We thrive on solving complex urban problems in intelligent, pragmatic ways.

From theoretical issues that frame policy to the practical implementation of architectural commissions, we develop a rigorous, research-based approach to finding the best answers.

Our work yields fresh ways to think about how we develop and build our cities, presented with useful, compelling clarity (it’s why we’re called Utile).



115 Kingston St.
Boston, MA 02111
(617) 423-7200


Rachelle Ain


ain at utiledesign.com

Rachelle joined Utile in 2020 as an Architect & Project Manager, bringing with her a decade of experience in a variety of project types and scales. 

Rachelle previously worked at several Boston-based architecture firms encompassing civic, institutional, residential, and educational projects.  At Bruner/Cott, she was the project architect for the Children’s Museum & Theatre of Maine, a major community and cultural anchor for the redevelopment of Thompson’s Point in Portland, Maine. She was also the project architect for the Yale Divinity Regenerative Village, a multi-use residential development with 155-units on a 19-acre site that is targeting Living Building certification. Her project experience also includes adaptive reuse and renovation projects, planning, programming, and feasibility studies. 

Rachelle holds an M.Arch from Harvard GSD, and is a lifelong advocate for sustainable design and healthier buildings, both of which she ties to social justice and equity. She is a certified practitioner for the Passive House Institute US and the International Well Building Institute. She currently co-chairs the Boston Chapter of the Carbon Leadership Forum and serves on the BSA’s Women in Design ABX sub-committee. 

Rachelle lives in Cambridge with her husband and two children.

Andrea Baena joined Utile in 2020 as an architectural and urban designer. She has worked extensively at the crossroads of urbanism, business strategy and design research. Andrea has applied her design work across numerous contexts: Colombia, Spain, India, Mexico, France, Brazil, Italy, United States and Chile. Contextual sensibility and stakeholder engagement have always been on the foreground of her work.

Andrea is engaged in open public debate at AlCentro Think Tank, where she is Housing and Territory Director. She is also currently teaching the System Dynamics Course within the Master in Strategic Architectural Management at Universidad de los Andes.
Prior to joining Utile, she worked as Innovation and Development Director at Contexto Urbano, the largest architecture and urban design firm in Colombia, leading diverse teams in the development of actionable innovation.

Andrea was born in Bogotá, Colombia and holds a cum laude BS in Industrial Engineering from Universidad de los Andes. She obtained a Master of Architecture from MIT, where she served as co-chair of Latinx, a student-led initiative connecting with research and practice in Latin America, and received an award for her thesis focused on designing the urban edge bordering the Virgen Swamp in Cartagena, Colombia.

Julia originally joined Utile in July 2020 for their second and final co-op through Northeastern University. She has since graduated with a B.S. in Architecture and minors in Environmental Studies and Theatre. They plan on returning to Northeastern as a member of the M.Arch Class of 2022 while maintaining a part-time Utilian status. Julia has served as the Co-Director of Northeastern Freedom by Design since 2019 and is currently spearheading the design and build of an outdoor playspace for the children of a local shelter in Dorchester, MA. Julia has also served as a member of AIAS National Committees surrounding topics of health and wellness in the industry, and will be continuing her experience as the Chair of the Mental Health Task Force this upcoming school year. As the elected chairperson of this group, they will be leading biweekly meetings with students across the country to advocate for students struggling with mental health during their architectural education. Julia’s previous experience includes being a model maker and designer for William Rawn Associates in Boston, as well as a returning design intern for Mark Finlay Architects in Southport, CT. On the weekends, you can find Julia selling tea or planting herbs for Soluna Garden Farm – a local organic herb farm based out of Winchester, MA. She also enjoys rock climbing, Trader Joe’s, Billie Eilish, and cats.

Kyle joined Utile in March 2016 as an architectural and urban designer. He is a key member of the design team for a mixed-use affordable housing development on Columbus Ave in Jamaica Plain for Urban Edge, as well as for a new mixed-use development at 380 Harrison in the South End for Related Beal.

Kyle previously worked at Jensen Architects in San Francisco, and CBT and Sebastian Mariscal in Boston. He was the project manager for the 2009 Solar Decathalon Competition, in which he built a solar-powered house that placed 3rd and was displayed at the National Mall in Washington, D.C. More recently, he co-taught a multi-disciplinary seminar at RISD in 2015 on the “African Institute of Healthcare Transformation,” sponsored by Mass General Hospital’s Division of Global Health. He traveled over summer of 2015 to Kenya with two of his students to oversee construction of a new type of collaborative space within the Sagam Hospital and Clinic.

Kyle is a graduate of the California College of the Arts and Harvard Graduate School Design with a Master of Architecture and Urban Design.

Ingrid Bengtson

AIA, Associate

bengtson at utiledesign.com

Ingrid Bengtson is an architect with experience in institutional, civic, commercial, residential, and speculative design. At Utile, Ingrid has worked on a wide range of projects including the Boston City Hall and Plaza Master Plan and Lobby Renovation, Autodesk Boston, 9 Burney Street (The Laneway), The Park School Master Plan and Early Childhood Wing Renovation, and The Billow (Boston BRT) Station Design. Prior to Utile, Ingrid was an architectural designer at Renzo Piano Building Workshop in Paris, where she worked on the University Forum for Columbia University in Manhattan and Eighty Seven Park in Miami. She also held internships at William Rawn Associates and Visnick & Caulfield Associates, both in Boston, MA. Ingrid received her Master of Architecture from the Harvard University Graduate School of Design, where she was the recipient of the 2014 Peter Rice Fellowship. Her thesis explored entropy, light structures, and alternative temporalities as a means to create a new paradigm for designing civic spaces, through an intervention at Battersea Power Station in London. She received her BA in Philosophy from Boston College. Ingrid is currently adjunct faculty at Boston College and has previously taught studio at Harvard GSD’s Design Discovery program. She is a frequent guest critic at Northeastern University, RISD, and the BAC. Originally from Vermont, Ingrid loves skiing, mountain biking, bird watching, and maple syrup.

Brett Bentson

AIA, LEED AP, Principal

bentson at utiledesign.com

Brett has worked with a diverse group of clients ranging from municipalities, to non-profit organizations such as The Possible Project and the Asian Community Development Corporation, to institutions such as Belmont Day School. In the public sector, Brett has led the expansion and complete renovation of two branches of the Boston Public Library in Jamaica Plain and Nubian Square. For independent schools, Brett has managed master plans and building projects for diverse campuses in the Boston area, most recently a makerspace for Belmont Hill School. In the private sector, he has led Girard, a 160-unit apartment building in Boston’s South End and the Neponset, a 28-unit condo building in Quincy. He is currently managing The Quinn, a 14-story mixed-use development at 380 Harrison Avenue, the renovation of the Beacon Hill Hotel and Bistro, a high-rise multifamily project in Boston, and a laboratory building in Somerville.
Amanda is the Office Assistant at Utile. She graduated from Framingham State University in 2015 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Fashion Merchandising and a minor in Business. After graduating college, Amanda worked primarily in retail as a customer service associate and a visual merchandiser.  After working in retail for 5 years, she transitioned into receptionist & office assistant roles. Prior to joining Utile in 2019, she worked as an Office Assistant at a tech company. In her free time, Amanda enjoys traveling, spending time with her dog named Oliver, crocheting, and taking improv classes.

Larry Borins


borins at utiledesign.com

Larry Borins has worked in many capacities over a long career in the building industry including contractor, building owner, developer, Owner’s Project Manager (OPM), and architect. He moved to Texas after receiving his Bachelor of Architecture at Cornell University, and then to Boston to work at several architecture firms on projects ranging from historic reuse to speculative office buildings. He opened an architecture firm with a business partner, as well as a separate development/construction business that designed and built more than 20 private residential buildings over a ten-year period. Starting in 2000, Larry worked as an OPM with the Massachusetts State College Building Authority, the Massachusetts College of Art (MassArt), and for private OPM firms. Larry’s notable OPM projects include the high-rise Artists’ Residence at MassArt, the historic reuse of Mystic Water Works, and several new charter schools.

Larry is currently managing Utile’s construction administration services on the 370-380 Harrison Avenue residential project and advising other teams with projects in the construction phase. He is a registered architect in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, holds NCARB certification, and is a LEED Accredited Professional.

Stephanie Bougas

Office Administrator

bougas at utiledesign.com

Stephanie joined Utile in 2019 as the office administrator. She has a Bachelors in Geography and Environmental Studies from Framingham State University. Prior to joining Utile, Stephanie worked as a Billing and Marketing Coordinator at a commercial real estate law firm. She also has extensive administrative and human resources experience. Stephanie enjoys reading, traveling and being outdoors. During the summer months, she spends most weekends on Cape Cod fishing and enjoying the beaches.

