BUILDING VOICES SYMPOSIUM casts a wide net over ecologically focused DESIGN from around the globe. Uniting diverse perspectives across scales and disciplinary boundaries to evaluate current models of practice and to shape aspirations for the challenges ahead,  we are calling for ideas to be shared with our community on Earth Day, April 22, 2017 in our State Capitol. 



The BUILDING VOICES Symposium is free and open to the public.

Register now for limited FREE T-shirts, boxed lunches.



Friday April 21

Center for Architecture. 828 Fort Street Mall Suite 100, Honolulu, HI 96813

5:30 pm Welcome Reception Hosted by AIA Honolulu, ASLA Hawai‘i and APA Hawai‘i. 

Sponsored by UHM School of Architecture, UH Community Design Center

Special guests: Dan Pitera, FAIA Executive Director, Ceara O'Leary AIA, Senior Designer & Project Director

Detroit Collaborative Design Center (DCDC) University of Detroit Mercy, School of Architecture

Winner 2017 AIA Whitney M. Young, Jr. Award

Saturday April 22

Hawaii State Capitol, 415 S Beretania St, Honolulu, HI 96813

8:00 am  Coffee + Sign-in at reception desk - basement

8:30 am  Oli + Welcome - auditorium

9:00 am Plenary Session - auditorium

Keynote, Susannah C. Drake, Principal of DLANDstudio, Brooklyn, NY, USA

10:00 am Concurrent Sessions

"Public Private Partnerships: The Bullitt Center and Seattle Olympic Sculpture Park" - auditorium

Brian Court AIA, Miller Hull Partnership, Chris Rogers, Developer, Partner, Point 32

"Landscape and Water-Sensitive Urbanism" - Room 224

Andy Kaufman, UHM CTAHR, Joel Kurokawa ASLA, Wendy Meguro, UHM SoA,  Lauren Roth Venu, Roth Ecological, Daniele Spirandelli, UHM DURP, moderated by Judith Stilgenbauer, UHM SoA

"Decolonizing Cities" - Room 225

Sean Connelly, After Oceanic, Annie Koh, UHM DURP, Ramsay Taum, PBR Hawai'i & Associates, moderated by Konia Freitas, UHM Hawai'inuiakea School of Knowledge

11:00 am Plenary Session - auditorium

Keynote, Pierre Bélanger, Associate Professor, Harvard Graduate School of Design, Cambridge, MA, USA

Keynote, Tim O'Loan, Director & Practice Lead at AECOM, Melbourne, Australia

12:30 pm Luncheon in the Rotunda - BUILDING VOICES COMPETITION  presentations by winners + select entrants

1:30 pm Plenary Session - auditorium

Keynote, Xavier Vendrell, Acting Director, Rural Studio, Auburn University, AL, USA

2:30 Community Workshop - Room 016

"Malama Waikiki: A Workshop Exploring Tomorrow's Ahupua'a O' Waikiki - Environmental, Sociopolitical, Economic, and Cultural Sustainability and Resiliency" Robert Iopa AIA, President, WCIT Architecture

2:30 pm Concurrent Sessions II

"Placemaking" - Room 229

"Infrastructure as Placemaking" Andrew Tang, City & County TOD

"Policy + Placemaking" Dan Pitera FAIA, Detroit Collaborative Design Center, Ceara O'Leary, Detroit Collaborative Design Center

"Culture + Ecology" - auditorium

"The Cultural Ecological Weave: Resource Independence Begins with a Connection to Place" Adam Woltag AIA LEED-AP, Partner, WRNS Studio, Pauline Souza AIA, LEED Fellow, Partner, Director of Sustainability, WRNS Studio

"Environmental and Cultural Sensitivities: A New Administratioin and Allied Health Facility for the University of Hawai'i West Oahu" Mark Tagawa AIA LEED-AP, Associate Principal, Perkins + Will, Los Angeles

3:30 pm Concurrent Sessions III

"Housing: Who Needs It" - Room 229

Jesse Wu, Director Office for Public Housing HUD, James Koshiba, Executive Director Hauoli Mauloa Foundation, Kevin Wilcock AIA, Rim Architects, Harrison Rue, City + County TOD, moderated by Stephanie Hsu AIA, Associate G70

"University of Hawai'i: The Next Campus" - auditorium

Matthew Kamakani Lynch, Coordinator, Office of Sustainability, UH, Ryan Sullivan AIA, Associate G70, Tyler Dillon, Executive Vice President, Layton Construction, Jan Gouveia, Vice President for Administration, UH, moderated by Daniel Friedman, Dean, SoA

4:30 pm Plenary Discussion - auditorium

Senator Donovan Dela Cruz, State Senate District 22, Kevin Miyamura AIA, Kevin Miyamura Architect, Karen Umemoto PhD, Chair and Professor UHM DURP, Philip K. White AIA, President Whitespace Architects,  Kalbert Young, Vice President for Budget and Finance, moderated by A. Kam Napier, Editor-in-Chief at Pacific Business News.

