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).

Office

Contact

115 Kingston St.
Boston, MA 02111
(617) 423-7200
utile@utiledesign.com

People

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 mixed-use, 160-unit Girard at 600 Harrison Avenue in 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.

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.

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 teaches in the architecture program at Northeastern University, where he leads a graduate-level research studio on urban architectural typologies. He also teaches a course on contemporary urban design issues 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.

Mimi Love

Principal

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. Two phases of the expansion have been completed and Phase 3 is currently underway. She is 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.

Tim Love

FAIA, LEED AP, Principal

love at utiledesign.com

Tim Love is the founding principal of Utile, a 54-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 is leading the team for the Envision Cambridge Citywide Plan.

Love is a tenured Associate Professor 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).

Amin Abbaszadeh is an architectural and urban designer at Utile. Born and raised in Tehran, Iran, Amin moved to the United States in 2009 to pursue his graduate degree. Prior to joining Utile, he was a designer at Stoss Landscape Urbanism, where he participated in competitions on public infrastructure in North America, Europe and China. He earned a B.Sc. in architecture from IUST in Tehran. He also holds an M.Arch. and a Master of Urban Design from Arizona State University. At Utile, he has been involved in multifamily housing projects, including MetroMark Apartments in Jamaica Plain, One Beach in Revere, and Upper Washington Development in Dorchester.

Haneen joined Utile in 2018 after receiving her Master of Architecture from the Northeastern University School of Architecture, where she was the recipient of the Graduate Student Scholarship, awarded by The College of Arts, Media and Design. From 2016 to 2018 she was the recipient of the OPEC Foundation of International Development Fellowship, and Jusoor Syria scholar.

Haneen previously worked as a designer in Syria, Egypt, and Boston on projects across the professional spectrum, including urban plans, buildings, façades, interiors, exhibitions, and furniture designs, as well as teaching at Cairo University and Ittihad Private University. Born to a Mesopotamian tribe of builders originating from Iraq and Syria, Haneen paid homage to her tribal profession with her work and research on the Euphrates banks, culminating in her undergraduate design thesis “Masters of Mud and Stone: Revisiting the Borders Between Craft and Design”. She earned her Bachelor of Architecture from Ittihad Private University in her hometown of Raqqa, Syria. Haneen holds a Master of Science in Architectural Engineering from Cairo University, Egypt. where her thesis investigated the urban components that impact elementary school design as a means to create a new paradigm for designing educational spaces in the post-conflict city of Aleppo.

Kyle Belcher joined Utile in March 2016 as an architectural and urban designer. A graduate of the California College of the Arts and Harvard Graduate School Design with a Master of Architecture and Urban Design, Kyle has 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.

Ingrid Bengtson

AIA

bengtson at utiledesign.com

Ingrid Bengtson is an architect at Utile. Ingrid joined the firm in the fall of 2015 after receiving 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 large scale civic spaces, through an intervention at Battersea Power Station in London. She also served as Executive Co-chair for Harvard GSD’s Women in Design student group.

Prior to joining the firm, Ingrid was an architectural intern at Renzo Piano Building Workshop in Paris, where she worked on the new University Forum for Columbia University in Manhattan. She held internships at William Rawn Associates and Visnick & Caulfield Associates, both in Boston, MA. She teaches Architectural Design at Boston College and previously taught as a studio instructor for the Harvard GSD Career Discovery program. She received her BA in Philosophy, Magna Cum Laude, from Boston College.

Originally from Vermont, Ingrid is a lifelong skiing enthusiast and a NCAA  First Team​ Academic All-American alpine ski racer. She lives in Boston’s historic Beacon Hill neighborhood.

Brett Bentson

AIA, LEED AP, Assoc. Principal

bentson at utiledesign.com

Brett Bentson, Associate Principal, joined Utile in 2013. He was born and raised in San Francisco and studied architecture at Rice University in Houston, where he received the William Ward Watkin Traveling Fellowship, the school’s highest honor for graduating students. Brett managed the recent expansion and complete renovation of the Jamaica Plain Branch of the Boston Public Library as well as Girard, a 160-unit apartment building in Boston’s South End. He is currently leading the renovation of the Dudley Branch of the Boston Public Library and the design of a 14-story mixed-use development at 380 Harrison Avenue. Brett has worked with a diverse group of clients ranging from multifamily housing at 26 West Broadway in South Boston to the Belmont Day School.

