Hernan Diaz Alonso has been appointed SCI-Arc Director beginning September 1, 2015. He has been a distinguished faculty member at SCI-Arc since 2001, serving in several leadership roles including Coordinator of the Graduate Thesis program from 2007-2010, and Graduate Programs Chair from 2010-2015. He is widely credited with spearheading the transition of SCI-Arc to digital technologies, playing a key role in shaping the school’s graduate curriculum in the past decade.
In parallel to his role at SCI-Arc, Diaz Alonso is Principal of the Los Angeles-based architecture office Xefirotarch. His multidisciplinary practice is praised for work at the intersection of design, animation, interactive environments and radical exploration of architecture. Over the course of his career as an architect and educator, Diaz Alonso has earned accolades for his leadership and innovation, as well as his ability to build partnerships among varied constituencies. In 2005, he was the winner of MoMA PS1’s Young Architects Program (YAP) competition, and in 2012 he received the “Educator of the Year” Award from the American Institute of Architects (AIA). Most recently, he won the 2013 AR+D Award for Emerging Architecture and a 2013 Progressive Architecture Award for his design of the Thyssen Bornamiza Pavilion/Museum in Patagonia, Argentina.
Diaz Alonso’s architectural designs have been featured in exhibitions at the Venice Architecture Biennale, London Architecture Biennale, and Archilab in Orleans, France, as well as displayed in featured exhibitions in leading architecture museums such as the New York MoMA, SFMOMA, Art Institute of Chicago and the MAK Centre, Vienna. The work has also been widely published in magazines, periodicals and multiple books, including the “Excessive” monograph of Xefirotarch. The office is currently working on a new monograph to be published by Thames and Hudson. Diaz Alonso’s work is also part of the permanent collections of the FRAC Center, SFMOMA, New York MoMA, the Thyssen Bornamiza Collection, the MAK Museum, Vienna, and Art Institute of Chicago.
A gifted educator, Diaz Alonso has been acknowledged throughout the years with prestigious appointments such as Yale University’s Louis I. Kahn Visiting Assistant Professorship of Architectural Design in 2010, Visiting Design Studio Faculty at the GSAPP at Columbia University 2004-2010, an ongoing appointment as architectural design professor in the Urban Strategies Postgraduate Program at the University of Applied Arts Vienna, and as Distinguished Faculty Member at SCI-Arc. In spring 2015, served as Yale University’s Eero Saarinen Professor of Architectural Design.
Back To Top
John Enright, FAIA has been practicing architecture for thirty years, and has taught at SCI-Arc since 2001. As Vice Director / Chief Academic Officer, Enright oversees various school functions including; academic programs, planning and operations, accreditations, admissions and recruitment, IT, fabrication shop and robot lab. Prior to his current position, Enright served as Undergraduate Program Chair from 2010 to 2015.
Enright is a founding principal of Griffin Enright Architects, along with SCI-Arc faculty member Margaret Griffin, FAIA. Their versatile practice includes projects ranging from large-scale commercial and residential commissions to furniture design and gallery installations. Their work has been extensively published; locally, nationally and internationally, and has received over forty awards for design excellence including, local, state and national AIA Awards and The American Architecture Award from the Chicago Athenaeum. Their project ‘Vertical Garden’ is part of the permanent collection at the MAK (Austrian Museum of Applied Arts / Contemporary Art) in Vienna, Austria and they were participants in the “New Sculpturalism” exhibition at MOCA.
Prior to establishing his firm in 2000, Enright worked for twelve years with Pritzker Prize-winner Thom Mayne of Morphosis Architects, as project architect on numerous award-winning projects including the Diamond Ranch High School in Pomona, California and the Hypo Bank corporate office headquarters project in Klagenfurt, Austria. Enright has taught design studios and technology seminars at SCI-Arc, Syracuse University, University of Houston, and the University of Southern California. His academic research focuses on design and building technology, including new digital paradigms as applied to fabrication and construction. He has been the recipient of multiple grants, including an NCARB Grant for the Integration of Practice and Education in the Academy, and USC’s Advancing Scholarship in the Humanities and Social Sciences grant for his research on the work of Konrad Wachsmann.
Enright has served on the advisory committee of the national AIA’s Educator Practitioners Network, and he currently serves on the Los Angeles Mayor’s Design Advisory Panel and the NCARB's Licensure Task Force. He is a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects, and is a LEED AP. Enright received an M.S.Arch from Columbia University and a B.Arch from Syracuse University.