6:00 pm Pau Hana + After Party @ Arts at Mark's Garage, 1159 Nuuanu Ave, Honolulu, HI 96817 ($10 donation at door to benefit Sustainable Coastlines and Artists for Social Justice) 

"Stratosphere" Martin Despang, Professor, UHM SoA

"PLAY" Bundit Kanisthakhon, Janice Li, Tadpole Studio






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Pierre Bélanger (KEYNOTE)

Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture at Harvard Graduate School of Design. Bélanger teaches and coordinates graduate courses at the intersection of ecology, infrastructure, media and urbanism in the interrelated fields of design, communications, planning and engineering. With a multimedia approach and cross-scalar approach to design in both research and practice, his core interests lie at the convergence of the study of territory, ecology, and power.


Sean Connelly

Sean Connelly is a designer and creative producer. Through built projects, creative speculation, and spatial communication, Sean works with others to promote justice-advancing futures. He collaborates across scales to apply knowledge and indigenous science through a variety of media addressing the dynamics of human geography today. Working at the intersections of form-making, networks, perception, and cartography, Sean approaches material, information, energy, and time as planetary systems that humans design and redesign. He currently produces virtual intervention for island urbanism, with a current installation built at Foster Gardens for the Honolulu Biennial.

Brian Court, AIA

Partner at the Miller Hull partnership in Seattle. His work is rooted in a rigorous performance-based design process. He has led numerous high profile and complex landmark design projects that combine both time-tested and innovative design strategies and emerging technologies.

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Senator Donovan Dela Cruz

Senator Donovan M. Dela Cruz currently serves as Senate Majority Whip and Vice Chair of the Committees on Ways and Means and Transportation and Energy. He also sits as a member of the Committee on Education.  Senator Dela Cruz previously served as a City Councilmember for the City and County of Honolulu for eight years. In 2003, he became the youngest person to ever Chair the Honolulu City Council at the age of 30.   He is also the Vice President for Communications for DTL Hawaii.

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Tyler Dillon

Tyler has over 20 years of construction experience as a project executive and project manager on numerous projects. His management experience has been gained on the project site, providing a deep understanding of the complexities of the construction environments. Projects in Hawai’i include Ae’o Ward Village Phases 1&2, University of Hawai’i Life Sciences Building, Embassy Suites - Kapolei (Ground-up), and the Waikoloa Beach Marriott Timeshare Conversion. 

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Susannah C. Drake, FASLA, AIA (KEYNOTE)

Founding Principal of Dlandstudio  Architecture + Landscape Architecture PLLC design firm in Brooklyn, New York. As one of very few designers of her generation with professional design qualifications in Architecture and Landscape Architecture, Susannah paved the way for more synthetic thinking about urban ecological infrastructure.

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Konia Freitas, Ph.D.

Specialist faculty at the Kamakakūokalani Center for Hawaiian Studies at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. She works in the area of program planning, curriculum development, and program assessment and evaluation.  For several years, she worked in the area of community engagement and engaged scholarship in the Hawaiʻinuiākea School of Hawaiian Knowledge. Projects funded under the “Community Engagement” initiative linked education, research and practice together in ways that reinforced the fundamental importance of place, Hawaiian culture and philosophy.

Jan Gouveia

University of Hawai'i Vice President for Administration. Jan Gouveia brings more than 15 years of administrative and leadership experience in the public and private sectors, in her current role as VP for Administration where she is responsible for overseeing and managing system wide operational programs in procurement, real property and risk management, capital improvements, human resources, and internal and external communications.  She has previously held cabinet level positions in state government, served as chief legal counsel for the Honolulu Board of Water Supply and was the inaugural director of risk management at UH.


Stephanie Hsu, AIA, LEED-AP, NAIOP

Architect and Associate at G70 (formerly “Group 70 International”). She has completed various projects ranging from long term strategic plans for medical campuses to branding, design and construction of resort properties. Prior to joining Group 70 Stephanie was dedicated to working on projects on Lanai, and with an Arts Grant from MIT, self-published a photo-documentary about life on Lanai from the perspective of the local population. Stephanie is a 2014 Pacific Century Fellow and honoree of PBN’s 2016 ‘Forty under 40’. 