Prior to joining Utile, Brett worked on a variety of projects for institutional clients including Bennington College, Bowdoin College, Northeastern University, and the University of Massachusetts. He has a focus on student housing, having designed over 3,000 student beds and one million square feet.

He has taught design studios at Northeastern University and served as a visiting critic at several Boston area architecture schools. Brett is a registered architect in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, holds NCARB certification and is a LEED Accredited Professional.

Cory Berg joined Utile in 2017 as an urban planner. She received her Master of Urban Planning from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design, where she was honored with an Award for Excellence in Project-Based Urban Planning. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Geography and Art/Art History from Colgate University. Cory’s personal design philosophy is to enhance the quality of people’s everyday lives through improvements in the built environment.

Previously with Interboro Partners in New York City, Cory was a part of Utile’s Envision Cambridge consultant team, managing the Street Team and various outreach initiatives to engage Cambridge residents on the citywide master planning effort. Prior to beginning her career in urban planning, she worked for National Geographic in Washington, DC in education and marketing. She currently lives in Boston and enjoys running, kayaking, and exploring the greater Boston area on the weekends.

Daphne Binder is an architect with a strong interest in urban design and analysis. Seeking a multi-disciplinary environment, Daphne joined Utile in 2018 after working for Pei Cobb Freed and Partners in New York and Machado Silvetti in Boston on national and international institutional and commercial work. Her design and research work has been exhibited in various venues, including the Center for Architecture in NYC and the A+D Museum in LA. She is the co-author of an upcoming book chapter about Experimental Israeli Architecture (Intellect Bristol, UK, forthcoming), and the author of Unmaking a Destination: Unpacking New England’s Tourist Town, a study she began as the 2015 Hart Howerton Fellow on the impact of seasonality on urban form.

Daphne is a graduate of the Cooper Union Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture Bachelor of Architecture and Yale University School of Architecture Master of Architecture II, and has received multiple awards in recognition of her academic work. Daphne has taught summer courses at the Cooper Union and has been a teaching fellow at Yale University. She is currently teaching the 4th Year Urban Design Studio at Northeastern University.

Eric Boatright

AIA, Associate

boatright at utiledesign.com

Eric Boatright is a senior architect and project manager, returning to Utile after five years of employment with two other Boston-based firms. After leading Utile’s effort at Spencer Green in Chelsea, MA, Eric became an expert in off-site construction while designing and supporting the fabrication and installation of a modular data center. Prior to joining Utile, he worked on the planning, design, and execution of university lab buildings and hospitals in Los Angeles, CA and Worcester, MA. He is a graduate of Brown University and the Southern California Institute of Architecture, where he served as student body president. Eric is a registered architect in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

The son of an Air Force officer, Eric spent his early years traveling extensively from Berlin to Hong Kong, eventually settling with his family in Colorado. He now lives in Roslindale with his wife, two daughters, and dog (also a girl).

Larry Borins

AIA, LEED AP

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.

Amy Brassard

Office Manager

brassard at utiledesign.com

Amy Brassard is the office manager 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 and her two daughters enjoy playing pool, weekend brunch, and retail therapy. Never far from Amy is her copper-colored dog, Penny, who also helps out around the office.

Nick Buehrens

AIA, NCARB, Associate

buehrens at utiledesign.com

Nick Buehrens is an associate and project manager at Utile. He leads a diverse range of projects, focusing on affordable, sustainable, multifamily housing for mission-driven organizations. Nick also managed initial renovations to the Dudley Branch of the Boston Public Library, and serves as an architectural consultant to Eversource on infrastructural projects in the public realm across the city of Boston. 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.

Keith Case

AIA, LEED GA

case at utiledesign.com

Keith received his BA from Middlebury College in the History of Art and Architecture and his Masters of Architecture from MIT in 2010 where he was awarded the Alpha Rho Chi Medal. While at MIT, Keith was involved in several digital design and fabrication installations as well as more conventional design/build projects in El Salvador and in Cambridge. After MIT he spent six years at Ruhl Walker Architects in Boston working on residential and institutional projects.

