ShubinDonaldson is a team of people with diverse backgrounds and experiences united around one thing–creating great design.
Having grown over the past 29 years to being a firm with a dedicated professional staff of over fifty talented people, and with offices in three Southern California locations, we understand that our success hinges on the highest level of professional responsibility to our clients.
Russell Shubin, AIA, founded ShubinDonaldson Architects in partnership with Robin Donaldson in 1991. He is passionate about transformative design and ambitiously questions assumptions about what it means to be relevant in each context in which the firm works. Today, ShubinDonaldson Architects has offices in Culver City, Santa Barbara, and Newport and includes a thriving luxury residential practice serving international clientele, as well as mixed-use, multifamily, commercial office & retail, hospitality, and institutional project. The firm’s work has been widely published including a book in 2010 by ORO editions, entitled Live + Work, featuring 23 projects spanning the years 1998 to 2009. Since the company was founded, SD has been recognized with dozens of AIA design awards.
Robin Donaldson, AIA, brings 30 years of experience in architecture, design, construction, project development and management to every project he is engaged in. He has been recognized with dozens of design awards for SD’s work on projects such as Ground Zero, Iwin, Fuel, Montecito Residence and many others. Born in Los Angeles, CA, Donaldson was educated at the University of California at Santa Barbara, where he received a Bachelor of Arts in Studio Art and Art History, with an emphasis in architectural history. He then received his Master of Architecture degree, graduating first in his class at Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-ARC). While a student at SCI-arc, Donaldson began working with Morphosis Architects, assuming project architect responsibilities on commercial, institutional, and residential projects, including the celebrated Crawford Residence. Following his years working with Morphosis, Donaldson founded ShubinDonaldson in 1991.
He was involved in teaching architectural design and guest lecturing at schools such as Arizona State University, Otis Parsons School of Design, SCI-arc, UCLA, and the University of California, Santa Barbara, Environmental Design Program. He was the 1998 president of the Santa Barbara Chapter of the American Institute of Architects. Donaldson is the former Chair of the Santa Barbara County Board of Architectural Review.
A native Southern Californian, Mark Hershman graduated from Woodbury University in 1997. After his study abroad at Sorbonne University in Paris, France, he began his professional career studying with Anthony J. Lumsden, FAIA. Joining ShubinDonaldson in 2000, Mark was integral to the many ShubinDonaldson’s early signature projects that helped define the future of “creative” commercial interiors, which has now become the norm.
In 2017, he was elevated to Partner, becoming the first to join the Founding Partners in driving the vision of the firm forward. During his 20-year tenure with ShubinDonaldson, Mark has led the firm into new territory, branching into ground-up mixed-use, multi-family projects and advancing the conversation regarding adaptive reuse into more significant campus developments that are redefining the Los Angeles landscape.
Mark is continually scouting for new opportunities and pushing questions relating to the role of technology and new methods of living and working. His relentless attention to craft, detail, and the design process has made him a lynchpin at the core of SD’s reputation for innovative, award-winning design.
A Principal at ShubinDonaldson, Sieglinde Pukke brings 25 years of experience in architecture, design, construction, and management to the company. She holds several prestigious awards for her work on Ocean Institute in Dana Point, the Headquarters for Quiksilver in Huntington Beach, and 3388 Via Lido in Newport Beach. Born in Munich, Germany, Sieglinde studied architecture at the Georg Simon Ohm Polytechikum in Nuremberg, Germany where she received her Master’s degree in 1990. Dr. Seegy, who was a Professor at the Georg Simon Ohm Polytechikum brought her into his firm while she was working on her thesis. After she graduated, she worked in Germany for 7 years before relocating to California in 1997. She has been working with Shubin Donaldson since 2007, and was promoted Principal in 2013.
