The 2019 Design Awards Jury is comprised of architects in Minneapolis. Read more about them below.

Thomas Fisher, Associate AIA

Tom Fisher portrait (4)Thomas Fisher is a Professor in the School of Architecture, the Dayton Hudson Chair in Urban Design, and the Director of the Minnesota Design Centre at the College of Design, University of Minnesota. A graduate of Cornell University in architecture and Case Western Reserve University in intellectual history, he was recognized in 2005 as the fifth most published writer about architecture, having written 10 books, over 50 book chapters or introductions, and over 400 articles in professional journals and major publications. He has been named a top-25 design educator four times by Design Intelligence.




James Garrett Jr., AIA

James GarrettBy uniting art with architecture, James Garrett Jr., AIA, creates dynamic spaces for the 21st century that demonstrate a commitment to diversity and equity in the profession. A visual artist and writer who was formally trained as an architect, he gives voice to underserved communities and is deeply invested in the human experience.

Born in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, to American parents who returned stateside when he was young, Garrett spent his formative years in St. Paul, Minnesota, where his interest in cities was sparked. Growing up in the post-industrial era that gave rise to hip-hop culture and graffiti writing, he has made it his mission to reconnect art and architecture. His work as the founding partner of St. Paul’s 4RM+ULA combines resiliency and dynamic expression in the form of vibrant color and diverse media. Founded in 2002, the firm has evolved into a full-service practice focused on transit design and transit-oriented development.

James is a registered architect in Minnesota, New York, and New Jersey. He holds an A.B. Degree in Architecture from the College of Environmental Design at University of California (Berkeley, CA) and an M’Arch degree from Parsons School of Design (New York City, NY). He currently serves on the Metropolitan Council Livable Communities and Transit Oriented Development Advisory Committees. In 2002, he founded 4RM+ULA (FORM + Urban Landscape Articulation), a full-service architecture firm focused on Transit Design, Transit-Oriented-Development, and urban infill redevelopment projects.

He was a 2015 AIA MN Young Architect Award recipient, is a 2019 AIA National Young Architect Award recipient and was also named as one of ‘25 Young Architects to Watch’ by the Architizer Journal.

James lives in St. Paul, Minnesota with his wife Paola Sanchez-Garrett and sons; Nikola and James.

Ginny Lackovic, AIA

Lackovic Ginny po 0367Ginny specializes in historic preservation, building forensics, and preservation technology. She takes a hands-on approach during design and construction, working with owners, city officials, historic preservation commissions, government agencies, and other stakeholders to design sensitive solutions that respect a building’s architectural integrity while supporting new requirements for contemporary uses. As a preservation specialist, Ginny has reviewed and advised on hundreds of projects impacting historic landmarks throughout Minnesota, collaborating with some of the most committed preservation advocates from across the state. She serves as chair of the Minneapolis Heritage Preservation Committee and in 2016, Ginny was awarded the City of Minneapolis’ Steve Murray Award—the top individual honor for preservation in Minneapolis.



Jody McGuire, AIA

Jody McGuireJody McGuire, AIA, is a principal at SALA Architects in Minneapolis, Minnesota and an adjunct assistant professor at the University of Minnesota’s College of Design.    Her work experience includes residential and institutional work at Gray Organschi Architecture and Turner Brooks Architect in New Haven, Connecticut, as well as at the Takenaka Corporation in Osaka, Japan.    From 2006-2012, she ran a practice with her husband, Aaron Amosson, completing work in New England and New York City.   She values collaboration, communication and innovation throughout the design and construction processes.




Jennifer Newsom, AIA

Jennifer NewsomJennifer Newsom is a licensed architect, artist, and co-founder of Dream The Combine, based in Minneapolis, MN. She is Assistant Professor at the University of Minnesota School of Architecture.

Dream The Combine’s work consists of large-scale, public art installations exploring metaphor, perceptual uncertainties, and the boundary between real and illusory space. They are winners of the 2018 Young Architects Program at MoMA PS1 for their installation Hide & Seek.

Dream the Combine has exhibited at MoMA and MoMA PS1 in New York, NY, and in East Haddam CT, Vancouver BC, Rome Italy, Minneapolis MN and St. Paul MN. Their work has been published widely, including The New York Times, Metropolis Magazine, Dezeen, Architect, Architectural Record, The Architects Newspaper, and Log. Jennifer earned her Bachelor of Arts and Master of Architecture from Yale University.




Jennifer Yoos, FAIA

Jennifer YoosJennifer Yoos FAIA is an architect and principal/president of VJAA. Based in Minneapolis, the firm is known for its innovative approach to architectural practice, to environmental design, and to highly crafted buildings. VJAA is the recipient of the 2012 National American Institute of Architects Firm Award. Since its founding in 1995, the firm has received nineteen national design awards, including six National American Institute of Architects Honor Awards, six Progressive Architecture Awards, and two American Institute of Architects/Committee on the Environment Top Ten Green Building Awards.  In 2010, Architect magazine ranked VJAA first in the United States for design recognition.

Jennifer received her Graduate Diploma in Design from the Architectural Association in London, her professional degree in Architecture from the University of Minnesota and was awarded a Loeb Fellowship at the Harvard Graduate School of Design.  She teaches architecture, most recently as a Visiting Professor at Washington University in St. Louis. She is co-author, with partner Vincent James, of a recent monograph on their practice published by Princeton Architectural Press as well as their recent book Parallel Cities: The Multilevel Metropolis (2016).

In 2017, she received the AIA Minnesota Emerging Talent Award for demonstrating excellence in residential design and for boldness in developing her own architectural voice.  She is also an AIA Minnesota Young Architects Award recipient, given for exceptional leadership and significant contributions to the profession.