Matt Donham: Delivering on a Vision

Jeff Koons’s Split-Rocker Enlarge [+]

“Jeff Koons’ Split-Rocker is a marvel,” explains Matt Donham (MLA ’03), principal at RAFT Landscape Architecture. This giant flowering topiary with over 50,000 flowering plants — half toy dinosaur, half rocking horse — is at the same time cutely irresistible and almost monstrous in its looming scale. “The sculpture expands our understanding of where landscape can exist and what it can look like.”

It is also somewhat of a metaphor for Donham’s approach to his work: the need to zoom in and out between technical detail and the larger overall goal to deliver on a vision; a love of form; and a passion to build landscapes which are both progressive and expressive.

Matt Donham
Matt Donham Enlarge [+]

In 2012, Donham was hired by Glenstone, a private museum and sculpture park outside of Washington D.C., to reimagine Koons’ Split-Rocker as a permanent installation. The sculpture was first exhibited in Avignon in 2000, and subsequently in Versailles (2008) and Basel (2012). Donham conducted extensive research on Koons’ previous topiary installations — talking to gardeners and engineers, and creating structural models and planting palettes — in order to modify the piece to thrive year-round.

In the spring of 2014, Koons tapped Donham to develop the “living systems” for the sculpture’s newest installation in Rockefeller Center, which opened in June. With just 7 weeks to complete a normally 20-week installation process, Donham and RAFT worked closely with Jeff Koons, Public Art Fund, Gagosian Gallery, Tishman Speyer, engineers, contractors, irrigation consultants, and local nurseries to maximize the project’s success.

Research is an integral part of Donham’s work and this project benefitted from the previous research he’d done for Glenstone. The Rockefeller Center installation required the production and delivery of 50,000 plants in full bloom, specialized soils, breathable surface materials, and highly-tailored irrigation and drainage to help the plants to flourish, regardless of their orientation.

9/11 Memorial
Visitors at the National 9/11 Memorial in New York Enlarge [+]

Prior to founding RAFT, Donham was a partner at PWP Landscape Architecture and project manager for the National September 11th Memorial. During the project, he came to understand the critical role of the landscape architect as design advocate. “Everybody has their individual interest, especially with public works projects. It’s our responsibility to understand the goal of the project vision and advocate for that,” he explains.

Donham’s proximity to the leaders of PWP and lead role in the ongoing conversations with players in virtually every aspect of the Memorial project was transformative, shaping his current approach with clients. He believes strongly in holding to the galvanizing narrative that manifests the vision, while also articulating confidence and caring. “Working for Pete Walker I became adept at delivering on his ideas. It takes political skill to work with a big name, but it translates well to delivering on your own vision.”

Hudson Highlands Camp
Hudson Highlands Camp Enlarge [+]

Today at RAFT, Donham along with fellow CED classmate Rebecca Hill (MLA ’03) are generating a new form language, where shape making and space defining combines with ecological sustainability. Last spring, the firm installed a landscape in the Hudson Highlands where a gentle S-curve designed into an existing road makes room for planted swales that filter runoff while enhancing the overall composition of the landscape. It’s a small example of landscape productivity and form working together. Currently Donham is collaborating with Walter Hood, David S. Woo Chair of Environmental Design, on the garden at the Cooper Hewitt in New York which begins construction this fall.

Donham has also just begun teaching at the Rhode Island School of Design. This has inspired him to reflect back on his experience at CED and what he wants his own students to take away. “CED challenged me to determine, believe, and express my personal convictions about how the built environment should be formed,” he said. “When I am speaking with clients and trying to convince them to invest in my solutions, I find that the strength of my conviction is important. People can feel it.”

2014 Distinguished Alumni Awards

Each year CED honors a select few outstanding alumni who have made significant contributions in their professional careers. Since 1998, 68 alumni of the departments of Architecture, City & Regional Planning, Decorative Art/Design, and Landscape Architecture & Environmental Planning have been recognized for their achievements.

This year the college celebrated the remarkable accomplishments of Meric Gertler, Gwendolyn Wright, and Mark Francis, FASLA, with the 2014 Distinguished Alumni Award during the fourth annual Berkeley Circus Soirée. On March 14, Dean Jennifer Wolch presented the honors at a ceremony held in the skybox of California Memorial Stadium.