Greg Griffin, a Southern California native, grew up riding bikes, motorcycles, skateboards, building, fixing, and customizing said wheeled items. He graduated with honors in 1998 from California State Polytechnic University with a Bachelor of Architecture, trying to get outside between studio projects, be it snowboarding, hiking, camping, or mountain biking. Having joined SD as a licensed architect in 2005, he brings with him a respect for the outdoors, and a passion for exploring how a building can connect people with a site. Whenever he can, he still heads outside; riding a 1964 Vespa from Alaska to New Orleans, or around Egypt…maybe the Pacific Crest Trail is next, on foot, not on wheels.
Jennifer Flinck describes herself as someone who has “always been good with numbers.” Born and raised in Santa Barbara, Jennifer attended California State University, Chico, and received a Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise Physiology –another passion. One of her first positions was as an administrative assistant to the Controller at Design Solutions; she quickly learned the ropes and was promoted to Controller. She came to ShubinDonaldson in 2004 as Controller. In her spare time, she can be found snuggling and making squeaky noises to her cat.
Brad Kelley believes in the human dimension of architecture and its simple yet profound importance in addressing global concerns while shaping the quality of our lives. From the corporeal response to form, color, material, and the experience of space to the socially impactive properties and other performative benefits possible through purposeful and thoughtful ideas, Brad values the unique and transformative ways that design affects our thoughts, relationships, and emotions.
Brad Kelley was born and raised in the Hawaiian Islands and from a very early age learned the importance and value of cultural diversity as well as the necessity of coexistence. He received his Bachelor’s degree in Architecture from Washington State University and later received a Master’s degree in Advanced Architectural Design from Columbia University in New York City.
Brad has collaborated with the internationally recognized office of Steven Holl Architects in New York City as well as with the Atelier of Pritzker Prize winning architect Alvaro Siza in Porto, Portugal and later with the Studio of John Ronan Architects in Chicago before relocating to Los Angeles where he has been a part of the ShubinDonaldson team since 2005.
With a broad range of experience in distinctive project types ranging from cultural, religious, residential, and commercial work to larger urban developments both in the United States and throughout the world, Brad’s perspective has underlined a critical interest in the meaning, applicability, and particularity of each architectural design for each client and site. Brad’s project involvement at ShubinDonaldson ranges from conceptual and pre-design through construction administration on national projects and abroad.
Brad is an avid surfer, hand-shaping custom equipment for use in travels around the world. He is fluent in English and Portuguese.
With nearly two decades of professional architectural experience, Christine provides firm-wide leadership, management expertise, mentoring and inspiration to everyone at SD. She is accountable for the work product and processes within the residential studio of the Los Angeles office, including the well-being of the LA residential team. To Christine, architecture is “a big puzzle that is fascinating to put together.” Christine Reins has a nomadic history. Born in Michigan, her family moved to Kentucky, then Ohio and then to Sutton Coldfield, England before finally retuning to Michigan. In her spare time, she enjoys playing cello and rowing, as well as coaching rowing with the Los Angeles Rowing Club.
With over 30 years of experience, Ruth Hasell has worked on a wide variety of project types and scales. Her project experience spans programming and schematic design phases through construction administration for both residential, commercial and institutional clients. She has extensive coordination experience with clients, consultants, owner representatives, construction managers, and contractors. She understands that good design is collaborative effort, and that the whole team—client, architect, consultants and contractor—play a vital role. Ruth is well-versed in resolving city planning issues, building and safety plan check, CBC and IBC. She incorporates sustainability as a parameter of good design. She is passionate about architecture and brings that intensity to every project in which she works, the quest for design excellence being both her motivation and goal.
Ilya Kozin brings 14 years of experience in architecture, design, construction, and management. Studying architecture at Woodbury University, Ilya received his Bachelor of Architecture. degree in 1998. During the last 14 years, Ilya has been involved in a multitude of complex projects, ranging from repositioning of existing industrial building to large-scale, ground up mixed-use developments.
Jay is driven by the creative aspects of the craft and practice of architecture. To Jay, architecture is a means of contributing to the built landscape and to the enduring continuum of design. A Los Angeles native, Jay worked for Kanner Architects for 13 years before joining SD in 2012. He’s a self-professed foodie, movie-nerd and avid cycler—biking the PCH every weekend in order to “reboot.”
