2016 DAA awardees

Recipients of the 2016 Distinguished Alumni Awards (left to right): Scott Johnson, Karen Alschuler and Kim Wilke

Spring 2016

2016 Distinguished Alumni Awards

Each year for the past 19 years, the College of Environmental Design has recognized the achievements of a select group of outstanding alumni who have made a significant impact within their profession. As 2016 Distinguished Alumni, Karen Alschuler FAICP, LEED AP; Scott Johnson FAIA; and Kim Wilke join an elite cadre of over 70 previously recognized alumni from the departments of Architecture, City & Regional Planning, Decorative Art/Design, and Landscape Architecture & Environmental Planning.

On March 5, 2016, at the 7th Annual Berkeley Circus Soiree — a gala celebration held at the California Memorial Stadium Field Club — Dean Jennifer Wolch presented awards to this year’s honorees. Dean Wolch remarked, “It is with great pride that we acknowledge these individuals whose considerable contributions are an inspiration to all of us addressing the urban challenges facing our society today.”

Karen Alschuler, FAICP, LEED AP, (M.C.P. 1969)Global Leader for Urban Design, Principal, Perkins + Will


As a Global Leader for Urban Design, Karen Alschuler embraces urban stewardship, seeking a balance between physical planning, fiscally responsible economic development, and applied techniques to build a legacy of urban places, waterfronts, and transportation centers unique to their settings and welcoming to diverse populations.

Signature award-winning projects include Treasure Island, Mission Bay, Panama Pacifico, Boston’s Central Artery Corridor, The Yards in Washington D.C., and most recently the 3.5 million sf Mission Rock on San Francisco’s central waterfront. In San Francisco alone, her plans frame the development of 30,000 new housing units and over 3000 acres of urban district transformation.

Alschuler is an active contributing member of the Urban Land Institute and was elected a Fellow of the American Institute of Certified Planners. She has served as an officer and President of Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW) and as a member of numerous civic panels and boards. In April, the American Planning Association (APA) announced that Perkins+Will’s Global Planning Practice earned the 2015 National Planning Excellence Award for a Planning Firm.

Robert Cervero, Professor and Chair of City & Regional Planning notes, “Karen Alschuler’s commitment to the common ground of cities, from urban waterfronts to multi-modal transportation centers, has redefined how we plan and design large, dense yet livable urban districts. Through community engagement, her work has also spawned inclusive development. Her accomplishments are an inspiration to students and practitioners alike.”

Alschuler - The Yards

The Yards, Washington DC
The Yards has transformed 42 acres of the Washington Navy Yard into a go to destination for families across the region seeking public access to the Anacostia River in a lively urban setting of living and working. The master plan envisioned the restoration and conversion of historic buildings into housing; the creation of arts and community facilities; the development of up to eight new commercial buildings housing offices, retail, cultural and entertainment uses; and construction of a new 5.5-acre waterfront park. (at SMWM)

Alschuler - Mission Rock

Mission Rock + Mission Bay, San Francisco
The culmination of our planning for the 350 acre Mission Bay redevelopment (originally teamed with Johnson Fain), studies for housing and medical research, and years of planning support to UCSF will be the addition of Mission Rock pictured here. Mission Rock, 24 acres of fine grained urban development and Pier 48 restoration will form the exclamation point for the district. A great public gathering point, curated retail and neighborhood services, San Francisco’s first Sea Level Rise Resilient neighborhood, and a vital waterfront/makers district will create a new regional destination – and a great home for 1500 housing units and 11,000 jobs. (at SMWM/Perkins+Will)

Scott Johnson, FAIA (B.Arch 1972) Design Partner, Johnson Fain

Scott Johnson

Scott Johnson is one of California’s most highly respected and recognized architects with a portfolio of nearly 100 built projects in the past 20 years. His best known designs have become local landmarks, including Fox Plaza in Century City, California; the Opus One and Byron Wineries in the Napa Valley and Santa Barbara County, respectively; Rincon Center in San Francisco; and the Capitol Area East End Complex in Sacramento.

Prior to founding Johnson Fain (formerly Pereira Associates) with partner William Fain in 1987, Johnson worked at The Architects Collaborative in Cambridge, Mass., the Los Angeles and San Francisco offices of Skidmore Owings Merrill, and the office of Philip Johnson and John Burgee in New York City.

He served as Director of the Master of Architecture Programs at the University of Southern California’s School of Architecture and is the author of the recent The Big Idea: Criticality and Practice in Contemporary Architecture, Tall Building: Imagining the Skyscraper, as well as Tectonics of Place: The Architecture of Johnson Fain.

Professor Tom Buresh, Chair of Architecture and Eva Li Chair of Design Ethics emphasized Johnson’s achievements, commenting, “With his exceptional talent evidenced by his high profile, award-winning designs, and his dedication to forwarding practice through his educational leadership, Scott Johnson stands as a beacon to what CED Architecture students and alumni can accomplish.”


Bryon Winery – Santa Maria Valley, California


Genentech Building 31, Genentech Corporate Headquarters – South San Francisco, California

Kim Wilkie (MLA 1984) Royal Designer for Industry, Honorary Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects, Chartered Member of the Landscape Institute


Kim Wilke had an intense introduction to landscape, growing up in the Malaysian jungle and Iraqi desert before being sent to school in southern England. He set up his landscape studio in London in 1989 and now works from his farm in Hampshire.

Wilke specializes in reading the patterns and stories of the land as inspiration for new designs in complex historic and ecological settings. Notable projects include the Orpheus landform at Boughton Park in Northamptonshire, UK where he designed an inverted pyramid for musical performances at the center of a seventeenth-century park, and a 100-year landscape strategy for the Thames through London. He is currently working on a new city for 250,000 people in the Omani desert, entirely irrigated by recycled grey water.

Wilke has sat on the Mayor of London’s Public Realm Advisory Group and the Royal Parks Advisory Board. He was awarded an Honorary Fellowship of the Royal Institute of British Architects in 2002 and made a Royal Designer for Industry in 2009. He published Led by the Land in 2012.

“Kim Wilkie has brought a unique and insightful vision to his landscape architectural practice,” explained Louise A. Mozingo, Professor and Chair of Landscape Architecture & Environmental Planning and Urban Design. “He combines a poignant comprehension of historical heritage with an incisive sense of innovation and experimentation. His landscape designs respect both the legacy and the future of the communally lived landscape. Most of all, his designs are elegant disquisitions on the fundamental lexis of the landscape: vegetation, water flows, and, above all, topography.”


New performance space for Boughton Park, UK


New central courtyard for the Victoria & Albert Museum, London