Ece Calguner Ezran, SOM-Skidmore, Owings & Merrill
Francine Houben, Mecanoo
Lyndon Neri, Neri&Hu Design and Research Office
Ben van Berkel, UNStudio
Michael Meredith, Princeton UniversityMOS
Doriana Fuksas, Studio Fuksas

Ece Calguner Ezran
 is Interiors Principal at SOM-Skidmore, Owings & Merrill in New York. Ece Calguner Erzan believes that interior design is the act of creating a holistic experience—one that brings the look and feel of the exterior of a building, at the city scale, to the interiors. This perspective guides her work as the lead interior designer for SOM’s New York studio. She approaches her work with the conviction that the big picture is just as important as the smallest detail, and with a passion for the people who will inhabit them every day. She recognizes that interior spaces, where we spend most of our time, should bring us together and enhance our ability to live, learn, and perform at our best. In this spirit of interdisciplinary design, Ece often blends the experience from one typology into another—incorporating amenities of hospitality into residential buildings, or designing workspaces with elements of residential comfort. She strives to maximize spatial performance and efficiency while never compromising on aesthetics. With a portfolio that spans across the globe, she has drawn inspiration from each market by integrating local culture into her projects—connecting people to places and elevating the human experience. Ece received her Master of Science in Interior Design from Pratt Institute and is a Registered Interior Designer in New York.

Francine Houben
(the Netherlands, 1955) is Founding Partner and Creative Director of Mecanoo. Her work ranges from theaters, museums and libraries to neighborhoods, housing and parks. Each design is founded on the observations of people, location, culture and climate. This analysis amounts to designs that respond to current needs yet are also prepared for (un)predictable change. With her practice, she has gained international acclaim. She holds Honorary Fellowships of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC). Francine was granted lifelong membership to the Akademie der Künste in Berlin and received the International Honorary Fellow Award by the Architecture Institute of Taiwan.

Francine Houben was professor of mobility aesthetics at Delft University of Technology and also taught at the universities of Harvard, Yale and Mendrisio. As curator of the First International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam (2003), she brought the theme of the aesthetics of mobility to the forefront of international design consciousness.

In 2014 Francine was named Woman Architect of the Year by the Architects’ Journal and in November 2015 Queen Máxima of The Netherlands presented Francine with the Cultuurfonds Prize for her wide-ranging career. Francine was awarded Honorary Doctorates from the Université de Mons, Belgium (2017) and the Utrecht University (2016). In 2018 Francine received the BNA Kubus Award for her oeuvre; the International Prize, Prix des Femmes Architectes (2019) and was distinguished with the TU Delft Alumnus of the Year (2020). In 2021 Mecanoo and Francine were presented with the European Prize for Architecture. In 2024, King Willem-Alexander appointed Francine Knight of the order of the Lion of the Netherlands.

Selected works include Delft University of Technology Library, Delft (1998), La Llotja Theatre and Congress Centre, Lleida, Spain (2008), Library of Birmingham, United Kingdom (2013), National Kaohsiung Centre for the Arts, Taiwan (2018) and the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library, United States (2020). New York Public Library’s former Mid-Manhattan Library reopened June 1, 2021 as the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Library, while renovations continue at the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building officially completing the Midtown Campus masterplan.

Lyndon Neri
co-founded Neri&Hu Design and Research Office with Rossana Hu in 2006, an inter-disciplinary architectural design practice based in Shanghai with satellite offices in Milan and Paris. Neri received his Master of Architecture at Harvard Graduate School of Design and his Bachelor of Arts in Architecture at the University of California, Berkeley. Alongside his design practice, Neri has been deeply committed to architectural education and has taught and lectured in numerous universities. He was recently appointed as Visiting Faculty at Princeton University School of Architecture, starting spring semester 2024. Neri was appointed the Howard Friedman Visiting Professor of Practice at the University of California, Berkeley in 2023, the Design Critic in 2023 and the John C. Portman Design Critic in Architecture in 2019 and 2021 at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, the Eero Saarinen Visiting Professor in 2022 and Norman R. Foster Visiting Professor Chair in 2018 at the Yale School of Architecture. Neri co-authored and edited Persistence of Vision: Shanghai Architects in Dialogue published by MCCM Creations in 2007. In 2017, his first monograph Neri&Hu Design and Research Office was published by Park Books. In 2021, the second monograph Thresholds: Space, Time and Practice was published by Thames&Hudson and the Chinese edition was translated and published in 2023 by Guangxi Normal University Press.