Christiane Dussa brings over 20 years of architectural experience to ShubinDonaldson. She joined ShubinDonaldson in September of 2014 and has been project manager for the Boston Consulting Group’s Headquarters project. Prior to joining ShubinDonaldson, Christiane worked for AECOM, where she successfully managed a variety of complex projects including a number of ground up theme park rides for Universal Studios Hollywood; projects including both King Kong and the recently opened Fast and Furious ride.
Jenny Cabal brings to ShubinDonaldson more than 17 years of multifamily & mixed used experience from small to large scale projects. She provides firm wide leadership, overall management of all projects and project teams, as well as provide mentorship at ShubinDonaldson. She is accountable for strategic direction that brings “best practice” approach to process and procedures with a focus on delivering high quality designs. She is directly responsible for executing contracts, project schedules & budgets, and direct communication for the successful delivery of projects to clients. Her extensive experience ranges from high-rise to low-rise market rate condominiums, apartments, mixed used, veterans housing, affordable/HUD housing, and senior housing projects. During her tenure at TSM, she gained extensive experience working on complex projects obtaining modifications through code research and implementation. Prior to working on multifamily housing, she was critically involved in design and construction of commercial buildings, office renovations, regional shopping centers, and movie theaters.
Wendy Acosta was born and raised in Santa Barbara, California and became interested in learning accounting after working as a bookkeeper for local businesses. She developed a passion for numbers and went on to major in accounting at Santa Barbara City College where she continues her studies. Wendy describes herself a Master of Multitasking, as she is most passionate about being a mom to her two children Layla and Tomas. She can often be found crafting, organizing, or dancing Zumba. Joining ShubinDonaldson in late 2019, Wendy offers support to our accounting team as our dedicated Accounting and Office Assistant.
Emily Balas was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan and initially became interested in architecture after growing up in a city with such a complex urban fabric. She received her Bachelor of Architecture in 2010 from the University of Michigan and immediately had wanderlust to explore. Moving to Beijing shortly after, she worked as an architectural designer at an art museum. Returning state-side in 2012, Emily began graduate school at the University of Southern California where she ultimately graduated from in 2014 with a Masters in Architecture. She then went on to work at Perkins Eastman where she worked on Marin County General Hospital for three years. She passed her AREs and CSE in a year and became a licensed architect in 2016.
Emily is an avid adventurer and has visited Japan, Singapore, & the Maldives just to name a few. With plans for much more travel to come. She is an avid gardener with a serious green thumb, cultivating over 30 different plants. With an affinity toward the structure of plant anatomy, Emily draws much of her design inspiration from the organic world around us.
Joining ShubinDonaldson in early 2017, Emily brings expertise in construction administration on large scale projects.
An Architect at ShubinDonaldson, Matthew Beausoleil brings 15 years of experience in a wide range of project types including single and multi-family residential, hospitality, commercial, theme park, and institutional projects. He received his Bachelor of Architecture from Woodbury University where he graduated with honors. Matt also was born and raised in Santa Barbara and loves to spend his free time downhill mountain biking in the local mountains, and competitively racing outrigger canoes in the ocean with a local club. He sees parallels between racing outrigger and architecture as a profession. “Achievements are made in both sport and architecture when careful preparation meet unforeseen opportunities. Creativity, commitment to goals, and integrity often create delightful and often unexpected results in both areas.”
Geo Chevez grew up in North Hollywood in the neighborhood which is now the NoHo Arts District. After being inspired by an architectural exhibition during his studies at UCSB, he transferred to Woodbury University to pursue an education in architecture. During his academic career, he studied abroad in Rome, Barcelona and Berlin; he also participated in an exchange program with students from the University of Buenos Aires. During his 4th year, his team was awarded 1st place in the USGBC Emerging Talent Design Competition for a mixed-use project comprised of shipping containers in downtown Long Beach. After receiving his Bachelor of Architecture in 2012, he joined ShubinDonaldson. Geo works on diverse project typologies including tenant improvement, adaptive reuse, master planning, multi-family developments, graphic design, and architectural competitions. His passion for architecture centers on the pursuit of shaping the everyday environment that we inhabit; by how history, our present-day realities, as well as our aspirations for the future all inform architecture. In addition to architecture, Geo loves playing sports.