Robert Iopa, AIA

The President and Principal at WCIT Architecture. Specializing in planning, entitlements, and deisgn, Rob has honed his craft through years of experience on projects throughout Asia, South America, the South Pacific and all of the major Islands of Hawaii. A native Hawaiian born and raised in Hilo, he is a respected advocate and creative interpreter of culture. Through this skill set, Iopa demonstrates a unique ability to design an implement sophisticated proposals rooted in a Hawaiian ethos.


Dr. Andrew Kaufman, ASLA, MLA, Ph.D. 

UHM Landscape Specialist and Associate Professor. Andy is the Director of the Tropical Landscape and Human Interaction Lab (TLHIL) a multidisciplinary research laboratory dedicated to studying the connection between plants, the outdoor landscape and the associated human responses. The lab draws upon the disciplines of environmental psychology, horticulture, sociology, psychology, and landscape architecture in order to reveal and understand people’s emotional, psychological, social and physiological responses to vegetation and outdoor designed spaces.

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Annie Koh, Ph.D. candidate

Ph.D. candidate in Urban & Regional Planning at the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa. Focused on the urban commons, temporary urbanism, and equity and engagement in planning. She's currently writes for and is designing a pilot program to develop a pathway for advocates to key boards and commissions at the state and county-level with the Hawai’i Alliance for Progressive Action.

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James Koshiba

James serves as a Director of the Hauoli Mau Loa Foundation, which makes grants in the areas of environment, affordable housing, and aina-based education. His personal initiative is to ensure that proposed "homeless solutions" incorporate the perspectives the homeless people themselves. He works as a freelance consultant for nonprofit organizations and charitable foundations, where he specializes in strategy, community organizing, and policy advocacy.

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Joel Kurokawa, ASLA

Principal and owner of Ki Concepts LLC, an established landscape architecture, site planning and urban design firm with offices in Honolulu and Hawaii Island.   Joel spent eight years in Tokyo, Japan with PREC Institute, a leading environmental planning and research firm as head of Studio J, a landscape architecture design studio within the company. In 1995 Joel returned to Hawai`i as principal of Hawai`i Design Associates, eventually purchasing the firm in 2007 and re-branding it as Ki Concepts to drive the firm’s vision and mission.

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Matthew Kamakani Lynch

University of Hawaii System Sustainability Coordinator, alongside his work with  the Hawaii Green Growth Initiative, and Kahumana Organic Farm. Matthew is also the founder of the Asia-Pacific Center for Regenerative Design, a Honolulu based nonprofit. His work there engaged permaculture design principles in a broad range of community projects from Mongolia to Australia and throughout the Pacific, from building resilience through food security, to sustainable economic development.

Wendy Meguro, LEED-AP

Assistant professor in sustainable buildings and community design with a joint appointment in the UH Manoa School of Architecture and the UH Sea Grant College Program. Her research, teaching, and outreach are motivated by the desire to make Hawai'i's coastal communities exemplars in energy and water efficiency, resiliency, economic success, and social well-being. Her research focuses on high-performance building design and policy, including enabling coastal communities to adapt to the effects of climate change.

Kevin Miyamura, AIA, LEED-AP

Architect in Honolulu, HI, collaborating with various public and non-profit agencies on community-based projects. After training in Seattle with notable Northwest architect George Suyama, Kevin worked at Ennead Architects in New York City on housing and institutional projects before returning to Honolulu in 2005 to teach and practice. Kevin also served as Principal, design/technical consultant, and project architect at various periods between 1990 and 2016 at Honolulu-based architectural firm Urban Works Inc.

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A. Kam Napier

Editor in chief of Pacific Business News since April 2014. Prior to that he was with Honolulu Magazine for 19 years years, 8 as editor. He articles on subjects ranging from architecture to zoology have won awards from the Hawaii Publishers Association and the Society of Professional Journalists-Hawaii Chapter. He served as public director on the board of AIA Honolulu from 2012 to 2013.

Ceara O'Leary, AIA

Senior Designer and Project Director at the Detroit Collaborative Design Center (DCDC), where she leads collaborative community design and planning projects that support neighborhood revitalization efforts citywide. Ceara joined the DCDC in January 2012 as an Enterprise Rose Architectural Fellow. She sits on the American Institute of Architects Housing and Community Development Network Advisory Group, just completed her tenure as a fellow with the ULI Larsen Center for Leadership, and was recently named a “Top Urban Innovator” by Next City Vanguard. 


