Betsy Jean Cole

Betsy Jean Cole

Los Angeles, CA, US



A Southern California native, Betsy grew up honing an appreciation for high design and low art.  She learned to surf and sail in Seal Beach, and also loved attending car shows and classic films.  

Her love of art and academics fueled her wanderlust and education through several countries, including France, Italy, Portugal, Spain, England, Holland, Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, Turkey, Morocco, Canada, Mexico and Guatemala.  

After earning her bachelors degree from University of California, Santa Cruz in History of Art and Visual Cultures, she went on to earn a Masters of Architecture from Southern California Institute of Architecture in 2011, producing work related to the theory of single family housing and the individualism of the home. 

In pursuit of her interest in residential architecture, she has experience working for a boutique developer in Northeast Los Angeles on residential projects in scales that range from quick flips to ground up designs and also for a firm in Downtown Los Angeles that specializes in adaptive reuse of local historic buildings.

You can find this cat lady driving around L.A. in her 1972 Cadillac El Dorado convertible or globetrotting at will.  

Please visit my website at


negative studio, Los Angeles, CA, US, Principal

In 2018 I opened an office specializing in Los Angeles residential architecture with a focus on spacial quality and contextual integrity with a minor in wine appreciation.

Jan 2017 - current

Cinnabar California Inc., Los Angeles, CA, US, Designer

Cinnabar is a fabrication service for museums, artists and cultural institutions, I am doing work for a division that required specialized architectural training and understanding to create design, details and plan sets for “weird” projects. Most recently I created the fabrication plans and developed details and systems for a Corian-clad faceted interactive touch screen table for a major national institution.

Mar 2017 - Mar 2018

Omgivning Architecture / Interior Design, Los Angeles, CA, US, Designer

Adaptive reuse projects in historic Los Angeles buildings for large developers from industrial uses into commercial, residential, restaurant, hotel uses. I worked with teams of 2-5 people on projects ranging in scale and phase from design development to construction documents. All drawings were done in Revit.

Jan 2016 - Mar 2017

Extraordinary Real Estate, Los Angeles, CA, US, Design Director

Design and prepare plan sets for renovations and new construction of homes for boutique developer.
I focused on modern ground-up single-family homes and sensitive remodels in historic neighborhoods. I managed all stages of the projects including initial research, schematic design, coordinating consultants, preparing construction documents, plan check process to permitting (including addressing plan corrections, meetings and coordination with plan checker and department officials at LADBS), advising contractors, specifying finishes, landscaping and details. I also managed the design department using systems of information organization such as digital and analog project folders, files and spreadsheets. I was responsible for management of my department of four people. Between remodels and new construction, I have worked on over 50 projects for Extraordinary Design.

Jan 2012 - Jan 2016

Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), Los Angeles, CA, US, Volunteer

As a volunteer for the LACMA, I acted as a greeter, source of visitor information and liaison for membership sales. This allowed me to be involved in one of the most extensive institutions of modern art and to spend as much time as possible with the museum and its programs.

May 2011 - Dec 2012

Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc), Los Angeles, CA, US, Teaching Assistant

Teaching Assistant for the following courses:
DID High School Summer Program 2011
Architecture Culture 2010
Programs for Practice 2010
Making + Meaning Summer Program 2009
Critical Studies 2009

Jun 2009 - Aug 2011

MTTR MGMT, Los Angeles, CA, US, Intern

I participated in competition entries, including organizing and preparing work samples, and preparing and finishing final renderings for Juan Azulay.

Jun 2010 - Sep 2010

BCBG Max Azria, Inc., Vernon, CA, US, Executive Assistant to Sr. VP of Legal, General Counsel

My duties included managing the legal department’s administrative aspects including billing. I also acted as liaison between the company and outside counsel in immigration, trademark and real estate matters as well as assisting two attorneys with their workloads including preparing responses and fielding contracts, organizing litigation, and handling employee matters.

Sep 2007 - Sep 2008

BCBG Max Azria, Inc., Vernon, CA, US, Administrative Assistant to Director of Construction

My duties included assisting the Director of Construction with paperwork, communications and maintaining organizational charts of job budgets, schedules, lease information, contractor, vendor, architect and subcontractor information and payment schedules for each as well as keeping in phone and email contact with each. In addition, I managed the collection of Tenant Improvement Allowances for the company.

Sep 2006 - Sep 2007


Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc), Los Angeles, CA, US, MArch, Architecture

Alexis Rochas, David Ross, Wes Jones, Juan Azulay, Coy Howard, Robert Mangurian, Peter Zellner

Additional Programs Completed at SCI-Arc:
M+M: Making and Meaning Summer Program in Architecture, 2008
Design is One: Italian Design Summer Seminar, Milan, Italy, 2009

Featured Work:
House for the Lonely Sailor, Mangurian Studio Project, featured in End of Year Exhibition, Spring 2011
Essay, “The Simulacrum, Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Wes Jones,” featured in OnRamp 2011, a SCI-Arc publication of student work

Installation Participation:
SCI-Arc Graduation Pavilion, Alexis Rochas, 2008
Disco Silencio, Barbara Bestor, SCI-Arc Gallery, 2010

Teaching Assistant:
M+M: Making and Meaning Summer Program in Architecture, 2009
Critical Studies, 2009
Architecture Culture, 2010
Programs for Practice, 2010
DID: Design Immersion Days High School Summer Program in Design, 2011

Jun 2008 - Sep 2011

Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, US, Career Discovery Summer Program in Architecture

Introduction and portfolio preparation for architecture majors, held by the Graduate School of Design and taught by GSD thesis students.

Instructor: Andrew Atwood

Jun 2006 - Aug 2006

University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC), Santa Cruz, CA, US, Bachelors, History of Art and Visual Culture

Concentration in History of Modern Architecture

Sep 2004 - Jun 2006



Areas of Specialization