My formal design education began at the School of Architecture of the University of Puerto Rico. At the time I began my studies it was the only university, on the island, that provided an architectural curriculum. The architecture program has a very competitive acceptance ratio accepting only 7% of applicants. Aside from its very rigorous design program it allowed me to pursue my design education in an incredible multicultural environment. The pursuit of graduate level education at an Ivy League institution had always been a core goal of mine and five years after I completed my bachelors’ degree I was accepted to the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation program at Columbia University. Armed with a solid set of design and theoretical tools combined with a passion for learning, I embarked on a 3 year professional degree program that radically changed my life.
At Columbia University I was exposed to an education beyond anything I might have expected. I was able to study architectural history and theory under Kenneth Frampton and Mark Wigley, an experience that redefined how I view these concepts and their impact in the formation of new ideas about design. The Digital Fabrication Laboratory gave me the opportunity to explore some of the newest ideas about computer allied drawing and its applications in the world of digital fabrication. The program not only versed me in the newest trends in 3d software and algorithmic scripting but gave me hands on experience with the digital fabrication equipment such as CNC mills, laser cutters, water jet cutting and three dimensional printing. The design program at Columbia provided access to incredible tools as well as the opportunity to utilize them under the direction of some of the most noted critics in the architectural profession today. Of all my design studios at the school the most influential studio was my final semester where I studied under Steven Holl. This semester included two weeks abroad in China featuring visits to Bejing, Hong Kong, Nanjing and Shanghai. This studio allowed me to study under one of my favorite architects in an international context and my appreciation for the educational value of being immersed in a multicultural environment was confirmed.
My professional experience includes architecture/interior design, graphic/multi-media design, and digital fabrication. I have worked in these areas in both the tropical environment of Puerto Rico and the international stage of New York City. In Puerto Rico I worked as a junior architect under the direction Elio Martinez Joffre, a very accomplished and award winning designer as well as an activist in a program designated to execute social community works for impoverished areas. I also worked as a creative director for Ellip-c, a multi-media design firm. At Ellip-c I was in charge of design and project management of web based projects for Ricky Martin (international musician), and Axe body spray(Unilever). New York City provided me with architectural and interior design experience on an international level. My first summer internship in New York I collaborated on 2 projects of medium to large scale in Lebanon. At Cleanroom design lab I held the position of lead designer. The work I was responsible for included the interiors of various upscale apartments and high end retail stores, as well as proposals for installation type spaces at the MGM grand hotel and Mandalay Bay hotel in Las Vegas. My most recent employment with Kohn Architecture has provided me with yet other side of the design profession. I was involved in the filing of plans with the department of buildings and revisions of designs for code compliance. I have been very fortunate in the diversity of design experiences that the city of New York has provided me.
I feel it is appropriate to discuss a few of my personal projects and activities that also influence and define me as a designer. I was previously very involved with the performing arts. In my younger years I danced professionally. For 14 years I trained in classical ballet and modern dance as well as musical theater. The stage has provided me with a spatial sensitivity that has greatly influenced me as a designer. I am currently am working on a series of drawings and sketches that attempt to capture the nuances of urban densities and context. These studies I hope will provide me with the tools for a future publication on the urban densities of post colonial cities. Collaboration in new projects is very important in our industry and I currently am an associate and lead multimedia designer at a young design collaborative known as Versa design studio www.versa-design.com . Versa is a group of young designers like me that collaborate from different parts of the world on design projects and competitions.
Benero Design, Laredo, TX, US, Partner
Small Interior/Furniture design firm
Research and concept dev
Raffles Design Institute, Shanghai, CN, Leturer
Design and technology lecturer
kohn Architects, Designer
Schematic Design, Design Development, Construction Documents, Shop Drawings, Mill Work, Detailing, Project management, NYC building code & Zoning Analysis,3d visualization
Cleanroom Inc., Designer / Project manager
Schematic Design, Design Development, Construction Documents, Shop Drawings, Mill Work, Detailing, Project management, NYC building code & Zoning Analysis,3d visualization, animation, Grasshopper and rhino scripting