Urban designer and landscape architect who now leads the AECOM Design Practice across Australia and New Zealand. Tim has spent most of the past decade building a team focused on developing forward-thinking urban policy and development strategies that underpin world-class infrastructure that enhances the environment, equity, and economy of our cities. He contributes to industry journals and lectures and teaches at universities and institutes worldwide.

Dan Pitera, FAIA

Dan PItera is a political and social activist masquerading as an architect. He is the Executive Director of the Detroit Collaborative Design Center (DCDC) at the University of Detroit Mercy School of Architecture, which just received the National AIA’s 2017 Whitney M. Young Jr. Award and was included in the 2017

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Chris Rogers

Founding partner of Point 32 in Seattle. He brings 20 years of experience in project design, real estate negotiation, and project management to his role as CEO. Chris was formerly the Director of Capital Projects and Government Affairs at the Seattle Art Museum, where he oversaw the development of the award-winning Olympic Sculpture Park. Before joining SAM, Chris negotiated land conservation transactions for the Trust for Public Land. 

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Lauren Roth

Founder and President of Roth Ecological Design Int. LLC, a comprehensive water infrastructure planning and design firm with a focus on ecological design. She is also a fellow of the Water Environmental Federation Leadership Program and the United Nations University /East- West Center’s Leadership Program. 

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Harrison Rue

Administrator and Lead on the development and implementation of transit-oriented development strategies around Honolulu’s 20 mile rail line, including catalytic project development, infrastructure investments, financial tools, updated codes and zoning, connectivity and rail access projects, placemaking and open space, and affordable housing strategies.  Rue has developed integrated plans, programs, policies, training, and implementation strategies at the rural, urban, regional, and statewide level.

Pauline Souza, AIA, LEED Fellow

With over 30 years of experience, Pauline has dedicated her career to the building and advocacy of high-quality sustainable environments that serve community, with a particular focus on education and civic projects. The driving force behind Pauline’s work is a passion for advancing the role of design as a medium for building a more sustainable future in which the next generation can flourish. Her work in Hawaii includes a sustainability master plan and design guidelines for the Department of Education, with the goal of achieving achieve 90% renewable energy at all public schools in the state by 2040.

Daniele Spirandelli

Assistant Professor of Coastal Policy and Community Development with the Department of Urban and Regional Planning and Sea Grant College at the University of Hawai`i at Manoa. Daniele's research focuses on issues of water consumption, wastewater infrastructure and coastal sustainability. Her most recent work examines the vulnerability of sewers and private onsite sewage systems to climate change impacts, and the implications to coastal communities.

Judith Stilgenbauer, ASLA, MLA, Associate Professor, Graduate Director

Judith Stilgenbauer, MLA, ASLA, is an associate professor in landscape architecture and urban design. Her creative work in teaching, applied research, and professional practice focuses on the role of process, performance, production, and placemaking in ecological urbanism and public open space design across diverse spatial and temporal scales.

Ryan Sullivan, AIA, LEED-AP

Associate at G70. Ryan holds a leadership role in design and management as a licensed architect with 16 years of experience on educational, commercial, hospitality, and residential projects. 


Mark Tagawa, AIA

Associate Principal with the Los Angeles office of Perkins+Will. Having been in practice for over 20 years, he has led the design for projects in the US, Asia and the Middle East. His work is program driven while shaped by site and context. It is a study of form and texture and an exploration of color and light. The scale and diversity of his work has ranged from a new ground up Health Sciences University to the interior design of Perkins+Will's LA office.

Andrew Tang

Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) Senior Planner at the City & County of Honolulu. After graduating from Illinois Institute of Technology, Andrew has worked in The Netherlands with internationally renowned firms for nearly two decades, and served on design teams of significant public projects around the world as Architect and Urban Designer.  In early 2013 Andrew returned home to Hawaii, bringing his wealth of work and life experiences with him.  He is currently working diligently on placemaking and TOD projects to improve neighborhoods along the future rail corridor.

Ramsay Taum

Ramsay RM Taum is the Cultural Sustainability Planner at PBR Hawaii & Associates.  He is also the founder and Kumu in Residence at the Hawai’i based Life Enhancement Institute (LEI) of the Pacific LLC. His eclectic background and experience in business, government and community service make him a valuable asset in both public and private sectors as well as in for-profit and non-profit business.   His work in promoting sustainable place based, and Hawaiian cultural stewardship principles and practices is acknowledged locally, nationally and internationally. Ramsay is a recognized cultural resource and sought after as a keynote speaker, lecturer, trainer and facilitator.  Trained by respected Hawaiian elders, he effectively integrates place based, cultural based, indigenous and Native Hawaiian cultural values and principles into contemporary business.


