Joe Carbajal
Made his mark on significant civil engineering projects by age 25
26, Engineer
Parsons Brinckerhoff


Joe Carbajal attempted his first civil engineering project at 13: a 3-ft-long, clear-span bridge made entirely of Popsicle sticks that he built for a school competition. Today, he is an engineer at Parsons Brinckerhoff and has excelled in civic roadway and traffic, site development and facilities design. At 25, he played a key design-support role on the 200,000-sq-ft, $140-million Anaheim Regional Transportation Intermodal Center. Now in his sixth year at the firm, he is involved in planning and final design, bid documentation, Dept. of State architecture approval and construction support for company projects. In 2008 Parsons Brinckerhoff launched a company-wide green office campaign, and, a year later, Carbajal became the Orange office team leader, a position he still holds. As a side project, he participated in the Red Bull Soap Box Derby. His winning design helped raise more than $500 for the Children's Tumor Foundation.




Wil Carson
Shifted from visual artist to award-winning designer
36, Senior Project Designer
Michael Maltzan Architecture
Los Angeles


Wil Carson comes to architecture from a different kind of visual world. He started his professional life as a filmmaker and photographer, documenting cultures around the world before changing careers and shifting to architecture. After graduating from Harvard, he studied modernization and the environment as a postgraduate fellow at Kathmandu's Tribhuvan University. He completed further studies at UCLA, Vienna's Universitat fur Angewandte Kunst, Yale and MIT. Now a senior project designer at Michael Maltzan Architecture, he is responsible for the design of buildings, landscapes and infrastructure in the U.S. and abroad. His work has included development of large, sustainable urban plans for the $50-million, 1,500-ft-span St. Petersburg Pier in St. Petersburg, Fla. His projects have been recognized with 15 AIA awards, two Progressive Architecture Awards and the American Architecture Award from the Chicago Athenaeum Museum of Architecture and Design.



Mario Cipresso
Inspires others through his design work and online presence
39, President
Studio Shift Inc.
Santa Monica

When surveying Mario Cipresso's work, projects as far away as the Giant Interactive Group Headquarters in Shanghai and as close as Animo Film and Theater Arts Charter High School in his Los Angeles neighborhood pop to the top of the list. He founded Studio Shift Inc. in 2004 with a mission to challenge convention and produce innovative architecture through rigorous analysis and advanced design methods. At the film and theater arts high school he aimed to achieve this goal and inspire future designers by working closely with students and staff. Cipresso also has played a key role in connecting different sectors in the architecture field. In 1995, as an undergraduate architecture student at the University of Illinois at Chicago, he founded Death By Architecture, an online architectural forum of which he is editor-in-chief. In 1997 he helped launch the International Competition Network, which now has 40 member countries.




Gray Dougherty
Transitioned from the East Coast finance world to California designer
33, Partner
Dougherty + Dougherty Architects LLP


Gray Dougherty did not start out in architecture. After graduating from Princeton in 2002, Dougherty went to New York City to work as an investment banker. But he realized he wanted to have more impact on people and communities and moved to California to study architecture at the University of California, Berkeley, where he earned his master's degree. In 2007 he opened the Oakland branch of Dougherty + Dougherty Architects. The office's first construction projects are scheduled to be completed in 2013, including the 5,300-sq-ft, $2.8-million Oakland Unified School District's Arroyo Viejo child development center and the 2,500-sq-ft, $1.8-million Rod Kelley Elementary School library. Dougherty recently completed his first term on the AIA California Council executive committee and has been appointed a regent of the California Architectural Foundation.