Architectural Design and Sustainability Experts to Judge PER/FORM Live Design Competition

NEW YORK, NY -- (Marketwired) -- Mar 19, 2014 -- Sefaira today announced an esteemed jury panel to judge the PER/FORM Live Design Competition. The online and live contests will showcase designs submitted by architects and architecture students from the U.S. and Canada that achieve the highest standards in both aesthetic form and building performance.

Jury panel members include:

  • Mary Ann Lazarus, FAIA, LEED AP BD+C -- Mary Ann is the AIA resident fellow on sustainability after serving as HOK's firmwide sustainable design director for over a decade. While continuing to serve as a sustainable leader at HOK, Mary Ann is consulting with the American Institute of Architects as the resident fellow to provide leadership on how to significantly improve AIA's impact in sustainability and design for health. She also serves on the advisory board of the Resilient Design Institute. With over 34 years of architectural experience at HOK and a background in project management on large projects, Mary Ann as firmwide director promoted the implementation of sustainable strategies in all of HOK's work and clients. With AIA, Mary Ann has authored the Sustainability Opportunity Leadership Scan that outlines the AIA's top priorities for architects to drive sustainability leadership. Mary Ann is considered a thought leader on sustainable trends and speaks regularly at national and international events. She was the 2012 "Perspective" Evergreen award recipient from Eco-Structure magazine. Mary Ann is co-author of "The HOK Guidebook to Sustainable Design, Second Edition."
  • Jeffrey Till, AIA, LEED AP, design principal at Perkins+Will, San Francisco -- Jeffrey has 25 years of architectural and master planning experience in North America, Asia and Europe. He leads design on a range of projects for public and private clients with high level sustainability goals, with a focus on research driven, multidisciplinary process and performance strategies. Jeffrey has taught sustainable architecture at Stanford University, advised on green planning strategies, and was a member of the national AIA working group on energy modeling, helping architects bring advanced tools to everyday practice.
  • Susan Szenasy, longtime editor in chief and new publisher of Metropolis, the magazine of architecture, culture and design -- Before Susan arrived at Metropolis in 1985 sustainability, accessibility and digital technology were not included in the design discourse. Her crusade to expand that discourse and connect design with the major cultural and technical developments of our time is well documented in the new book or her writings and talks, "Szenasy, Design Advocate," published by Metropolis Books/DAP this month.
  • Elizabeth O'Donnell, AIA, acting dean of The Cooper Union -- Elizabeth, currently acting dean, served as associate dean for the School of Architecture for 11 years and has been a member of the faculty since 1984. She has recently presented at the 2012 Imagining America National Conference in New York, the 2012 World Energy Forum in Dubai, the 2012 Deans' Roundtable at the Center for Architecture New York, was a panelist on the Town and Gown symposium "Next Steps for the City's Design-Related Academic Institutions," served as liaison for the New Museum's Ideas City festivals in 2011 and 2013, and she was rapporteur for the 2010 Dubai Forum. She frequently serves on design reviews, including at the School of Architecture at City College, Barnard College and Pratt Institute. In practice she has completed numerous projects in New York City including offices for non-profit foundations, schools, loft residences and building additions, with an emphasis on the adaptive reuse of existing buildings and sites. Her work has been published by Bauwelt, Interior Design Magazine, "Conran's Design Book," Occulus, the New York Times and the Architectural League. She graduated from The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture of The Cooper Union after studying at the University of Minnesota and Antioch College and will complete a Master of Education at the City University of New York this year.
  • Gita Nandan, educator of Pratt Institute and founder and principal of the award-winning design firm thread collective -- Gita believes in sustainability as a holistic and supple design approach, integral to all aspects of design and construction. She is at the forefront of sustainability in New York, having served in various roles, most recently co-chair of the NY Rising Community Reconstruction Program, member of the Homes Committee for Urban Green Council's Green Codes Task Force, and Urban Green and City Council's Building Resiliency Task Force. Gita further puts her beliefs into practice as an architectural educator, currently a visiting assistant professor in at Pratt Institute, PSPD department and Thesis Studio professor at SVA. Gita received her Master of Architecture from UC Berkeley and is a registered architect in New York and New Jersey, an accredited LEED professional, and Enterprise Green Communities Technical Assistant.

Applying their real-world expertise, this high-calibre jury of design and sustainability experts will evaluate design submissions based on strength of concept, aesthetics and building performance metrics. They will review the 30 best submissions from the online round in April to select a winner of that round. They will also judge the live, head-to-head competition at the Pratt Institute in Manhattan on Saturday, May 17th. The winner of the live competition will be featured in a future issue of Metropolis magazine.

Registration Still Open
Registration is still open until April 2. To register, visit

About PER/FORM Live Design Competition

PER/FORM Live Design Competition is a building design contest to challenge the brightest minds in architecture to create inspired and sustainable building designs. The competition is organized in two parts: an online round followed by an unprecedented live, in-person design competition with winners to be selected in each of the two rounds.

Participants will receive free access to the latest innovative building design software -- Sefaira's real-time performance analysis software and the intuitive 3D design tool SketchUp -- to rapidly develop and iterate high performance building design concepts. Additionally, participants will be able to engage with Sefaira personnel for guidance on high performance design. The top 30 designs from the online round will be exhibited at the live event in NYC and a winner will be selected among them. Thirty contestants from the online round will also get the chance to compete head-to-head in the live contest on May 17th.

The contest is sponsored by technology partner Sefaira, platform sponsor SketchUp; architectural partner BKSK Architects; design partner, The Public Society; media partner Metropolis magazine; and academic partner, Pratt Institute.

About Sefaira
Founded in 2009, Sefaira develops performance based design software to help architects design high performing buildings. Using Sefaira, architects and other building designers can analyze their buildings in real time and as an integral part of the design process, offering the opportunity for users to create much better buildings.

Sefaira won the 2013 Sustainability Leaders Innovation Systems & Software Award and the 2013 ENDS Green Economy Green Data Award. It has been named to the 2013 Global Cleantech 100, the 2013 Red Herring Top 100 Global, the 2013 European Business Award's "They Could Be Giants," and the 2012 Going Green Global Top 200 private companies. The company also won Gold at the 2013 Ecosummit award in Berlin as well as the "Green Building Innovation of the Year" award at London's Ecobuild in 2011. Sefaira has offices in London and New York.

© 2014 Sefaira and the Sefaira logo are registered trademarks of Sefaira Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

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