2021 Orchids & Onions – Meet the Jury!

As our Orchids & Onions Committee is hustling together to prepare this year’s program, we wanted to make a super big announcement – our jury! Over the years, we have always had an engaging team of jury members, and this year is absolutely no different. With thought-leaders from a variety of professional disciplines, we entrust with our jury the decision-making that results in the awards themselves. O&O is a unique awards ceremony. The public nominates all projects, but then the jury adds their expertise resulting in a combined effort to determine the winners.  

They will be put to the test, from a grueling (not really) online voting process, to an in-person tour to see each short-listed project, to the feisty and always exciting deliberations that can last for hours; we know that this jury is up to the task!

While this may be an all-star band of dead-set industry rock stars, and they are, but don’t forget that we will also invite you to all of SDAF’s VIP member events to participate in the chance of a lifetime to join this year’s jury.

Finally, to round out the total of nine jurors, we will also be inviting an ACE Mentor Student to join the jury. What an opportunity for a young budding designer to sit in and converse with some of our region’s leading designers!

Over the coming weeks, we will be releasing information on how you can participate in your one chance of a lifetime! But for now, let’s meet the jury!

Here we go…

Architect: Gemma Hsiueh

Gemma is a Registered Architect and Principal at RNT Architects, located in the Gaslamp Quarter. Gemma acknowledges her parents for allowing her the freedom to explore the field of architecture at such an early age. Her obsession with Legos during childhood led her to take several drafting classes in high school and participate in a summer exploratory program at the NewSchool of Architecture + Design. She refined her focus and skills at the USC School of Architecture. She jumped on the opportunity to study abroad in Italy for five months, which solidified her admiration of the subject.

Get to know Gemma more through this wonderful interview by unfamiliar.

Architect & Developer: Jeff Svitak

Jeff Svitak Inc. is an all-inclusive studio focusing primarily on architectural design while simultaneously integrating real estate development and construction management into its practice. The studio prides itself on creating unique and inspired human environments that engage with the user’s senses. While each project has its individual inspiration and concept, Svitak believes heavily in the role of spatial organization and its influence on human emotions. By intimately studying this relationship, Jeff Svitak Inc. looks to enhance the emotional quality of its building’s inhabitants. They thoughtfully integrate aspects of privacy and intimacy within the interior environment, connecting exterior living spaces, and inviting an overall sense of community through crafted and welcoming public and circulatory spaces.

Architect & HRB Member: Matthew Winter 

Matthew Winter is the Director of Mixed-Use at LPA Design Studios. He has been responsible for managing various award-winning projects of multiple typologies, including housing, medical, civic, developer, and mixed-use projects. His work on the Pacific Center Campus in Southern California received the 2017 American Architecture Award and the 2016 Best Project for Office/Retail/Mixed-Use from ENR’s California’s Best Projects.

He is currently serving on the Historic Resource Board of the City of San Diego. Additionally, he is president of beautifulPB, the non-profit managing the certification process for the Pacific Beach EcoDistrict. He has helped spearhead multiple community-led projects within the EcoDistrict, ranging from new bicycle paths, community mural events, new placemaking, municipal code, new park designations, and an EcoDistrict planning checklist for new development. He previously served on the Uptown Planning Board and as a director on the Pacific Beach Town Council.

Designer: Rachelle Domingo-Rogers

As an ’04 Alumni of Newschool of Architecture and Design with a 5-year Bachelors of Architecture degree, Rachelle has invested 20+ years in the San Diego Architectural and Design Industry working for various firms and non-profits. Now, she is the owner of Arch5 Design Studio, a boutique architectural and interior design studio specializing in residential and Commercial/Hospitality projects. They just recently celebrated their 6th year in business. Get to know Rachelle more through this great interview in Shoutout Socal.

Artist & Educator: Dave Adey

David Adey began his graphic design and branding career working for clients such as Intel, Pepsi, Nike, Qualcomm, Taylor Guitars, Hasbro, and many others. His sculpture often draws upon this experience, and his recent cut-paper works explore the fraught intersection between our physical bodies and the increasingly digitized world we inhabit. His work has been exhibited at The Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, Orange County Museum of Art, Torrance Art Museum, Cranbrook Art Museum, Minneapolis Institute of Art, The La Jolla Athenaeum, and Oceanside Museum Art, Frist Museum in Nashville, and galleries and venues nationally and internationally. His recent Hide series was selected for the exhibition State of The Art, Discovering American Art Now, which began at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Arkansas and has toured nationally.

Adey’s graphic design and illustration have been featured in publications such as Graphis and Communication Arts. His art has been reviewed and featured in publications including Art in America, Art Ltd., LA Weekly, Installation Magazine, Artbound by KCET, Modern Luxury Magazine, The San Diego Union-Tribune, Wired, KPBS, and The Huffington Post.

His permanent public sculpture for the County of San Diego, titled Inspiration/Expiration, can be seen at the corner of Cedar and Kettner in downtown San Diego.

He received his MFA in sculpture from Cranbrook Academy of Art and a BA in visual art from PLNU, where he is currently a professor of art and design.

Architect & Construction Manager: Katinka Read

Katinka was born and raised in Germany, but San Diego has been her home for over 15 years. After graduating from the NewSchool of Architecture + Design in 2011, Katinka worked in architecture for five years and got her license in California. She now works as a construction project manager for multi-family projects and operates her small architecture firm on the side.

Fun fact, Katinka volunteered with SDAF for a few years on our Orchids and Onions Committee, and we are so pleased to have her back on our jury this year.

Get to know Katinka through this great interview in unfamiliar.

Landscape Architect: Neil Hadley

With over 20 years of experience in landscape architecture, campus planning, and urban design, Neil founded landLAB, landscape architecture + environmental back in 2007. He graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Landscape Architecture from the University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada, in 1994. His everyday philosophy is based on attention to detail while creating landscapes that connect the built form to its surrounding environmental context. He strives passionately for a strong collaboration between the consultant team and the client. Neil ventured out to San Diego in 1998, opening landLAB landscape architecture + environmental planning in 2008.

When he is not working, he can be found surfing, snowboarding, and hanging out with his wife and two boys.

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