Scott D. Baker PLA PrincipalBio
A seminal figure in Los Angeles’ design community, Scott Baker is President of RELM. He has authored some of the studio’s most esteemed commissions over his 15-year studio tenure including LAPD Headquarters, Wilshire Grand, and Long Beach Airport. Now, as the studio’s sole owner, Scott looks to build upon the firm’s 30-year legacy and punctuate its ascending recognition for urban landscapes. Scott understands the imperative urban design plays in fostering vibrant public spaces. Ground planes must be rationally organized to elicit full public engagement. Urban life is created through the successful integration of connectivity and aesthetics. Regarded for his client relationships, Scott makes a point to understand and then champion his client’s business goals. He is versant in many project typologies—civic, transportation, commercial, and hospitality—and draws inspiration from fashion, nature, and art.
Bachelor of Landscape Architecture, University of Guelph, 1995
‘Design isn’t always the answer. Sometimes you have to resist the purely creative process and allow public life to drive the urban form before you begin the creative process. You can’t just inherit a site and not question how things are connected. I love the edges as much as I love the landscape.’
David Maestres Associate ASLA + AIA PrincipalBio
David Maestres joins RELM as a Principal and Director of Design with an extensive background creating international public spaces. Trained in architecture, David has shifted his focus to landscape architecture within the urban context, advocating a truly interdisciplinary approach to design. David champions landscapes that invite clients, and their respective cities, to reimagine the interplay between planning, policy, ecology; optimal site performance, and public enjoyment. David’s command of contemporary academic theory along with his business acumen have led to a distinguished career. Prior to RELM, he was instrumental in executing premiere commissions for Mia Lehrer + Associates and OLIN including the First and Broadway Park commission with OMA/IDEO and the winning submission for the LA Convention Center. As Director of Design, David looks to grow RELM’s expertise in 3D modeling, visual communications, and spatial design.
Master in Architecture with Distinction (MArch II), Harvard University Graduate School of Design, 2002
Professional Degree in Architecture, Universidad Simon Bolivar, 1997
‘Spatial and sensory experience are paramount for me. How people viscerally relate to the physical and natural environment is what drives me as a designer.’
E. Allan Spulecki RA PLA PrincipalBio
Allan Spulecki is Principal and Director of Technical Design at RELM. Trained and licensed in both architecture and landscape architecture, Allan is adept in elegantly resolving complex issues/systems to render some of the country’s most heralded public landscapes including Columbus Circle and the Washington Monument under Laurie Olin; the Fran and Ray Stark Sculpture Garden at the Getty Museum in West Los Angeles and Mill River Park, a career highlight. There, he spearheaded the de-channelization of a stagnant and under-utilized urban river front in the heart of downtown Stamford, CT, yielding a welcoming, dynamic, and award winning 12-acre civic park. Allan’s love of open space and riparian edges is as profound as they are for urban systems. At RELM, Allan leads his own design projects while overseeing the technical design across all studio commissions.
Master in Landscape Architecture, University of Pennsylvania, 1995
Master in Architecture, University of Pennsylvania, 1994
Bachelor of Architecture, Catholic University, Washington D.C. 1986
‘Los Angeles is at a pivotal moment in its history were ecology, water, density, open space, and multi-modal transit are forcing a new paradigm of systems and application. I look forward to applying my rich experience in the evolution of this great city.’
Valorie Born Affiliate ASLA Communications and Strategy ConsultantBio
For the past 15 years, Valorie Born has led business development and communication endeavors for esteemed design and engineering firms worldwide. Her efforts have yielded commissions with distinguished collaborators including Studio Gang, SOM, Foster + Partners, Field Operations, and SWA among others while advancing the brands of Fluidity Design Consultants, Urban Art Projects, OLIN, and Sherwood Design Engineers, all former employers.
Valorie is now a consultant advising firms on brand strategy, client relations, operations, and business development. She works intimately with studio leadership in clarifying voice and authoring compelling narratives. She was instrumental in conceiving RELM’s brand identity and collateral and is now working to build RELM into a bespoke, national practice. Her ongoing efforts include strategy, marketing, leadership training, and writing.
