2017 Leaders

The 2017 inagural class of the AIANY Civic Leadership Program includes 10 future leaders selected from an impressive pool of applicants. The first cohort of the AIANY CLP will aquire skills and strategies that build project consenses, liason with public stakeholders and city officials, and navigate NYC's many approval processess/agencies. The invaluable skills taught in architecture school will be augmented with those typically learned on the job; herein aquired through a series of expedited, specialized training sessions over a 6-month period.

Michael Caton AIA LEED AP BD+C

  1. Practiced and lectured in the Persian Gulf region, Italy and Switzerland.
  2. Project recognition by MOMA, the Museum of Twenty-first Century Art (MAXXI) in Rome, the AIANY and Airbnb Design.
  3. Focus on cultural, institutional and civic projects centered around the relationship between architecture and the public realm.
  4. Taught studios and seminars at the American University of Sharjah in the UAE and continues to engage as an invited critic on design reviews in NYC arch schools.
  5. ACE Mentor Program and involvement with the New York Chapter of the National Organization of Minority Architects, NYCOBA NOMA.

Jack Dinning, Assoc. AIA

  1. Non-toxic building materials research and strategies for how to used them to benefit vulnerable populations; working through the Healthy Materials Lab at Parsons, and collaborating with LTL Architects, LEVENBETTS, and Bernheimer Architecture.
  2. Advocate for the communities most affected by materials toxicity, including infants and young children, seniors, expecting mothers, and affordable housing residents.
  3. Developed curriculum and resources to educate designers on the best practices for healthier materials including workshops with over 200 students and professionals.
  4. Developed public awareness campaigns in the form of gallery installations, social media advertisements, and online learning tools.
  5. Programs follow a longstanding commitment to social and environmental design advocacy, including topics like coastal resiliency, urban timber construction, and sensory design for children with autism.

Christina Hernandez, Assoc. AIA

  1. Currently a housing designer at SLCE Architects LLP, living in Queens with family roots in Ecuador and Costa Rica.
  2. M.Arch from Spitzer School of Architecture, CCNY. Previously studied Environmental Planning at Binghamton University.
  3. Worked on the Energy and Climate Action Plan for the City of Binghamton, developing recommendations for local policy and government action.
  4. Worked as CCNY research assistant on “Prototyping Architecture: The Solar Roofpod” researching NYC infrastructure and the potential for net-zero-energy buildings in underutilized spaces.
  5. Before joining SLCE, biked across the U.S.A. with “Bike & Build” to raise money and awareness for affordable housing efforts nationwide.

Daniel M. Horn, Assoc. AIA

  1. Focus on community recovery. Personally affected by Superstorm Sandy - fostered his commitment to building resilience through advocacy in at-risk coastal communities.
  2. Co-organized the grassroots group Operation Resilient Long Island (ORLI) to bring new resiliency ideas to towns affected by the storm.
  3. Launched the “3C: Comprehensive Coastal Communities” global design competition resulting in 60+ entries from 20+ countries.
  4. Co-Founder of ORLI+, a rebranded version of ORLI, which has become a resilient design & community engagement consultancy practice based in New York City.
  5. Is a SEED (Social, Economic, Environmental, Design) certified professional who believes that public-interest design and resilience should be paramount.

A.L. Hu, Assoc. AIA

  1. A non-binary person of color who designs, teaches, and organizes in the field of architecture.
  2. A graduate of GSAPP where they earned a School Service Award for their work on Program Council, Queer Students of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation (QSAPP), and GSAPP Political Action Projects.
  3. Recipient of the student-nominated “Avery 6 Award” for the student whose commitment within the studio and the school-at-large has earned the respect of the student body.
  4. As a member of The Architecture Lobby, and a former member of the Graduate Workers of Columbia, A.L.’s work and research is at the intersection of architecture, gender, race, and labor rights.

Michaela Metcalfe, AIA, CCM, LEED AP

  1. Dedicated to mindfully shaping public space with professional and academic explorations of multi-scalar, architectural and urban territories that strive to advance design in the public realm.
  2. Over twelve years of experience includes leading collaborative processes that resulted in award-winning public projects as a Senior Designer and Project Manager at Sage and Coombe Architects, and as a Senior Project Manager and Design Liaison at the DDC.
  3. Currently serves as Director of Design and Construction Excellence at the DDC, continues to advocate for equitable, sustainable, resilient and healthy design while simultaneously facilitating consensus between stakeholders, architects, and the public.
  4. Bachelor’s in Design from the University of Florida. M.Arch I from Columbia GSAPP.

Jessica Morris, Assoc. AIA

  1. Designer and Project Coordinator in NYC and working towards licensure.
  2. Member of the AIANY Social Science and Architecture Committee.
  3. M.Arch from UPenn in 2014, Bachelor of Fine Arts from RISD in 2006.
  4. Interested in environmental stewardship and community building, as well as advancing the roles and receptions of art and architecture in society.
  5. Enjoys the discourse of shared perspectives activated through participation across practices, hobbies, and disciplines.

Shilpa Patel, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP

  1. B.Arch from the University of Houston and M.Arch II from UCLA.
  2. 13+ years of professional experience working on various scales, from domestic to international projects.
  3. As Design Manager at Laguarda. Low Architects, focuses on overall project management, design process, and feasibility.
  4. Moved to NYC in 2015 from Texas to pursue a Masters in Real Estate Development at NYU.
  5. Hopes to balance her real estate development education with her passion for architecture in order to promote positive community and economic growth, in conjunction with intelligent and innovative building design.

Jenna Leigh Wandishin, Assoc. AIA

  1. Working at Matiz Architecture and Design since 2015, her experience is in commercial, institutional and residential projects.
  2. Raised in Princeton, New Jersey. Bachelor’s in Architecture from Temple University, and a Certificate in Designing Cities from University of Pennsylvania’s PennDesign
  3. Avid cyclist in Philadelphia and NYC, believes the this generation challenges the previous generation’s reliance on the automobile.
  4. Jenna has served as a community engagement program organizer, is President of the AIAS chapter of Temple University, and is currently an Associate AIANY member.
  5. Vision to transpose the work of advocacy in architecture, fueled by the interactions of those in city agencies, public office, and community programs.

Ayodele Yusuf, Associate AIA

  1. Associate at Perkins Eastman with 10 years’ experience in waterfront redevelopment, transit-oriented development, institutional & medical, and planning resilient communities.
  2. Under the New York Rising Program, and as project manager, managed a team completing six Community Rebuilding and Reconstruction Plans covering 23+ communities across NYC and vicinity.
  3. Through a PE Traveling Scholarship, speaking engagements, and strategic partnerships with the 100 Resilient Cities (pioneered by the Rockefeller Foundation), continues to develop Perkins Eastman’s resilience expertise and practice.
  4. Active Waterfront Committee Member of the NY Chapter of the APA, working closely with NYC in promoting waterfront policies and practices to improve access to all portions of New York Harbor.
  5. Served on the Advisory Board reviewing the DCP’s Urban Waterfront Adaption Strategies post-hurricane sandy, contributing to methodologies that address specific vulnerabilities, resiliency approaches,and frameworks for evaluating them.
  6. Master of Architecture in Urban Design (MAUD) from Harvard. B.Arch from the University of Arkansas.