Amy Brassard

Administrative Director

brassard at utiledesign.com

Amy Brassard is the administrative director for Utile. She has more than 25 years of experience in a wide range of industries from product analyst in Providence’s Jewelry District to co-owning a pest elimination company. Amy began her career in office management with the Rhode Island law firm Ratcliffe, Burke, Harten & Elias, LLP. She discovered the joy of working with architects and designers when employed by Next Phase Studios in Boston. In 2011 she joined the Utile team and has been a devoted Utilian ever since. With a passion for world history, Amy traveled through Eastern Europe by train to explore historical sites that she had previously only read about. Her adventure brought her many new insights and experiences, as well as a new appreciation for the architecture and public spaces of those foreign cities. Back stateside, Amy delights in spending time with her grandson, enjoying weekend brunch and retail therapy with her two daughters, and competing in pool tournaments. Never far from Amy is her copper-colored dog, Penny, who also helps out around the office.

Nick Buehrens

AIA, CPHC®, Associate Principal

buehrens at utiledesign.com

Nick Buehrens is a registered architect and an associate principal at Utile. He leads a diverse range of projects, focusing on affordable, sustainable, multifamily housing for mission-driven organizations. Nick is a Certified Passive House Consultant (CPHC) with expertise in building science, systems and energy use. His experience at Utile has been grounded in exposure to project types at all scales and for commercial, institutional, and non-profit clients. He has taught at the Boston Architectural College (BAC), and served as a guest critic at the BAC, Northeastern University and RISD. Trained as an artist and an architect, Nick has worked across the country on a variety of interdisciplinary, collaborative projects focusing primarily on ecological, social, and urban issues. Prior to joining Utile, Nick worked at Stoss Landscape Urbanism, where he was the lead architectural designer on public infrastructure improvements for Harvard University. He has also been a design consultant for Stack+Co. and a project manager for DSA Architects (Berkeley, CA), where he oversaw the design and construction of net-zero energy urban housing prototypes. Born and raised in Boston, Nick holds a BA in Studio Art from The Colorado College and an M.Arch. from Rhode Island School of Design. CPHC® is a certification mark of Passive House Institute US (PHIUS). Used under license.

Keith Case

AIA, LEED Green Associate, Associate

case at utiledesign.com

Keith joined Utile as an architect in the spring of 2016. He has served on the design team for such projects as the Boston City Hall Lobby Renovation and the new Belmont Day School Barn, a 14,000 square foot indoor athletics fieldhouse with adjoining 13,000 square foot headhouse composed of offices, locker rooms, and classroom spaces. Keith received his Bachelor of Arts in the History of Art and Architecture from Middlebury College and his Master of Architecture from MIT, where he was awarded the Alpha Rho Chi Medal. While at MIT, he was involved in several digital design and fabrication installations as well as more conventional design/build projects in El Salvador and Cambridge. Prior to joining Utile, Keith spent six years at Ruhl Walker Architects in Boston working on residential and institutional projects. He is a registered architect in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and accredited as a LEED Green Associate by the US Green Building Council.

Elizabeth Charpentier


charpentier at utiledesign.com

Elizabeth joined Utile in the Fall of 2019. She received her M.Arch from the University of Virginia in 2015. During her time at UVA she collaborated closely with professors, contributing to their personal work and assisting with teaching on subjects including 3D-animation, drawing, structures, and digital fabrication. She believes that successful design comes through the understanding of and ability to rationalize different points of view. Post graduation, she worked at Marcus Gleysteen Architects, a high-end residential firm, where she gained experience in the professional design process along with an in-depth understanding of both traditional and modern detailing throughout the home.

Prior to her foray into architecture, Elizabeth graduated Magna Cum Laude from Skidmore College where she majored in Physics and minored in Studio Art. She grew up in rural New Hampshire where she gained an appreciation for nature and animals. When not playing architect, she enjoys outdoor activities, horses, crossword puzzles, her cat – Sir Norman Pawster – and the Oxford comma.

Shelly Chipimo is a citizen architect & trained project manager with experience in designing & renovating buildings of varying scales, including complex renovations to historic buildings, programming studies, commercial, institutional, cultural, and residential projects.
She has been featured in numerous publications for her passion for impactful projects, her leadership in spearheading major organizational changes, and her advocacy for increasing diversity and equity in the architecture profession. Most recently, she was featured on the cover of Boston Society of Landscape Architect's 2020 Fieldbook where she was recognized as a Rising Voice in the Design Profession. She was also recognized by her alma mater, Northeastern University, as a notable alumni & featured on the school of architecture's website for her graduate student research

— which focused on improving safety in schools.
In June 2021, she was sworn in as the youngest member ever to be appointed to the Brookline Planning Board to serve a 5 year term. The Board guides the physical growth and development of the Town of Brookline by reviewing renovation and/or new construction projects requiring zoning relief; it also provides design reviews as well as reviews for signage and facade improvement proposals.

Will Cohen

AICP, Associate Principal

cohen at utiledesign.com

A North Carolina native, Will Cohen is an urban planner at Utile who incorporates data-based mapping and demographic and statistical analysis to enrich the firm’s physical and regulatory comprehensive and district planning projects. He received a Master in Urban Planning from the Harvard University Graduate School of Design, studied sociology and English literature at the University of Chicago, and was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Mozambique. He is an adjunct faculty member at the Boston College Carroll School of Management, where he teaches geographic information systems and mapping. Will was previously a founding principal at Supernormal, a design firm in Somerville, where he focused on the use of non-traditional datasets and translating geospatial analysis into qualitative design and planning outcomes.

Morgan Cook joined Utile in September 2019 after receiving her Master of Architecture from the University of Michigan, where she was runner-up for the 2019 Burton L. Kampner Award for Outstanding Thesis Project. Her thesis explored the intersectional domestic needs of abled and disabled users in order to broaden the way designers understand and design for accessibility. Morgan is part of our on-going JEDI initiative, focused on improving internal and external relationships and procedures.

Born and raised in Indianapolis, Morgan attended Ball State University for her undergrad. During her studies, she participated in a semester long study abroad where she traveled to thirty-two countries.

Prior to joining Utile, she worked in Indianapolis and Detroit and taught ArcStart, a summer architecture studio for high school students at the University of Michigan. In her free time, Morgan enjoys baking, traveling, and watching the latest binge-worthy Netflix series.

Since joining Utile in 2017 as an architectural intern, Jack has transitioned to full-time work as a designer in Utile’s Interior Architecture department. He completed both his Bachelor of Science in Architecture with a minor in Urban Design Studies and his Master of Architecture at Northeastern University, during which he was the university’s sole recipient of the 2019 AIA Henry Adams Medal of excellence.Through his prior work at William Rawn Associates in Boston, HDR in Washington, DC, and his current work here at Utile, his hope is to continue his lifelong dream to improve lives through design. As co-chair of Utile’s Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion initiative (JEDI), Jack is one of the many people leading the firm-wide effort in reexamining the role that architects and designers play in improving and valuing the lives of Black, Indigienous, and People of Color, ensuring that our impact on the communities we serve aligns with our commitment to equity and anti-racist design. Through this, he is working toward creating a cross-disciplinary architecture that elicits dialogue, one that engages politics, technology, sustainability, economics, art, and history to generate an equitable and enriching human experience. During his time at Utile, he has otherwise remained focused on Workplace Interiors, contributing to the Autodesk Executive Briefing Center and Workspace Expansions, Cumnock Hall Renovation, and Kendall Square Workspace projects, among others. Born and raised in Columbia, Maryland, Jack now lives in Boston, where he enjoys all forms of cooking and baking, caring for his house plants, and finding new ways to spoil his French Bulldog, Wilbur.

Cyrus Dahmubed

Director of Research

dahmubed at utiledesign.com

Cyrus P. Dahmubed joined Utile in 2018 after receiving his Master of Architecture from the School of Architecture at Northeastern University, where he received the Alpha Rho Chi Medal for Service, Leadership, and Merit. While at Northeastern, he served as the President of the school’s chapter of the American Institute of Architecture Students (AIAS), the founding editor and curator of the graduate colloquium series and publication, Common Ground, and in several other service and teaching positions.  Prior to joining Utile, he worked at Hacin + Associates in Boston’s South End and was the Editor-in-Chief of CRIT, the national journal of the AIAS, for the 2018 term, overseeing the editorial and graphic overhaul of the publication.