Ben van Berkel is Founder and Principal Architect of Amsterdam-based UNStudio. He studied architecture at the Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam and at the Architectural Association in London, receiving the AA Diploma with Honours in 1987. In 1988 he and Caroline Bos set up UNStudio, an architectural practice in Amsterdam. Current projects include the STH BNK by Beulah mixed-use development in Melbourne, the ChamartÍn Station masterplan in Madrid, ‘Four’ a large-scale mixed-use project in Frankfurt and the Wasl Tower in Dubai. With UNStudio he realised amongst others the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart, Arnhem central Station in the Netherlands, the Raffles City mixed-use development in Hangzhou, the Canaletto Tower in London, a private villa up-state New York and the Singapore University of Technology and Design. Ben van Berkel has lectured and taught at many architectural schools around the world. From 2011 to 2018 he held the Kenzo Tange Visiting Professor's Chair at Harvard University Graduate School of Design, where he continues to lead a studio on health and the built environment. He is also currently the IE School of Architecture and Design MArch Thesis Chair, in addition to being the Chair of the school’s International Advisory Board. In 2017, Ben van Berkel also gave a TEDx presentation about health and architecture. In addition, from 2017 to 2021 he was a member of the Taskforce Team / Advisory Board Construction Industry for the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs.

Michael Meredith is Associate Dean and Professor at Princeton University. Along with his partner, Hilary Sample, Michael Meredith is a principal of MOS, an internationally recognized architecture practice based in New York. His writing has appeared in Artforum, LOG, Perspecta, Praxis, Domus, and Harvard Design Magazine. Meredith previously taught at Harvard University's Graduate School of Design, the University of Michigan, where he was awarded the Muschenheim Fellowship, and the University of Toronto.

Doriana Fuksas leads Studio Fuksas, an international architectural firm with offices in Rome, Paris and Shenzhen, together with Massimiliano Fuksas. Over the past 50 years the company has developed an innovative approach through a wide variety of projects, ranging from urban interventions to airports, museums, cultural centers, spaces for music, convention centers, offices, interiors and design collections. 

The studio has completed works all over the world with a consistent attention to sustainability and inclusivity. The office’s works include: The Line, Neom, Saudi Arabia (ongoing); Gelendzhik Airport, Gelendzhik, Russia (2022); Guosen Securities Tower, Shenzhen, China (2019); New Rome - EUR Convention Centre "the Cloud" and Hotel, Rome, Italy (2016); Shenzhen Bao’an International Airport, Terminal 3, Shenzhen, China (2013); and the National Archives of France, Pierrefitte sur Seine-Saint Denis, Paris, France (2013). Fuksas has also collaborated with Alessi, Poltrona Frau, Venini and iGuzzini. 

Fuksas was born in Rome where she graduated with a degree in History of Modern and Contemporary Architecture at the University of Rome La Sapienza. She later also earned a degree in Architecture from ESA, École Spéciale d’Architecture, Paris. She has completed academic work at the Institute of History of Art at the Faculty of Letters and Arts and at Industrial Design Department ITACA at La Sapienza University in Rome. Fuksas has curated four Special Projects at the VII Mostra Internazionale di Architettura di Venezia. She began working with Massimiliano Fuksas in 1985 and has led, as a director, Fuksas Design since 1997. In 2002, she was decorated with the Officier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres de la République Française, and in 2020, she was awarded the title of Chevalier de l’Ordre de la Légion d’Honneur Française. In 2023, she was honored as Commander of the Order 'for Merit of the Italian Republic'.

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