Meric Gertler (MCP, 1979)
President, University of Toronto

Professor Meric Gertler
Professor Meric Gertler Enlarge [+]

Professor Meric Gertler is internationally renowned for his research on the geographical underpinnings of innovative activity and the economic dynamics of city-regions. In 2013, Professor Gertler began his term as the 16th President of the University of Toronto after having previously served for five years as Dean of the University’s Faculty of Arts & Science division where his research has been responsible for $8.4 million in external funding to the University.

Gertler’s numerous accolades include the 2007 Award for Scholarly Distinction from the Canadian Association of Geographers, the 2014 Distinguished Scholarship Honors from the Association of American Geographers, and an honorary doctor of philosophy from Lund University, Sweden.

Manufacturing Culture — The Institutional Geography of Industrial Practice by Meric Gertler

As author of seven books and more than 80 journal articles and book chapters, and co-editor of the widely used Oxford Handbook of Economic Geography, Gertler is one of the world’s most highly cited scholars in economic geography and planning. Professor Gertler has served as an advisor to local, regional and national governments in Canada, the United States, and Europe, as well as to international agencies such as the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (Paris) and the European Union.

According to Paul Waddell, Professor and Chair of City & Regional Planning, “Meric Gertler’s accomplishments are the epitome of what we strive for our field, and have had enormous impact on theory as well as on urban policy and planning practice.” Jennifer Wolch, William W. Wurster Dean and also a Professor of City & Regional Planning, adds. “We’re so pleased to able to honor Meric Gertler with the highest award bestowed to an alumnus by the college, and incredibly proud to see such a remarkable graduate of the Department of City & Regional Planning leading one of the world’s most renowned research universities.”

Gwendolyn Wright (M.Arch., 1974; PhD.Arch, 1978)
Professor of Architecture, Columbia University

Professor Gwendolyn Wright
Professor Gwendolyn Wright Enlarge [+]

Gwendolyn Wright is Professor of Architecture in Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, where in 1986 she became the first tenured woman in the school. Wright is perhaps more widely known as a recent co-host since 2001 of the popular PBS television series, “History Detectives.”

Wright has received numerous accolades for her work focusing on the interconnections between architecture, urbanism, and political culture from the late-19th century to the present. She has been honored with fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Getty Center for the History of Art and the Humanities, the Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation, the Ford Foundation, and other notable institutions. In 1985 she was elected a Fellow of the Society of American Historians, and was also made a Fellow of the Society of Architectural Historians, the highest honor in that field.

USA—Modern Architectures in History by Gwendolyn Wright

Wright is the author or editor of six major books including Modern Architectures in History (2008). Her many articles have appeared in scholarly books and journals as well as newspapers around the world.

Chair of Architecture and Eva Li Chair of Design Ethics at CED, Professor Tom Buresh said of Wright’s contributions, “Gwendolyn Wright is an author and scholar of the highest order. Her work spans architecture and urbanism from the late-nineteenth century to the present day and is appreciated by a diverse audience. She represents in body and deed the very best of Berkeley’s architecture department.”

Mark Francis (B.A. Landscape Architecture, 1972)
Professor Emeritus, Landscape Architecture and Environmental Design, UC Davis

Professor Emeritus Mark Francis
Professor Emeritus Mark Francis Enlarge [+]

Mark Francis’s work centers on participatory landscapes at the intersections of landscape architecture, environmental psychology, geography, art, and urban design. He is Professor Emeritus and past Chair of Landscape Architecture at UC Davis where he founded and directed the Center for Design Research for twenty years, and is also founding partner of the firm CoDesign/MIG.

Francis has been honored with over a dozen awards for his research, writing, planning, and design. In 1999 the American Society of Landscape Architects awarded him the Centennial Medallion for the Davis Central Park and Farmer’s Market, cited as one of the most significant designed landscapes of the past 100 years. He is the only person to receive ASLA professional awards in all four categories of design, urban design and planning, communication, and research.

