Hernan Diaz Alonso assumed the role of SCI-Arc director beginning in the 2015 academic year. He has been a distinguished faculty member since 2001, serving in several leadership roles, including coordinator of the graduate thesis program from 2007–10, and graduate programs chair from 2010–15. He is widely credited with spearheading SCI-Arc’s transition to digital technologies, and he played a key role in shaping the school’s graduate curriculum over the last 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 its work at the intersection of design, animation, interactive environments, and radical architectural explorations. 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). He won the 2013 AR+D Award for Emerging Architecture and a 2013 Progressive Architecture Award for his design of the Thyssen-Bornemisza Pavilion/Museum in Patagonia, Argentina.
Diaz Alonso’s architectural designs have been featured in exhibitions at the Venice Architecture Biennale, the London Architecture Biennale, and ArchiLab in Orleans, France, as well as included in exhibitions at such leading museums as the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA); the Art Institute of Chicago; and MAK Centre, Vienna. The work has been widely published in magazines, journals, and 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 in the permanent collections of the FRAC Centre, Orleans, France; SFMOMA; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Thyssen-Bornemisza, the MAK Museum, Vienna; and the Art Institute of Chicago.
A gifted educator, Diaz Alonso has been acknowledged throughout the years with prestigious appointments; these include Yale University’s Louis I. Kahn Visiting Assistant Professorship of Architectural Design (2010), Visiting Design Studio Faculty at the GSAPP at Columbia University (2004–10), an ongoing appointment as architectural design professor in the Urban Strategies Postgraduate Program at the University of Applied Arts Vienna, and as a Distinguished Faculty Member at SCI-Arc. In spring 2015 he served as Yale University’s Eero Saarinen Professor of Architectural Design.
Vice Director/Chief Academic Officer
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, the fabrication shop, and the robot lab. Prior to his current position, Enright served as undergraduate program chair from 2010 to 2015.
Enright is founding principal of Griffin Enright Architects, based in Los Angeles, CA. Griffin Enright’s work has been extensively published; locally, nationally and internationally, and has received dozens of awards for design excellence including, local, state and national AIA Awards and The American Architecture Award from the Chicago Athenaeum. 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 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 NCARB's Integrated Path Evaluation Committee. Enright received an M.S.Arch from Columbia University and a B.Arch from Syracuse University.
Undergraduate Program Chair
Tom Wiscombe has been a senior SCI-Arc faculty member for more than ten 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, AIA is Principal of Tom Wiscombe Architecture, an internationally recognized design practice. His iconic work stands out in terms of its mysterious figural features, its alluring graphic qualities, and its tectonic inventiveness. Wiscombe is currently planning the Main Museum of Los Angeles Art with Developer Tom Gilmore in Downtown LA. He was recently honored with AIA Design Awards for this project as well as for his design for the Kinmen Port Terminal. His work is part of the permanent collection of the FRAC Centre Paris, the Art Institute of Chicago, MoMA San Francisco, and MoMA New York. Wiscombe is Chair of the B.Arch Program at SCI-Arc, where he has taught for over 10 years, and he has taught at U. Penn and Yale University. He completed his B.A. in Architecture at UC Berkeley and his M.Arch I degree at UCLA. Previously, Wiscombe worked for Coop Himmelb(l)au, where he was Chief Designer for BMW Welt, Munich, the Lyon Museum of Confluences, and the Dresden Cinema Center.
Graduate Program Chair
Elena Manferdini contributes more than fifteen years of professional experience to her role as SCI-Arc Graduate Program Chair. She has been teaching design studios and visual studies seminars at SCI-Arc since 2003, serving most recently as coordinator of graduate thesis.
Manferdini graduated from the University of Civil Engineering in Bologna, Italy and later received her Master's of Architecture and Urban Design from the University of California Los Angeles. In 2004 she founded Atelier Manferdini in Venice, CA where she is principal. In 2011, she was one of the recipients of the prestigious annual grants from the United States Artists (USA) in the category of architecture and design. Manferdini was awarded the 2013 COLA Fellowship given by City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs to support the production of original artwork. That same year, she received a Graham Award for architecture, the 2013 ACADIA Innovative Research Award of Excellence, and was selected as recipient for the Educator of the Year presidential award given by the AIA Los Angeles.
Postgraduate Programs Chair
David Ruy is an architect, theorist, and director of Ruy Klein. David received his M.Arch degree from Columbia University and his B.A. degree from St. John’s College where he studied philosophy and mathematics. Ruy Klein examines contemporary design problems at the intersection of architecture, nature, and technology. Encompassing a wide array of experimentation, Ruy Klein’s projects study the mutual imbrications of artificial and natural regimes that are shaping an ever more synthetic world. The work of Ruy Klein has been widely published and exhibited and has been the recipient of numerous awards recognizing the firm as one of the leading experimental practices in architecture today. Their work is part of the permanent collection of The Museum of Modern Art in New York City and The Frac Centre in Orléans, France.