Archinect
Marla Ushijima

Marla Ushijima

San Francisco, CA, US

 

About 

PHILOSOPHY

I celebrate well-conceived buildings.
Architects make decisions that have long-term impacts; we must aspire to create the best possible
future. Buildings that are loved and gloriously serve their purpose—both currently and in the projected future—create lasting value and represent the best investment of resources.

I savor well-executed buildings.
Careful planning, coordination, and detailing result in a building which functions successfully and
offers delight to those who experience it.

I take it as self-evident that we must live more lightly on this planet.
Architectural design and land use planning are monumental determinants of our impact on the planet. Designers of the built environment have a responsibility to develop the wisest possible solutions to balance the needs of the human and natural worlds.

I recognize limitations and their value.
Constraints offer a framework to spur creativity and focus design efforts to make the most of scarce
resources—whether money, time, energy, or raw materials.

I believe in collaboration and mutual respect.
A successful outcome is in the best interests of everyone involved in a project, and is more likely if
everyone cooperates toward that common goal.

I welcome ideas from all members of a project team.
A broader diversity of perspectives results in greater insights into the best design solutions.

I value tools that offer better ways of doing things.
As technologies emerge and evolve, they offer amazing opportunities to improve how we communicate and exchange ideas, manage knowledge, evaluate design decisions, and increase efficiency.

I embrace strategies that improve the way a project team works together.
As the world evolves, so should our business models and methods. Yesterday's practices might or
might not remain best practices. New approaches can potentially offer better ways to develop better
solutions.

 

PROFESSIONAL GOALS

As an architect
■ to develop thoughtful solutions to the specifics of place, time, needs, and aspirations.

As a citizen of the planet
■ to develop sustainable solutions that use scarce resources as effectively and efficiently as possible.
■ to do no harm to the environment.
■ to understand, respect, and learn from the synergies among natural systems.

As a project manager
■ to coordinate design efforts to maximize value within project constraints.
■ to correctly identify the goals of a project, determine the most efficient way of reaching those
goals, and to apply the lessons learned to improve the process.
■ to serve the client while protecting the best interests of my firm.

As a team leader
■ to foster a collaborative environment of mutual respect, encouraging ideas from all members of a
project team.
■ to mentor junior staff and to learn from all my colleagues.

As a puzzle-solver
■ to figure out the best way of making things work: in space planning; in building systems and details; in the design and construction processes; and in the teamwork critical to our industry.

As an innovator
■ to leverage tools and strategies that improve the process and the end product

Elsewhere:

Employment 

MU Architect, San Francisco, CA, US, Owner

Marketing: develop logo and firm identity; design and create website; pursue clients; maintain professional presence within the industry.

Project management: client communications; prepare and execute contracts; coordinate consultants; review bids by contractors; explore design options; manage work effort; identify scope changes and prepare requests for additional services; manage internal costs; prepare billings.

Project execution: design; detailing; BIM modeling; documentation; construction administration.

Leadership: pursue educational opportunities for professional development; chair San Francisco Digital Design (a local professional discussion group focused on digital tools and strategies that promise improvements to AEC industry processes).

Jan 2009 - current
 

BAR Architects, San Francisco, CA, US, Senior Associate

Project management: client communications; coordinate with project principals and designers; manage project knowledge so all team members external and internal have information necessary to work effectively; manage work effort and track against contract requirements; identify scope changes and prepare requests for additional services; lead internal team; coordinate consultants; prepare service agreements; manage internal costs; prepare/review billings and follow up with client on payments as necessary; travel as necessary.

Project execution: design; detailing; BIM modeling; documentation; construction administration.

Office leadership: mentor junior staff; participate in performance reviews; interview and assess job applicants; monitor and adjust office-wide staffing assignments; develop office systems, standards, and strategies; promote sustainable practices; represent the firm externally at professional organizations; pursue educational opportunities for professional development.

Mar 1997 - Jan 2009
 

Lundberg Design, San Francisco, CA, US, Project Architect

Design; detailing; documentation; model-making; project management; consultant coordination; construction administration.

Jul 1989 - Feb 1997
 

Education 

University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, US, MArch, Architecture

Aug 1983 - May 1985
 

University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, US, BArch, Architecture

Bachelor of Science in Architecture

Aug 1978 - May 1982
 

Areas of Specialization 

Skills 



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