Architecture + Design
Gabrielle oversees Perkins+Will’s Diversity, Inclusion, and Engagement program, which works to support and strengthen a firmwide culture that embraces a diversity of people, colors, creeds, credos, talents, thoughts, and ideas. Her unique role as an award-winning principal and the firm’s Director of Global Diversity enables her to combine her passion for architecture and social justice to effect positive change at a micro and macro level. Gabrielle is regularly sought out around the world for her leadership and expertise in issues of social equity in architecture, including race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religion, and physical and mental ability.
Gabrielle has been a key player in Perkins+Will’s success for nearly three decades. She’s worked in both the New York and Los Angeles offices, and became the first African-American and first woman to rise to the position of Managing Director of the Los Angeles office. Over the course of her career, she has led numerous complex and high-profile projects, including the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, one of the largest building projects ever completed for the University of California system.
Gabrielle graduated in 1984 from the Rhode Island School of Design with degrees in fine arts and architecture, becoming the second African-American woman in history to earn an architecture degree from that university. In 2014, she was elected by her peers as a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), and now serves on the AIA’s Equity in Architecture Commission. She is a member of the National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA), a past board member of the Girl Scouts of Greater Los Angeles, and a board member of the Center for Architecture and Urban Design Los Angeles and the International Interior Design Association.
As Design Director of the North Carolina practice, he leads both Perkins+Will North Carolina offices in Durham and Charlotte. Freelon is a member of the Board of Directors and a key leader for the firm's cultural and civic practice.
Freelon’s design achievements include cultural, civic and academic projects for some of America’s most respected cultural institutions. He led the design team for the $500M Smithsonian Institution National Museum of African American History and Culture and is the design architect for the National Center for Civil Rights in Atlanta. His portfolio also includes the Museum of the African Diaspora in San Francisco, Emancipation Park in Houston, multiple library projects for the DC Public Library System and the Durham County Human Services Complex.
In 2011, he was appointed by former President Barack Obama to the National Commission of Fine Arts. Freelon is a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects (FAIA) and a recipient of the Thomas Jefferson Award for Public Architecture. In 2017, he was named one of Fast Company’s most creative people in business.
Zena has more than 25 years of experience with private and public institutions, museum and cultural facilities, libraries, and higher education facilities. Her experience focuses on clients with specialized and/or unique design goals such as environmentally sensitive artifact exhibit areas, environmentally and spatially sensitive spaces for autistic children, historically and culturally significant buildings and locations, and sustainable design in pursuit of LEED® certification and other high performance building goals.
Zena earned her Bachelor of Science degree in architecture from the University of Virginia. She is a LEED Accredited Professional, a member of the American Institute of Architects, and the National Organization of Minority Architects.
Drake Dillard is a registered architect with over three decades of experience in commercial, educational and healthcare sectors. Drake is passionate about community engagement and mentoring future generations.As a proud citizen architect, he is committed to engaging and building for the community by creating impactful buildings, spaces, and places that foster strong neighborhoods.
Throughout his career, Drake has been instrumental in leading highly technical and complex building projects requiring the participation of multiple stakeholders and consultants, both locally and internationally. His expertise includes working on large programs involving multi-disciplinary project teams. His success in managing projects is founded in assembling good teams that will work hard and with respect for each other.
Actively involved in numerous community and industry organizations, Drake currently serves on The Crenshaw Design Review Panel, as a Commissioner for LA County, and as Board Chair of the Crenshaw Family YMCA. He is a member and past National Present of The National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA), and the Los Angeles Chapter Board Director of the American Institute of Architects (AIA LA).
In South Los Angeles, Drake’s experience includes the renowned Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science. His international and national work includes projects in Chicago, San Diego, New Orleans, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Africa.
As a Design Principal for the North Carolina Practice, Kenneth is responsible for maintaining the high design standards that Perkins+Will is known for. He has won numerous design awards for a body of work that consistently represents the essential story of each client, bringing forward architectural expressions that are both meaningful and inspiring. Kenneth provides leadership to the collaborative design process for many project types, including museums, libraries, higher education, corporate office, healthcare, and science + technology. This experience is at the root of his ability to bring clarity to the inherent complexities of all projects in support of design expressions that are meaningful and unique to each client.
