Founder + Managing Principal
Adriana brings a strong background in architecture, urban planning and development work, where she has focused on urban rehabilitation, urban resilience, social housing and community development. Her work experience ranges from small-scale residential projects, to large, multi-million dollar institutional and international development projects. Her experience in multiple countries and cultures reflects an integrated and participatory approach to project design, planning, and implementation linking the hard components of housing, services, infrastructure, public spaces and public amenities, with the necessary soft aspects of social mobilization, local governance, local economic development, tenure, and micro-finance aspects, amongst others.
Beyond the design/planning and implementation of physical projects and interventions, Adriana has also advised local and state governments in urban vision planning and policy work.
She holds a Master’s degree in Architecture, and a Master's degree in City and Regional Planning from UC Berkeley, as well as a Bachelor of Science in Architecture (Honors) from the University of Virginia. Prior to founding urbanSEED, Adriana practiced in the private sector working for Rafael Viñoly Architects (NYC) and OPX (Washington DC); in academia as an Instructor and Researcher at UC Berkeley where she won the prestigious John K. Branner
Fellowship in 2010 conducting a comparative analysis of current "slum" upgrading strategies in over 12 countries; and in the UN as Housing and Urban Planning Advisor in the UN, where was a lead in the first and largest housing reconstruction and urban rehabilitation project in Haiti, and later provided global advisory services on housing and urban development to various UNOPS country offices.
Adriana is also the founder of FAVELissues, an interdisciplinary platform discussing urban informality and urban development for which she regularly contributes and administers, and a co-founder of BUILDING LOCAL, a non-profit organization which organizes international design-build workshops exploring the aesthetic, assembly and tectonic qualities of vernacular materials and construction techniques such as earth, stone, bamboo and wood.
Moreover, Adriana serves in the Steering Committee for the DC Accessory Dwelling Units Workgroup (DC ADU) led by the Coalition for Smarter Growth, and is one of nine members in the American Red Cross Recovery Technical Advisory Group.