Geoffrey Warner, AIA
As an architect in a Minneapolis firm, Geoffrey Warner became impatient with “business-as-usual” thinking. So in 1989, he did what anyone would do (right?): he quit his job to get real, hands-on experience. Literally. He constructed buildings, furnishings, lighting, and artful fabrications using a variety of materials and hand-, machine-, and CAD-based processes. Concentrating on art and industry while maximizing the impact of modest budgets through creative construction technologies, he honed his sense of “tightwad panache.”
Eventually, Warner’s architecture office, Alchemy LLC, had actual employees. As the head-honcho, Geoffrey has actively fostered a collaborative workshop of Alchemists, some of whom are licensed architects, others designers, artists, and of course, interns. Alchemy facilitates experimentation with, and the production of, key elements that are part of larger projects—from weeHouses to lofted condos. Central to his work is the celebration of reuse, the mundane, and the poetics of the vernacular utilizing cutting-edge materials.
Alchemy’s completion of the first weeHouse in 2003, then just an inexpensive prefab cabin, gained international
attention as a symbol of architectural optimism. Since then, Alchemy has widened its scope, developing the weeHouse as a prefabricated answer for cabins, houses, offices, rooftop studios, and multi-dwelling developments.
Geoffrey Warner holds an architecture degree with high honors from the University of Minnesota (1987), and taught Design-Build classes there from 1998 to 1999. He received the Dinkeloo Traveling Fellow Award coupled with a stay at the American Academy in Rome (1989), where he studied the detailing work of Italian architect Carlo Scarpa. While the 2006 shows at the Walker Art Center and the Weisman Museum of Art were great, Geoffrey finds it equally thrilling getting out in 30+ mph winds on his windsurfer. The sole 2007 AIA MN Emerging Talent and multiple AIA MN Honor Awards for Architecture weren’t the worst things, either.
He is a registered architect living in St. Paul, Minnesota with his wife Dawn De Keyser and their two daughters
Laurel and Alexandra.
Julie VandenBerg Snow, FAIA
Julie Snow leads a studio-based practice in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The diverse scale and type of work is joined by a common exploration of material and detail. The studio’s interest in pragmatic and critical programmatic reflection results in innovative designs that expand our understanding of architectural performance. Design strategies engage issues of how architecture performs within each project’s, social, cultural and economic context.
The practice has been recognized with numerous awards including the AIA Honor Award, Holcim North American Bronze Award, Progressive Architecture Design Award, the Chicago Athenaeum’s American and International Architecture Awards, Architect Magazine Annual Design Review, the Design Distinction Award from I.D. magazine, several Business Week/Architectural Record Awards and several US General Services Administration’s Design Excellence Awards.
The studio’s work has appeared in many professional journals, nationally and internationally, as well as in several surveys of architecture. The work of the studio was exhibited at the Chicago Architectural Foundation; and in 2005, Princeton Architectural Press published the first monograph on the studio’s work in its series on emerging designers from around the world.
Julie recently received the American Academy of Arts and Letters Architecture Award. The award read “The architecture of Julie VandenBerg Snow might be characterized as invention within convention. That is not to say that her work is conventional but to recognize that, within a rigorous underpinning, she and her studio make the marvelous happen. Elegance is balanced by pragmatism – she is a ballerina who can dance in work boots. Albert Einstein is quoted as saying, “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler.” The work of Julie VandenBerg Snow does this.”
Julie Snow has held several visiting professor positions including the Graduate School of Design at Harvard, University of Arkansas, University of Maryland, and Washington University, St. Louis. After teaching at the University of Minnesota College of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, she received the Ralph Rapson Award for Distinguished Teaching.
David Dimond, AIA, CID, LEED AP BD+C
Dave Dimond is Principal and Director of Design for the Minneapolis office of Perkins+Will where he leads design on government, corporate, academic and healthcare projects.
Dave is a Past-President of AIA Minnesota and a current Board Member of the Minnesota Architectural Foundation. He is a graduate of Virginia Tech and the University of Minnesota where he has taught in the College of Design since 1995. Dave is currently teaching a graduate design studio.
Dimond pursues design excellence through daily practice and has been fortunate to secure first place in several national and international juried design competitions. This has allowed him to work on projects around the nation and globe including India, Saudi Arabia, Canada, Chile, China, and Korea. The design work by Dave and his team has also been recognized for their sustainable focus through local and national award programs including AIA Component Awards, an AIA National Committee on the Environment “COTE Top Ten” Award and recently, a Good Green Design Award from the European Union of Architects and Chicago Athenaeum. As design leader, Dave structures a sustainable process that is dependent on incorporating the ideas, concepts and special expertise of many participants.
David Salmela, FAIA
David Salmela practices in Duluth, Minnesota. He has worked in architecture since 1969 and has lived in Minnesota all of his life.
Projects which represent his broad assembly of work are Brandenburg’s Ravenwood Studio in Ely, MN and the Emerson Sauna in rural Duluth, MN. They both won National AIA Honor Awards for architecture in 1998 and 2005, respectively. Also, a 2005 National AIA Honor Award winner for Regional and Urban Design was the Jackson Meadow Development in Marine on St. Croix, Minnesota. Overall, David has won over 50 regional and national design awards. In 2005 the monograph, Salmela/Architect by University of Minnesota Dean of the College of Design, Thomas Fisher, was published. David’s work has been featured, nationally and internationally, in Abitare, Architectural Record, Architectural Review, Graphis, Architecture, ID, Monocle, Hauser and Phaidon Atlas of Contemporary Architecture.
In 2007 David received an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from the University of Minnesota. David was presented the Minnesota AIA Gold Medal in December of 2008. In 2011 a second book, also by Fisher, The Invisible Element of Place the Architecture of David Salmela was published by the University of Minnesota Press.