In addition to receiving the Ralph Hudson Environmental Fellowship, Francis was elected a Fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architects, Fellow of the Institute for Urban Design in New York City, and Fellow of the Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture. He is the author of six books including The Meaning of Gardens (MIT Press 1990) and over 70 articles.

“We are delighted to celebrate Mark Francis’s remarkable, multi-faceted, career as an advocate, educator, practitioner and researcher,” said Professor Louise Mozingo, Chair of Landscape Architecture & Environmental Planning and Urban Design at CED. “His work has inspired his colleagues and students, illuminated the profession, and made communities better places to live.”

Central Park Gardens/“Garden in a Park” in Davis, CA
Central Park Gardens/“Garden in a Park” in Davis, CA Enlarge [+]

Ong Tze Boon: Rethinking the Business of Design

Ong Tze Boon
Ong Tze Boon Enlarge [+]

For Ong Tze Boon failure is not an option. This belief has clearly played a part in the growth of his firm, Ong&Ong, which evolved from a purely architectural practice of 62 people when Ong Tze Boon stepped up to lead the firm in 1999, to its present position as a thriving holistic design practice comprised of 900 individuals working out of 11 offices across the Asia-Pacific, including Vietnam, China, the US, and India.

But beyond his dogged pursuit of success lies something even more powerful — a passion for business innovation.

Founded in 1972 by his parents — the late Mr.Ong Teng Cheong, Singapore’s first elected president, and Mrs. Ong Siew May — to date Ong&Ong has completed more than 1,000 built projects around the world and is currently managing projects in 18 countries across three continents.

What differentiates Ong&Ong however is an approach to growth that takes the practice of architecture out of isolation and brings back the joy and beauty of the entire design process. Ong Tze Boon has achieved this by creating an integrated cross-disciplinary practice that encompasses virtually all aspects of design, including urban planning, landscape, interiors, branding, engineering, and project management, with a desire to expand even further into product and industrial design, and furniture. This 360° design solution strategy — initiated in 2003 and comprising over a third of the firm’s business — strives to deliver a complete experience that anticipates the needs of clients.

CT Hub
CT Hub—industrial building—Singapore, 2013 Enlarge [+]
Quincy Hotel
Quincy—hotel—Singapore, 2008 Enlarge [+]

It is Ong Tze Boon’s intense thirst for learning that is the fuel that ignites ideas like these. “Figuring out the nuts and bolts of how to bring the firm to its next stage of growth is exciting,” he explains. “What I really find intriguing is learning from other industries — how are they innovating to keep their businesses relevant, what are they doing that we are not? How can we adapt lessons learnt from firms in other industries and apply them to the design profession? These are the questions that I enjoy pondering and the answers I arrive at are usually far more out of the box than if I were to look at my immediate competition.”

Ong Tze Boon doesn’t just give lip service to education. Having earned an undergraduate architectural degree from UC Berkeley and a master’s degree from Rice University by 1994, and returned to practice in Singapore, he experienced the intense pressure of running an already well-respected firm. To strengthen his ability to lead the firm, he returned back to the US and over the course of three summer terms from 2001 to 2003, attended a program at MIT designed to help entrepreneurs drive their companies forward. Concurrently, he enrolled in a short finance program at the University of Michigan.

JKC2—private residence—Singapore, 2013 Enlarge [+]
Greenwood Mews
Greenwood Mews—low-rise residential—Singapore, 2015 Enlarge [+]

Moreover, education grounds much of Ong&Ong’s extensive philanthropic efforts. Inspired by his experience at Berkeley, where he was awarded the Gadsby Trudgett Award, Ong Tze Boon created the Ong&Ong Internship at Berkeley with the aim of helping individual students broaden their horizons. Each year, one to two recipients from CED are given the opportunity to work collaboratively in the Ong&Ong Singapore office for an entire year to understand the practicalities of running an actual project while being encouraged to experience the built environment through independent travel. “Singapore is a springboard to the rest of Asia, offering the opportunity to travel to many surrounding countries, from Bali to Cambodia, Hong Kong to Shanghai. These travel experiences can never be replicated in the classroom environment,” explains Mr. Ong.