His work and research, starting with his undergraduate thesis at Harvard University, “Defining D.C.: The Separation of City and State” and culminating with his graduate thesis project on the Massachusetts city of Fall River and its historical foundations in granite, focuses on a reading of geology, ecology, anthropology, and etymology as a means of interpreting urban form and architectural design, and translating these into design narratives.

Since the murder of George Floyd in 2020, Cyrus has worked alongside Utile’s Director of Equity and Cultural Impact, Tayler Morris, to oversee Utile’s Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) Initiative, which has worked to rebuild the office’s operations and design output into action-oriented tools for anti-racism.

In June of 2020, Cyrus was elected to serve on the Board of the Boston Children’s Chorus, an organization he was a member of as a teen and that remains near and dear to his heart for its mission of advancing social justice through music. He was also selected to serve as a member of NCARB’s 2021 Licensure Candidates Think Tank.

Cyrus is a lifelong resident of the Boston area, apart from brief periods in New York City and Paris, where he enjoys attending design events, exploring the region’s hidden corners and rich landscapes by bike and by foot, spending weekends chopping wood (a favorite pastime), and tending to his many pets and plants, including four chickens.

Alexander Davis

AIA, CPHC®, Associate

davis at utiledesign.com

Alexander Davis is registered Architect and an Associate at Utile. He is currently managing 1005 Broadway, a 38-unit mixed-income residential development in Chelsea MA and a 3,500 linear foot infrastructural screening initiative in South Boston MA. Alexander is a Certified Passive House Consultant (CPHC) with a passion for aiding mission-driven organizations in providing sustainable affordable housing.He recently served as project manager for Acadia, a 34-unit affordable housing development in Chelsea, MA, and has been involved in construction documentation for many of the firm’s affordable housing projects. Before his transition to affordable housing, he was involved in a number of the firm’s urban design and planning projects, including the Northampton Roundhouse Planning Study, the Candleworks Hotel in New Bedford, the D Street and Boston Convention & Exhibition Center (BCEC) Master Plan in South Boston, the BCEC Future Use Garage, and Al Maryah Island in Abu Dhabi.Prior to joining Utile in 2012, Alexander received his Master of Architecture from Northeastern University, where his graduate thesis focused on the reintroduction of density within affordable and mixed-income housing. He subsequently worked at firms across New England, including as a craftsman in the Architecture Resources Cambridge model shop, a designer for Mackenzie Architects in Burlington Vermont specializing in multifamily, multi-generational housing, and as an Intern for Joan Heaton Architects, a Bristol Vermont firm specializing in contemporary-vernacular homes.He was born and raised in Vermont, and as a result enjoys hiking, fishing, Bank Barn sighting, and the liberal use of maple syrup. Alexander lives on the North Shore with his wife, mischievous Beagle, and two energetic Labrador Retrievers in a 1920s Three-Quarter Cape Cod style house. CPHC® is a certification mark of Passive House Institute US (PHIUS). Used under license.

Sarah Dunbar


dunbar at utiledesign.com

Sarah Dunbar joined Utile in November 2016 as an architectural designer. She has an M.Arch from MIT, where she was a recipient of the Alpha Rho Chi medal, Laya and Jerome Weisner Art award, department merit scholarship and Schlossman research award. Sarah previously worked at Sasaki Associates in Watertown and NADAAA in Boston. While at Sasaki, she worked on several large residence halls, at University of Rhode Island, St. Edward’s University and others. She also worked extensively on the Tec de Monterrey masterplan and Caretta pavilion, as well as the design and detailing of the façade for the award winning Bruce C. Bolling building in Nubian Square, Boston. At NADAAA, she was a lead designer on the Rock Creek House, which has been recognized with several awards nationally and locally. Sarah is currently leading the design and overseeing construction on The Neponset in Quincy, MA. She has taught studios at RISD and the BAC and served as a visiting critic at several Boston area schools. She lives in Somerville, MA with her husband and son.

Elizabeth van der Els

vanderels at utiledesign.com

Elizabeth joined Utile in 2020 as an urban planner. Prior to joining Utile, Elizabeth worked on a diverse array of projects that fostered healthy community development, active transportation networks, and addressed the changing climate. Most recently, Elizabeth managed a climate adaptation effort for the Massachusetts Department of Transportation that aims to understand which critical-infrastructure assets are more likely to be at risk due to future coastal and inland flooding. Elizabeth completed her Master’s degree in Urban and Environmental Planning with a certificate in Urban Design at the University of Virginia. Her previous studies included an interdisciplinary degree in Social Thought and Political Economy and International Relations. When Elizabeth isn’t combing through data or making maps you can find her exploring New England’s small towns, beaches and hiking trails or tending to her house plants.

Jeff Geisinger

AIA, LEED AP, CPHC®, Director of Sustainable Design

geisinger at utiledesign.com

Jeff Geisinger leads Utile’s building performance and resilience initiatives. As a Certified Passive House Consultant (CPHC), he has guided the design of several multifamily projects pursuing Passive House certification. He works intimately with project teams to set sustainability goals from the start and to integrate cost-effective solutions for energy efficiency through in-house energy modeling. Jeff also advances resilience best practices within the firm’s architecture and urban design practice. In 2019, he co-authored the City of Boston’s Coastal Flood Resilience Design Guidelines, which outlines strategies to make buildings more resilient to sea level rise. In addition to project-based work, Jeff leads Utile’s AIA 2030 Commitment benchmarking. Jeff holds a Master of Science from the Building Technology Program at MIT and a B.Arch from Rice University. He is a lecturer at the Rhode Island School of Design’s Department of Architecture, where he teaches courses on environmental building performance. In his spare time, Jeff enjoys biking around the city and hosting a show on WMBR, MIT’s radio station. CPHC® is a certification mark of Passive House Institute US (PHIUS). Used under license.

Anita joined Utile in 2021 for her first co-op through Northeastern University. She is working towards her Bachelor of Science in Architecture and pursuing a minor in Business Administration. Anita sees design as a tool for elevating the human experience and using culture, history, and the environment to enable curiosity and discovery.

During her time at Northeastern, Anita has been a member of AIAS and has participated in Northeastern’s Solar Decathlon Competition team. Aside from architecture, Anita is interested in photography and journalism. As a lifestyle columnist for Avenue Magazine, she has interviewed local, female artists about their inspirations, struggles, and the Boston art scene. On the weekends, you can find Anita exploring new places in Boston with her camera, cooking from a new recipe, or listening to history and current event podcasts.

Stephanie Granados

granados at utiledesign.com

Stephanie Granados joined Utile as an architectural designer in 2019. She received a B.S in Architecture from the University of Virginia in 2016 and afterwards completed a summer program at the AA (Architectural Association) in London. She completed her thesis by designing a Performance and Art Center for local artists in Guanajuato, Mexico. The design focused on the challenge of seamlessly integrating the center into the difficult mountainous topography.

Stephanie moved to Boston in 2018 after spending two years in Washington, D.C. at HYL. During her time there her work was focused on office spaces, ranging from prestigious law firms, to national, international non-profit organizations and wine a spirits distributors. Here is where she discovered she was particularly interested in mill-work and furniture.

She was born in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico where she cultivated her love for art and architecture. She then moved back and forth between Mexico and Charlottesville, Va. where she attended most of her school years. Since moving to Boston, Stephanie likes to explore the city on the weekends and discover local coffee shops. She enjoys cooking traditional Mexican food and considers herself a cider fanatic. She also has an affinity for hiking, wood-working, and dogs.

Steven joined Utile in 2014 as an architectural designer. His experience while at the firm has spanned a wide range of project types, including mixed-use residential, institutional, master planning, and corporate interiors. He is currently managing an office expansion for a global search engine company based in Kendall Square in Cambridge, MA. Steven served on the project team for 26 West Broadway, a 31-unit mixed-use development in South Boston, and Girard at 600 Harrison Ave., a 160-apartment mixed-use building in the South End.

A New Jersey native, Steven earned his Master of Architecture at Northeastern University. His thesis, in collaboration with the firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, explored an analytical approach to designing tall office towers. He attended the University of Massachusetts Amherst where he received a Bachelor of Fine Arts, majoring in Architecture and Design with a concentration in Building and Construction Technology.

Steven embraces the interdisciplinary nature of the profession, with peripheral interests and skills which include data visualization, parametric design, and rapid prototyping.

Ben Greer joined Utile in 2013 as an architectural designer. He has worked on diverse number of projects, including a 160-unit apartment building in Boston’s South End and a 300-unit transit oriented mixed use development in Jamaica Plain. Although having a primary focus on urban mixed use housing, Ben has worked on institutional projects like Boston City Hall Lighting and the Jamaica Plain Branch Library, as well as larger planning projects in Lower Roxbury and Somerville.

