Disc* [Design & Innovation for Sustainable Cities]

Faculty + Guests

Disc* 2019 Faculty

Gabriel Kaprielian | Director

Gabriel Kaprielian is a designer, urbanist, and artist based in the Bay Area. With degrees in both architecture and city planning, his creative work and research focus on resilient cities, sustainable design, emergent technologies, and digital fabrication. His professional experience includes traditional architecture practice with award-winning firms, social focused architecture as a Design Fellow for Architecture for Humanity, urban design in the public sector, and as an Artist-in-Resident at Autodesk’s Pier 9 Workshop in San Francisco. In addition to serving as the Director of DISC in the College of Environmental Design, Gabriel has served as a lecturer at a Cal Poly, California College of the Arts, UC Berkeley, and is currently Assistant Professor of Architecture in the Tyler School of Art at Temple University. Gabriel holds a BArch from Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, CA, and MArch and MCP from UC Berkeley.


Diego Romero Evans | Design Studio Lead

Diego is a Chilean architect with more than ten years of professional experience in both practice and teaching. He was co-creator and head coordinator of Santiago Humano y Resiliente (2016-2017), public competition of architecture, design, landscape and planning. This was organized by the state of Chile through the Resilient Strategy of Santiago city and co-sponsored by the Rockefeller Foundation under the 100 Resilient Cities program. He was co-founder and partner of Romero Silva architects (2013-2018), whose projects and work has been awarded, selected and disseminated in national and foreign publications. Diego was co-honored with the Rothoblaas recognition (2011) from the Italian embassy in Chile for the architecture teaching excellence practices and awarded with a full-scholarship from the Commission for Scientific and Technological Research (CONICYT-Chile) (2018) under the advanced human capital program.
He is currently pursuing a Master Program in Landscape Architecture Environmental Planning at the College of Environmental Design at UC Berkeley. At the same time, he is working and researching possible strategies of adaptation to Climate Change in the Oakland city Department of Transportation (OakDOT) through the Strategic Planning and Project Development division. These new experiences and knowledge have allowed him to understand the onward urban planning challenges from a holistic perspective to produce multiple and simultaneous benefits for the social, ecological and physical systems.


Ghigo DiTommaso | Global Cities / Global Challenges Lecturer

Ghigo DiTommaso was trained as an architect in Florence, where he picked up the tools of the trade while feeding a strong interest in urban history and theory. Licensure in hand, he moved to Barcelona to become part of its thriving design community. There he worked with prominent Catalan architects on numerous award-winning projects while also conducting research at the EtsaB School of Architecture and teaching at the ESDi School of Design. Based in the Bay Area since 2010, he has been a core member of the Rebar Art & Design Studio and more recently of the new San Francisco offices of Gehl Studio, where he continues to practice the profession. At CED, while serving as Program Director of Disc*, he also collaborates with the LAEP department as a lecturer and project researcher. Ghigo holds a BArch and an MArch from the Facoltà di Architettura di Firenze, and an MSArch and PhD from EtsaBarcelona.



Eleni Oikonomaki | Graduate Student Instructor

Eleni is a Graduate student of Urban design at the College of Environmental Design, admitted in the New Media program Certificate. During this program, she attended courses that gave her the opportunity to do research on sustainable design, the intersection of urban design and technology, while she has been working as an Adobe Student Lead at Digital Learning Services of UC Berkeley. Eleni was born in Greece and graduated with excellence from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, with a 5-year Architecture Engineering Diploma (M. Arch). Through her Erasmus year in Lisbon she had a chance to learn different architectural approaches. In 2017, her Master’s thesis project in Architecture gained an award of excellence and was selected to showcase the Greek participation of young architects at the World Architects congress UIA in Seoul. Always interested in technological innovation, she worked as a web designer intern at IT Center of AUTH for more than a year, developing the “myauth mobile”, a personalized application for the university’s students. Hopeless dreamer and in chase of her creativity, she speaks 5 languages with Spanish to be her working language as intern at OHLAB studio and junior Architect at Gras Reynes studio in Spain.


Reagan Lauder | Graduate Student Instructor

Reagan Lauder is a current graduate student at U.C. Berkeley pursuing a Master of Architecture. She has held positions as a designer at UIC, a design-build conglomerate in St. Louis, and at Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, a landscape architecture firm in Brooklyn. Reagan approaches design from within a narrative framework, assessing normal and alternative systems, constructions, and ways of life across multiple scales and time. She is interested in architectural representation, from conventional drawing to immersive technology, multimedia, and written account. Reagan holds a Bachelor of Arts from Washington University in St. Louis where she studied architecture, anthropology, and creative writing.