Asked to summarize the impact of his CED education on his current success, Ong Tze Boon pointed to two gifts: word and craft. The participatory nature of the classroom environment at Berkeley inspired him to speak up, leading to a more confident person who gained more from each lesson. Of greater importance though was the craftsmanship encouraged by the program. “To this day I make it a point to show my clients or stakeholders what I am thinking, instead of merely talking. This almost always convinces beyond words.”

Audi Centre
Audi Centre Singapore—commercial building—Singapore, 2012 Enlarge [+]
Boulevard Vue
Boulevard Vue—high-rise residential building—Singapore, 2014 Enlarge [+]

Kris Yao: Art, Technology, and a Little Luck

Renowned Taiwanese architect Kris Yao (M.Arch ’78) admits that he was lucky. As a young student entering Tunghai University and forced to choose a path, rather than pursue the expected routes of science or engineering, he decided to test for architecture and as luck would have it, discovered his passion.
Kris Yao
Kris Yao Enlarge [+]

Born and raised in Taipei, Kris Yao is one of Taiwan’s most highly regarded architects. He has won numerous awards including the National Award for Arts and Architecture — the highest honor in cultural and art disciplines in Taiwan. In 2002, Kris Yao represented Taiwan in the 8th International Architecture Exhibition at the Venice Biennale and was invited again in 2008. In 2004, Yao was asked to present his project, the THSR Hsinchu Station, at the 1st International Architecture Biennale in Rotterdam, and also exhibited work at the 1st International Architecture Biennale in Beijing, China. Most recently, Yao received the Architizer A+ Award for his China Steel Corporation Headquarters in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. The College of Environmental Design recognized Yao with the Distinguished Alumni Award in 2005.

China Steel Corporation
China Steel Corporation Photography Jeffrey Cheng Enlarge [+]

Yao’s works include an enormous array of building types: corporate/industrial, residential, cultural, educational, medical, retail, and transportation. He is also known for his superb interior architecture. But he maintains a special passion for cultural and historically related projects, as well as projects that involve complex technology. As someone who spends more than his share of time traveling, Yao admits that he’d love to design an airport. This passion for art and technology in fact inspired the name of his firm, Artech Architects. Headquartered in Taipei with another office in Shanghai, the firm currently employs over 160 people.

Luck also played a role in Yao’s advanced education. While he applied to a variety of institutions in pursuit of his masters degree, Yao explains with a smile that he didn’t really chose Berkeley; Berkeley chose him.

Having never before visited the U.S., Yao was captivated by the free exchange of ideas, the diversity, and the lack of hierarchy that he encountered when he arrived on campus — a unique character unlike anything he previously experienced in Taiwan. He went on to receive his Masters of Architecture from CED in 1978.

Since then, Yao has maintained close ties with CED and has been a generous supporter of the college and campus, including contributions to the campaign for Wurster Hall, leading the Berkeley Taiwan Alumni Club, and sponsoring the recent 2012 Shanghai Berkeley Ball.

During his thesis work, Yao interviewed diverse interest groups and individuals, giving him the opportunity to immerse himself in the local community and American culture. While he’d always been interested in how design happens, his CED experience helped him more deeply understand the personal, social and political dynamics that shape design.

This relationship of the person to the built environment remains central to Yao’s work. He views architecture as a theatrical stage for the people who interact with the space. Comparing architecture to story-telling, he strives to communicate an experience that people can relate to — that although it may be like nothing they’ve ever before seen, there nevertheless should be a familiarity that touches the heart.

These concepts are perhaps no better exemplified than in Yao’s Wuzhen Grand Theater in the surreal water village of Zhejiang in southern China, where visitors arrive by wooden boats or on foot from an island across a bridge. The building, set to complete in May 2013, uses familiar local materials: reclaimed wood forms a graceful lattice across a fan-shaped glass facade and ancient massive bricks from the city wall clad another portion of the exterior.

Wuzhen Theater
Wuzhen Theater Enlarge [+]
Wuzhen Theater
Wuzhen Theater Enlarge [+]

For Yao, three things are vitally important in the design of a building: response to locality, craftsmanship and refined attention to the way a building is put together. In the design of the Wuzhen Theater, these values come together to create a structure that, though massive and modern, feels almost hand-made.