Prior to joining Utile, Ben studied architecture at Northeastern University where he won the school’s annual design award his junior and senior year as well as received Northeastern’s RISE Medal for his work on coastal urban development. His independent work during this time has also received notoriety, including an award from the Boston Society of Architects for a multigenerational housing proposal for Sargent’s Wharf in Boston’s North End.

Adam Himes

LEED Green Associate

himes at utiledesign.com

Adam joined Utile in 2017 as an urban designer after earning his Master of Architecture in Urban Design with distinction from the Harvard University Graduate School of Design, where he won the 2017 Award for Excellence in Urban Design. He previously lived and worked in Boston, Doha, and Istanbul on projects across the scalar spectrum, including master plans, buildings, exhibitions, and mobile apps. He has authored or co-authored essays for publications including the Journal of Architecture, the International Journal of Islamic Architecture, Architectural Design, and CLOG.

At Utile, Adam was the urban designer for the Brush Park Form-Based Code, the Malden River Greenway Planning Study, and the Eastern Market Neighborhood Framework and Stormwater Management Network Plan. He is also a designer for the 1599 Columbus Ave affordable housing project.

Lisa joined Utile as an urban designer in 2020. With experience at a range of design practices, including landscape urbanism and architecture, her work seeks to engage with the social, ecological, and political impacts of design.

Prior to Utile, Lisa was an associate at Stoss Landscape Urbanism, managing conceptual master planning projects in Houston, Boston, St. Louis, Abu Dhabi and Riyadh. Two of the projects she worked on at Stoss, the Chouteau Greenway and Masdar Phase 4, have received national design awards. Before her professional experience in urban design, she practiced architecture at KPF and OMA in New York, contributing to built and speculative projects, including the Singha Corporate Headquarters in Bangkok and the Marina Abramovic Institute in New York.

She holds a Bachelor of Architecture from Cornell University and a Master of Architecture in Urban Design from Harvard University. She has taught urban design at Harvard’s Design Discovery program and is currently teaching an undergraduate architecture studio at Northeastern University. Lisa has always had a passion for the relationship between place and design, which she attributes to growing up in diverse urban environments such as London, Houston, and Los Angeles.

Zoe joined Utile in July 2021 through Northeastern University’s Co-op program. She is in her third year of the Architecture B.S. undergraduate program and is also pursuing a minor in Urban Landscape Studies. Her interests in school include understanding the social and environmental impacts that design can have on a community and the holistic needs of people within the built environment. Based on these ideals, her studio work recently gained her the Second-Year Design Award for Northeastern architecture students. Zoe also had the pleasure of serving as Peer Mentor to the Northeastern School of Architecture’s incoming freshman class in the fall of 2020. In her free time, Zoe enjoys trying new local restaurants, visiting art museums, and going on walks with her dogs.

Chimaobi Izeogu


izeogu at utiledesign.com

Chimaobi Izeogu joined Utile as an architectural designer in November 2019. Native to southern California, Chimaobi holds a BA in Architecture with concentration in History, Theory, and Criticism from Yale College and a Master of Architecture from the Rice School of Architecture in Houston, TX. While at Rice, Chimaobi participated in the Paris semester abroad program, studying French culture and traveling around Europe in the process. He also served as Co-Editor-in-Chief for PLAT Journal, a student-run, bi-annual publication, across two issues: PLAT 2.5 On the Bias, which explores the role of bias in representation, and PLAT 3.0 Collective Disruption, which mines the inherent opportunity following disaster or crisis to bring about impactful architectural and political change.

Prior to joining Utile, Chimaobi worked with numerous firms across several building typologies, including Epstein Joslin Architects in Cambridge, MA, focusing on performing arts, cultural, and civic endeavors, particularly, the Welcome Center at the Breakers and the Conrad Prebys Performing Arts Center. He also worked at RDLR Architects in Houston, TX, specializing in education and community centers, and EYP’s embassy design studio in Albany, NY. Living in Cambridge, Chimaobi enjoys being active, walking and biking around the city during the summer months and playing indoor soccer during the winter.

Petra Jarolimova

AIA, LEED AP, Associate

jarolimova at utiledesign.com

Petra joined Utile in 2019 and has over eleven years of experience working on large-scale, mixed-use projects with major residential components such as the 143-unit 35 Hudson Yards in Manhattan and the 332-unit Domino Sugar Site A in Brooklyn, NY. Prior to Utile, Petra worked at Dencityworks Architecture in Brooklyn as the Studio Director running a large-scale multifamily residential project as well as the renovation of a Domino Sugar Factory into Class A office space. Prior to Dencityworks Architecture, Petra worked at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) in New York City as an Associate and Lead Technical Designer on high-rise residential, commercial, and hospitality projects as well as the renova- tion of a historically and architecturally significant building. Petra is interested in complex projects that include a diverse team and challenging contextual constraints.

Kyle was born in Seoul, South Korea and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Kyle moved to Boston to attend Northeastern University where he received his M.Arch. While at Northeastern, Kyle was fortunate enough to participate in studios in Rome, Beijing, and Shanghai.

Kyle joined Utile in the summer of 2013 as an architectural and urban designer. His work includes planning, mapping, and illustrations for the downtowns of several New England cities. Kyle’s particular interests lay in creating clear, concise, and playful graphics to represent architectural and urban planning ideas in a manner digestible to all people indiscriminate of language or expertise.

Prior to joining Utile, Kyle has worked as an architectural and graphic designer in Honolulu, Shanghai, and Boston.

Marika Kobel joined Utile in 2019 as an architectural designer. Marika previously worked at Payette, Perry Dean Rogers, and GO Logic in Belfast, Maine. While at Payette, she worked on several campus projects, as well as the 75-125 Binney Street commercial building in Cambridge. While at Perry Dean Rogers, she worked on the AIA Honor Award winning SNHU Gustafson Center and College of the Holy Cross’s new performing arts center with Diller Scofidio + Renfro. At GO Logic, she focused on a new private passive house in north coastal Maine and the conceptual masterplan design and Phase I architecture for Chewonki, an environmentally focused camp in Wiscasset. Marika also completed an internship with Machado and Silvetti Associates.

Prior to architecture, Marika worked in graphic design and marketing and at galleries in Boston and New York. She also studied interior design at UTS in Sydney. Marika received a Master of Architecture from MIT and an undergraduate degree in fine arts from RISD.

Chantel Kocher

AIA, LEED Green Associate, Associate Principal

kocher at utiledesign.com

Chantel brings over 10 years of experience to the Utile team. Since 2014, she has broadened the firm’s experience with commercial and institutional clients. Her expertise is in programming and master planning, and she is currently leading the design of a 380,000 square foot corporate interior fit-out in Kendall Square. At Utile, Chantel has worked on a wide range of projects including MIT Samuel Tak Lee Building Renovation, Autodesk Boston, and the Jamaica Plain Branch of the Boston Public Library. Receiving a Bachelors of Science and Master of Architecture degree in Architecture from the University of Cincinnati, she was awarded the Director’s Choice Award for her graduate thesis. Her research focused on exploring new learning environments as they relate to interdisciplinary programs. Prior to joining Utile, Chantel worked on a variety of institutional projects while at Ann Beha Architects, including the Cornell University Law School Master Plan, focusing on preserving its historic resources, repurposing existing buildings, and accommodating growth without expanding the campus footprint. She also worked on the New England Conservatory of Music Student Life and Performance Center and the John Hopkins Student Union / Campus Center Feasibility Study. Chantel is a registered architect in Massachusetts, holds NCARB certification, and is a LEED Green Associate.

Vivian joined Utile in March 2021 as an architectural designer. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Architectural Studies from the University of California, Los Angeles, and her Master in Architecture from the Harvard Graduate School of Design. Her graduate thesis, which was recognized with the Faith and Form 2020 Award for Religious Art and Architecture, references the history and typological transformations of Protestant churches in New England and rethinks the role of symbolism, sanctity, and profanity in religious buildings today.

Vivian has taught undergraduate architectural design studios and courses on representation and fabrication at Northeastern University and the Wentworth Institute of Technology. Prior to joining Utile, Vivian worked with architectural offices in Los Angeles and Tokyo on various project types, such as museums, apartment buildings, and hotels.

Vivian was born and raised in Macau. She enjoys playing the piano and volleyball, walking and biking along the Charles River, and observing gas stations around Boston.

