In keeping with the focus of the Ecological Community Competition, the following biographies reflect its focus on the integration of planning and architecture as it relates to the fundamentals of education, culture and community.

Paola Cagnina, Chairperson

Paola Cagnina is a planner, designer, artist and real estate agent. She was born and raised in Argentina as part of a multi-generational family. Her subsequent experience includes a full range of community development from visionary planning to technical standards. She is a graduate architect from the National University of Corboda, Argentina and from Arizona State University, where she graduated at the top of her class and received her Master’s degree in Environmental and Sustainable Design. As a Director of the Two Worlds Community Foundation, her sense of community extends to all aspects of life including giving homeless animals a second chance, which she does as part of her commitment to the Lucky Paws Shelter in Phoenix.

Jeff Stein, AIA

Jeff Stein is an architect, educator and the president of Cosanti Foundation, the urban research organization founded by Paolo Soleri. Mr. Stein previously taught architecture in the Career Discovery program of the Harvard Graduate School of Design; headed the department of architecture at Wentworth Institute in Boston and served for seven years as Dean of the Boston Architectural College. In addition to his work in the US, he has taught at the Technicum Winterthur in Zurich, and Ecole d’Architecutre Languedoc-Rousillon, in Montpellier, France. Mr. Stein writes extensively on the subject of community. He has lectured on energy and urban design, at the Tel Aviv-Yafo Centennial Conference on Urban Sustainability and, in Montreal at the World EcoCities Congress, and at the Santa Fe Institute.

Tom Martinson

Tom Martinson is a director of the Two Worlds Community Foundation and is a city-planning consultant and architectural historian, with an international practice based in Minneapolis. He has worked as an architectural historian for the National Park Service and the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts. In the 1970’s he was Principal Planner with lead design responsibilities for The Minneapolis City neighborhood revitalization and downtown economic development. Martinson has worked in development planning throughout the United Sates and in several Asia-Pacific countries, ranging in scale from a Mojave Desert mining town in California to densely populated cities like Seoul. In the mid-1990’s he served as planning manager for the US $15 billion Bonifacio new city in Manila, and was project planner for the master planning of an 800-acre ecologically designed seaside resort in southern Luzon. He was regional planning consultant for the new University of Technology Petronas in Malaysia. His publications include A Guide to the Architecture of Minnesota, with David Gebhard; American Dreamscape: The Pursuit of Happiness in Postwar Suburbia; The Atlas of American Architecture; 2000 Years of Architecture, City Planning, Landscape Architecture, and Civil Engineering; and the Two Worlds Foundation’s civic-handbook series, beginning with There’s No Such Thing as Identical Twins.

Jeffrey Denzak

Jeff Denzak is a Partner at the Swaback Partner’s Planning Studio where he is involved in all aspects of the master planning process including; initial site investigation, feasibility studies, master planning, entitlement/jurisdictional processing and design guidelines for a wide range of project types. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in Landscape Architecture at the Purdue University School of Architecture and holds a Master’s degree from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design where he focused his studies on campus planning and higher education design initiatives. Prior to joining Swaback Partners, his work included numerous campus planning and design commissions throughout the United States. He is co-chairman of ULI Arizona’s Smart Growth Committee and lectures on a range of development related topics. He is an award-winning member of the American Planning Association and the American Society of Landscape Architects.

Kamal Amin

Kamal Amin was born and raised in Egypt and is a graduate of the University of Cairo. In 1951 he left his native country to become an apprentice to Frank Lloyd Wright, which continued until Wright’s death in 1959. He remained a resident member of the Taliesin Community for the next 18 years where he practiced both as an architect and structural engineer before embarking on his independent practice. He has received numerous awards for both architecture and engineering and his work has been exhibited widely including in the US, Italy, and both Moscow and St. Petersburg, Russia. With specific relevance to the Ecological Community Competition, is his experience of 26 years as a resident member of Wright’s Taliesin Fellowship. He was heavily involved in all facets of the experiential and dynamic community life which he later chronicled in, The Shining Brow, My years with Frank Lloyd Wright and Olgivanna Lazovic (Mrs. Frank Lloyd Wright).

John Amarantides

Like Kamal Amin, John Amarantides was a member of the Taliesin Fellowship, which was his place of home and work from 1951 to 1973. In addition to his involvement as an architect, he is a muralist, photographer, and concert level violinist. He served as the director for both the Taliesin chorus and chamber ensemble. He was a full participant in all facets of Taliesin life including the care and construction of its buildings and grounds. Many of the widely published photographs of Frank Lloyd Wright, including those displayed by the Museum of Modern Art are from his collection. Together with his colleague Kamal Amin, they represent a half century of experience, doing professional work all over this country and abroad, and all conducted without the ownership of their own studio, or residence or even having to own a car, all occurring in the ecological settings of Taliesin and Taliesin West. Their daily life was a pioneering expression of what we specialize today as being called, smart, green, and sustainable.

Byron Davies, Ph.D.

Byron Davies is a Systems Synthesist, steeped in the study and application of what the digital revolution both encourages and makes possible with respect to doing more with less, especially as it relates to the ways and means of community. Preparation for this work started at a very early age. At age 17, he graduated second in his class, majoring in science and mathematics at the University of Saskatchewan, Regina. This was followed in 1972-73 with his graduate study and research in mathematics and robotics at the California Institute of Technology. The next six years were spent at MIT where he did graduate research in artificial intelligence and medicine. His 1991 Ph.D. from Stanford focused on process knowledge in the world of semiconductor manufacturing and application. His applied research studies include four years at Tufts University, 12 years with Texas Instruments and five years with Motorola among other related involvements.

Since 2008, he has been the on-site Director of K-12 Research and Development in the StarShine Academy International Schools. He is the leader of its research and development curriculum, including educational technology, systems engineering, brain science, and life skills acquisition. He represents StarShine within the Arizona State University SkySong entrepreneurial community and at national conferences. His national and worldwide exploration, study and focus are aimed at helping StarShine teachers and students pursue the creation of new and sustainable approaches for guiding how we live both with nature and each other.