Materials & Applications


Jia Yi Gu
Executive Director & Curator

Jia Yi Gu is a researcher, designer and curator whose work is focused on architecture and exhibitions. She is currently curator and director of Materials & Applications and co-director of the creative studio Spinagu with Maxi Spina and a doctoral student in the UCLA Critical Studies in Architecture. She has taught History/Theory and Studio courses at SCI-Arc, USC, and Cal Poly Metro, and served as Associate Director of the UCLA A.UD Summer Institute.


Antonio Pacheco
Communications Manager

Antonio is a Los Angeles-based writer, designer, and preservationist. He is the communications manager for Materials & Applications, sits on the Exhibitions Committee of the Architecture and Design Museum, and is the managing editor at Archinect. Antonio earned M.Arch I and Master of Preservation Studies degrees from Tulane University, and received a Bachelor of Arts in Architecture from Washington University in St. Louis. He has written extensively on the legacies of Late Modern, Postmodern, and contemporary architecture in a variety of publications, including The Architect's Newspaper, ArtNet, Creator's Project (VICE Media), and Preservation in Print.


Sage Roebuck
Programs Manager

Sage Roebuck is the Public Programs Manager for M&A. She recently graduated from Lewis & Clark College with a major in English and a minor in Art. While there, she ran Art Club and was the representative of the English Department on the Student Academic Affairs Board. Sage is also the Project Manager for Mussel Beach, Cooking Sections' contribution to Currents:LA 2019. She was born and raised in Hermosa Beach, and she loves being a Gemini and going for swims in the ocean any time of the year.


Temishi Onnekikami
LACAC Summer 2019 Intern

Temishi is a Southern California native with interests in architecture, graphic design, and community engagement through art. She is M&A’s 2019 LACAC Public Programs Intern and a current junior at Vassar College studying Studio Art. At Vassar, she is a member of the Student Committee at the France Lehman Loeb Art Center and practices graphic design in her spare time.


Mateus Comparato
Exhibitions & Programs Assistant

Mateus Comparato is the Exhibitions and Programs Assistant at M&A. Originally from Brazil, he is currently in his third year of the B.Arch program at SCI-Arc. There, he has worked on gallery exhibitions with Henry Architecture, Mark Foster Gage and Peter Noever. Mateus has also interned at David Ross Architecture and, more recently, at Stereobot, where he worked on a housing project for the 2019 LA Design Festival. Outside of architecture and design, he spends most of his time making ceramics, cooking, or taking care of his dog Pixi.


Materials & Applications is made possible by the community of participants that has grown around our projects. We remain forever grateful for the assistance of our past colleagues, interns, and key volunteers: 

Andrew Adzemovic, Buse Aktas, Hillary Bretcko, Jih Byeon, David Casey, Jess Castillo, Patricia Chai, Karen Choi, Henry Cheung, Oscar Chun, Kevin Crooks, Aaron Dang, Astrid Diehl, Lynn Didier, Martina Dolejsova, Christine Eyer, Brittany Ellis, Jacqueline Falcone, Marcos Figueroa, Jen Fleming, Chase Galis, Kathy Grace, Amelia Hazinski, Crystal Hughes, Jasmine Jones, Brian Janeczko, Kim Karlsrud, Diana Kichler, Glen Kinoshita, Maria Kobalyan, Jessica Lim, Brandie Lockett, Jenny Long, Nico Machida, Elizabeth Marley, Scott Mayoral, Mandana Ozlati, Raynald Pelletier, Esmi Resnick, Mecky Reuss, Nicole Rinde, Aaron Ryan, Sigita Saliklis, Sarah Schade, Stephanie Snow, Stephany Stamatis, Sam Starr, Nicole Stubblefield, Astrid Sykes, Colin Tucker, Jackie von Treskow, Raven Weng, Kathy Williams, Victoria Wu


Past Key Personnel: 

Jenna Didier, Founder and former Director (2003-2014)
Nicholas Blake, Technical Director and former Board Member (2006-10)
Oliver Hess, Director Emeritus (2004-2011)
Bruce Chan, former Program Director (2008-10)
Kevin Crooks, former Program Director (2013-14)
Courtney Coffman, former Communications Director (2015-17)


Contemporary Council of M&A

The Contemporary Council of M&A (CCMA) is a dedicated council of young professionals who serve as a resource group for M&A's mission, culture and programs. They provide leadership and direction in M&A's public programming, development, and outreach.

Laida portrait_NEW.jpg

Laida Aguirre

Laida Aguirre is an architectural designer and educator. She was the 2017-2018 William Muschenheim Fellow at the University of Michigan where her research ‘Careful Crates’ focused on the architectural and cultural effects of shipping. Laida holds a B.A. from Northeastern University in Political Science and an M.Arch I from Cal Poly Pomona where she was the recipient of the Richard Neutra Award for Best Graduate Thesis. Her work has been exhibited at Storefront for Art and Architecture, A+D Museum, Berlin Art Week, Harvard Graduate School of Design, Oya in Oslo, and has been published in Pin-Up Magazine, POOL, and Art Papers. Previously she taught at Cal Poly Pomona and worked at Roto Architects. Laida is a member of the programming board at Materials & Applications in Los Angeles. She is currently director of stock-a-studio, a contemporary architectural practice that explores architecture as a material and cultural agent.