Michael LeBlanc

AIA, Principal

leblanc at utiledesign.com

Michael is a principal at Utile, where he has been in charge of numerous institutional, residential, and renovation projects such as the 273-unit The Quinn and the 160-unit Girard, both in n Boston’s South End; the 31-unit multifamily 26 West Broadway in South Boston; and the Jamaica Plain Branch of the Boston Public Library addition and renovation and Roxbury Branch of the Boston Public Library renovation. Prior to joining Utile, Michael worked at Machado Silvetti, rising to the position of Associate in 2002. While at Machado Silvetti, he worked as a senior designer and project director on projects such as the Arizona State University Hassayampa Academic Village; the Honan-Allston Branch of the Boston Public Library, which won a 2003 AIA National Design Award; the Getty Villa, Research Center, and Scholars’ Library; and the Provincetown Art Association Museum, which was the first LEED-certified art museum in the United States. In addition to his professional practice, Michael has taught design studios as a Faculty Associate at Arizona State University and is currently a member of the adjunct faculty at Northeastern University’s Department of Architecture. He is also on the Board of Directors for the Boston Preservation Alliance. Michael resides in Sharon, Massachusetts, with his wife and his two children.

Charlotte Lipschitz

AIA, Associate

lipschitz at utiledesign.com

Charlotte Lipschitz joined Utile in 2015 as an architectural and urban designer after receiving her Masters of Architecture from Harvard Graduate School of Design. While at Utile, she has been focused on institutional projects, particularly relating to education. Her previous work combined an interest in community development through large architectural interventions and a focus on craft and innovative material use. Her thesis explored the use of the term “vernacular” in architecture and how it could be redefined to apply to contemporary urban contexts, specifically through a proposal for the development of Karl Marx Allee in Berlin, Germany. Prior to joining Utile, Charlotte worked at Barkow Leibinger in Berlin and Jonathan Levi Architects. She received a Community Service Fellowship from the Graduate School of Design to oversee construction of projects in Zambia for Scale Africa, an architecture firm based in New York.  Charlotte earned a Bachelors in Economics and Public Policy from Brown University, and went on to spend time working in furniture design for Studio Dunn. She has taught architectural studios at Harvard’s Design Discovery Program and in Northeastern’s undergraduate program.

Matthew Littell

LEED AP, Principal

littell at utiledesign.com

Matthew Littell is one of the founding principals of Utile. Through his work in the firm’s architecture, planning, and early phase development projects, he has gained an expertise in building and zoning codes and the regulatory process specifically as they relate to urban design and housing. Matthew has directed many of the firm’s early phase planning and urban design projects, including the Downtown Boston Waterfront Municipal Harbor Plan, as well as the design guidelines and zoning for the Rose Kennedy Greenway District. He served as Utile’s principal-in-charge for Imagine Boston 2030, the city’s first comprehensive plan in 50 years. In addition, he leads the firm’s international urban design practice, with projects in the United Arab Emirates, Malaysia, and Jordan. Matthew has taught in the graduate architecture program at Northeastern University, and currently teaches a course in Urban Design and sustainable practices at Boston College. He earned his M.Arch. from Harvard’s Graduate School of Design in 1997, where he received the Boston Society of Architects’ James Templeton Kelly award for the best final design project, as well as the Clifford Wong prize for outstanding design in housing.

Emily Kruse Logan


kruse at utiledesign.com

Emily joined Utile in February 2017 as a designer. She is currently contributing to teams working on a global search engine workplace in Cambridge, MA and a local Boston transit competition.

With a Master’s degree in Interior Architecture and Product Design from Kansas State University, her interests and experience bridge all scales of architecture and design. Her thesis studied the continual displacement of communities in Kansas City, in order to create a new paradigm of housing that challenged the formal and historical ideas of shared and private space. Her studies introduced a love for the design and fabrication of furniture which she continues in spare time.

Prior to joining the firm, her previous professional work included the renovation and expansion of Kansas State University’s architecture building (her alma mater), the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts in Washington DC, and Princeton University’s Lewis Center for the Arts. Coming from Kansas City, Emily was actively involved in the art scene, and hopes to find similar opportunity in Boston. Emily lives in Cambridge where she enjoys exploring bagel shops and bookstores, and where her 80-lb dog Mosby takes her for walks along the Charles River.

Mimi Love


mimi at utiledesign.com

Mimi Love is a principal at Utile. Her expertise ranges from complicated renovations to new construction projects with challenging programmatic requirements. Mimi led a master plan for Belmont Day School, and oversaw the recent construction of “The Barn,” a 24,000 square foot building that houses specialty classrooms to support their STEAM program and a Field House. She managed campus master plans for two independent schools; St. Andrew’s School in Austin, TX and The Park School in Brookline, MA. She also served as a consultant to Reed Hilderbrand for the Cranbrook Educational Community Master Plan in Bloomfield Hills, MI. Mimi led an urban campus master plan for a global search engine company based in Kendall Square in Cambridge, MA that will eventually occupy a half million square feet of office space. Several phases of the expansion have been completed. She was the design principal for Autodesk’s office expansion at The Innovation and Design Building in Boston’s Seaport District and was one of the Utile principals who led the Rethink City Hall project for the City of Boston. She completed the redesign of the Boston City Hall lobby as well as other pilot projects throughout the building. Prior to joining Utile, Mimi was an Associate at Machado Silvetti in Boston where she was the lead designer for the renovation projects at the Getty Villa in Malibu, CA. Mimi co-authored Color Space Style, a reference book on interior design for Rockport Publications. She has recently been appointed as a Commissioner for the Boston Civic Design Commission (BCDC).

Tim Love

FAIA, LEED AP, Principal

love at utiledesign.com

Tim Love is the founding principal of Utile, a 65-person Boston-based architecture and planning firm. Love’s primary focus is the relationship between individual works of architecture and the larger city. His work is not driven by aesthetics, but by collaborative deep-dive research focused on the technical, cultural, regulatory, and environmental issues of urban design problems. Love and his teams find opportunities for design by uncovering latent issues and fully leveraging and synthesizing them. Love works on diverse projects of varying scales, including regeneration strategies for aging industrial areas and master plans for new urban districts. Love and his collaborators are also known for their award-winning public realm initiatives, including the Boston Complete Streets Design Guidelines and the Boston Harbor Islands Pavilion on the Rose Kennedy Greenway. Love served as strategic advisor on the  Imagine Boston 2030 citywide plan and the comprehensive master plan for Boston City Hall and Plaza. He led the team for the Envision Cambridge Citywide Plan. Love is a tenured Associate Professor at the Northeastern University School of Architecture where he teaches urban design theory and graduate-level research studios. He is also a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects (FAIA).

Khuyen Luong


luong at utiledesign.com

Khuyen joined Utile in September of 2020. He received his Master of Architecture from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design in Boston and Bachelor of Architecture from Ho Chi Minh University of Architecture in Vietnam. With nearly a decade of design experience, he has spent the last seven years as a designer in the United States following two years of commercial and residential work in Vietnam. Khuyen has grown deeply passionate for sustainable design, environmental issues, and resiliency within city development, and has a passion for wood construction and wood architecture. He proudly received an Honorable Mention award in the City of Boston’s “Living With Water Competition” in 2015.

Prior to joining Utile, Khuyen worked primarily in the higher education sector, where he worked on numerous large-scale student residences, libraries, and student union buildings projects across North America. He executed a comprehensive design for a mixed-use dormitory in San Francisco, CA, as well as a large-scale passive house dormitory, currently under construction in Victoria, BC, Canada. His involvement included master planning, site development, design, and construction. Outside of his work, Khuyen has participated in numerous architectural competitions internationally including Waste Stadium, in Nigeria, Africa, where he garnered an honorable mention in 2019.

Kara McLellan

Director of Marketing & Communications

mclellan at utiledesign.com

Kara joined Utile in 2014 as the firm’s marketing and communications director. Her career in marketing and business development has focused on a variety of professional services engaging with the built and planned environment, including architecture, engineering, urban planning and design, and real estate development. As a member of Utile’s Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) team, Kara ensures that Utile’s project pursuits and teaming strategies align with the firm’s commitment to equity and anti-racist design. She is a member of the Society for Marketing Professional Services (SMPS) Boston Membership Committee. Kara received her Bachelor of Business Administration in marketing from the Isenberg School of Management at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, with a minor in studio art. As part of the university’s Business Development and Global Citizenship program, Kara traveled to Ghana to establish and teach at a new business center in Takoradi-Sekondi. She completed several continuing education courses, including graphic design at MassArt and copywriting at the Ad Club of Boston. When not hard at work meeting deadlines, Kara enjoys making art with her daughter and attempting to tire out her dog, Wayne Rooney.

