On the surface, we’re architects, planners, engineers, strategists and industry specialists spanning hundreds of disciplines. But at our core, we’re makers, artists, techies, inventors, data geeks, thrill seekers, and loud voices in our industry’s booming creative culture. Take a moment to meet some of the creative minds and programs that make life at CannonDesign unlike any other place in the world.
Robert Benson: Sound Structure
Walk into a great building, find an interesting spot and pause. Listen, feel, absorb the energy of the space. Observe the light; listen to the sounds. Like architecture, a musical composition requires “listening” to the action. Conceiving of and coordinating the layers to assemble an amazing experience is a unique talent. Robert Benson is such a listener – and as a design principal in our Chicago office, he’s also a composer.
Amir Rezaei-Bazkiaei: Advocating for Smart Design
A self-described “intrapraneur” and “data geek,” Amir Rezaei-Bazkiaei finds joy in problem-solving and pushing for change inside an organization. With a Ph.D. in environmental engineering and renewable energy, Amir’s passion is using computational design methods to influence the design of net-zero and positive-energy buildings. As CannonDesign’s high-performance building analyst, he raises the performance bar daily by advocating for better energy efficiency, output and utilization through analysis.
Peter McCarthy: Building on the Foundations of Food
Architect Peter McCarthy knew where he was headed from an early age. With a mother insistent about her dreams for her son and a hands-on father always tinkering away in his wood shop, it was clear design was in Peter’s future.
“My mother started telling me that she thought I was going be an architect somewhere around the age of eight. Things grew very quickly from there, in terms of being construction-minded, very hands-on,” says Peter. “When I was a kid, my tree fort in the backyard was published in the local newspaper. The history of architecture goes way back for me.”
Jenny Delgado: Reinforcing Inclusivity in the Built Environment
Growing up, Jenny Delgado spent a lot of time at her godmother’s house in Merida, on the Mexican Yucatán, with her godmother’s two brothers — both of whom were architecture students.
“The whole scene fascinated me,” says Jenny. “For some reason, I just saw myself doing that.”
After working at a small boutique firm in Mexico for several years, Jenny moved to the U.S. and landed a job in our education practice in Los Angeles.
Mike Tunkey: Designing a Better Buffalo
After being burdened for decades by post-industrial blight and economic decline, Buffalo, N.Y. is shedding its downtrodden image. Thanks to a community dedicated to restoring the Queen City to its former glory, good design and collaboration are putting Buffalo back on the map with fresh takes on historic buildings, a renewed interest in downtown, and a thriving entrepreneurial and culinary scene.
Mike Tunkey, Principal at CannonDesign, who was born and raised in Buffalo and lived abroad in Shanghai for eight years, is back to help to lead the charge.
Michael Shirley & Steve Kopp: Improving Pediatric Cancer Care Through Design
When Michael Shirley and Steve Kopp, designers in our Houston office, were approached by Texas Children’s Hospital to help improve cancer care for children in sub-Saharan Africa, they didn’t have to mull it over. Prognoses are so poor in Africa because cancer isn’t typically diagnosed until it’s too late and treatment is difficult to access. Families sometimes have to travel for weeks to get cancer care. “Steve and I took a two-week trip to Africa to meet with health officials in three countries. It was an eye-opener,” said Michael. “You have to ask yourself: How do these folks ever get healed?”
Leticia Canon: Rising to the Challenge
If you give Leticia Canon a challenge, you can be sure she’s going to take you up on it. Whether it’s building a race car from the ground up or running a half-marathon, Leticia, an architect and project manager in our Dallas office, feels most alive when she’s on the proving ground.
“I love a challenge,” says Leticia. “That’s why I’ve chosen architecture and healthcare as my passion and career. Being challenged on a daily basis is something that I absolutely need in my life.”
Open Hand Studio: Transforming a Baltimore Neighborhood
CannonDesign’s Open Hand Studio was recently awarded the 50th Anniversary Volunteer of the Year Award from the Neighborhood Design Center (NDC), a nonprofit organization that facilitates the development of healthy, equitable neighborhoods through community-engaged design and planning services. Our nine-person team worked to develop a two-tiered publication of guidelines for the community’s Pennsylvania Avenue corridor that re-imagines the area’s streetscapes and storefronts for future generations of economic growth and sustainability.
You Do What? Unique Jobs at CannonDesign
A successful team requires all kinds of players. Beyond the obvious roles, we are also designers, photographers, organizers, advisors, optimizers, and even cozy, fluffy companions, among many others. Here’s a roundup of just a few of our more unique jobs.