Keith joined Utile in April 2016, and is accredited as a LEED Green Associate by the US Green Building Council and is a registered Architect in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Shelly received her Bachelor of Science in Architecture from Northeastern University, and joined Utile in January 2019 while working towards her Master of Architecture from her alma mater. She is currently specializing in security regimes and their impact on socio-spatial hierarchies in architecture.

Shelly was born in Zambia and has extensive experience living, working, and studying internationally. She has had the pleasure of living in nine different countries across Africa, Europe, North America, and the Caribbean where she gained experience working in the global architectural market. During her freshman year she participated as a volunteer for Open House Dublin in Ireland, and over the summer she worked in Trinidad and Tobago for NLBA Architects on renovations to the Trinidad & Tobago National Zoo, as well as some interior design for corporate offices. Most recently, she completed her third internship with local Boston firm William Rawn Associates, where she worked several times during her undergrad studies doing everything from making intricate physical models to drafting construction documents for a wide variety of university projects for Harvard, Stanford, and Duke to name a few.

When she is not working exclusively on architectural endeavors, Shelly curates content for a digital media platform called Afriquette, which showcases African art, lifestyle, fashion, and social content to a growing online audience. Travelling helps her generate inspiration for the platform as well as for her own design ideas.

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.

Born and raised in Columbia, Maryland, Jack joined Utile in July 2017 as an architectural intern through Northeastern’s co-op program and is back at Utile part-time. After receiving his Bachelor of Science in Architecture with a minor in Urban Landscape Studies, Jack is currently working toward his Master in Architecture at Northeastern University.

Through his prior work at William Rawn Associates, HDR, and his current work here at Utile, his hope is to continue his lifelong dream to create a cross-disciplinary architecture that elicits dialogue, one that engages art, technology, sustainability, politics, economics, and history to generate a new and enriching human experience. If he’s not in the office working on the Autodesk Build Space Expansion in Boston’s Innovation and Design Center, there’s no telling where you’ll find him. He is constantly exploring his interests in theatre, photography, design, music, food, art, and at any moment can be found wandering the streets in the beautiful city of Boston. Unlike any other discipline, architecture has the ability to shape and define the way we see the world around us and his passion is to improve lives through architecture and design – and to have fun while doing so.

Randy is a architectural designer at Utile. He holds a BFA from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where he served as their AIAS chapter president and was awarded the Alpha Rho Chi medal.

His thesis project explored collisions between the analog and the digital through a study of discursive imagery and narrative structures – culminating in the proposal for a speculative infrastructure that bridges old and new.

While in school, Randy worked at the Center for Design Engagement – a nonprofit architecture & design resource center in Holyoke, MA that thrives on community, bottom-up design. He comes to Utile with experience working on public art, installation, and urban design + planning projects.

Since joining the firm in 2017, he has been involved in a variety of housing, interiors, and master planning efforts. He is particularly interested in visualization and design iteration.

Randy was born in Singapore and has family roots in Vietnam. He has an affinity for old sailboats, collage art, and longboarding.

Cyrus Dahmubed

Director of Research

dahmubed at utiledesign.com

Cyrus 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 since January of 2018, has been the Editor-in-Chief of CRIT, the national journal of the AIAS.

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 and landscape as a means to interpreting urban form and architectural design. Cyrus enjoys attending design events and exploring Boston’s hidden corners. He lives in Newton where he often spends the weekends chopping wood (a favorite pastime) and tending to his many pets, including four chickens.

Alexander Davis

AIA

davis at utiledesign.com

Alexander Davis joined Utile in 2012 as an architectural and urban designer. He has been involved in many 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. He is currently the project manager for a 34-unit affordable housing development located at 242 Spencer Avenue in Chelsea, MA.

Prior to joining Utile, Alexander received his Master of Architecture from Northeastern University, where his graduate thesis focused on the reintroduction of density within affordable and market-rate housing. He subsequently worked at firms across New England, including as a craftsman in the Architecture Resources Cambridge model shop, an Intern for Joan Heaton Architects, a Bristol Vermont firm specializing in contemporary-vernacular homes, and as a designer for Mackenzie Architects in Burlington, VT specializing in multifamily, multi-generational housing.

