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Reed Insight and Community






Participation, Collaboration, and Inspiration in the Design Process




Podcast: 2006/7/06 - 18:14

Presenters: Jeanne Chen, AIA Michael S. Martin, AIA Neal Matsuno, AIA Mario Violich, ASLA



Jeanne Chen, AIA, is a principal at Moore Ruble Yudell. She earned both bachelor and master of architecture degrees from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, and joined the firm in 1989. As project manager, Ms. Chen combines design sensitivity with technical skills throughout the design process from the earliest program phases through construction. At Moore Ruble Yudell, she has shown an affinity for large-scale projects involving multiple user groups and detailed program requirements. Ms. Chen’s ability to advance and develop the broad vision of each project while attending to client needs and technical detail has made her successful in leading complex institutional and civic projects, including major renovations and additions such as the Hugh & Hazel Darling Law Library Addition at the University of California-Los Angeles. As principal-in-charge, her recent work includes planning and designing academic and student housing projects for Dartmouth College in Hanover, N.H. Ms. Chen directed Moore Ruble Yudell’s team throughout the design and construction of the firm’s largest civic project, the U.S. Federal Building and Courthouse in Fresno, Calif. Ms. Chen is a registered architect in California.

Michael S. Martin, AIA, principal at Moore Ruble Yudell, graduated with honors from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, in 1976; practiced architecture at several firms in Denver; and was a principal partner with the Aspen Design Group from 1981 to 1985. His firm focused on the promotion of sustainable architecture and included the development of the headquarters for the Rocky Mountain Institute. In 1986, Mr. Martin moved to New York and worked with Peter Gluck and Partners and then Kohn Pederson Fox and Associates, where he was part of the management team for Canary Wharf in London, and participated in both the design and documentation of the World Bank Headquarters in Washington, D.C.

After earning a masters of architecture II degree from the University of California-Los Angeles School of Architecture and Urban Planning in 1993, Mr. Martin established his own firm in Los Angeles. Since joining Moore Ruble Yudell in 1997, he has been project designer and director on many large-scale academic and institutional projects, including the Physical Sciences Building at the University of California-Santa Cruz; Manzanita Village, a new 800-bed student housing campus at the University of California-Santa Barbara; the French Science Center, a complex of new and renovated facilities for five scientific departments at Duke University; and the new laboratory and classroom complex being developed for St. Edward’s University in Austin, Tex. Mr. Martin has been one of the leaders of the architectural design effort for the mixed-use town center for Camana Bay on Grand Cayman. He has also guided the development of three new buildings—an administration building, cafeteria, and laboratory facility—at Amgen Corporation’s Longmont Colorado manufacturing center.

Mr. Martin has extensive design and technical experience working on a wide variety of project types and has managed all phases of project development from programming and conceptual design through construction documents, construction, and commissioning.

Neal Matsuno, AIA, LEED™ AP, is a principal at Moore Ruble Yudell, which he joined shortly after graduating from the University of Southern California in 1984. His areas of special expertise include architectural lighting design. Mr. Matsuno has had major responsibility for lighting design and technical detailing for such projects as the California Center for the Arts in Escondido, the Powell Library and Law Library projects at the University of California-Los Angeles, and the firm’s residential projects. He has been in charge of several institutional projects, including the Walt Disney Imagineering Campus Master Plan and the National Tropical Botanical Gardens Library and Herbarium.

Currently, Mr. Matsuno is the principal-in-charge of large-scale projects involving multiple user groups and detailed program requirements, such as the Sloan School of Management Project at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Glorya Kaufman Hall World Arts and Cultures Center at the University of California-Los Angeles, and Camana Bay Town Master Plan in Grand Cayman.

Mr. Matsuno is a registered architect in California and has won numerous lighting design awards for his work on the California Center for the Arts in Escondido, including the IIDA Edwin F. Guth Memorial Award of Excellence for Interior Lighting Design, the Lumen West Award for Lighting Design, and the GE Edison Award of Merit.

Mario Violich, ASLA, is a principal at Moore Ruble Yudell. With a background in landscape architecture, Mario Violich’s professional and academic experiences blur the traditional boundaries between building and landscape. After completing a bachelor of landscape architecture degree at the University of California-Berkeley, Mr. Violich worked in landscape architecture and planning for the SWA Group in Sausalito and Laguna Beach. He later attended the University of California-Los Angeles, receiving a Masters of Architecture degree in 1989. Mr. Violich joined Moore Ruble Yudell the same year.

With a design approach that blends conceptual clarity and profound intuition, Mr. Violich has collaborated on a broad spectrum of projects ranging from master planning to institutional buildings to residential gardens and houses. His work as principal-in-charge includes the Student Life Center at the University of Cincinnati, Ohio; the National Tropical Botanical Garden (master plan and library) in Kauai, Hawaii; Temple Beth-El Synagogue in Berkeley, Calif.; the Ruddell Residence in Kauai; the Wasserstein Residence in Santa Barbara, Calif.; the Falkenberg Residence in Woodside, Calif.; and the Livermore Residence, in Carmel, Calif.

Mr. Violich is a member of the American Society of Landscape Architects, has been an instructor at the Department of Landscape Architecture at the University of California-Los Angeles Extension since 1993, and is an associate teacher at UCLA and the University of California-Berkeley.

Beginning in the late 1970s with their partner and mentor Charles Moore, John Ruble and Buzz Yudell established a unique model of collaborative practice by bringing individual and community clients deeply into the design process.

A core group of principals and associates continues the firm’s commitment to an inclusive participatory practice with a vibrant, engaged staff. Together, they have shaped the firm's humanistic approach to design, translating their deep concerns for human habitation and interaction into the thoughtful development of unique solutions to an extraordinary range of places and projects.

Interpreting the role of architecture as a contributor to the more complex entity of place, and the role of design itself as intrinsic to the act of habitation, they have persisted in asserting the value of the human dimension at every scale, from single-family houses to community-based, mixed-use projects in a diversity of settings. While respecting the roots of place and context and the needs of human habitation, Moore Ruble Yudell strives equally for authenticity and originality.

When honored by the American Institute of Architects with the 2006 Architecture Firm Award, Moore Ruble Yudell was cited for having “consistently produced an outstanding body of work rooted in a deep commitment to humanistic architecture.” The firm continues to evolve in response to new challenges and opportunities while remaining true to its founding principles.



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