Learn what inspires our newly promoted staff below.

From the majesty and wildness of nature to the variability and vitality of cities, places and a passion for designing them unite SWA’s professionals.  We asked our recently promoted leaders about what places inspire them and why.


Daniel Affleck, Design

Inspired by: My earliest memories of the New England woods in autumn – Crisp air, leaves everywhere, warm colors, earthy smells, shifting seasons, the passage of time.

BS Fine Arts, Skidmore College; MArch and MLA, University of Pennsylvania

Matt Baumgarten, Design

Inspired by: Next bend in the road or trail – The anticipation of new landscapes and the rediscovery or reinterpretation of familiar places.

BS Landscape Architecture, University of Wisconsin

Richard Crockett, Design

Inspired by: Gulangyu Island, Xiamen, China – Vehicle-free, scaled for the human body, nighttime wandering, historical architecture, and great trees.

MLA and Masters of City and Regional Planning, University of California, Berkeley; Bachelor of Environmental Design, University of Minnesota

Andy Harcar, Design

Inspired by: Potter Township, Pennsylvania: pastoral, rolling hills, expansive valleys, heavily wooded, open meadows, deep creeks and wide rivers, old bridges, forgotten places, long, waving grass, country roads. Home.

BLA, Pennsylvania State University

William Hynes, Design

Inspired by: Prospect or hilltop . . . connotes topography and views with a dash of refuge heightened by flatness, water, reflection, and the dynamic interplay of light and clouds.

BLA, University of Illinois Urbana Champaign

Jeremy Klemic, Field Group

Inspired by: The complex, picturesque urban landscape of Amsterdam – old-world charm amidst modern life, enlivened by friendly people. Bikes, pedestrians, and autos deftly intermingle on the streets while the canals function for tourism, local transport and flood control.

BA, Urban Studies and Planning, University of California San Diego

David Lloyd, Photography & Media

Inspired by: Byron Bay, Australia’s Gold Coast – Beautiful beaches, intimate scale, artful community, pedestrian-friendly, sustainable development. Home to artists, travelers and surfers alike. Spectacular sunsets with a pace and vibe to match. The perfect escape.

BS, Graphic Communication and Advertising Design, University of Maryland

Mandana Parvinian, Design

Inspired by: The rich urban spaces of London, complex but well balanced. Grand open spaces and amazing, human-scaled spatial experiences. The surprise elements in the design and the setting make it unique.

BArch and MArch, AU; MLA Studies, SBU, Iran; MLA, Virginia Tech

Todd Strawn, Design

Inspired by: Hong Kong – Vibrant urban experience contrasting with lush mountain landscape.

BSLA, University of Kentucky

Zach Vieth, Design

Inspired by: Hong Kong – Global metropolis set on islands, variety in the compression and expansion of space, always connected to water, cultures mix as East meets West, public transit connects all corners.

BS Landscape Architecture, University of Wisconsin

Shuntaro Yahiro, Design

Inspired by: Tokyo and Kyoto – People, seasonal changes, diversity geography, cleanliness, intensity. Complexity with order, food, unique culture, public transit. Complicated/sophisticated infrastructure. Quality and accuracy of detail and craftsmanship.

Bachelor of Environmental Planning, Osaka University of Arts; MLA, Louisiana State University

Ji Hyun Yoo, Design

Inspired by: Seoul – surrounded by mountains, the beautiful Han River, four seasons and a dynamic culture, the juxtaposition of fine grain and super block, historic and modern.

MLA, Seoul National University, MLA, Harvard Graduate School of Design


Ben Boisclair, Design

Inspired by: Oddly, both Disneyland, a utopian theme park, and Arches National Park, a natural retreat, promote exploration and ideologies that carve out a story and make me feel embedded within a space.

BLA, Syracuse University

Brandon Cappellari, Design

Inspired by: Brion Cemetery in San Vito D’Altivole, Italy – Otherworldly place designed for the living. A master class in light, form and space: mysterious, sculptural and tranquil.

BLA, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Roman Chiu, Design

Inspired by: On my bike, with the kids yelling in their bike seat behind me. Being able to move through spaces differently, understanding transit, feeling the breeze from the beach!

Bachelor’s of Industrial Design, Rhode Island School of Design; MLA, University of Pennsylvania

Daniel Dobson, Design

Inspired by: Short North, Columbus, OH – dynamic revitalization, intimate atmosphere, artistic, community catalyst, pre-war and human-scaled architecture.

