an exchange of ideas that translate the needs of clients into unique environments that are thoughtful, expressive, and timeless. The firm has developed a distinct work methodology that involves a project-by-project ramp up (or down) in team size, using very specific collaborators chosen on a project-by-project basis. This allows Studio Parallel to keep overhead low while working with highly experienced professionals with unique skill sets, meeting very specific program needs, budget, schedule or phasing requirements. This feature has been of particular benefit in the post-pandemic world of remote working, ever-tightening budgets, travel, and supply chain restrictions.
Anik Pearson is founding principal at Anik Pearson Architect, a 100% woman-owned architecture firm in operation in NYC since 2001. She has been involved in over a hundred new constructions and renovations, locally as well as nationally, from apartments to single-family residences, churches, private clubs, offices and country estates. Her firm effortlessly merges modern living concepts with a distinctive range of architectural and decorative styles. Her work is widely recognized for its meticulously crafted buildings that aspire to sophistication and permanence, as well as her project planning, designed to reduce the project’s ecological footprint and impact on the environment. Pearson’s projects have been widely featured in national and international publications and have earned her firm the Lucy G. Moses Preservation Award, Interior Design’s Best in Design Award, and Luxe’s Builder of Dreams Award and Gold List Award. In addition to being an architect and business owner, Pearson is proficient at freehand drawing, photography, sculpture, and martial arts. She has been leading efforts to support women in architecture through Mentoring Women in Architecture (MWA), and also mentors architecture students at the Cooper Union through the endowed Sue Ferguson Gussow Scholarship. She is a member of the AIA, certified LEED AP, a former certified WBE business owner, and is currently an appointed State Board Member and Vice-Chair of the New York State Board for Architecture, Office of the Professions.
Suchi Reddy founded Reddymade Architecture and Design, a leader in today’s global design culture, in 2002. Based in New York, the firm’s practice spans the fields of architecture, design, and public art. The guiding principle of the firm is “form follows feeling,” a design ethos informed by neuroaesthetics, the study of how the brain responds to the design of our surroundings. The strong belief that good design, calibrated carefully to the human, positively influences wellbeing, creativity, and productivity informs all projects from conception to details. Reddy brings extensive experience in large-scale cultural, educational, healthcare, retail, commercial, and residential projects to the award-winning practice. She was appointed the Plym Distinguished Professor at the University of Illinois School of Architecture, Champaign–Urbana for the Fall 2019 semester, where her work focused on contemporary architectural experience through the lens of neuroaesthetics, neurophenomenology, and sensory design. Reddy has presented and lectured on the firm’s work at numerous venues including the Salk Institute for the Academy of Neuroscience for Architecture’s annual conference, the University of Illinois, and the University of Wisconsin. She sits on the board of the Design Trust for Public Space, Storefront for Art and Architecture, and Madame Architect, and she is a member of the Dean’s Board of Advisors at Detroit Mercy School of Architecture.
Alexandra Barker is the founder and principal of Barker Associates Architecture Office (BAAO), an award-winning practice based in New York with a focus on exploring spatial and material practices that adapt to the evolving relationships between inhabitants and the built environment. BAAO has worked in the public and private sector on a range of projects that include ground-up private residences, interiors, and educational and retail projects in the New York area, regionally, and internationally. Recent regional and national awards include those from Architizer, The Architects’ Newspaper, AIA New York State, AIA New York, National and New York SARA (Society of American Registered Architects), and NYCxDesign. A monograph on the firm’s work, titled BAAO, was released in 2019 through ORO Edition. Barker is also the assistant chair and founding member of the Graduate Architecture and Urban Design Program and Associate Professor with CCE (Certificate of Continuing Education) at Pratt Institute, a nationally-ranked Master of Architecture and Post-Professional Architecture program. At Pratt, her studios focus on integrative approaches to design and sustainability in urban contexts. Barker has been the recipient of Pratt faculty seed grants to integrate new design approaches into K-12 curricula and has presented her work in national and international conferences and papers. She was a recipient of an NCARB grant to integrate practice and education into Pratt’s curriculum and a FIPSE grant to integrate sustainable principles into design education. Barker earned her M. Arch from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design, where she received the Templeton Kelly Prize and the Clifford Wong Housing Prize for her thesis work. Her undergraduate work in Visual and Environmental Studies was completed at Harvard College, where she graduated magna cum laude.