Tayler Morris

Director of Equity & Cultural Impact

morris at utiledesign.com

Tayler joined Utile in 2018 as an Office Assistant. After receiving her Bachelors in Political Science and International Studies from Hollins University in Roanoke, VA, Tayler moved to Boston and worked remotely as a customer service agent and was a supervisor for a children’s retail store. Now with Utile, she will be one of the first faces you see at the office. Tayler spent time travelling and eating her way across Europe and hopes to visit again soon. Originally from the Chicagoland area, Tayler spends her time exploring the East Coast, scoping out new taco spots, and reading the latest sci-fi novels.

Zoë joined Utile in 2020 as an urban designer. The range of Zoë’s work experience prior to joining Utile spans multiple regions and sectors—spatial data analysis for energy and telecom companies in the western US states, non-profit community development work in Cleveland, OH, academic consulting for public sector economic development initiatives in Israel and Mexico, public sector urban design review in Boston, and most recently private sector consulting with WRT in their Philadelphia office. This diversity of experience has given her a deep understanding of how social movements and governance structures initiate, activate and animate designs. Her award-winning, multi-disciplinary academic research coupled with her broad work experience has fine-tuned Zoë’s ability to leverage diverse source materials and methodologies in order to deliver compelling arguments. She has a knack for synthesizing qualitative and quantitative research to identify design imperatives and inform targeted action that is deeply rooted in local culture and political context. As part of Utile’s HR & Office Culture JEDI (Justice, Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion) working group, Zoë has formed initiatives to further foster a culture of anti-racist design, co-coordinated the integration of native land acknowledgements, and planned professional development programs. Zoë is committed to challenging the language we use as design and planning professionals so that we may continue to systematically retire terminology with violent, discriminatory and/or harmful origins and associations. She approaches each project with curiosity, humility, and a critical eye to how the project might grow and evolve.

Andrew is an architectural and urban designer at Utile. He received his Bachelor of Architecture from Cornell University and Masters of Architecture II from Harvard Graduate School of Design. Prior to joining Utile, Andrew worked for several years in Japan where he collaborated closely with community groups and municipal governments on community revitalization projects. His work ranged from strategic planning and community design workshops to restoration and design-build projects.

Andrew joined Utile in 2021 as an Architectural Designer. He recently completed his Master’s degree in Architecture from the Harvard GSD and holds a B.Sc degree in Architecture and Environmental Design from Morgan State University. His master’s Thesis explored the Liminality of Threshold spaces and proposed highly attuned places of transition between different interior territories. 

Andrew is originally from Kenya and is interested in the capacity of Architecture to bring people together. As a designer that highly values process, his work reflects a keen understanding of the demands of the human scale and sensitivity to urban contexts. Outside of his professional life, Andrew loves to cook and experiment with different cuisines. As a proud citizen of the world, he also enjoys travelling, reading, and watching movies.

Anders joined Utile in 2020 as Marketing Assistant. He came to us with a background in social media, marketing, and restaurant management. Anders has spent a considerable amount of time volunteering with local non-profit, Christopher’s Haven, a home for families when cancer hits home. He has also done show direction and production with the American Repertory Theater’s OBERON space in Cambridge, MA, a hobby he cites as his passion project. With that, he has an affinity for event planning and marketing. A creative at heart, Anders also has a strong fervor for photography, music, and theater.

Prior to joining Utile, Anders received his Bachelor in Advertising from Suffolk University in Boston, MA. His knowledge of advertising and social media paired with his passions for organization and branding led him to Utile. Born and raised in Boston, he has happily spent his whole life thus far in this beautiful city. When he isn’t updating our social media or tracking project proposals, Anders spends his free time discovering new music, walking his neighbor’s dogs, and planning new creative and visual art projects.

Evan joined Utile in 2021 as an architectural designer. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in Architecture from Lehigh University and his Master in Architecture from Harvard Graduate School of Design, where he developed an affinity for all things odd, bold, and animated. This affinity formed the foundation of his graduate thesis, in which he proposed a new form of “Animate Architecture” based on the exaggerated yet relatable interactions between characters in slapstick animation. He continues to transform particularly odd buildings he encounters into characters through illustration and animation. Prior to joining Utile, Evan worked at TERROIR Architects in Copenhagen and the Los Angeles Design Group as a designer on projects of all scales, from small biennial installations to single-family homes to an international urban planning competition. His interests outside of architecture include playing piano, scouring the internet for new music, and researching the eclectic history of his hometown, St. Louis. He currently lives in Boston with his partner and his grumpy cat George.

Jonathan Palazzolo


palazzolo at utiledesign.com

Jonathan joined Utile in 2021. Prior to joining the firm, he worked at Rogers Partners Architects + Urban Designers in New York City, and NADAAA in New York City and Boston. He is a registered architect in both the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the State of New York and brings extensive experience in the design of institutional and public realm projects at varying scales. Jonathan received his B.A. and B.Arch. from Rice University in Houston, Texas, where his projects explored the rapidly changing urban conditions of America’s fourth-largest city. 

While at Rogers Partners, Jonathan was the lead designer for a new academic building for the School of Social Sciences at Rice University and a retrofit of a Civil War-era warehouse into a high-tech research and manufacturing facility in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, the office’s first mass timber project. 

Outside of the office, he can be found pleading with his houseplants to stay alive and reacquainting himself with the Boston area after ten years masquerading as a Brooklynite.

Evan Parkinson

AIA, Associate

parkinson at utiledesign.com

Evan is an architect at Utile. He joined the firm in 2014 after receiving his Bachelor of Architecture, as well as his Master of Architecture degree from Northeastern University. His graduate work studied the mechanics of Boston’s approvals process and its effects on underutilized parcels in downtown Boston. Evan is a registered architect in Massachusetts. His interests lay in the social equity of developing sustainable affordable housing. Most recently his projects with the firm include the ongoing design of the 41-unit affordable Bowdoin Street Housing development with non-profit developer VietAID, the construction of a nine-unit condominium building in the South End, and the schematic design for the redevelopment of a property owned by the Portland Housing Authority.

Maressa Perreault

AIA, Associate Principal

perreault at utiledesign.com

Maressa Perreault is an Associate Principal at Utile. Her work has focused on skillfully navigating complex aesthetic and regulatory issues in historically sensitive environments. She has led a wide range of residential, commercial, institutional, and academic projects at Utile, including the Rethink City Hall master plan and pilot projects for the City of Boston and the historic renovation of United South End Settlements’ 36-48 Rutland Street campus. She also led the the 31-unit multifamily 26 West Broadway in South Boston, Simmons College Library Center for Student Success, and a 17,000 square foot corporate cafeteria in Kendall Square. Prior to joining Utile, Maressa worked at Ann Beha Architects and at Arch11 in Boulder, CO. Maressa received her M.Arch from the University of Virginia, where she was awarded the Faculty Award for Design Excellence, and holds a BA in Studio Art and Architectural History from Middlebury College. In 2013 she was recognized by the BSA as “one of the upcoming generation of female design talent in the city” by the Women in Design: Urban Interventions competition. She teaches the Senior Adaptive Interventions design studio at Wentworth’s School of Architecture and has served as a visiting design critic at MIT, RISD, Tulane, University of Colorado, Northeastern, MassArt, and BAC. Maressa lives in Boston’s South End with her husband and son in an 1890s rowhouse condo that she designed and renovated after the 2015 snowpocalypse.

Claudia joined Utile in the summer of 2017. She completed her M.Arch at the University of South Florida School of Architecture and Community Design in Spring 2017. During her studies, she was able to participate in the Bartlett Development Planning Unit’s summerLab focusing on affordable housing initiatives in London. For her terminal master’s project, Claudia researched the cultural conditions of contemporary Cuba and translated them into architectural narratives. Prior to joining Utile, she worked with Traction Architecture in Tampa, FL.

Claudia enjoys listening to podcasts, especially 99% Invisible and Imaginary Worlds. She’s an avid reader of National Geographic and all things design. Claudia is originally from Cuba and was raised in Florida.

Alexander Porter


porter at utiledesign.com

Alexander Porter brings diverse interests in computation, environmental analysis, fabrication, and cultural theory to his work as an architectural designer at Utile.  He completed his Bachelor of Arts in both Classical Music and Architecture at Columbia University, and his Master of Architecture with distinction from Harvard’s Graduate School of Design, graduating top in his class and receiving the AIA Medal of Honor and the Digital Design Prize for his thesis.  He continues to explore topics in digital design as a design critic at Rhode Island School of Design. Before joining Utile in 2020, Alexander worked in offices including Eisenman Architects, Toshiko Mori Architect, The LADG, La Dallman Architects, and most recently Höweler + Yoon Architecture.  In this role, he developed climate modelling algorithms for the Qianhai Shade Pavilion in Shenzhen, China, led several workspace research projects, and served as co-editor of the office’s second monograph.  His personal and professional work has been exhibited in various galleries including the Venice Architecture Biennale, the Druker Design Gallery, and Material and Applications. Alexander lives in Boston, where he enjoys all types of baking, most types of eating, keeping up with the piano, and learning new games to play with his Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Darcy.