Karen Umemoto, Ph.D.

Karen’s publications and research centers on issues of democracy and social justice in multicultural societies with a focus on US cities. She examines and pursues planning processes that include a diverse array of voices, acknowledge different ways of knowing, and allow for meaningful deliberation. Her work takes a broad view of planning in the context of social inclusion, participatory democracy, and political transformation. She has received numerous awards for her teaching, service, and research contributions to real-life problem solving.

Xavier Vendrell, (KEYNOTE)

Architect and educator, who currently serves as acting director of the Rural Studio at Auburn University. A world-renowned design-build program that provides architecture students with hands-on educational experience while assisting an underserved population in West Alabama’s Black Belt Region. In a little over 20 years, Rural Studio has established itself as pioneer and leader in community based design, with over 170 projects and 800 students educated as “citizen architects.”

Philip K. White, AIA

President Whitespace Architects. With over 30 years of experience in the architectural industry, Philip White, better known as Pip, has assembled a diverse portfolio of projects including custom homes, commercial centers, hotels, and public spaces – on every major Hawaiian island. His leadership as president of WhiteSpace Architects inspires consistently excellent work, earning the firm awards for both residential and commercial projects.

Kevin Wilcock, AIA, LEED-AP

Principal at Rim Architects Honolulu and past Principal at David Baker Architects, San Francisco where he was the lead on more than 30 housing developments, totalling more than 3000 housing units. This includes the design of a 200-unit mixed-use work-force housing project; a 121-unit senior housing and community center; a 70-unit affordable family housing project in a new West Sacramento TOD, two 450 unit urban mixed-use housing projects for Equity Residential, as well as many others. 

Adam Woltag, AIA, LEED-AP

Partner at WRNS Studio. Adam approaches each design challenge by searching for a balance between the poetic and the pragmatic. The places he crafts respond to the natural environment and function sustainably, with a lasting elegance that does more with less. Adam established WRNS Studio’s Honolulu office with the goal of advancing the resilient and place-based evolution of his home state.

Jesse Wu

Jesse Wu is the Director of the Office of Public Housing (OPH) for the HUD Honolulu Field Office.  In this capacity, he oversees the low-income public housing and Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher programs for the State of Hawaii, the Territory of Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI).  The Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program is the largest funded HUD program in Hawaii and the outer Pacific with over $188 million in funding annually. Prior to joining HUD, Mr. Wu worked as an affordable housing developer at both for-profit and non-profit firms in Honolulu, San Francisco and Boston.   Mr. Wu has been responsible for the development of over 1,650 units of affordable housing throughout Hawaii, California and Massachusetts.

Kalbert Young

University of Hawai'i Vice President for Budget and Finance.  As UH’s chief financial affairs officer, Young is responsible for leading and directing the university’s systemwide financial management and budgetary functions.  He previously served as the State of Hawaiʻi’s budget and finance director.  Prior to serving as budget director for the state, Young served as the director of finance for the County of Maui. His private sector experience includes government relations, budget and financial planning and internal audit at Kamehameha Schools—a private non-profit educational trust in Hawaiʻi. He has also worked in the area of land planning and development for the Kapalua Land Company, a subsidiary of Maui Land and Pineapple.




Metered Lots
$0.25 per 15 min, $1.00 per 1 hour, 2 hours max

Chamber (basement) of State Capitol
2nd right on Miller Street off Punchbowl (150 metered stalls, free on Saturday)

Department of Health
enter from Punchbowl before South Beretania

Vineyard Parking Garage
1st right off of Punchbowl, makai of Vineyard

Iolani Palace grounds
access from South King via acess road before State Library

Kalanimoku basement
enter off of Punchbowl

Ali'i Place: Ampco System Parking
1099 Alakea St., Honolulu, HI 96813 (808) 522-1285
$0.75 per 1/2 hour - 1st 2 hrs; then $1.50 per 1/2 hour


Marks Garage
22 South Pauahi & Nuuanu, Honolulu, HI 96813 (808) 586-0352
$10 event rate


BUILDING VOICES is presented by the School of Architecture at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, and the University of Hawai‘i Community Design Center in partnership with AIA Honolulu, ASLA Hawai‘i, APA Hawai‘i, AIAS Hawai‘i, US Green Building Council of Hawai‘i, and the University of Hawai‘i Office of Sustainability.

Symposium Chairs: Cathi Ho Schar and Simon M. Bussiere