Born and raised in Valencia, Venezuela, Gabriela Colmenares moved to the United States in 2002 in pursuit of art, architecture and design-related activities. To her, architecture makes a conscious effort to explore and integrate different fields, opening doors of knowledge beyond buildings. She is influenced by the way nature, people, culture and emotions shape design. When she’s not working you can find her exploring the city and taking photographs. “Curiosity is my motivation to learn. It also encourages me to trespass abandoned barns just to photograph them.”
As an Orange County native, Adrienne Danet was inspired by the Newport Neutra dental office and at age 10 knew that Architecture was her calling. Graduating from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in Architecture, she returned back to Orange County to practice in a broad range of roles, including: design architect, project architect, programming specialist, and interiors architect. Adrienne works with a strong commitment to the design integrity of a project, from its initial conception to the final execution and realization. When not practicing architecture, she enjoys the lifetime commitment of experimenting with her Eichler home in Orange, a.k.a. more architecture. When really not practicing architecture she enjoys camping and hiking activities with her family, running for health, and not running around to the seemingly endless kid sporting events (when she can help it).
Joining ShubinDonaldson in the summer of 2017, Adrienne brings over 20 years’ experience as an architect in various project types including commercial office, retail, residential, higher / lower education, and justice.
After graduating with her BArch/MArch from Tulane University, Anne spent 5 years executing adaptive reuse and repositioning projects between Atlanta and New Orleans. She shifted her focus since arriving in Los Angeles 6 years ago, and has been focused on high end residential projects throughout Southern California.
Walter Grey’s love of design was more of a natural progression than a singular “eureka” moment. He had studied to be a sculptor, receiving his Bachelor of Fine Arts in sculpture from California College of the Arts in Oakland, California in 1996. Shortly after he went to work for a Digital Special effects firm but his interest in construction and building slowly cut a path towards architecture. He received his Master of Architecture from the University of Washington, Seattle in 2004 and had his own design build firm for 10 years in the San Francisco Bay Area. He then worked for AE3 in San Francisco before moving to Santa Barbara ‘for a change in scenery’. He brings with him his skill set as a licensed general contractor along with proficiency in design, construction administration, project management, design build, residential construction and Type 1 Type 1B office structures. He joined ShubinDonaldson in 2015. When he’s not at work, Walter enjoys swimming and biking.
According to Jessica, architecture is the perfect marriage of precision and creativity. Born and raised in Florida, she discovered that architecture was a uniquely satisfying field worth exploring after designing and building a tree house with her father in middle school. In 2016 this direction led her to receive a Bachelor of Design in Architecture from the University of Florida, with her last semester abroad in Italy before returning to begin her professional career in Orlando. Jessica was primarily interested in single-family residential design and landed her first job designing private residences at the Walt Disney Resort. These homes were highly custom, and Disney was no ordinary client, but her dream was to live and practice on the west coast, where the landscape is more dynamic, and the culture is more sustain-ably focused. After relocating to Santa Barbara Jessica began to work with SD in 2018. She has a strong passion for cooking, and enjoys hiking, surfing, and traveling in her free time.
It took Matthew a few years of searching to discover his passion for architecture, though he recalls drawing floor plans of his “dream house” as early as the fourth grade. Regarding the value of architecture, Matthew explains, “I had a distinct moment, not a spatial experience in the sense of built form, but rather a realization of how impactful created space can be.” It led him to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, where he received a Bachelor of Architecture. When he’s not working he enjoys surfing, snowboarding and spending time with his wife and their two young boys.
Matthew Joined ShubinDonaldson in early 2015 and strives to create impact with his work on a personal level for the end user/client.