Kenneth serves the architectural community on the Designlife Board of Directors at NC State University’s College of Design, where he has taught as an adjunct professor in architecture and chairs the Leaders Council Committee. Kenneth lectures on a variety of design topics, is a frequent visiting design critic, and frequently serves as a juror for design awards.
Kenneth earned his Bachelor of Environmental Design degree from Texas A&M University’s College of Architecture. He studied design at the University of Cambridge in England and earned his Master of Architecture degree from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design.
Martin Leitner is an architect who has committed his career to enhancing our cities and communities with transformative urban design. As leader of the Los Angeles urban design practice, his experience includes highly-complex urban projects for public and private clients in the US and internationally. Martin’s nationally recognized work includes the urban design plan for the iconic Hollywood Boulevard District, a new downtown master plan for a 105-acre former mall site in Westminster, Colorado, and Plaza Saltillo, a transit-oriented development master plan in Austin, Texas. Currently, Martin is involved with Destination Crenshaw, the Lower LA River Revitalization Plan, and several transit-oriented development sites around Metro stations. Martin holds a master’s degree in architecture from Bauhaus University Weimar, Germany. He is a member of the American Institute of Architects and Chair of the AIA Los Angeles Urban Design Committee.
Jorge Mutis brings 10 years of local and international experience in commercial, cultural, athletic, residential, and educational architecture. He has built client relationships, managed and lead design teams into the development of large projects, and effectively been responsible for controlling project budgets, schedules and communications between City Officials, consultants, and client teams. As LA’s neighborhoods continue to evolve, Jorge is committed to working with local communities to meet the growing need for density, while consistently striving to maintain the cultural fabric and ethnic values of each individual neighborhood. Since the inception of the Destination Crenshaw project, Jorge has worked with the local community and project team to translate the community's vision into an effective framework for the conceptual design. Born in Colombia and educated in the USA, Jorge is constantly inspired by the cultural richness found in LA’s diverse communities. He firmly believes that architecture has the responsibility to better the world. As architects we empower people to foster their greatest potential. From the workplace to a place of worship, every space we inhabit has to honor the broader goals of society.
Designer Foad Faizi joined Perkins+Will North Carolina in 2016. Foad as an architect and landscape architect has worked on various projects including museums, libraries, and urban design projects. He brings an international and delivery-focused vision to his projects. Foad has a passion for architecture and design at all scales, and is dedicated to ensuring environmental sustainability is an integral part of every project. Foad’s work takes inspiration from the far-reaching effects architecture can have on the community, and how effective urban design can positively build strong, livable and vibrant neighborhoods. His work on public, corporate and educational projects has been recognized locally and nationally. Utilizing his diverse design background, Foad pairs an understanding of human behavior with the exploration of environmental, architectural, and sustainable design solutions to create projects with user experiences that can improve lives and promote equity. Foad has made notable contributions to several key projects including Main Street 800 Block-Hogan’s Alley in Vancouver, Wake Forest Library in North Carolina, and Seminary of Southwest in Austin. His past cultural work includes the Motown Museum in Detroit, Michigan, including the creation of 50,000 square feet of space for interactive exhibits, a state-of-the art performance theater, new recording studios, an improved retail experience. Currently, his role on Destination Crenshaw includes working with the local community to translate a community-wide vision into a conceptual design framework for sustainable and dynamic Crenshaw corridor.
Malcom E. Davis
Malcolm Davis is a Corporate, Commercial, Civic and Cultural Practice Leader. Malcolm joins Perkins+Will from Bergmann Associates and previously Gantt Huberman Architects, the landmark Charlotte firm which merged with Bergmann in 2012. At both firms, he worked on some of the region’s most significant and memorable public places. A Charlotte resident since 1993, Davis is a volunteer leader in several civic, cultural, and professional association roles including serving on the Board of Directors of the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art, Executive Board member of the Charlotte chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), Advisory Board member of the Charlotte Branch of Mechanics and Farmer’s Bank (MF Bank), and Board member of the national nonprofit school literacy organization Reading Partners of Charlotte