Drew joined Utile in 2021 as a Project Manager and brings a passion for smart and forward-thinking design. He earned his Bachelors in Architecture and Masters in Archictecture from Wentworth Institute of Technology. His thesis sought to explore idea of “the other side of the tracks” – to study how the infrastructure we build can serve as harsh barriers that divide communities along socioeconomic lines. 

Prior to joining Utile, he worked for CUBE 3 where he specialized in the design and construction of multifamily and student-housing projects across the Northeast region. He has overseen residential projects ranging in size from 17 – 400 units; shepherding them from initial approvals, design + documentation, as well as through construction + occupancy. He most recently designed and managed a 330-unit transit-oriented development in New Rochelle, NY that will open in 2022. 

In addition to his experience in architecture, Drew has a passion for improving the built environment to align with a more sustainable and resilient future. His previous work includes designing thousands of residential solar arrays to help families transition to a sustainable form of energy, as well as managing projects integrating structural expansion joint systems into critical infrastructure across the mid-Atlantic.

Loren joined Utile in 2021 as an urban designer. She holds a Bachelor of Architecture from Cornell University, and a Master of Architecture in Urban Design with distinction from the Harvard University Graduate School of Design.

Prior to joining Utile, Loren worked at Safdie Architects for three years, where she contributed to the design and coordination of projects ranging from a large urban development in Singapore, to mixed-use 50-story towers in Israel, and more recently, an expansion to an art museum campus in Arkansas. She has previously worked at Payette.

Loren is passionate about designing at the confluence of architecture, infrastructure, and urbanism, with particular interest in patterns of mobility and their impact on urban form. Originally from Miami, she eschews driving in favor of exploring Boston on foot, with the occasional scenic bike ride.

Alex joined Utile in 2021 with 4 years of experience in Boston designing and managing a number of mixed-use multifamily housing and workspace projects. He has a passion for understanding the details of a project, which has been emphasized in his extensive construction administration work. Seeing how these small pieces all come together from design through final construction and completion has enabled him to process and expand on these ideas for future designs.

Prior to moving to and working in Boston, Alex graduated from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY in 2017 where he graduated with a Bachelor of Architecture. As a Vermont native, Alex is not too far from home, where he will frequently escape the busy city life for a quiet weekend to decompress and relax. Outside of work, he can be found researching his next baking challenge, or trying to keep up with his energetic dog Lucy.

Lilit joined Utile in 2019 as a designer. Prior to joining Utile she worked at Jacobs where she worked on large scale workplace interiors projects for leading financial, tech, and biotech clients. Lilit received her Master degree in Interior Architecture at New England School of Art & Design. In her thesis she explored transformational workplace design strategies and activity based working in the age of rising mobility. Her thesis project received Graduate Thesis Design Award. Lilit is an enthusiast of fabrication and maker culture. She taught classes on digital fabrication, Revit, and Dynamo at Boston Architectural College in collaboration with Autodesk BUILD Space. Originally from Armenia, Lilit has a broad experience in studying, living and working internationally including Russia and Eastern Europe. She received Bachelor in Arts at Yerevan State Academy of Arts where she studied industrial and graphic design.

Sarah joined Utile as a designer in March 2020. She received her Bachelor of Architecture with a minor in Art History from Syracuse University in 2018. During her education, Sarah studied internationally in Florence and Zurich and was a founding member and Editor-in-Chief of POSIT, a digital design publication developed by Syracuse Architecture students in 2017. Upon graduation, she was designated as a University Scholar, the highest undergraduate honor bestowed by the university for her academic achievement and independent research.

Prior to joining Utile, Sarah was an Architectural Designer at Elkus Manfredi Architects, where she worked on mixed-use waterfront master plans at Port Covington in Baltimore and Water Street Tampa as well as interior renovations at Simmons University in Boston. Sarah has also received numerous awards for independent competition work including Best Architecture Project at the 2017 New York State Green Building Conference, Top 10 Finalist of Ethilis Group’s 2016 WellBuilding 2050 competition, and an honorable mention in the 2019 Archasm Bazaar Istanbul competition.

Sarah loves art museums, travelling, and keeping up on the news. You can find her at the latest local gallery opening or wearing large headphones listening to NPR.

Allison Savage

AIA, LEED Green Associate, Associate

savage at utiledesign.com

Allison joined Utile in January 2014 as a designer. She was most recently involved with the design of 380 Harrison Avenue, a 14-story mixed-use development in Boston’s South End, and 121 Main Street, a mixed-use rental development in Brockton, MA. She was previously involved with all phases of the 283-unit, mixed-use MetroMark Apartments at Forest Hills Station in Boston’s Jamaica Plain neighborhood, from schematic design through construction administration. Prior to joining Utile, Allison worked for Abacus Architects + Planners in Boston. She helped design several housing projects, including the Revitalization of Jefferson Park State in Cambridge, MA and a development for Jewish Community Housing for the Elderly in Brookline, MA. Allison received her Master of Architecture degree from Northeastern University. Her thesis project focused on the feasibility of Air Rights projects, specifically on the parcels located over I-90 in downtown Boston, which was displayed for several months at the BSA’s Rights of Way: Mobility in the City exhibition. Allison is originally from upstate New York but often moved around, growing up in The Netherlands and England before settling in Boston.

Robert Schaffer is a Master of Architecture graduate from the University of Pennsylvania, where he graduated top of his class while receiving the Alpha Rho Chi Medal for leadership, service, and professional merit. Before coming to the East Coast, he graduated from the University of Wisconsin with a Bachelor of Science degree in Interior Architecture with a certificate in Sustainability. Before joining Utile in 2021, Robert worked on a diverse range of projects at all scales, including national and international commercial competitions. Most recently, he worked in offices such as Rockwell Group in Manhattan, Gensler in Dallas, and ERDMAN in Madison, Wisconsin. 

He has received multiple awards, most notably the Samuel K. Schneidman Fellowship, Warren Powers Laird Award, and a nomination for the KPF Paul Katz Fellowship from the University of Pennsylvania, as well as the Theresa A. Purnitun Top Portfolio Award and Abby Marlatt Scholarship from the University of Wisconsin. In addition, Robert has received the Wisconsin Architects Foundation - Out of State Scholarship and placed 2nd in the Department of Energy’s “Race to Zero” National Design Competition with a team from the University of Wisconsin. Robert’s work has been featured in the University of Pennsylvania’s publication Pressing Matters, Archinect, the Wisconsin Energy Institute, the UWM Report, the Department of Energy, the Ruth Davis Design Gallery, and the NAHR. 

Robert lives in Boston, where he enjoys the endless food possibilities and old city charm. In his spare time he loves getting his hands dirty with fabrication and creative concept art.

Ranu Singh joined Utile in 2019 after graduating from the Master of Science in Urbanism Program at MIT in 2018, and is an urban designer and architect with over four years of experience in the design field. Working at the intersection of design and planning, she has developed and executed several projects focused on housing, disaster recovery and resilience, environmental planning, and urban design among others in the USA and India. Prior to joining Utile, Ranu worked as a researcher at the Leventhal Center for Advanced Urbanism (LCAU) at MIT, where she led research and development of projects on regional water planning, affordable housing, and urban habitat planning. Ranu completed her Bachelor in Architecture at CEPT University in Ahmedabad and later worked as a project architect at Vir.Mueller Architects in New Delhi, India.

Taskina Tareen joined Utile in 2018 as an urban designer and planner. She has worked extensively as content manager on PlanBeverly, the City of Beverly’s comprehensive master plan which will be completed in summer 2020. She was the project manager for the Worcester Main South TDI District Planning study, and managed the research and graphic content for the New Bedford Maritime Economy Innovation Pitch Book. Taskina has also worked on feasibility and development test-fit studies in Westfield, Revere, Detroit, and Houston.

Prior to joining Utile, Taskina worked as an architectural designer at Arrowstreet in Downtown Boston, where worked on a variety of project types including residential and retail development. She received her Master of City Planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she served as co-chair of UrbanAfrica, a student-led initiative exploring research and practice-based interests and analysis of African cities, and a Bachelor of Architecture from Syracuse University, where she received a citation for excellence in thesis design for her project focused on urban food systems in developing cities.