He was born and raised in Vermont, and as a result enjoys hiking, Bank Barn sighting, and the liberal use of maple syrup. Alexander lives in Lynn with his wife, mischievous Beagle, and energetic Labrador Retriever in a 1920s Cape Cod style house.

Sarah Dunbar

Associate

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 Dudley 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.

Jeff Geisinger

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

geisinger at utiledesign.com

Jeff Geisinger leads Utile’s environmental building performance and climate resilience initiatives. With over ten years of experience in energy modeling, Jeff has directed thermal performance analysis on grant-funded research through the National Endowment for the Humanities as well as numerous integrated, early-stage modeling efforts on Utile’s multifamily residential developments. Jeff served as sustainability leader on Utile’s award-winning entry in the international domestiCITY for an Affordable Atlanta competition, which earned first place for its innovative concepts in affordable and sustainable housing design and construction. In January 2018, he became a Certified Passive House Consultant through the Passive House Institute US (PHIUS).

Prior to joining Utile, Jeff worked for Ennead Architects in New York and Guillermo Vazquez Consuegra in Seville, Spain. He holds a B.Arch from Rice University and a Master of Science from the Building Technology Program at MIT. Jeff is a lecturer at Rhode Island School of Design, 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.

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.

Alessia Haddad

LEED GA

haddad at utiledesign.com

Alessia Haddad is an architectural designer and graduate of Syracuse University with a Bachelor of Architecture and minor in Business Management. During her studies, she interned internationally in Paris, Geneva and New York City and gained experience in residential, commercial and cultural building typologies, such as the Qatar National Museum in Doha. Taking full advantage of the study abroad programs her school had to offer, she spent one semester in Florence, Italy and another participating in an off-campus research studio that focused on gentrification and its cause and effect on urban real estate. Upon completion of her undergraduate degree program in 2016, she began working full-time in Boston with Elkus Manfredi Architects on large-scaled projects such as Port Covington in Baltimore and Children’s National Hospital at Walter Reed in Washington, DC. After two and a half years, she started with Utile to develop the next phases of construction for a multifamily housing project located in Brockton, MA. In her free time, Alessia loves to snowboard, watch endless documentaries and to travel. Next stop: South America!

James is a project manager and designer at Utile and brings over 13 years of experience to the team. His projects at the firm include concept design for United South End Settlements, Autodesk Phase II, and Utile’s Office Expansion.

Prior to joining Utile, James worked for Architecture Research Office in New York City. While at ARO, he was responsible for overseeing the Tate Library Renovation at Ethical Culture Fieldston School. James also worked on the strategic program planning for the FDR Four Freedoms Park Visitor Center, the renovation and rehabilitation of TWA Flight Center, the AIA Honor Award-winning Donald Judd Home and Studio, and the Applied Mathematics Building at Brown University – an AIA Design Award-winning design/build project.

James received his Bachelor of Architecture from Syracuse University School of Architecture in 2006. Through rigorous experimentation and investigation, James is interested in creating architecture that unites the conceptual and pragmatic with a strong and coherent vision.

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 Award for Excellence in Urban Design. At Utile he has been involved with the development of the Brush Park Form-Based Code, the Malden River Greenway Planning Study, and the Eastern Market Neighborhood Framework Plan.

Adam previously worked as a designer in Boston, Doha, and Istanbul on projects across the scalar spectrum, including master plans, buildings, exhibitions, and mobile apps. He is continuously researching and writing, and has authored or co-authored essays for journals and magazines including the International Journal of Islamic Architecture, Architectural Design, and CLOG.

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.

Ian Kenney

AIA, LEED AP, CPHC®, Associate

kenney at utiledesign.com

Ian Kenney is an architect and project manager with Utile. He earned his BS in Architecture followed by his Master of Architecture from Northeastern University. He served as project manager for The Mastlight at Union Point, a 265-unit, mixed-use development located at the former South Weymouth Naval Air Station. A New York native, Ian has worked in both New York City and Boston and enjoys hiking, running, and drawing with ink.

CPHC® is a certification mark of Passive House Institute US (PHIUS). Used under license.

Chantel Kocher

AIA, LEED GA, 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 renovation of the Autodesk 3F Expansion and the design of a 50,000 square foot corporate interior fit-out in Kendall Square.

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.