A Los Angeles native, Erin Lani earned her Bachelor of Architecture at SCI-arc and received her Architecture License in February of 2018. After graduation, Erin worked for a Venice-based design-build firm that specialized in remodels, additions, and landscapes; spaces where the boundaries between indoor and outdoor blur. She moved on to work for a large corporate architecture firm in downtown Los Angeles where she gained solid experience working on university student centers, professional offices, and high-rise residential towers coordinating interior, architecture and landscape design. She is an advocate for integrated design and documentation to achieve the best results. Seeking experience in refined detailing and an opportunity to work at the residential scale, she was inspired to join the ShubinDonaldson team, where, “design is modern, delightful, and thoughtful.” When she’s not working she enjoys hiking in the mountains with friends and family and contemplating the future of architecture and built environment. “I see the task of architecture as the defense of the authenticity of human experience” ~ Juhani Pallasmaa
Rafael Lopez is from Oxnard, California and discovered his passion for architecture while in high school. He recalls seeing Maison a Bordeaux by OMA, and loving the simplicity of it—his passion for design was ignited. He received his Bachelor of Architecture degree from California Polytechnic University in Pomona, CA in 2006. Influenced by the work of Frank Gehry, Rem Koolhas, and Luis Barragan, Rafael worked for Gehry Partners, LLP as a Junior Architect for seven years before coming to ShubinDonaldson in 2014. To Rafael, great design is, “when an architect’s sketch ideas and visions are executed without forfeiting the design due to building constraints.”
Stuart Lord received a B.S. in Economics from Emory University and his Master of Architecture degree from SCI-arc. He’s been with SD since 2013 and brings with him expertise in all phases of design and construction, from concept through completion. An avid explorer, Stuart enjoys getting lost in State and National Parks, playing tennis and basketball, and “thinking” he can surf.
Juan Carlos has always been inspired by how materials and structural elements come together to create the spaces in which we live and work. He approaches all projects, small or large, with a focus on positive team work and efficient use of resources.
His family emigrated to the United States in 1977 from a small town in Mexico, and he credits their hard work and dedication for making it possible for him to continue his education after high school. He attended Cal Poly Pomona and received his Bachelor of Architecture in 1992 and a Master’s degree in Liberal Studies, with an emphasis in Latin American Literature, from New York University in 1998. Between his studies Juan Carlos worked as a draftsman for KNA Structural Engineering—and values this experience for shaping his appreciation for details.
He enjoys spending time with his wife and two children, attending films and going to museum openings especially those that focus on modern art—and the works of John Schlesinger, Jacques Audiard, Cy Twombly and Jean Michelle Basquiat.
Christopher Petzak hails from Grand Rapids, Michigan where he had early exposure to design through the local office furniture industry. He received his Master of Architecture degree from the University of Detroit Mercy, and studied Architecture and Urban Design at the Warsaw University of Technology in Poland. He joined SD as an architectural designer in 2015 after working for AECOM Los Angeles, and several firms in Detroit. In high school, Christopher was a member of the U.S. National Team in competitive trampoline. He traveled extensively while competing in two world championships, as well as many other national and international competitions. These travels were what initially sparked Christopher’s interest in architecture and urbanism.
Originally from San Diego, Diana joins the SD team as our Human Resources Manager based out of the Santa Barbara Office. With over 7 years of HR experience, Diana enjoys the administrative process and holds her SHRM-CP and aPHR certifications. In her free time, Diana enjoys going for walks and hanging out with her cat.
A Southern California native, Colin Rickard was first introduced to design at a young age where prior to college, he studied Industrial Design at the Art Center in Pasadena. His formal design career began when he attended San Jose State University, where he graduated with a B.S. Degree in Creative Advertising. Before joining SD, he worked in the creative digital marketing sector for a variety of notable start-up tech companies in the San Francisco region. Colin joined ShubinDonaldson in Mid-2017, bringing to the company a wealth of expertise in the digital landscape and discerning eye for design.
