Michelle Kleva

Michelle Kleva

Hoboken, NJ, US

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I am a Creative Designer. My identity is molded by expressive. ergonomic, and regenerative design practices. I aim to engage in projects that make a positive impact today, as well as benefiting future generations. I support big picture thinking, coupled with focused and integrated expertise.

My academic and professional focus is Architecture. Well-balanced time in both academia and professional practices has fueled my conceptual thinking and eye for detail.

Graphic Design is my specialty. Providing support in communicating a mission or design, while simultaneously bringing new ideas to the conversation is where I excel. Holistic representation and clarity are key, and that is what I consistently deliver.

Ultimately, I enjoy making things!

Full undergraduate portfolio accessible via link : 


Paul A. Castrucci Architects, New York, NY, US, Architectural Designer

As an Architectural Designer / Job Captain on this team I work on small to medium sized projects incorporating sustainable Passive House
methodology, with some achieving Net Zero certification.
Projects range from affordable housing, multi-family residential, cultural and adaptive re-use focused. I am responsible for design concepts, visualizations, detailing, drafting, modeling, and overall documentation from SD through CD. I also assist with Construction Administration phases, as well as BIM implementation / management.

Jan 2022 - current

Sowinski Sullivan Architects, Sparta, NJ, US, Project Designer

Throughout my 5 years at Sowinski Sullivan I assisted with transit-oriented projects, throughout all phases, on various project typologies. These jobs have also allowed my technical skill set to grow across numerous programs and platforms (Revit, AutoCad, Lumion, Microstation, Bluebeam, and the Creative Cloud). I worked directly under Project Managers and Senior Designers to provide support in modeling, SD-CD development, FF&E, CA services, cross-disciplinary coordination, and implementation of client requests. Company leaders also relied on me for graphic driven deliverables specifically, which lead me to manage the firm’s re-branding efforts, marketing collateral, and branded company templates.

May 2015 - Aug 2021

HDR, New York, NY, US, Sustainability Consultant

I earned this internship through a competition award (Innovation 2030: AIA COTE Top Ten Student Design Competition 2017-2018). During my time at HDR I collaborated with the dedicated Sustainability Team on tasks such as daylighting, shading, and radiation simulations and analysis, as well as overall support on energy modeling. In addition to the technical support I just listed, 25% of my time was spent doing Research & Development on Regenerative Design. As an experience, it was more valuable than words could describe.

Jun 2018 - Sep 2018


Marywood University, Scranton, PA, US, BArch, Architecture

My passion for the design was realized during my Bachelor of Architecture program, as my portfolio demonstrates. That passion grew, and was eventually nationally recognized for my teams submission in AIA’s COTE : Innovation 2030 Competition, during our 5th year of academia. I am a heavily concept driven thinker, but my mind is also drawn to detail; well balanced time in academia and professional practice is what I can thank for those qualities.

Aug 2014 - May 2018


2018 COTE Top Ten for Students: INNOVATION 2030 Competition, Award

Pier 55: South Philadelphia Community Center (refer to full Portfolio - Section 1.2)
The competition recognizes ten exceptional studio projects that demonstrate designs moving towards carbon-neutral operation through creative and innovative integration of design strategies such as daylighting, passive heating and cooling, materials, water, energy generation, and sustainable systems. The program challenged students to submit projects that use a thoroughly integrated approach to architecture, natural systems, and technology to provide architectural solutions that protect and enhance the environment.


AIA / ALNNJ 2014 "Architects League Scholastic Achievement Award", Award

For Scholastic Excellence in Academic Architectural Design


Chicago Architecture Foundation 2012 National Design Competition, Honorable Mention

High School National Architecture Competition for the re-design of my school cafeteria.


Areas of Specialization