Michael O'Neill

Michael O'Neill

Los Angeles, CA, US

View Portfolio


Hello. I am an aspiring architect with a passion for music, art, travel and sci-fi. I am originally from Cleveland, Ohio where I cultivated a thirst for culture– making sculpture, skateboard ramps and playing in bands. These interests catapulted me into the world of Architecture when I moved to Chicago in 2007, where I earned my Bachelor of Fine Art from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, graduating in 2011. 

After graduation I started at Skidmore Owings & Merrill in the City Design Practice where I worked for three years on various projects ranging in scale from campus plans to city & regional plans. Here, I fell in love with the dynamics of cities around the world and became passionate about the role architects should play in envisioning livable, equitable and exciting cities.

Having always aspired to become a licensed architect, I decided after three years at SOM to pursue my M-ARCH. At the University of Pennsylvania, I investigated agendas of varying aspirations—some speculative and utopian, others rooted in questions of site and program, others focused on tectonics, materials and spatial invention. My design work at Penn crystallized as an interest in civic and cultural proposals, as well as projects that explore alternative methods of living in and inhabiting the city. For my final thesis, I investigated the impact of ubiquitous technology on the city and its potential to transform public spaces through personal and collective expressions of identity. Upon Graduation I was awarded the Arthur Spayd Brook Memorial Prize, Gold Medal, which is awarded to one student each year for consistent excellence in design studios. 


Gensler, Los Angeles, CA, US, Architectural Designer

Sep 2017 - current

Interface Studio Architects, Philadelphia, PA, US, Intern Designer

• Designer on the Competition-winning entry for the 9th St. Underpass design in Louisville, KY

• Designed layout, interactive componenets and large-scale wall graphics for "By the People", a temporary exhibition at the Cooper Hewitt Design Museum in New York City

• Produced, filmed and editted "Gray Area", a four-minute film for display at the Cooper Hewitt Design Museum

May 2016 - Aug 2016

University of Pennsylvania, Los Angeles, Graduate Teaching Assistant

• Assistant to Eduardo Calvo Rega's first Semester (501) Graduate Design Studio

• Assistant to Annette Fierro's Second Semester (502) Graduate Design Studio

• Provided tutorials in the Adobe Suite, Rhinoceros 3D, and parametric design using Grasshopper

• Assistant to Ezio Blasetti and Danielle Willems teaching incoming, first-year M-ARCH & PPD students technical skills including Rhino 3D, Grasshopper and Basic scripting techniques in Python

Aug 2015 - Aug 2016

Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM), Chicago, IL, US, Architectural Assistant, City Design Practice

• The City Design Practice at SOM executes a broad scope of projects that include everything from campus plans to visions for entire urban centers. During my time at SOM I assisted with research, design on a variety of planning and urban design initiatives in the U.S. and abroad.

• Project team member for the winning design scheme in the Barangaroo Central Master Plan competition in Sydney, Australia (2013)

• Produced conceptual master planning documents, design guidelines, client presentations and public display materials for the Central Barangaroo Master Plan (2013)

• Project team member of "Chicago Lakeside", a 600 acre, LEED ND certified master plan on Chicago’s South lakefront. (2012)

• Assisted in producing the conceptual master plan and design guidelines for a 500-hectare master plan in Wuxi, China (2012)

Oct 2011 - May 2014


University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, US, MArch, Architecture

• Recipient of the Arthur Spayd Brooke Memorial Prize, Gold Medal. Awarded to one graduating Master of Architecture student for consistent excellence in design studios

• Recipient of the Will M. Mehlhorn Scholarship for writing in History and Theory

• Recipient of the E. Lewis Dales Traveling Fellowship, funding travel to Athens and the Greek Islands

• First place entry in the 2015 Schenk-Woodman Competition as part of an interdisciplinary team

• Presented work at the FRAC Centre in Orleans during six-week summer study abroad in France

• Work selected from 501, 502, 601, 701, & 706-level design studios for publication the school's yearly publication, Pressing Matters

Aug 2014 - May 2017

School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL, US, Bachelors, Architecture, Interior Architecture, Designed Objects

• Emphasis in Architecture and Interior Architecture

• George Little Award for Exemplary Work in Interior Architecture, May 2010

Jan 2009 - May 2011


Arthur Spayd Brooke Memorial Prize, 1st Place

Established in 1900 in memory of Arthur Spayd Brooke, a graduate from the School of Architecture and awarded to graduating architecture students for distinguished work in architectural design. Former winners in include Julian Abele, Louis I. Kahn, and Jenny Sabin.


Areas of Specialization