Buddhism also plays an important role in Yao’s work and his life. While Yao doesn’t adhere to a particular design philosophy, he likens his approach to the Zen art of “direct seeing.” This approach undoubtedly contributed to the design of the recently completed Water-Moon Monastery in Taipei where Master Sheng Yen imparted his vision for the building in six words: Flower in space, Moon in water. With this guiding principle, Yao created a design that reduces color and form to a minimum, conveying the spirit of Zen Buddhism. Yao used an innovative technique to void cast a Zen sutra in prefabricated GRC panels, painting the scripture in sunlight onto the interior surfaces.

Water-Moon Monastery
Water-Moon Monastery Photography Jeffrey Cheng Enlarge [+]
Water-Moon Monastery
Water-Moon Monastery Photography Jeffrey Cheng Enlarge [+]

Kris Yao looks with gratitude to Berkeley and the College of Environmental Design for the wisdom and experiences that have contributed to his success, “It’s a wonderful university that benefits many. I loved being a part of it.”

Dean Jennifer Wolch acknowledged Yao’s generosity, “Kris’s wonderful support over the years is greatly appreciated. We’re definitely lucky that Kris chose us.”

Lanyang Museum
Lanyang Museum Photography Jeffrey Cheng Enlarge [+]
Lanyang Museum
Lanyang Museum Photography Jeffrey Cheng Enlarge [+]
Building in Bhutan
Bhutan. One of 4 small buildings using only traditional materials: earth, timber, stone, and slate. Enlarge [+]
Building in Bhutan
Bhutan. Traditional materials with a modern aesthetic. Enlarge [+]

John Wong: Making Cities Livable

Suzhou Center Forest Ring-Sky Garden & Sky Terrace
Suzhou Center Forest Ring-Sky Garden & Sky Terrace Enlarge [+]

Whether it’s designing a garden or the groundscape for one of the world’s tallest structures, for John Wong (B.A. Landscape Architecture, 1974) there are three things that characterize the role of landscape architecture: creating a space where people can interact, inspiring sustainable innovation and defining a sense of place.

As managing principal and chairman of SWA Group in Sausalito, John Wong is an internationally renowned landscape architect with an impressive portfolio of prominent and sustainable projects throughout the world, from new communities and cities to public plazas and gardens. He is most recently recognized for his expertise in designing the groundscapes for super-tall structures—an area that now comprises over half of his practice. In addition to creating the ground planes for the world’s tallest building, Burj Khalifa in Dubai, and the Shanghai Tower, scheduled to complete in 2016, he is also currently working on designs for Kingdom Tower in Jeddah, which will rise to an estimated 1000 meters in 2017.

Burj Khalifa aerial view
Burj Khalifa aerial view. Photo by David Gal, SWA GroupEnlarge [+]
Suzhou Center Illustrative Plan
Suzhou Center Illustrative Plan Enlarge [+]

Designing for tall buildings poses a unique challenge: to connect an imposing structure with the existing fabric of the surrounding area to create an interactive environment that makes people’s lives better. Wong is a strong believer in the sustainable benefits of high density, multi-use tall buildings with habitable open areas. He views sustainability in both ecological and human terms and sees landscape architecture as the discipline that can have the most profound impact when it comes to solving one of today’s biggest problems—how to make cities more livable.

In his winning competition proposal for the Suzhou Industrial Park Central Business District, Wong highlights not only the beautiful natural location, but also the connection between ecological and social environments. The project is organized along a central urban axis, Suzhou Corridor, surrounded by five distinct rings of landscapes and pedestrian walkways that unify the landscape and the architecture while providing intimate encounters with the environment. The design links dispersed neighborhoods and creates a lively outdoor mall connecting commercial and residential developments.

John Wong, Managing Principal & Chairman, SWA Group
John Wong Enlarge [+]

Wong was attracted to the field of landscape architecture because of its holistic approach to solving today’s environmental and urban problems—connecting a variety of disciplines including architecture, engineering, urban planning and transportation with an understanding of natural systems. As landscape architects are called upon to bring ideas to life on a much larger and more complex scale, he feels this collaborative approach will become increasingly important. And as sustainability continues to demand innovation, this is where landscape architecture can have the greatest impact.

