Christina X. Brown, Assoc. AIA, NOMA, LEED AP BD+C, EcoDistricts AP
Christina X. Brown is an Environmental Performance Fellow at Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates in New York City. Brown moved around growing up, from a heavily air-polluted oil workers’ village in Tianjin, China to the lush landscapes of Bangalore, India, and the unfiltered rural natures of North Carolina. With each move, so shifted her environment, quality of life, culture and political structure, and socioeconomic status. These changes allowed her to recognize the beauty of diversity, the complexity of race and gender in society, and the role of nature in our built environment, ultimately leading her to pursue a career in sustainable architecture. In college, Brown learned about social resilience, the circular economy, systems thinking, racial justice, and equity, and realized how systemic issues related heavily to the experiences she had growing up, including her exposure to racism, hate, economic struggle, and opportunity barriers. She found urgency in addressing these issues at local scales, engaging communities and empowering them. Brown is committed to not being a passive bystander in the design profession and strives to become a proactive member that questions the status quo, challenges injustice, and pushes forth positive change.
Anne Chen works across the disciplines of architecture, landscape architecture, and urban design. Focusing primarily on education and culture projects, she devotes her time, energy, and talent to serve the public by advancing the design of school facilities and deepening community impact.
In addition to her work as an Architect at Gensler, Chen lends her time to several organizations. Prior to relocating to NYC, she served as the marketing adviser for the AIA|DC Equity Committee by WIELD, where she was involved in developing discussion topics, event planning, and creating newsletters. As the past vice chair, she was instrumental in the successful creation of the AIA|DC Asian American Designers Union. Prior to the pandemic, she volunteered at Architecture in School, Casey Trees, Liberty’s Promise, and DCBIA.
Chen has a Master of Landscape Architecture from the Harvard Graduate School of Design. She received her Bachelor of Science in Architecture from the University of Virginia, where she also minored in Global Sustainability. With a value system that sees a world in need and a determination to help, Chen worked closely with various research faculties to explore fundamentally important ideas and causes that she is passionate about.
Lopita Das, Assoc. AIA, Associate NOMA
Lopita Das is an Architectural Designer at Perkins Eastman. She graduated from the School of Architecture at Pratt Institute. She is a director for AIA Brooklyn and a treasurer for NycobaNOMA.
Alicia DuQue-French is an architectural designer at DTLS Architecture, where she works on a variety of residential projects. She resides in Bushwick, where she attends Community Board 4 meetings and events, works with a tenants’ union advocating for rent stabilization and landmark status, and utilizes her architectural knowledge to assist local nonprofits. While working towards her M.Arch at Columbia University, French was a Research Assistant at the Temple Hoyne Buell Center for the Study of American Architecture. She was part of a team that created the project “Power: Infrastructure in America,” which unveils and critiques private interests in government policy. During this time, she also worked as a Civic Design Assistant for the Mayor’s Action Plan for Neighborhood Safety. Recently, she published the essay “Temporary Homes in Permanent Crisis,” which examines mobile homes in FEMA disaster recovery policy and shows endemic issues within the system that, if addressed, could induce equitable policy. Prior to attending Columbia, she received a Master of China Studies from Peking University where she focused on Architectural History.
Allison Lane, RA, AIA, ASID, NCARB, NCIDQ, LEED AP, WELL AP, NOMA
Allison Lane is a licensed architect and Associate at AECOM’s Buildings and Places, Asset Advisory and Architecture practices in New York. With over 11 years of experience in the design and construction of award-winning projects, her background includes design, project and program management in architecture, interior design, and real estate development. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Architecture from the University of Pennsylvania and a Master of Architecture from Pratt Institute.
Lane has a proven track record in luxury high-end residential, hotel/hospitality, and mixed-use commercial buildings. She holds additional expertise in managing projects that are affordable, accessible, and sustainable, including educational, institutional, and historic preservation projects. Lane’s commitment to promoting inclusive design opportunities for diverse industry professionals is evidenced by her engagement in equity and inclusion efforts at AECOM and various industry organizations, including serving as the current President-Elect of nycobaNOMA.
Alejandra Zapata is a Computational Designer and Architecture Customer Success Consultant at Sidewalk Labs. She currently sits on the Delve team, a digital master planning tool to generate, evaluate, and optimize design options. Her background in architecture and data analytics sparked her interest in interdisciplinary projects that seek to rethink the future of urban communities. Zapata strives to create meaningful and innovative spaces by incorporating technology and design to address environmental challenges. Prior to joining Sidewalk Labs, Zapata was an Urban Researcher at the J. Max Bond Center, where she worked on making real estate and land use data available to communities and aiding the strategic planning process for urban communities from New York to Accra. Past professional experience includes residential, commercial, interiors, and community center design, as well as mixed-use and institutional projects in her academic work. She seeks to promote environmental justice and excellence in design through strong narratives and research in every project she embarks on. More recently, Zapata co-founded Ad Hoc Cooperative, a speculative design think tank that believes in design for equity, sustainability, and beauty. Through this effort, she hopes to explore architectural ideas that stimulate emerging professionals to rethink the future of our cities.