Caroline Kraska joined Utile as an architectural designer in 2016 after receiving her B.S. in Architecture from the University of Virginia. She completed her thesis by investigating the design components that positively impact elementary education, such as sunlight levels. At Utile, her work has focused on the interior design of multifamily residential developments, including The Mastlight at Union Point in South Weymouth, MetroMark Apartments in Jamaica Plain, and the ongoing 380 Harrison Avenue in Boston’s South End.

Caroline was born and raised in New Jersey as a Red Sox fan. Before coming to Utile, she worked as an intern of residential architecture at Thomas Baio Architect, P.C. She has an affinity for plants, hiking, coffee shops, and sandwiches.

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.

Charlotte Lipschitz

AIA

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.

John joined Utile in 2016 as an urban planner working on the Envision Cambridge citywide planning project in Cambridge, MA. John received a Bachelor of Arts in Urban Studies from Vassar College in 2011 and a Master of Urban Planning from the Harvard Graduate School of Design in 2016. In 2014, he was a Fulbright scholar at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, Scotland. His research has addressed urban industrial land use in Glasgow and urban planning’s impact on civil unrest in Baltimore.

John was born and raised outside of Baltimore, Maryland. Prior to joining Utile, he worked in Baltimore City government, at landscape architecture and planning firm Mahan Rykiel Associates, and as a freelance web designer. His professional work has ranged from land use policy consultation to the sidewalk construction assessment. Whenever possible, John likes to cook, hike, and make music.

Kara McLellan

Marketing Director

mclellan at utiledesign.com

Kara joined Utile in 2014 as marketing director. Her career has focused on marketing professional services for a variety of disciplines, including architecture, engineering, planning, and urban design. She received her Bachelor of Business Administration in marketing from the University of Massachusetts Amherst Isenberg School of Management, with a minor in studio art. In 2001, Kara traveled to Ghana to establish and teach at a new business center in Takoradi-Sekondi as part of the university’s Business Development and Global Citizenship program. She is currently the chair of the Society for Marketing Professional Services (SMPS) Boston Membership Committee.

When not hard at work meeting deadlines, Kara enjoys yoga, photography, and attempting to tire out her dog, Wayne Rooney. She lives north of Boston with her husband and daughter.

Isaac Milley joined Utile in January of 2019 as part of Northeastern University’s co-op program. He is currently a 3rd year student working towards his Bachelor of Science in Architecture with a minor in Urban Landscape Studies. He hopes to pursue his interest in sustainable architecture and wants to further his knowledge of architecture and urban design during his time at Utile.

When not in the office Isaac enjoys travelling around the world, exploring new cultures and adventuring for new experiences. He spent his prior semester studying abroad in Spain taking in the historic and iconic architecture that Europe has to offer. A native of the Boston area, Isaac also enjoys baseball, hiking, photography, and graphic design in his spare time.

Nupoor joined Utile in 2015 after receiving her Master of Architecture in Urban Design from the Harvard Graduate School of Design. Her work is strongly informed by her upbringing in Mumbai, and lies at the intersection of design, planning, and policy in global cities. At Utile she was involved in spatial data analysis and visioning for the Imagine Boston 2030 planning effort.

Following her interest in urban design for the public realm, Nupoor interned with the New York City Department of City Planning (NYC DCP) where she developed NYCSDWK – a policy visualization of city sidewalks as an independent research project. This complemented her fieldwork on retail corridors to assess their vulnerability to flood risk for the Planning Department’s Resilient Retail study. Prior to the GSD, she was an associate with Sameep Padora and Associates (sP+a) in Mumbai where she led design teams on multi-use development projects and residential master plans.

Nupoor studied architecture in Mumbai at Kamla Raheja Vidyanidhi Institute for Architecture (KRVIA) where she returned to teach core design studios for first year students in 2012 and 2013. Her most recent experience includes teaching urban design studios for the Career Discovery program at Harvard GSD. In 2018, Nupoor was selected as a Fellow for the Institute for Public Architecture (IPA) Summer Residency, where her work focuses on infill housing issues in Queens.

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.

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.