Wong’s design for Guthrie Green in Tulsa is a showcase for sustainable innovation. With the idea to create a beautiful “outdoor living room” to encourage rejuvenation of the emerging mixed-use neighborhood, SWA transformed a 2.7-acre truck loading facility into a vibrant community gathering space for artists, urban professionals, students, and visitors. SWA took advantage of the natural geothermal energy and abundant sun to create a high-performing system including photo-voltaic panels and a grid of 500-foot deep geothermal wells that help offset the park’s energy demands and provide heating and cooling for adjacent buildings.

As the 100th anniversary of Landscape Architecture at UC Berkeley approaches in 2013, Wong appreciates what he gained from his experience there and what he sees the college continuing to provide: a big picture, multi-disciplinary approach that opens the mind and brings a fuller understanding of the challenges and possibilities for the future. As a new Cal parent—his daughter is at the College of Natural Resources—he’s pleased that she’ll be exposed to these critical thinking skills that will be even more highly prized in the future.

Guthrie Green, Tulsa Oklahoma
Guthrie Green, Tulsa Oklahoma. Photo by Jonnu Singleton, SWA Group Enlarge [+]

2011 Distinguished Alumni Award

CED Distinguished Alumni Honored at the Berkeley Circus

CED Dean Jennifer Wolch stands with Distinguished Alumni Award-winners Peter Dodge, Therese McMillan, and Topher Delaney.
CED Dean Jennifer Wolch stands with Distinguished Alumni Award-winners Peter Dodge, Therese McMillan, and Topher Delaney.

CED honored this year’s Distinguished Alumni Award winners — Topher Delaney, Peter Dodge, and Therese McMillan — at the Oakland Museum of California during the first-annual Berkeley Circus Soirée. Dean Jennifer Wolch introduced them before presenting them with their medals.

Topher Delaney

AB Landscape Architecture, 1973

Topher Delaney received her bachelor of arts degree at UC Berkeley after studying philosophy and cultural anthropology at Barnard College. Her 40-year career as an environmental artist encompasses a wide breadth of projects that focus on the exploration of our cultural interpretations of landscape architecture, public art, and the integration within the site, these spiritual precepts of “nature.” Her practice, SEAM Studio, has evolved to serve as a venue for the investigation of cultural, social, and artistic narratives “seamed” together to form dynamic physical installations. Delaney has received a significant number of awards and honors for her studio’s installations.

CED Dean Jennifer Wolch and Distinguished Alumni Award-winner Topher Delaney.
CED Dean Jennifer Wolch and Distinguished Alumni Award-winner Topher Delaney.

In addition to the offering Ten Landscapes: Topher Delaney, she has been widely published. These publications address the installations of SEAM Studio, which focus on the following themes:

1. Relevance / Why and for what purpose does the subject/form of a specific public art offering exist??? As the lead artist of SEAM Studio, Delaney, due to her training in cultural anthropology, emphasizes the importance of the site’s historical research both geologically/geographically and culturally. What is the evidence of these historical antecedents in the current expression of public art?

2. Renewal / The team at SEAM Studio strives to create the effect and affect of a site’s grounding and remediation, offering our public an accessible, intimate sanctuary in which to engage, observe, and recalibrate their perception of their relationship to the site and the community in which the public art is located. As the lead artist of SEAM Studio, Delaney, due to her training in landscape architecture and sculpture, emphasizes the integration of a broad spectrum of mediums which are integrated seamlessly together to offer a unique environmental experience.

3. Reflection / What engages our communities in reflecting upon public art? As the lead artist of SEAM Studio, Delaney seeks to activate through the evocation of references embedded in the art forms, both literal and metaphorical, an enjoyment of personal and communal recognition.

4. Evidence of the Hand / As the lead artist of SEAM Studio, Delaney has directed the construction of virtually all her installations. Of particular interest to Delaney is the evocation of the “hand” within her art. Visible excellence in the construction of installations, be they quilts, metal sculptures, concrete sculptures, stone sculptures, or terrazzo wall murals, all reference expressions of the arts which demonstrate the extra-ordinary.

