2016 National DiscoverDesign Competition Jury

Meet the 2016 Jury:


Maya Bird-Murphy, Valerio Dewalt Train:

Maya Bird-Murphy has been a designer at several award-winning Chicago architecture firms, including Valerio Dewalt Train Associates – her current firm, Landon Bone Baker Architects and Wheeler Kearns Architects. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Architecture in 2014 from Ball State University and is currently a Master of Architecture candidate at Boston ArchitecturalCollege. Maya believes that architecture should be accessible to all and that communicating this through graphics, architecture and teaching is highly important. She is a design-thinking and architecture workshop designer and implementer as part of theAIA Architects in Schools Committee, which strives to bring design and architecture classes back into Chicago Public Schools.



Nancy Firfer, Metropolitan Planning Council:

Nancy joined MPC in 2011, as a senior advisor supporting MPC’s work to encourage balanced housing in local communities across metropolitan Chicago, and deepening its partnerships with elected officials. Prior to joining MPC, Nancy was a senior advisor with Chicago Metropolis 2020 (now known as Metropolis Strategies), a nonprofit organization created in 1999 by the Commercial Club of Chicago to advocate for better regional planning and smart investments to promote the region’s long-term health. At Metropolis Strategies, Nancy worked with the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus to envision and lead “Homes for a Changing Region.” At MPC, Nancy is continuing to support the evolution of Homes for a Changing Region in partnership with the Mayors Caucus and Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP).


KerlKerl Lajeune, Public Building Commission of Chicago:

Kerl is currently on various Alumni Boards of the University, the Chicago Architectural Club and an active member of the American Institute of Architects along with the Illinois Chapter of the National Organization of MinorityArchitects. He completed his studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago and holds dual BARCH degrees inArchitectural Design and Engineering Structures. Kerl has had long term involvements with the Alumni ConstituentBoard of the College of Architecture, followed by his appointments to the UIC CAAB and subsequently to the UIAABoard of Directors (UIAA).  Currently he serves as chair of the Operations Committee; previously, Kerl served nearly 10+ years as chair of the Board’s Awards and Recognition Committee.  Through his volunteer positions and his involvement in many core programs of the UIAA and University, he brings a unique alumni perspective to this search committee.


RosaAdam Rosa, Camiros:

As a Principal at Camiros, Ltd., Adam Rosa, AICP has 18 years of experience in creating implementable planning and design concepts focused on place making and improving existing neighborhoods. In his work with communities from Buffalo to Birmingham to Brownsville, Adam continuously strives to generate creative ideas and solutions that capture the culture, spirit and potential of the local area. He isa gifted facilitator and has a natural ability to put diverse groups of people at ease in public meetings stimulate constructive dialogue. Adam has led Camiros’ Choice Neighborhoods planning efforts focused on the revitalization of distressed public housing areas and has been highly involved with the GreenHealthy Neighborhoods Initiative for City of Chicago, which is a strategy to maximize the use of vacant land and other neighborhood resources within several of Chicago’s South Side communities.


smithDouglas A. Smith, Perkins+Will:

Douglas A. Smith, AIA, AICP, Managing Principal with Perkins+Will Chicago’s office, has over 30 years of experience in architecture, design and planning. Doug has managed a wide range of project types from architectural to urban mixed-use development planning in the U.S. and internationally. Many of his projects have won both local and national design awards from the AIA, ASLA, APA and Congress for theNew Urbanism. Doug’s primary experience includes office, hotel, retail, residential, transportation facilities, urban design and strategic redevelopment planning with expertise in complex mixed-use urban design. His extensive portfolio overseas allows him to leverage a broad range of best practices and a keen understanding of cultural, market and geographic context. Doug previously worked with HOK andAECOM prior to joining Perkins+ Will.