Nicklaus Schwaller’s love of design began when he took his first studio course, where he started to refine his abilities and realized that architecture is a medium where a designer is able to connect with a very wide audience over a very long time span. During his time at school, Nicklaus spent a year of off-campus study at the LA Metro Urban Design Studio in downtown Los Angeles along with a number of visits to canonical structures, foreign and domestic. Nicklaus received his Bachelor of Architecture from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, after which he studied for six months abroad at Studio Ticino in Switzerland before returning to begin his professional career in Los Angeles. Relocating to Santa Barbara, he’s been with SD since 2015. His expertise encompasses conceptual design, schematic design, 3d modeling/visualization, and digital fabrication. Working to push into new territory within the discipline, Nicklaus explores techniques of making and representation. Nicklaus believes, “Great design should be rigorous in concept and realization, clear in its intentions, and highly attuned to the human experience with space; producing new types of experiences that shape the way in which we live.” When he’s not at work he enjoys sailing, photography, and music production.
Originally from the Bay Area California, Chloe fell in love with Santa Barbara when she moved to study Environmental Studies. Most of her experience has been working in fast-paced restaurants that require a specific attention to detail which comes in handy with her position at SD. In an administrative role, each day she brings her energy and people skills to support daily operations with a smile on her face. With her strength and authority, she can make anything happen. Outside of work, Chloe is passionate about film photography, art, food, nature, and the environment. You can often find her doodling under the sun enjoying everything life has to offer.
Before migrating to Los Angeles, JeongEun Sho established her professional experience in New York City as an Architectural Designer, receiving a MS in Advanced Architectural Design from Columbia University. Originally studying architecture at Seoul National University in South Korea, JeongEun Sho brings her global perspective to her architectural work and adaptations with Southern Californian climates. Experienced with a variety of residential and commercial projects, Sho pulls from the inspirational arsenals of diverse cultures, technologies, and life experiences. In her spare time, Sho enjoys working creatively with pencil drawings, and watercolors. She also finds enjoyment watching cartoons and motion pictures that, no doubt, add to her creativity at work. JeongEun Sho joined Shubin Donaldson in 2018.
This Burbank, California native has a passion for photography and film. She attended West Los Angeles College taking fine arts courses; and currently freelances as a research assistant at Loyola Marymount University. Her focus is split between her photography and her non-profit organization she co-founded, Juvenilia Books Collective. JBC’s mission is to use mindfulness and creativity with a focus on childhood and nostalgia through arts and education, and plans to use their proceeds to help homeless youth specifically within the LGBTQ community.
One of her favorite quotes is by John Lennon: “When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.”
A Boston native, Zack Teixeira came to California in 2008 for graduate studies at SCI-arc. Prior to that, Zack attended Pratt for his undergraduate work. He then spent nine years in New York City before moving to Los Angeles to attend SCI-arc, where he received his M. Arch I. He spent time in the Hamptons between 2011-2014 before returning to Los Angeles. Zack believes that architecture is “a challenge.” He enjoys dinners out, gardening and being outdoors as much as possible.
A native to Santa Barbara, Alex Towpasz was drawn to architecture at a young age through his innate love for drawing and natural desire to build. At Woodbury University, where he graduated with a degree in Architecture in 2012, his natural inclination and interest in design flourished. He was able to experiment in specific aspects of design that he loved and incorporate those elements into his growing understanding of architecture. After his matriculation, he spent the summer of 2010 studying in Barcelona and Berlin, then later traveling in 2011 to the Universidad Alfonso Diez el Sabio Madrid, Spain to further his studies. He joined ShubinDonaldson in 2012. To Alex, great architecture is, “emotional, instinctive, responsive and inventive.” When not at work, Alex can be found playing hockey, riding motorcycles, and listening to 80’s metal music.
ShubinDonaldson is actively recruiting the best talent in various architectural disciplines including design, project management, and client relations.MORE
JOB DESCRIPTION: ShubinDonaldson in Culver City is seeking a motivated Designer/Architect with 3-5 years of experience in publication-quality commercial and residential projects as an addition to our team.MORE
JOB DESCRIPTION: Busy, creative design firm seeking B.Arch or M.Arch graduate with 10+ years of experience for Santa Ana office, preferably in contemporary commercial interiors, shell and core, mixed use, and multifamily.MORE