Clara Dykstra

Clara Dykstra

Pasadena, CA, US





Freelance (Self employed), Los Angeles, CA, US, Computational Designer

Creates precision 3D digital models with through custom Grasshopper scripts. These scripts effectively coordinate the efforts of sub-contractors, streamline design geometry for seamless fabrication, and produce detailed fabrication drawings for Project Managers, Structural Engineers, and Fabrication Teams.

Apr 2021 - current

SPEEDBOAT, Los Angeles, CA, US, Architectural Designer - Job Captain

Led a small architecture studio to design multiple custom residential and commercial projects concurrently from pre-design through construction. Projects range from 1,000sf to 4,000sf with budgets ranging from $200,000 to $1.5 million.

Managed the pace and quality of all drawing work and was responsible for issuing all pricing and construction drawing sets to Construction Management Team. Created custom Drawing Systems and Project Management systems for the design studio.

Permitted Residential gut-renovations, ADUs, and new Commercial Food Facilities in LA County and San Diego County. Worked closely with Redondo Beach City Planning to get design approval for a ground-up Residential project and a zoning variance for site wall. Led successful effort for design approval of Historic Home remodel from the Windsor Square Historic Preservation Board in Los Angeles, CA.

Coordinated all subcontractor work for permitting, including with Structural Engineers, MEP Engineers, T24 Engineers, and Landscape Architects.

Was the main point of contact for clients on design work. Led all client design presentations and regularly updated clients on project progress.

Aug 2021 - Feb 2023

Parsons School of Design, Instructor

Continuing Education Courses
Taught the fundamentals of hand drafting–orthographic projection, line
weights, annotation, drawing set composition—each semester to classes
of 16 students in a 9-week online course, required for the Interior Design

Summer Intensive Program
Taught a 2-week Introduction to Interior Design, Summer Intensive Course to 16 high school students. Students were tasked with designing, drawing, and modeling a retail interior, for a product of their choice, in SoHo, NYC. I developed the curriculum and created the teaching materials for the course. The course culminated in a Final Review with guest critics.

Apr 2020 - Aug 2021

SPEEDBOAT, Los Angeles, CA, US, Architectural Designer

Worked closely with a small integrated design-build team to design and permit and residential projects.

Apr 2020 - Jul 2021

INABA WILLIAMS ARCHITECTS, Los Angeles, CA, US, Urban Designer

For the 2020 Pump2Plug Symposium, I informed the urban strategy for our team’s proposal for the future of gas stations in LA by conducting fine grain research and creating maps of forthcoming local transportation initiatives and the environmental health, transportation, historic, and demographic conditions of Los Angeles county. I created animations for our symposium presentation and collaborated on the design of our proposal.

Nov 2020 - Dec 2020

RePLACE Urban Studio, New York, NY, US, Urban Designer

Created master planning, building design, and acquisition strategies for community oriented non-profits and private development firms to develop their landholdings in line with their mission statements in New York City, Newark, NJ, and Miami, FL. Building types included community centers, residential, office, and mixed used.
Prepared and presented design proposals, zoning analysis, and site research for meetings with clients, Boards of Directors, City Officials, Investors, and community stakeholders.

Aug 2017 - Jan 2020, New York, NY, US, Contributor

Collaborated with a small team to research and create drawings of current laws, processes, statistics, locations, and reformation initiatives within the New York City’s criminal justice system towards the goal of educating the public on these intentionally opaque systems.
Gathered information on the system through interviews with public defenders, court and jail architects, the legal aid society, and the Center for Court Innovation.

Jun 2017 - Oct 2017

Columbia University, New York, NY, US, Visual Studies Teaching Assistant

Taught first year M.Arch students design softwares and techniques for building physical models as well as how to generate design concepts and to explore design questions through experimental representation.

Aug 2016 - May 2017

The Temple Hoyne Buell Center for the Study of American Architecture, Columbia University, New York, NY, US, Graduate Research Assistant

Researched, located, selected, and curated archival material on the history of Public Housing in New York City as part of a small team for the 2017 exhibition, "Living in America: Frank Lloyd Wright, Harlem, and Modern Housing."

Jun 2016 - May 2017

RePLACE Urban Studio, New York, NY, US, Urban Designer and Researcher

Worked with a small team of designers to develop a methodology for identifying potential sites within downtown Newark for small scale interventions. Maps, architectural proposals, and urban strategies were woven together in a small booklet for use by the office.

Jun 2016 - Aug 2016

5+design, Los Angeles, CA, US, Junior Designer

Assisted Senior Architects in programming, planning, and designing the retail portion of a large mixed use project. Aided in the creation of the Ideas Studio, a research component of 5+design. Created a publication and website for intra-office use to inform employees on current and emergent retail trends.

Jun 2016 - Aug 2016

Columbia University, New York, NY, US, Core I Design Studio Teaching Assistant

Assisted Design Professor in teaching Core I design studio for first year M.Arch students. Taught students how to generate design concepts, explore design questions through drawings and models, and the basics of architectural representation.

Sep 2015 - Dec 2015

Telemachus Studio, Los Angeles, CA, US, Junior Designer

Coordinated consultant drawings during design and construction phases by reviewing drawings to ensure they incorporated design intent. Supported the senior designer and principal architect in creating design development and construction drawings.

Feb 2014 - Aug 2014

The Museum of Jurassic Technology, Los Angeles, CA, US, Assistant Gift Shop Curator

Designed and fabricated custom jewelry, ceramics, and art objects for sale in the museum gift shop.
Worked with resin, ceramic, silicon, solder, wood, and heavy machinery in the fabrication process.

Feb 2008 - Dec 2012


Columbia University, New York, NY, US, MArch, The Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation

Aug 2014 - May 2017

Los Angeles Institute of Architecture and Design (LAIAD), Los Angeles, CA, US, Graduate Preparation Course

Jan 2013 - Dec 2013

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Los Angeles, CA, US, Bachelors, Anthropology

Sep 2005 - Aug 2009


Lucille Smyser Lowenfish Memorial Prize, Award

This award is given to the most outstanding student in the final semester design studio section selected by each critic. I won for my proposal for small structural interventions to expand and connect gers, the traditional housing unit used by nomadic Mongolians, for use by a new and larger sedentary community growing on the outskirts of Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. This studio was conducted by Rural Urban Framework.


Areas of Specialization