Bachelor of Arts in Cultural Anthropology, University of Texas at Austin, 1997
‘Even timeless designs have a point of view. Brands—and their leaders—need to give voice to their point of view to succeed.’
Tony Lopez ASLA AssociateBio
Tony Lopez is one of RELM’s veteran designers. His hand and technical expertise have been instrumental in realizing many of the studio’s acclaimed landscapes including Wilshire Grand, Long Beach Airport and Santa Monica College Quad. An avid skateboarder, Tony has a deep appreciation for Los Angeles’ urban realm: its personality, its heart. Streets, alleyways and parks are his recreational domain. He brings this spatial understanding of the city to his work. LA is a city of objects and cultural paradox. He embraces this and through his experiences, seeks to create urban interventions that frame multi-layered experiences for the public to enjoy on foot, on bike, in a car, and at rest.
Bachelor of Landscape Architecture, California Polytech University, San Luis Obispo, 2005
‘One of the most gratifying moments for me as a landscape architect is when I see posts of places like Long Beach Airport with #home. I want people to adopt landscapes as their own.’
Darren Shirai PLA AssociateBio
Darren is a licensed landscape architect with over twenty years of experience in design and horticulture. His desire to craft public spaces that connect to their landscape is heavily influenced by his interest in living systems and place-based designs that foster deep connections to the social, cultural, and environmental stories of sites. Drawing on his background in both economics and design, Darren focuses on the reclamation of ecological systems and the creation of spaces that add social, economic and environmental value to the urban landscape.
Certificate of Landscape Architecture, UCLA Extension, 1994
Bachelor of Arts in Economics, Creighton University, 1986
‘People are part of nature too.’
Ruoyi Peng Landscape DesignerBio
Ruoyi Peng is a landscape designer at RELM who has contributed to both planning and design projects. Her knowledge of urban systems and spatial design is well recognized within the studio. She is versant across multiple typologies including open space, mixed use, urban infill and healthcare. Prior to joining RELM, she worked for a landscape architecture firm in Naples, Florida in addition to an architectural design and research firm in Shanghai.
Master of Landscape Architecture, Louisiana State University, 2015
Bachelor of Engineering in Landscape Architecture, Tongji University, 2012
‘Design is a magical experience. I feel fortunate to bring people into an enviroment, built out of creativity, that offers the public a wonderful experience.’
Matthew Tanicello Landscape DesignerBio
Matthew Tanciello brings a nuanced understanding to design. A self-trained furniture builder with experience working construction, Matthew brings an acute appreciation for craftsmanship to landscape design. He intuitively understands the assembly of construction details and how the ground plane must gracefully activate the built environment. He has practiced in Philadelphia, Miami, and Los Angeles. At RELM, he is actively improving CAD standards and working across project teams to ensure quality construction document sets. Outside of work, Matthew is an avid roadsman, riding his BMX, his motorcycle or road biking on the ever-growing bicycle infrastructure in LA.
Bachelor of Landscape Architecture, Philadelphia University, 2013
‘People like to see designs for what they are--they don’t want to be fooled with faux materials or tricked with illusions. Designs need to be true to their material and vegetated palette, as well as address functionality adeptly.’
Chad Krenzke Senior Landscape DesignerBio
Chad is a senior landscape designer who joined RELM in 2012, specializing in design and project management. During his tenure at RELM, he has worked on a wide range of typologies including academic campuses, mixed-use developments, urban streetscapes, and public open space. While facile in concept design and documentation, Chad’s passions lay in project management, stewarding many of RELM’s largest private developments, notably Ivy Station, a 5.2 acre mixed-use transit-oriented development adjacent to the Expo Line station in Culver City.
Bachelor of Landscape Architecture, Colorado State University, 2012
‘In the urban realm, we create and transform the landscape, beyond the obvious, to create something memorable that enriches the quality of life in our cities.’
