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Neutra House Speaker Series Bios

Jonathan Pearlman:

Jonathan Pearlman is the principal of Elevation Architects (EA), a San Francisco-based firm that specializes in custom single-family homes and multi-family residential buildings throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.  EA also works with non-profit organizations such as arts organizations, AIDS/HIV services, health organizations, congregations, and low-income housing to create organization-specific programming, and design spaces and buildings.  In addition, he consults on California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) building evaluations, including historic residences, commercial buildings and movie theatres, and has served on the San Francisco's Landmarks Preservation Board.

Pearlman holds an undergraduate degree in Architectural History from Tufts University and is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, School of Architecture, where he also taught Design Studios.  Before establishing his firm in 1995, he was the Executive Director of the AIDS/HIV Life Center, and prior to, worked for RMW Architects in San Francisco.


David Lenox:

Dave Lenox has been the Stanford University Architect since 2005 and has been focused on establishing a framework for continued physical growth of the campus to support the mission and vision of the University. He has led the development of a campus master plan which outlines strategies that will restore the original Olmsted campus plan, and has also worked closely with the individual schools and departments to create a system of district plans for the Graduate Business School, Law School, Biological Sciences, School of Medicine, and the Arts.

Dave received his Bachelor of Environmental Design from Miami University and his Master in Architecture from the Ohio State University. Prior to coming to Stanford, his work focused on architectural design in the corporate and transportation markets and he had most recently led a design project in the heart of Moscow.


Raymond Neutra:

Raymond Richard Neutra is the retired former Chief, Division of Environmental and Occupational Disease control in the California Department of Public Health. He is a physician and epidemiologist (the study of epidemics). He taught epidemiology at the Universidad del Valle in Cali Colombia, Harvard University and UCLA. He is the author of more than 100 scientific articles in his field. Born in 1939, he is the youngest son of Dione and Richard Neutra, whose interest in the physiology of perception and the health effects of the built environment sparked this son's interest in medicine.


David Weinstein:

Dave Weinstein is a Bay Area author and journalist who has written two books about Bay Area architecture and design, “Signature Architects of the San Francisco Bay Area,” and the text for “Berkeley Rocks: Building with Nature,” with photographs by Jonathan Chester. He also wrote “It Came from Berkeley: How Berkeley Changed the World.”

Dave was a reporter and editor for many years for the West County Times/Contra Costa Times, and later wrote a popular series of profiles of historically important architects for the San Francisco Chronicle. Today he writes about modern architecture for the magazine CA Modern, and contributes to many other publications.

A resident of El Cerrito for 30 years, Dave initiated the successful effort to preserve that town’s long abandoned Art Deco movie palace, the Cerrito Theater.  Dave grew up on Long Island, studied art history at Columbia University and journalism at UC-Berkeley.


Alan Hess:

Alan Hess [is] a prominent California architecture critic who has written extensively on roadside strips," notes the New York Times. As a practicing architect and historian, Hess documents the emerging suburban metropolises of the West. As an architecture critic, he has written a column for the San Jose Mercury News since 1986.

His most recent books are Oscar Niemeyer Buildings (Rizzoli), Frank Lloyd Wright: The Buildings (Rizzoli), Forgotten Modern: California Houses 1940-1970 (Gibbs Smith Publisher), and Julius Shulman: Palm Springs (Rizzoli).

While obtaining his Masters of Architecture degree at UCLA's Graduate School of Architecture and Urban Planning, Hess’ interest in Los Angeles and its popular culture lead to his first book, Googie: Fifties Coffee Shop Architecture, which "renews the scholarly pursuit" of the strip (Time 6/2/86). Based on original sources, it revealed a popular car culture architecture which spread the fruits of Modernism to the mass audience.                                         

As an architect, Hess served as design consultant for the Petersen Automotive Museum of the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, and was a principal contributor to its interpretive exhibits, including the design of a 1950s coffee shop and its neon sign. 

Hess has been active in the preservation of roadside and post-War architecture, qualifying for the National Register of Historic Places the nation’s oldest McDonald’s drive-in (Downey, CA 1953), an early suburban department store (Bullock's Pasadena, 1947), the 1956 Hotel Valley Ho Motor Inn in Scottsdale, AZ, and the Stuart Pharmaceutical Factory (Edward Durell Stone, 1958). He received a 1997 Honor Award from the National Trust for Historic Preservation for his efforts to preserve the McDonald's, and a 1999 President's Award from the California Preservation Foundation. 

Hess was a National Arts Journalism Program Fellow at Columbia University's School of Journalism in New York, and received a grant from the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts to research the work of Brazilian landscape architect Roberto Burle Marx. Hess has taught at the Southern California Institute of Architecture (Sci-Arc) and UCLA.            

Hess' other books include Viva Las Vegas; The Architecture of John Lautner; The Ranch House; Rancho Deluxe; and Palm Springs Weekend. 

He also wrote Oscar Niemeyer Houses (Rizzoli), Organic Architecture: The Other Modernism (Gibbs Smith), Frank Lloyd Wright: Prairie Houses (Rizzoli), Googie Redux: Ultramodern Roadside Architecture (Chronicle), and The Houses of Frank Lloyd Wright (Rizzoli). He is currently researching the architecture of Irvine, California, one of the United States’ largest master-planned communities of the 1960s and 1970s.


Michael Duncan:

SOM San Francisco director Michael Duncan has extensive national and international experience in designing projects that include major civic, retail, residential, corporate and commercial complexes and buildings, transportation centers, infrastructure, and universities. 

Michael has played lead roles in several signature SOM projects, including Finance Street in Beijing China; the University of California, Merced; and the San Francisco International Terminal.  The terminal with its iconic design and refined detailing, has created a powerful identity for both the airport and the City of San Francisco. 

Beijing Finance Street (BFS) is a large-scale, mixed-use development totaling 22 acres in the heart of the Beijing. The project provided a new financial center for the City, as well as Beijing’s most significant and influential new public space. 

The UC Merced Library and Information Technology Center and Central Plant complex were awarded LEED® Gold, helping to establish the environmental guidelines for future buildings. 

“My ambition is to leverage the powerful design engine of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill to produce projects that push design to the highest level in terms of program, structure, and building skin. This is especially significant in regard to buildings that pioneer refined, cutting-edge solutions to issues of environmental responsibility and sustainability. Buildings with this dedication to quality, with an unwavering attention to the joy and craft of detail, have a unique ability to inspire."


Stanford University, BS in engineering, School of Art and Humanities Studio Art Award.
Harvard University Graduate School of Design, Master of Architecture, Thesis Distinction. 

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