Evan joined Utile in 2014. He has been a key team member on a wide range of projects throughout New England, including both affordable and market-rate housing. For non-profit developer VietAID, Evan has been involved with the ongoing 41-unit affordable Bowdoin Street Housing development, and the recently-completed Upper Washington Street Housing, both in Dorchester. He is currently managing the construction of a nine-unit condominium building in the South End.

Evan received his Bachelor of Architecture with a minor in Urban Studies, as well as his Master of Architecture degree from Northeastern University. His thesis work focused on the study of high-rise development in downtown Boston.

When not at the office, Evan can be found walking his dog, Otto, around Somerville with his fiance.

Maressa Perreault

AIA, NCARB, Associate

perreault at utiledesign.com

Maressa Perreault is an architect and project manager with experience in a wide range of residential, commercial, institutional, and academic projects. Her work has focused on skillfully navigating complex aesthetic and regulatory issues in historically sensitive environments. Maressa has led a broad range of projects at Utile, including the Boston City Hall and Plaza Study master plan and pilot projects including City Hall Exterior Lighting. She also managed the the 31-unit mixed-use 26 West Broadway in South Boston, Simmons College Library/Center for Student Success, and a master plan for Cranbrook in Bloomfield Hills, MI. Prior to joining Utile, Maressa worked at Ann Beha Architects and at Arch11 (Boulder, CO) where she was project designer for Fairplay Public Library, a modern addition to Colorado’s oldest working courthouse.

Maressa holds a BA in Studio Art and Architectural History from Middlebury College and a MArch from the University of Virginia, where she received the Faculty Award for Design Excellence. She was recognized by the BSA as “one of the upcoming generation of female design talent in the city” in the 2013 Women in Design: Urban Interventions competition. She is adjunct faculty at Northeastern’s School of Architecture and has served as a visiting design critic at RISD, Tulane, University of Colorado, Northeastern, MassArt, and BAC. Maressa lives in Boston’s South End with her husband 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. Originally from Cuba and raised in Florida, Claudia is excited to experience a true winter for the first time.

Margaret Rew

AIA

rew at utiledesign.com

Margaret joined the team at Utile in 2016 after completing her Master of Architecture at the University of Virginia. Margaret is a registered architect working on projects with a focus on strategic improvement projects for institutions. Her projects include a broad range of scales from the master plan study for Boston City Hall and Plaza to a first place entry for the BostonBRT Station Design Competition. Throughout she has been engaged with citizenship and agency within the city of Boston.

Prior to Utile, her graduate research focused on the architectural capacities of the ordinary, culminating in a project celebrating urban life through the front porch. Upon graduation, she was recognized for her leadership and service to the school with the prestigious Alpha Rho Chi Medal.

Margaret’s work is informed by her roots in the Boston art community. She studied Art History and Political Science at Tufts University and then worked for the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) and the Howard Yezerski Gallery. Most recently in 2018, she was commissioned to design and paint a wayfinding mural for the Boston Harbor Shipyard and Marina.

Jessica Robertson

Associate

robertson at utiledesign.com

Jessica Robertson joined Utile in 2015 as a senior planner. She is the project manager for Envision Cambridge, the ongoing comprehensive plan for the City of Cambridge, which will be completed in late 2018. Jessica also managed the public engagement for the City of Boston’s master plan, Imagine Boston 2030. This first-of-its-kind outreach effort engaged more than 15,000 Bostonians through a variety of innovative methods including workshops, street teams, online mapping tools, text message surveys, social media, and more.

Jessica has served as project manager for several downtown streetscape plans, including plans for Weston Town Center and Everett Square. She manages several current and completed projects in Providence, RI, including an ongoing reuse plan for the iconic Cranston Street Armory, and serving as the on-call urban design consultant for I-195 Redevelopment Commission.

Since 2014 Jessica has served on the Allston I-90 Interchange Task Force, advising MassDOT on the highway redesign project, which would open 90 acres of land, create new transit, walking and biking links, and reconnect two halves of the Allston neighborhood.

Prior to joining Utile, Jessica worked in transportation planning and policy for the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC). She coordinated the regional launch and expansion of the Hubway bike share system, and spearheaded MAPC’s parking practice. She authored policy papers including an analysis of Boston’s 2024 Olympic bid, gubernatorial and mayoral briefing books, and research on transportation finance. Prior to MAPC, Jessica was Program Director for the City of Boston Bicycle Program.