Back To Top
Elena Manferdini contributes more than 15 years of professional experience to her new role as SCI-Arc Graduate Programs Chair. She has been teaching design studios and visual studies seminars at SCI-Arc since 2003, serving most recently as coordinator of the school’s graduate thesis.
Manferdini is founder and principal of Atelier Manferdini in Venice, Calif. The office has completed projects in the US, Europe and Asia. In addition to art and architectural projects, Manferdini has worked on several museum installations and object designs for internationally renowned companies including Swarovski, Sephora, Driade, MTV, Fiat, Nike, Alessi, Ottaviani, Moroso, Valentino, Arktura, Lerival and BMW.
Manferdini’s work has been recognized nationally and internationally with awards including the 2013 COLA Fellowship from the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs to support the production of original artwork, a 2013 Graham Award for architecture, and the ACADIA Innovative Research Award of Excellence. In 2011, she was recipient of a prestigious United States Artists (USA) annual grant in the category of architecture and design, while her Blossom design for Alessi received the Good Design Award. Manferdini’s work has been exhibited internationally in architecture and art museums including the Art Institute of Chicago, LACMA and MOCA in Los Angeles, MAXXI in Rome, and the MAK Center, Vienna.
Throughout the years, Manferdini has been acknowledged with prestigious appointments such as the Howard Friedman Visiting Professor of Practice at the University of California at Berkeley and various visiting professor positions at Cornell University, University of Pennsylvania and Seika University. In 2013, she received the “Educator of the Year” presidential award from AIA Los Angeles. Manferdini received an M.Arch from UCLA and a bachelor in engineering from the University of Civil Engineering, Bologna, Italy.
Back To Top
Tom Wiscombe has been a senior SCI-Arc faculty member for more than 10 years. He assumed the role of Chair of the B.Arch. program after having coordinated the school’s applied studies track for six years.
Wiscombe is founder and principal of Tom Wiscombe Architecture, an internationally recognized design practice whose work stands out in terms of its mysterious figural features, alluring graphic qualities, and its tectonic inventiveness. His office is currently working on the high-profile Main Museum of Los Angeles Art with developer Tom Gilmore located in the historic core of Los Angeles.
Wiscombe has developed an international reputation through winning design competitions and exhibitions at major cultural institutions around the world. In 2014, he received Second Place in the international competition for the Kinmen Passenger Service Center, Taiwan. In 2012, he was part of the joint design team organized by Morphosis to compete for the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shenzhen, which received Second Prize. In 2011, he won first place in two competitions for the 2013 Chinese National Games, and was hired by the Interior Ministry of China to design the Beijing National Hotel.
In addition to his teaching experience at SCI-Arc, Wiscombe has taught advanced research studios as Visiting Professor at PennDesign, and in 2012, he held the Louis I. Kahn Visiting Assistant Professorship at Yale University. Previously, Wiscombe worked for Coop Himmelb(l)au, where he was Chief Designer for BMW World, Munich, the Museum of Confluences, Lyon, and the UFA Cinema Center, Dresden. Wiscombe received an M.Arch from UCLA and a B.Arch from the University of California at Berkeley.
Back To Top
Jamie Bennett is the Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer of SCI-Arc, where he oversees planning and administrative functions. He works closely with the Director and Vice-Director to develop and direct financial plans consistent with the school's educational mission.
Before joining SCI-Arc, Bennett worked extensively in nonprofits and as an executive in media companies in Los Angeles and in London. Most recently he has been a business advisor, investor and Director with the Pasadena Angels, which specializes in local emerging growth companies.
He served as CEO of worldwide productions for London-based Pearson Television, as CEO of L.A.-based ACI television and as a senior vice-president at Disney's Buena Vista TV Productions in Burbank. Prior to working for the Disney Company, Bennett worked for CBS, including five years as General Manager of KCBS-TV in Los Angeles.
Bennett holds an MBA from Harvard University and a BA in political science from the University of California, Berkeley. He has served on the Public Television Advisory Board at the Annenberg School at USC and on the boards of the National Environmental Trust in Washington, D.C., Northfield Mount Hermon School in Massachusetts, and Marlborough School in Los Angeles, among others. He currently sits on the Board of the Ojai Music Festival where he is co-chair of the Governance Committee.
He and his wife, Carolyn Bennett, who holds a master's degree from the Architectural Association in London, make their home in Los Angeles.
Back To Top