“I wanted to be an architect since I was eight years old,” says Stephen, a sixth-generation Californian who was deeply impressed by his uncle’s California Modernist home in Carmel Valley—a design that features hyperbolic walls and elegant detailing that was a showcase for the potential of raw creativity. Beyond his childhood love of design and object-making, his exposure to the plentiful art, architecture, and music in the San Francisco Bay Area helped cement that passion.
Stephen’s formative years in design were shaped during his undergraduate studies at UC Berkeley, which offered a combination of socially-oriented design—architecture focused on the needs of its users—counterbalanced with a formal space-making and compositional approach to the built environment. He also benefitted from the College of Environmental Design’s strong research into environmental and sustainable design, which is now a requirement for every project that Perkins Eastman undertakes.
After graduating from Berkeley in 1986, Stephen spent several years in construction and facilities management, which gave him first-hand insights into the building and functional use of institutional structures. Stephen has practiced in Emeryville and Los Angeles in California, Mexico City, and Washington, DC. After several years of healthcare and residential practice, he earned his Master’s degree from the Southern California Institute of Architecture at its Lugano, Switzerland, and Los Angeles campuses.
Over his tenure at Perkins Eastman, Stephen has served as project director/manager on a variety of large-scale projects that feature challenging sites, unique program requirements, multiple sub-consultants and complex regulatory approval processes. They include waterfront development, a large urban community in the Middle East, healthcare facilities, higher-education planning, and senior living communities. As a director/manager, he oversees design development, flags potential problems and complications as they may arise, and oftentimes assists the client in developing an organized, sophisticated approach to the design process. He is also a leader in business development and strategy for the Washington, DC, studio.
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During his career at Perkins Eastman, Stephen has served on the firm’s project-management committee and mentored colleagues in pursuit of their Construction Document Technologist certification. He also speaks to schoolchildren about the architecture profession and lectures at George Mason University.