Ju Liu Landscape DesignerBio
Ju Liu is interested in design communication medias. Facile in watercolor, clay modeling, diagram studies as well as Rhino and Grasshopper digital modeling, Ju aids design teams in conveying a project’s aesthetic vision. Her goal is to convey a full sensory experience—illustrating what visitors might smell, touch, and see as they move through a site. Upon joining RELM, Ju has assisted in the development two large mixed-use projects: Paseo Marina in Marina Del Ray in Los Angeles and Park + Mark, a residential mixed-used project in San Diego.
Master of Landscape Architecture, Louisiana State University, 2014
Bachelor of Urban Planning, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, 2011
‘Relationships between objects are stronger than the objects themselves. For me, design is about exploring suchh relationships, best reconfiguring a site's typology and design drivers into a beautiful relationship.’
John Harper Senior Landscape DesignerBio
John joins RELM with a ten-year background designing complex transit oriented and infrastructure projects across Australia and China. He brings this global understanding of urbanization and density to RELM’s studio and is quickly leading many of our largest development projects: NOHO Square; a competition entry for the Port of Los Angeles; and an extensive intervention at Amgen’s corporate campus in Thousand Oaks. John is a gifted communicator and puts people at the center of all his work, harnessing the belief that the built environment can improve health and happiness.
Masters of Social Science, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, 2009
Bachelor of Design in Landscape Architecture, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, 2007
Registered Landscape Architect in Australia.
‘Landscape Architecture is not an accidental career, to be good at what we do we must care deeply about the environment and the people who inhabit it. I fight for every inch of open space, and for every tree.’
Jessie Hong LEED AP Landscape DesignerBio
Jessie Hong joins RELM as a landscape designer with 4 years of domestic and international experience. She serves as project designer working for institutional and developer clients alike, most recently with Kaiser Permanente in Irwindale and Crescent Heights, where she is helping lead RELM’s team collaborating with Rafael Viñoly’s office on One Grant Park, a 76-story residential tower at the South End of Chicago’s Grant Park. Jessie began her career at EDSA where she designed high-end resorts, residential developments, and master planning projects throughout Latin America. Her belief in designing for simplicity, durability, and ease of use guides her practice along with her avid love for outdoor sports— snowboarding, surfing, bouldering, and triathlons. Jessie also spends her off work time contribute to the ACE Mentor Program as a mentor.
Master of Landscape Architecture, Ball State University, 2012
Bachelor of Arts in Interior Design and Historic Preservation, Xi’an Academy of Fine Arts, 2008
‘Design is not about making things perfect. I believe in keeping it simple yet significant. There is beauty in asymmetry, simplicity, austerity, and the appreciation of nature— I call this the Wabi Sabi of landscape architecture. ‘
Yixun Zhang Landscape DesignerBio
Yixun Zhang is a landscape designer at RELM. Trained in both urban planning and landscape architecture, Yixun believes that urban context and site-specificity, forces that are both harmonious and antagonist to each other, create the best landscapes when artistically reconciled. These public realms improve walkability, connectivity, sustainability, and urban identity. Facile in 3D modeling, Yixun is helping to advance RELM’s design process and visual communications and representation.
Master of Landscape Architecture, Texas A&M University, 2015
Certificated in Sustainable Urbanism, Texas A&M University, 2015
Bachelor of Urban Planning, Tianjin Institute of Urban Construction, 2012
‘Successful landscapes are comfortable and attractive for residents and visitors alike. They represent the spirit of a city and reflect the wisdom of people living there.’
David Mazer Landscape DesignerBio
David began his career working in photography—namely fashion-—in New York before studying landscape architecture. Since graduating, David has worked on a myriad of project types and locales ranging from public parks, green spaces, and large scale commercial projects in both Florida and California. He appreciates the constantly evolving scope of the landscape architect. As city systems become more complex and relationships are inherently exposed as more interdependent, he is encouraged by the increasing stewardship landscapes architects play in city building. David is passionate about creating resilient urban ecologies.
Master of Landscape Architecture, Rhode Island School of Design, 2013
Bachelor of Fine Art, University of the Arts, 1995
‘The scope of landscape architecture in its many forms, is continuously evolving to meet the challenges of a changing climate. When approaching design I’m inspired by natural forms, responding to the site or region.’
Jane Guo InternBio
Masters of Landscape Architecture, University of Southern California, 2017