Tuesday, June 25, 2019
3018 Emancipation Avenue
Houston, TX 77004
Chief Design Officer | City of Los Angeles
Christopher Hawthorne was the architecture critic for the Los Angeles Times from 2004 to March 2018. Before coming to The Times, he was architecture critic for Slate and a frequent contributor to the New York Times. He is the author, with Alanna Stang, of “The Green House: New Directions in Sustainable Architecture.” Hawthorne grew up in Berkeley and attended Yale, where he readied himself for a career in criticism by obsessing over the design flaws in his dormitory, designed by Eero Saarinen. He graduated with degrees in both architectural history and political science.
After college, Hawthorne moved across the country to pursue a career in architectural criticism before he became the architecture critic for the LA Times in 2004, a role he would fill for 14 years before ending his tenure in 2018. In those 14 years, Hawthorne wrote extensively on the importance of civic architecture and public space.
As a professor in Occidental College’s Urban and Environmental Policy (UEP) department, chief design officer for the city of Los Angeles and former architecture critic for the Los Angeles Times, Hawthorne displays a profound knowledge of the character and future of Los Angeles. In class, he teaches about the urban design and architectural history of Los Angeles, while as chief design officer he puts his expertise into practice, overseeing the city’s major civic architectural projects.
Mell Lawrence, FAIA
FAIA Principal | Mell Lawrence Architects
Mell studied architecture at the University of Texas in Austin. After working with Charles Moore and a partnership with Paul Lamb, Mell started his firm in 1991. Mell Lawrence Architects was voted 2001 AIA Austin Firm of the Year in recognition of its consistent excellence in design and contribution to creating a unique architecture. His work has been published extensively and been recognized with design awards at local, national, and state levels. In 2007, Mell was honored as a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects in Los Angeles. He hails from Houston.
Kenneth Luker, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP
Design Principal | Perkins + Will (Durham, North Carolina)
Kenneth Luker is a Design Principal for the North Carolina practice of global architecture and design firm Perkins+Will. As Design Principal, Kenneth provides leadership to the collaborative studio process for a variety of project types including museums, libraries, higher education, corporate office, healthcare, and science + technology. His work has garnered numerous design awards and publications, and is recognized for thoughtful compositions that elevate the human experience by connecting architecture with its cultural context.
Kenneth’s recently completed designs include the Emancipation Park in Houston, the Gregg Museum of Art and Design at NC State University and the new Research Triangle Park Campus for Wake Tech Community College. His current design work includes the City of Vancouver Hogan’s Alley development, the Destination Crenshaw outdoor museum in Los Angeles and the New Castle Co Library in Middletown, MD.
Kenneth is active at the NC State College of Design where he serves on the Leaders Council, teaches as an adjunct professor in architecture, and is a frequent visiting critic. He also serves on design award juries and in other volunteer capacities with the Triangle chapter of American Institute of Architects (AIA).
Kenneth earned his Bachelor of Environmental Design degree from Texas A&M University’s College of Architecture. He studied design at the University of Cambridge in England and earned his Master of Architecture degree from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design.