Jessica grew up in Ithaca, NY, and received a Bachelor of Arts in International Development from Brown University. She is a co-founder of CommonWheels Bike Co-Op, a nonprofit providing workshops and free bike repair in Allston, MA.

Allison Savage

AIA, LEED GA

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.

 

Taskina Tareen joined Utile in 2018 as an Urban Designer after receiving her Master of City Planning with an urban design focus from MIT. Originally from Lusaka, Zambia and with family roots in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Taskina’s research interests are deeply informed by her contextual upbringing and focus on matters of equity in the planning and design of our built environment. She earned her 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. Influenced by her undergraduate thesis experience, Taskina’s graduate research at MIT went on to explore inclusive and integrated local spatial planning approaches for anticipated transit-oriented development plans in Cape Town, South Africa.

While at MIT, Taskina also served as co-chair of UrbanAfrica, a student-led initiative that explores research and practice-based interests and analysis of African cities. Prior to attending graduate school, Taskina worked in the Downtown Boston  area as an architectural designer working on a variety of project types. In 2017, she spent an incredible three months as an urban planning intern in Valparaiso, Chile and hopes to explore more of South America soon.

Domenica Velasco was born and raised in Guayaquil, Ecuador. She moved to the United States to pursue an architecture degree at Syracuse University School of Architecture, where she participated in the New York City and London programs. She was part of the Fabrication Convoy Program studying and researching in the Netherlands, Germany, and Switzerland about concrete and new fabrication technologies.

In May 2017, Domenica earned a Bachelor of Architecture and received the James Britton Award for Best Thesis. Her thesis “@the_new_house: An Online-Offline Manifesto” is an investigation to the return of the design of a house as a manifesto, focusing on today’s evolving ways of living. The house of today for tomorrow will strive to represent our virtual “curated” lives in our physical reality, questioning the very perceptions of what a house should be and do.

Domenica joined Utile shortly after graduation as a junior designer. She previously interned at Form Architecture and Interiors, New York, working on residential projects and Gensler, Chicago, where she mainly worked on The Chicago Old Post Office project. In her free time, Domenica enjoys traveling, cycling, and trying new restaurants.

Casey joined Utile as an architectural designer in January of 2018, after completing her Bachelor of Architecture at the University of Oregon in 2017. Her thesis project pursued questions of community, equity, and ecology in Portland, Oregon, and explored the Cascadia seismic event as a catalyst for design to develop urban and community resilience in the city and the region.

Before coming to Utile, Casey worked with Yale-Brown Architects in Portland, Oregon on a variety of mixed-use and urban design projects.

Born and raised in the Northwest, Casey is excited about exploring her new home in Boston. She considers herself an accidental beer snob and a food network addict, and in her free time enjoys podcasts that range from politics and policy to culture and design.

Heather Williams joined Utile in 2016 as an administrative assistant. After receiving her Bachelors in Supervisory Management with a Minor in Psychology from Western Connecticut State University in Danbury, Heather moved to Boston and briefly worked for Citizen’s Bank. Now with Utile, she will be offering much-need administrative support to the rapidly-growing company.

Heather was the captain of the Western Connecticut State University volleyball team, leading them to the conference title for an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament. Originally from Kingston, New York, Heather spends her time exploring her new city, spending time with friends, and attending sporting events.

Brendan Willis

AIA

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 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.

Jessy joined Utile in 2018 as an urban designer after earning his Master of Architecture in Urban Design degree with distinction from the Harvard University Graduate School of Design, where he won the Award for Outstanding Leadership in Urban Design. At Utile, he is involved with reimagining the future of Dorothea Dix Park in Raleigh, North Carolina. Prior to joining Utile, Jessy worked at the Harvard GSD Office for Urbanization where he conducted design research on the urban adaptation of Miami Beach to climate change and sea level rise.
Prior to joining Utile, Jessy worked at Stan Allen Architects, Machado Silvetti Associates, and CAZA Architects. Having taught summer courses on architecture and urban design at the GSD, he is currently co-teaching a graduate studio at the Boston Architectural College on the integration of typology and topography. Jessy received his Bachelor of Architecture from the Rice University School of Architecture in his hometown Houston, TX.

Yuting Zhang

LEED AP

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.