BS Landscape Architecture, Ohio State University; MS Architecture and Urban Design, Columbia University

Jacob Glazer, Design

Inspired by: The Woods – inspiring, humbling, refreshing, challenging, resilient, successional, timeless.

BA, Brandeis University; Masters in Landscape Design, Columbia University

Natasha Harkison, Design

Inspired by: Castiglion Fiorentino, Italy – intricate urban forms and vast landscapes, small streets ending with expansive views, a journey that is never the same, amazing sunsets, fall color, vibrant culture.

BSLA, California Polytechnic University, Pomona

Fran Hegeler, Communications

Inspired by: Paris and New York – The grandness and intimacy of shared spaces. I love when a public outdoor space feels like a room, as if the city is home to my bigger family.

BS Political Science, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Masako Ikegami, New Business

Inspired by: Mt. Wilson Observatory/San Gabriel Mountains – a transverse mountain range rising above Los Angeles; a historic site for astronomy and our understanding of the universe.

BA University of Toronto; MLA, Harvard Graduate School of Design

George Kutnar, Design

Inspired by: Pasadena – Its visual character is defined by streets that tunnel through massive tree canopies, with strategic views of the foothills to the north. The perfect distance from L.A. proper.

BSLA, California Polytechnic University, Pomona

Steven Lee, Design

Inspired by: Lisbon’s rambling streetscapes and intimate plazas. Painstakingly crafted details, layers of history, a constant sense of discovery, and a perfection of the human scale.
BA, Government, Claremont McKenna College; MLA and Master of City Planning, University of California, Berkeley

Xian Li, Design

Inspired by: Paris – Beautiful architecture and orderly urban streets with an unlimited scope of cultural experiences and endless art and history.

MLA Louisiana State University; Master of Urban Planning and Design, Nanjing Forest University

Ronald Lim, Design

Inspired by: Mount Tamalpais. Lots of hiking trail options with very different characteristics. It has that perfect balance of sunlight and breeze that allows me to relax and appreciate my surroundings.

BArch, Carnegie Mellon University; MLA, Harvard Graduate School of Design

Shaun Loomis, Field Group

Inspired by: Rocky Shores of the Pacific: Unforgiving, endless, and ever-changing.

BLA, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Jing Ma, Design

Inspired by: Barcelona – a place of imagination come true.

MLA, University of California, Berkeley

Art Mahasuan, Finance

Inspired by: San Francisco – The lush landscapes of Golden Gate Park complementing the Bay with natural symmetry, and the buildings inspired by generations of multicultural residents.

BS, Economics and Business Administration, Saint Mary’s College; MBA, San Francisco State University

Ayaka Matthews, Design

Inspired by: By the water, in a big field, where it’s open to the sky; makes me feel at one with existence, as a phenomena at a moment in time and space.

BA, Kyoto University; MLA West Virginia University

Curtis Neukomm, Field Group

Inspired by: Desert landscapes of southeastern California – Sculptural simplicity, blue skies and golden sandy expanses dotted with cacti and blended with random rock formations. Bright, warm, and unforgiving.

BLA, University of British Columbia

Anna Park, Design

Inspired by: Diana Memorial fountain in Hyde Park, London – Simple design embedded in the surrounding nature so it’s easy to miss from far away. Up close, the details are delicate and create various water movements.

Bachelor of Engineering in Architecture, Hongik University; MLA, University of Pennsylvania

Yuan Ren, Design

Inspired by: The Forbidden City, in Beijing. The sequence of the former palace court is always fascinating. It is so big and includes such rich content inside that I can make new discoveries on every trip there.

Bachelor’s of Urban Planning, Beijing Forestry University; MLA, Texas A&M University

Mark Schumacher, Information Management

Inspired by: Hilo, Hawaii – Diversity, relaxed pace of life, lush, green tropical landscapes, beautiful views.

BA, Psychology, Humboldt State University; MLIS, San Jose State University

Jonnu Singleton, Photography

Inspired by: The ocean, its primordial draw, meditative quality, boundless depth, restorative ability, and humbling nature.

BFA, Commercial/Advertising Photography, Brooks Institute of Photography

Marc Tsay, Design

Inspired by: Yosemite – Sublime beauty, sacred wildness, poetic landscape, dramatic geography, historic heritage, humble interventions, and an invitation from nature.

MLA, University of Pennsylvania