Peter Dodge

AB Architecture, 1956

As a founding principal of Esherick Homsey Dodge and Davis (EHDD Architecture), Peter Dodge played a significant role in EHDD’s growth as a firm identified with design excellence. Dodge joined Joe Esherick’s practice in 1956, shortly after graduating from UC Berkeley.

Esherick named Dodge an associate at EHDD in 1963. When he became a principal in 1972, EHDD was a firm of 30 professionals with a reputation for elegant houses and a few distinguished larger projects; by the end of his term in 1997, some 80 architects were at work on complex programs for prominent commercial and institutional clients. Dodge was president of the corporation from 1979 to 1985. During his tenure, EHDD Architecture earned the AIA California Council (AIACC) Firm Award (1980) and the national AIA Firm of the Year Award (1986), at the time the only firm to have achieved both distinctions. Since 1997, Dodge has been a consulting founding principal to EHDD Architecture.

CED Dean Jennifer Wolch and Distinguished Alumni Award-winner Peter Dodge.
CED Dean Jennifer Wolch and Distinguished Alumni Award-winner Peter Dodge.

In 2008, Dodge was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award from the AIACC.

Renewing the focus of his early years with Joe Esherick, Dodge in 1997 started his independent practice, Peter H. Dodge, FAIA, Architect, and returned to residential work for its attention on design and to enjoy a ready rapport with clients. And, in a natural evolution of his long-time relationships with key clients, he continues to contribute as a consulting architect to Mills College in Oakland and is designing a new Smart car dealership with RAB Motors in San Rafael.

In 1981, Dodge founded the CAL ARKS, U.C. Berkeley’s first architecture alumni association, with fellow Berkeley alumnus Wally Costa. He served as president of the organization until 1984. Shortly after CALARKS disbanded, Dodge and Myra Brocchini convinced a new dean of the college to sponsor a new alumni association, the College of Environmental Design Alumni Association (CEDAA), which grew to 11,000 members between 1990 and 2008. He served as the first president of that association as well in 1990–91.

Therese W. McMillan

Master of City Planning, 1984

Therese W. McMillan began her career in urban planning at UC Davis. She received her B.S. in environmental policy analysis and planning in 1981, which included an internship with the California Transportation Commission in Sacramento, cementing her career-long interest in transportation. After UC Davis, she pursued graduate studies at CED, where she was a member of the first graduating class of the dual master’s program in transportation, receiving an M.S. in civil engineering science and a Master of City Planning. She was a member of the CED alumni board from 2005 to 2009, serving as both vice chair and chair.

CED Dean Jennifer Wolch and Distinguished Alumni Award-winner Therese McMillan.
CED Dean Jennifer Wolch and Distinguished Alumni Award-winner Therese McMillan.

McMillan’s accomplishments include twenty-five years with the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, the regional transportation planning agency for the San Francisco Bay Area, encompassing 9 counties and 101 municipalities. Entering as a transportation planner in 1984, she advanced through MTC’s diverse portfolio to eventually become its Deputy Executive Director for Policy, a post she held from 2001 to 2009.

Top among her achievements was the steady advancement of regional transportation planning, embracing performance measurement and program-based funding and advocacy for transit expansion, and integrating transportation and land use policy and investment through transit-oriented development. She assisted in developing climate change legislation at the state level and oversaw the region’s first comprehensive freight plan. McMillan developed extensive knowledge of federal, state, and regional transportation funding and shared that expertise for six years as an instructor for the graduate transportation studies program at the Mineta Transportation Institute at California State University, San Jose.

Throughout her career, McMillan embraced principles of organizational coordination and collaboration to define problems, craft solutions, and implement strategic change. This philosophy and her track record in the field were instrumental in her appointment by President Obama in July 2009 to the post of Deputy Administrator for the Federal Transit Administration in the U.S. Department of Transportation. McMillan now engages in delivering transit projects and programs under the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act; actively participates as part of the President’s Partnership for Sustainable Communities initiative; oversees FTA’s core transit programs, including strengthening the agency’s civil rights functions; and contributes to the emerging discussions on reauthorization of the Surface Transportation Program.