James Diewald

James Diewald is a registered architect and educator based in Los Angeles. As a Senior Designer at Skidmore Owings and Merrill, James works on large scale projects at the intersection between architecture and urbanism, exploring issues of density, spatial organization, and material effects. As a lecturer at USC James leads undergraduate design studios addressing topics of domestic space, urbanism and representation.

James holds a Masters of Architecture from UCLA, where he received the Henry Adams Medal, and a Bachelor of Arts in architecture from Miami University, where he received the Alpha Rho Chi Medal. Before joining the faculty at USC, James taught at Auburn University and UCLA. His academic work has been published and exhibited at national and international events including the ACADIA Conference, the Beyond Media Exhibition in Florence and the Venice Biennale.

 James has worked professionally in the United States, Germany, and Austria across a variety of project types and scales. Prior to joining SOM, James has worked with Querkraft (Vienna), Murmur (LA), Kevin Daly Architects (LA) and Behnisch (Stuttgart).

Jesse Hammer

Jesse Hammer graduated in June 2018 from UCLA with a Masters in Architecture. After studying in Savannah, Georgia, Jesse moved to Chicago to work for Bureau Spectacular on various architectural installations and a book series. Throughout graduate school Jesse worked for Design, Bitches and edited the architecture magazine POOL. Currently, Jesse works in Interior Architecture at Rios Clementi Hale Studios and is pursuing licensure as well as various media practices. Hammer seeks a foothold in architectural projects that lend themselves to a realm outside the service industry. They value delight, research, and materiality. Hammer’s design language is dedicated to nuance and narrative. Their techniques are color, texture, and composition. Jesse’s heroes include Chris Kraus, Madelon Vreisendorp, Cookie Mueller, and Ron Nagle.


Dami Olufowoshe

Dami earned his Masters Degree from the University of California's Architecture and Urban Design School in Los Angeles and previously earned his Bachelor of Science in Architecture from the Ohio State University's Knowlton School of Architecture. Most recently he is interested in exploring design strategies that reflect the immediate cultural adjacencies and celebrate structural aesthetics. He currently works for Rios Clementi Hale (RCH) Sstudios and continually seeks to investigate the relationship between architectural elements (at various scales) and the context in which they exist. Outside of the office he spends time playing / watching soccer, exploring LA via bicycle and enjoying the plethora of musical events the city has to offer.


Aubrey Bauer

Aubrey is an architectural researcher, designer, and event producer. She will complete a Masters of Arts in Architecture History, Criticism, and Theory later this year. She also holds an Masters of Architecture from University of California Los Angeles and a Bachelors of Arts in Anthropology from Reed College. She has previously served as Content Editor of the first three issues of POOL Magazine. She has previously worked for Standard Architecture, First Office, and Green Gables Design & Restoration.


Gary Fox

Gary Fox is a historian of architecture specializing in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, with particular interests in the history of psychology, global avant-gardes, environmentality, and aesthetics and the law. His dissertation project, provisionally titled The Test Subject, considers the development of experimental-environmental psychology as a field of inquiry from the late 1950s to the early 1980s, with a focus on spatial simulators and human subjects research as techniques for architectural-aesthetic knowledge-making. Gary lectures in architectural history and theory at USC School of Architecture, leads a seminar in the Design Theory and Pedagogy program at SCI-Arc, and has co-curated exhibitions at the Getty Research Institute. Gary holds a B.A. in Architecture from Yale University and a Master's in History of Architecture from the Architectural Association. He is currently a Ph.D. candidate in History of Architecture at UCLA.

Melina Girardi


Dana McKinney

Dana McKinney is an architect and urban planner at Gehry Partners in Los Angeles, California. She incorporates principles of social equity throughout her design and research, specifically serving vulnerable populations, such as formerly incarcerated persons and persons experiencing homelessness. Dana is also invested in design solutions for aging-in-place and affordable housing. Further, she is committed to diversify the fields of architecture and design, establishing the inaugural Black in Design Conference in 2015. She received a Master in Architecture and Master in Urban Planning from the Harvard Graduate School of Design and a Bachelor’s Degree in Architecture from Princeton University.


Emma Price

Emma Price is a licensed architect practicing in Los Angeles. She received her M.Arch from UCLA and her BA in Architectural Studies from Brown University. She currently teaches at Cal Poly Pomona, is a project lead at Taalman Architecture, and heads EP Architecture. She brings with her over eight years of industry experience, as well as a background in art and research and a deep interest in physical experience. Notable projects include exhibition design for the Whitney Museum of American Art in NYC and a series of experimental retail spaces for fashion brand Eckhaus Latta.


Our Team


Carlos Nelson

Donec eu est non lacus lacinia semper.

Jennifer Nelson

Maecenas non leo laoreet, condimentum lorem nec, vulputate massa.

Emily Jenkins

Maecenas non leo laoreet, condimentum lorem nec, vulputate massa.

Linda Hill

Aenean eu justo sed elit dignissim aliquam.