Mykael joined Utile in September of 2020 as an Intern. He has worked on the 25 Sixth street and 1170-1200 Hancock street residential projects, in Chelsea and Quincy, MA.

Mykael is currently a graduate student at Boston Architectural College in the Master of Architecture program, and earned a Bachelors Degree in Fine Arts from Lesley University. Mykael is fascinated with digital fabrication and physical and digital model making. He previously interned with The Architect Professional Group in Milton, MA, Anmahian Winton Architects in Cambridge, MA , and was a part of the Youth Build Program for a semester while attending Boston Arts Academy. His experiences have been based in residential work, conducting field measurement, and drafting using programs like AutoCAD, Rhino, and Sketchup.

Isaac Turkington


turkington at utiledesign.com

Isaac joined Utile as an architectural designer in 2019. He graduated Cum Laude from Auburn University with a Bachelor of Architecture. His academic endeavors focused on resolving the complex relationship in design between physical pragmatics and societal implications. This interest manifested itself in a thesis exploring how parametric design structures can inform the phenomenological nature of a New Philadelphia Public Library. While in school he led the AIAS outreach project providing design, construction, and funding to an under-served community in rural Alabama. His interest in and aptitude for making was further refined through digital and analog fabrication while serving as maker space supervisor at Auburn. Upon completion of his undergraduate degree in 2018, he worked on large scale educational projects including schools of medicine for Drexel University and Sam Houston State University. At Utile, he is currently working on tech office space at a variety of sites around the country. Isaac grew up in Lexington, Kentucky and was fortunate to live in Costa Rica as a child and Istanbul as a student, which have instilled a passion for learning new languages and traveling to new places.

Brendan Willis

AIA, Director of Architecture

willis at utiledesign.com

Brendan Willis joined Utile in 2018 and is involved with the design of a boutique hotel at 248 Dorchester Avenue in South Boston. Prior to moving to Boston, he worked in New York City at NAVA, an architecture and real estate development firm, and Gage/Clemenceau Architects. His past projects include 210 Pacific Street, a passive house development in Brooklyn, and 14 White Street in Manhattan. Brendan earned his Master of Architecture from Washington University in St. Louis with a focus on urban housing prototypes in St. Louis, Barcelona, and Seoul, South Korea. He holds an undergraduate degree in Environmental Studies and Studio Art from Dartmouth College. Born and raised in Vermont, Brendan enjoys hiking, biking, running and skiing in the Green and White mountains.

Katie Wirtz

AIA, Associate

wirtz at utiledesign.com

Katie Wirtz joined Utile in 2016. She grew up in northern Michigan, where she developed a love for wood-framed construction. This led her to the field of architecture. She earned her Bachelor and Master of Architecture from the University of Michigan, where she won the Raoul Wallenberg Traveling Scholarship as an undergraduate, and a Thesis Award as a graduate student. Her past academic and professional experiences have led her to strive for design solutions that are humane and support people in all phases of living.

Katie lives in Jamaica Plain with her husband, where they like to make plans for their yard, home, and city.

Cherry Yang joined Utile as an architectural designer in September 2020. Cherry aspires to use design to uplift communities and advocate for equitable, diverse futures particularly in residential, cultural and civic projects. Outside of practice, Cherry enjoys thinking about the curation of historical structures as spectacles for leisurely consumption and the social production of space. She previously worked at Friedrich St.Florian in Providence and Berliner Architects in Los Angeles, where she directed her first humble design project towards construction for a non-profit afterschool care program.

Hailing from New Zealand with roots in Wuxi, China, Cherry is a BArch ’20 graduate from Rhode Island School of Design, where she developed a vested interest in fostering community through presidency for the RISD AIAS chapter. During her time there, Cherry took a semester abroad to ETH Zurich, where she developed a fondness for Swiss construction and non-sliced bread. Cherry has an affinity for climbing rocks, organizing spreadsheets, and cooking without a recipe.

Jessy Yang

Director of Urban Design & Planning

yang at utiledesign.com

Jessy joined Utile in 2018 as an urban designer after receiving his Master of Architecture in Urban Design degree with distinction from the Harvard University Graduate School of Design, where he was the recipient of the Award for Outstanding Leadership in Urban Design. At Utile, he is involved with architectural concept studies, streetscape designs, form-based codes, flood resiliency design guidelines, and other urban projects that foreground the public realm. Jessy is part of the on-going JEDI Mentorship group, focused on improving internal and external mentorship. Prior to joining Utile, Jessy worked at Stan Allen Architects, Machado Silvetti, and CAZA Architects. In addition to professional practice, Jessy has taught architecture and urban design studios at the Boston Architectural College and is currently teaching an advanced digital design class at Boston College. Jessy received his Bachelor of Architecture from Rice University in his hometown of Houston, Texas.

Jessica joined Utile in 2020 as an Architectural Designer. She earned her Master of Architecture from Harvard Graduate School of Design, and her Bachelor in Architecture from Yale University. She previously interned with Utile, and has work experience with Handel Architects and Apicella + Bunton Architects in New Haven. As a Community Service Fellowship recipient, Jessica worked on affordable housing design guidelines with the Boston Department of Neighborhood Development.
Born and raised in Southern California, Jessica currently lives in Cambridge with her partner. She enjoys collecting and reading books. Her passion project is creative writing, which she has published in journals and anthologies. In her free time, Jessica enjoys baking, trying new recipes, and leash-training her reluctant cat, Gus.

Hyunsuk joined Utile in 2021. He earned his Master in Architecture from Harvard University Graduate School of Design, and his Bachelor of Architecture from Kookmin University in South Korea. Prior to joining Utile, Hyunsuk worked at Supernormal, Bargmann Hendrie in Boston, Christ & Gantenbein in Basel, Atelier Jean Nouvel in Paris, and multiple architecture and landscape firms in Seoul. His diverse experiences in multiple countries forged his skillsets and matured his understanding of architecture in all phases of design.

Through the work experience in Switzerland, he learned that the beauty of architecture is created on top of the positive belief towards upcoming process and mutual trust among team members. He played a significant role in BIM management and construction documentation of the office building project for Roche, the world’s largest pharma dinosaur dwells in Basel. During that year, he and his wife traveled to 93 Swiss cities, a total of 147 cities and villages in 9 European countries, through which they encountered numerous architectural masterpieces that are only seen in architecture books.

Apart from architecture, he is deeply interested in the history and culture behind food and beverage. He endorses modernistic perspectives to cuisine and mixology and is always looking for unique tastes and flavors. He is a collector of fine liquors and liqueurs and an avid studier of cuisine and ingredients.

Yuting Zhang


zhang at utiledesign.com

Yuting joined Utile in 2018 as an architectural designer after earning her Master of Architecture in Urban Design from the Harvard University Graduate School of Design as a Victor & William Fung Fellowship recipient. She received her Bachelor of Architecture and Master of City and Rural Planning from Tsinghua University. 

Yuting was born and raised in the old city of Beijing, which urges her to explore different methodologies in her design work to reinterpret historical context, regional feature and local materials to maintain the ‘loci’ and diversity of the spaces despite the drive of rapid urbanization and modernization. Her thesis work focused on the study of conservation and urban control guidelines of historic districts.

Prior to joining Utile, Yuting worked as a designer at Arrowstreet and BushWang LLC in Boston on a wide range of projects from schools, renovations, to master plan of institutional facilities. She also worked as an urban designer for design and planning institute in Beijing on Conservation, Renovation, and Promotion Plan of Taiyuan Prefecture City Area. In her free time, she enjoys road trips and photography. 

Xiaoran joined Utile in 2021 as an urban designer. She earned her Master of Urban Design from Carnegie Mellon University School of Architecture, and her Bachelor of Engineering in Urban and Rural Planning from Nanjing Tech University in China. Xiaoran explores shaping urban environment in various scales, from community placemaking to city and district sustainable guidelines. As a George W. Anderson, Jr. Award recipient from Carnegie Mellon University School of Architecture, she dived deep into her thesis on cooperative-based community system innovation with a focus on co-housing and public space typology research. Prior to joining Utile, Xiaoran worked closely with communities, and was working as an intern at Squirrel Hill Urban Coalition in Pittsburgh to assist community-based development in practice.

Born and raised in a community with affluent local culture from Xuzhou, China, Xiaoran has a deep-rooted understanding of community engagement and local culture conservation. Powered by interest, Xiaoran is a trained permaculture designer with an interest in volunteering in community gardens and farms. She also enjoys cooking, traveling, and various sports during her free time.