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Northwest Arkansas Design Excellence Program

Promoting the highest level of design in Arkansas’ Benton and Washington counties

Selection Committee

This committee will conduct an annual search for designers to create the pool from which the foundation can choose for upcoming Design Excellence projects. The selection committee was designed to have representation from an architect, a landscape architect, an urban designer, and the sitting dean at the Fay Jones School of Architecture at the University of Arkansas – all of whom have demonstrated promise and talent in their chosen career.


Toshiko Mori, FAIA
Founding Principal of Toshiko Mori Architect PLLC
The Robert P. Hubbard Professor in the Practice of Architecture at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design

Toshiko Mori, FAIA is the founding principal of Toshiko Mori Architect PLLC, and the Robert P. Hubbard Professor in the Practice of Architecture at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design. She was inducted to the Academy of Arts and Letters in 2020 and has been a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences since 2016.

Mori’s recent awards and honors include the Isamu Noguchi Award in 2021; the Louis Auchincloss Prize from the Museum of the City of New York in 2020; the ACSA Tau Sigma Delta National Honor Society Gold Medal in 2016; and Architectural Record’s Women in Design Leader Award in 2019. This year, her project “Fass School and Teachers’ Residence” won the 2021 AIA Architecture Award. Last year, she published two new monographs, one with a+u magazine for their February 2020 issue and another with ArchiTangle Berlin titled Toshiko Mori Architect: Observations.


John Trelawney Hoal, Ph.D., RA (SA), AICP_CUD, CNU_A
Professor of Architecture and Urban Design at Washington University in St. Louis
Chair of Master of Urban Design & Doctor of Sustainable Urbanism Programs
Faculty Fellow, Institute for Public Health
Founding Principal, H3 Studio

John Hoal

John Hoal, Ph.D. is a Professor of Architecture and Urban Design, and the Chair of Urban Design at the Graduate School of Architecture and Urban Design of Washington University in St. Louis where he directs the Master of Urban Design Program and is the Founding Director of the Doctor of Sustainable Urbanism Program. Dr. Hoal is a Faculty Fellow at the Institute of Public Health.

Dr. Hoal teaches the Global Urbanism Studio program and conducts public space research masterclasses in cities throughout the world. With colleagues, Hoal has conducted a multi-year interdisciplinary international team based research program “Living with the Great Rivers - Climate Adaptation Strategies in the Midwest River Basins”. Hoal serves on the Administration Committee for the Divided City Initiative an Andrew W. Mellon Foundation grant over eight years that focuses on how segregation occurs in our cities, neighborhoods, public spaces and urban landscapes.

Dr. Hoal began his professional career in South Africa where he worked both in the private and public sector on major large-scale urban design projects as well as residential, institutional, environmental and recreational projects. Dr. Hoal co-founded the City of St. Louis’s first Urban Design department and was the Director of Urban Design for seven years. In 2000 he founded the design and research firm H3 Studio, a national and international planning, design and research firm based in St. Louis, Missouri with offices in Johannesburg, South Africa.

In 2015 H3 Studio won the internationally Changing Course Design Competition to develop ideas for creating a sustainable, ecological performative and socially-just lower Mississippi River Delta. Recent international work includes transit corridor development planning in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; the SEQ Water Futures: Climate Adaptation Strategies for the Brisbane Watershed, Brisbane, Australia, and projects in South Africa and Vietnam. In 2017 Dr. Hoal was invited to present a paper on the critical need for sustainable cities at the Workshop on Biological Extinction of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences at the Vatican, Rome, Italy. He has served on the International Review Team for the Development of the Hangzhou Central Business District, Hangzhou, China, and as an invited Expert Technical Reviewer for Land and Livability National Innovation Challenge by the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Singapore (URA), Singapore.


Peter MacKeith

Peter MacKeith, Dean and Professor
Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design
University of Arkansas

Peter MacKeith is the dean of the Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design at the University of Arkansas. He has been an associate professor in the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts at Washington University in St. Louis, as well as adjunct associate curator of architecture and design for the university’s Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum. He served as associate dean of the Sam Fox School until June 2013.

MacKeith directed the international Masters Program in architecture at the Helsinki University of Technology from 1994-99 and previously taught in design and architectural theory at Yale University and the University of Virginia. He has worked in practices in both the United States and Finland and has written and lectured extensively in the United States, in Finland, and across the Nordic countries on the work of Alvar Aalto, and contemporary Finnish and Nordic architecture in general.

A past editor of Perspecta, The Yale Architectural Journal (1988), he is also the author and/or editor of numerous other publications, including Encounters: Architectural Essays, a selection of essays by Juhani Pallasmaa (2005) and Archipelago, Essays on Architecture (2006). MacKeith’s analytical drawings of Aalto’s buildings were included in the 1998 retrospective of Aalto’s work at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. In 2009, he co-curated the exhibition On the Riverfront: St. Louis and the Gateway Arch and was the venue coordinator for Eero Saarinen: Shaping the Future. He also adapted the exhibition Design with the Other 90%: CITIES – organized by Cynthia E. Smith, curator of socially responsible design at the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum – for the Kemper Art Museum.

MacKeith is the recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship, research grants from The Graham Foundation for Advancement in the Visual Arts, and active in both the ACSA and the EAAE. He also has received two Creative Achievement in Design Education Awards from the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA) in 2008 and 2014.


Mia Lehrer

Mia Lehrer, Urbanist
Studio-MLA
Mia Lehrer, FASLA, founded MLA with a vision to improve quality of life through landscape. She is internationally recognized for progressive landscape design, advocacy for sustainable and people-friendly public places, and catalyzing work for a climate-appropriate future. Mia has led the design and implementation of ambitious public and private projects, including the Hollywood Park Racetrack redevelopment and its new LA NFL Stadium, the LA County Natural History Museum Gardens, Vista Hermosa Natural Park, and many Los Angeles River-related projects.

She earned her Master of Landscape Architecture degree from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design, and lectures and teaches around the world. In 2017 she received the ASLA’s LaGasse Medal.