Tiantong Gu (Simba) | Graduate Student Instructor

Tiantong (Simba) Gu is currently a MUD Graduate student at UC Berkeley and holds a Master’s degree in Landscape Architecture from the University of Michigan. Before coming to Berkeley, Simba worked as GSI for one year, tutoring Ecological Planting Design Studio and Ecological Landscape Planning studio at Umich. In addition, she had an internship as a landscape architect at OvS in Washington D.C. and Externship at OLIN in Philadelphia, working on planting design, ecological landscape design, community innovations, plaza and campus design. Her previous academic thesis project was working with design firm SASAKI to examine the issues of pollinator habitat conservation under the pressure of urban development. Currently, she is working on her thesis project--productive landscape, based in the bay area. Through a multi-scalar approach, she is studying and investigating a design solution for the future population to balance the requirement for both development and the land required for food production.



Disc*2019 Guest Speakers

Robert Ogilvie | Oakland Director, SPUR

  Kristy Wang | Community Planning Policy Director, SPUR  

Peter Calthorpe | Architect, Planner and Urban Designer, HDR Calthorpe

  Abigail Thorne-Lyman | Program Manager TOD, BART  

Roman Mars | Radio Host and Podcast Producer, 99% Invisible

  Susan Swartzenberg | Photographer and visual artist, Exploratorium  

Karen Chapple | Professor of Regional Planning, UC Berkeley



Past Speakers

Bruce Riordan
UC Berkeley Climate Readiness Institute
Allison Arieff
Editorial Director, SPUR
Janette Kim
Co-Director, Urban Works Agency; Assistant Professor of Architecture, CCA
Molly Turner
Lecturer, UC Berkeley Haas School of Business
Charisma Acey
Assistant Professor of City & Regional Planning, UC Berkeley College of Environmental Design
Neeraj Bhatia
Assistant Professor of Architecture, CCA
Victoria Salinas
Chief Resilience Officer, City of Oakland
Antje Steinmuller
Assistant Professor of Architecture, CCA; Principal, Studio URBIS
Matthew Passmore
Founder and Lead Artist, Morelab; founder, Rebar Art & Design Studio
Jeremy Lowe
Senior Environmental Scientist, San Francisco Estuary Institute
Philip Vitale
Project Manager, Bay Area Parks for People Program, Trust for Public Land
Stephanie Kiriakopolos
Research Technician, Romberg Tiburon Center
Jennifer Wolch
William Wurster Dean, UC Berkeley College of Environmental Design
Alison Sant
Urban Designer and Artist, Studio for Urban Projects
Rebecca Johnson
Citizen Science Coordinator
and Researcher
California Academy of Sciences
Robin Grossinger
Senior Scientist
Resilient Landscapes Program Director,
SF Estuary Institute
Amber Hasselbring
Executive Director, Nature in the City
Founder, Art Ecology
Allen Fish
Director, Raptor Observatory
Golden Gate National Parks
Damien Raffa
Education/Volunteer Program
Manager, Presidio Trust
Joel Pomerantz
Dr. Katharyn Boyer
Associate Professor, SF State
Romberg Tiburon Center
Kelley Higgason
NOAA Affiliate
Ocean Climate Initiative Coordinator
Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary
Tae Kim
Founder, Alite Designs

Peter Brastow
Biodiversity Coordinator
SF Department of Environment

Katie McKnight
Environmental Analyst, SFEI

Nate Kauffman
Founder, Live Edge Adaptation Project

Laura Tam
Sustainability Development Policy Director at SPUR
Josiah Cain
Director of Innovation, Sherwood Design Engineers

Will Travis
Former Executive Director, BCDC

Sarah Dean
Assistant Professor, California College of the Arts    

Mark Stacey
Professor of Environmental Engineering, UC Berkeley

Lidia D'Amico
Biologist, AECOM
Amanda Brown-Stevens
Managing Director, Resilient by Design


  • Mayra Madriz, Urban Planner, Re:Imagine Group
  • Alison Sant, Urban Designer & Artist, Studio for Urban Projects
  • Tyler Pew, Designer & Social Entrepreneur, ILabHaiti, KidMob
  • Glenn Corey, Educator, Novato High School
  • Ben Grant, Urban Planner, SPUR
  • Steve Gennrich, Designer and Engineer, Exploratorium Outdoor Studio
  • Liz Ogbu, Designer, UC Berkeley
  • Nick Polansky, Urban Planner, MIT
  • Allison Lassiter, Researcher, UC Berkeley
  • Dan Parham, Social Entrepreneur, Neighborland.org
  • Louise Mozingo, Chair and Professor of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning, UC Berkeley