Karen Shakman

Karen Shakman

Scottsdale, AZ, US

View Portfolio


Karen Shakman is an award-winning and published architect with a multinational background in the field of architecture and interior design. The scope of her experience involves numerous project typologies and scales within the commercial, industrial, governmental, healthcare, retail and food service areas. In addition to training in Architecture and Urban Planning, her bachelor’s degree in Industrial Design has been instrumentaltowards generating creative solutions for many projects, specifically within the field of interior architecture design.  

Mrs. Shakman’s research-based academic background enables her to apply evidence/research-based design protocols in all phases of the design practice, streamlining decision-making processes and building the business case for project delivery processes based on scientific data and outcome-driven results.  

Karen expresses herself by rethinking, reinvestigating and reinterpreting all of the project details and 
possibilities while still maintaining high efficiency in the creative process.  



Archicon, Phoenix, AZ, US, Architect

As an Architect an Project Manager, Karen Shakman's professional role within the company spans from program and schematic design to construction administration.
Responsibilities include code analyses, design propositions (interior and exterior), presentation packages, project management and general coordination among clients, consultants, vendors and contractors.

Jun 2017 - current

SVA Architects, Inc., Santa Ana, CA, US, Project Manager | Architect

As an Architect and Project Manager, Karen has worked in tandem with senior design members of the company in all phases of a project, from entitlement to construction administration phases.
Responsibilities include code analyses, design propositions (interior and exterior), presentation packages, project management and coordination among SVA team members, clients, consultants, vendors and contractors.

Feb 2016 - Mar 2017

Steven Langford Architects, Irvine, CA, US, Architect | Senior Designer

As the main designer for the company, Karen employed her strong design and space planning skills for the development of bold and innovative design propositions within the retail, hospitality and food services areas. From hand-sketches to 3D digital models, the range of her work spanned from the generation of conceptual design schemes to project completion of remodels, tenant improvements and new build facilities. Her contribution includes client/project team interaction, conceptual/branding design, correlated disciplines coordination, construction documentation and administration protocols.

Sep 2014 - Feb 2016

Iconic Architecture and Design, LLC, Scottsdale, AZ, US, Principal

As the Founder and Principal Architect of Iconic Architecture and Design, Karen is the solely responsible for the conception, development and implementation of the business "DNA' s structure", from its business plan and branding establishment to the implementation of project delivery best practices, business development strategies and administration procedures.

Karen has introduced Evidence-Based Design and Environmental/Sustainable protocols as the core competency of the company and, while managing the firm, she either partners with or consults for other architecture and design companies in synergetic project opportunities, engaging in collaborative processes, leveraging resources and capitalizing results.

Project Types: Retail, Healthcare, Corporate and Educational. Mostly tenant improvements including clinical settings such as Urgent Care, Vision Center, Radiology, Women’s Center, Lab, Pharmacy, Diabetic Center, General Outpatient Surgery, Podiatry, Family Practice, Administrative Areas, and Resuscitation Room.

Jan 2010 - Sep 2014

Chandler Design-Build Group | Chandler | AZ, Chandler, AZ, US, Principal Architect

As the Principal Architect for the Chandler Design-Build Group, an organization committed to provide healthcare facilities through a turn-key model, Karen was responsible for all aspects and phases of the architectural project delivery process, including administrative protocols, business development practices, project delivery methods, and human/capital resources management. Responsibilities included the development, implementation, monitoring and adjustment of architectural business best practices, aiming mainly the mitigation of liability, improvement of efficiency, quality control, and overall client satisfaction.

In addition, Karen included evidence-based design and environmental/sustainable protocols in the company’s agenda, adding credibility and validity to its products and services.

Projects Types: Solely healthcare facilities in both states of Arizona and Utah, with scopes that ranged from 6 to 60,000 SF, and occupancies comprised of medical offices, cardiovascular practices, vascular access labs, radiology bunkers, and dialysis centers.

Jan 2013 - Oct 2013

Vertical Design Studios, LLC, Phoenix, AZ, US, Principal

Responsible for: Management of the company assuring the completion of entitlements including determining project criteria, assembling project team and completing work; Development and implementation of office procedures, performance metrics and drafting standards for efficiency and quality assurance; Directing the planning and coordination of projects through all phases including creation of proposals, contracts, programming and appropriate documentation.
Projects | Retail; Corporate; Industrial; Storage Facilities; Shell/Vanilla Bldgs; TI’s; Educational, Multi-family.
Clients: Life Community Church [Life Community Teen and Church Education Center Remodel]; Foursite Development [Scottsdale Peak Office]; Bombay Spice and Wine Restaurant; VIVO developers [Wabi Sabi Asian Restaurant; C3 Storage, The Mission Luxury Apartments].

Apr 2008 - Dec 2009

Deutsch Associates, Inc, Phoenix, AZ, US, Project Manager

Responsible for: project delivery protocols from conceptual design to completion. This included but was not limited to: schematic design, construction administration, client interaction, space planning, assembly of presentation boards, coordination among consultants and technical team members, processing of construction documents and city submittals [Scottsdale, Goodyear, Phoenix, Surprise, and City of Glendale].
Project types: municipal, retail, corporate, industrial, storage facilities, shell/vanilla bldgs; TI's and educational.
Internal Projects: Design Contest [Tempe Boat House].
Clients: PFG Construction, Inc. [Anthem Industrial, Estrella Industrial Center]; Desert Development, Inc. [WestPoint Plaza Strip Mall and Homeland Furniture Gallery], LLC Holdings [Windmill Plaza Revitalization]; Shamrock Foods [White Box and Expansion of Production Building]; Harvest Baptist Ministries [Harvest Baptist Church in Phoenix]; Pump it up, Ironwood Urology Clinic; City of Marana [Fire Station], “Maricopa Grooves Water Treatment Plant”; City of Phoenix [Central High School Security Offices].

Apr 2004 - Jan 2008

Gabor Lorant Architect, Inc., Phoenix, AZ, Job Captain

Contributed to: Development of projects from schematic design through construction documents; Interaction with clients in programming, development and construction administration phases; Coordination with product vendors and suppliers in researching and presenting finish materials; Preparation and assembly of finish sample boards for client approval; Participation of project interviews.
Projects: Municipal, institutional, commercial, educational, residential and retail.
Clients: ASU West, ASU East [Matthew Center]; ASU Central; Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport;
Phoenix Deer Valley Airport; Jan Lorant [Willo District Historic District houses]; Phoenix Community College; ADOT [Ehrenburg Port of Entry]; City of Scottsdale [Granite Reef Senior Center].

Jan 2001 - Apr 2004


Arizona State University, Tempe Camp, AZ, US, Design of Healthcare and Healing Environments

Karen has just received her Master of Science in Design at Arizona State University. Her thesis looked into how evidence-based design and lean processes can promote operational efficiencies and consequently increase staff satisfaction and retention in healthcare settings.

Mar 2009 - May 2011

Federal Center for Technological Education of Paraná, Curitiba, BR, Civil Construction Technology

Jan 1993 - Jan 1994

Universidade Federal do Paraná, Curitiba, BR, BArch, Architecture and Urban planing

Jan 1988 - Mar 1993

Pontifical Catholic University of Paraná, Curitiba, BR, Industrial Design

Jan 1985 - Mar 1992


American Institute of Architects | Arizona State Conference " Impact Your World" event, 1st Place

An evidence-based designed "Telemetry Unit Patient Room Mock-Up" which was considered one project to impact one's world. The old anecdotal ways of designing have being substituted by new research-based design protocols.


Areas of Specialization