Desire to thoughtfully blend space, form, and complex order to fulfill all programmatic and operational needs.
Zachary PalmerAssistant Designer — San Diego
As an Assistant Designer, Zachary collaborates with Senior Designers and Project Managers in the designing of projects. He focuses on residential, retail, and mixed-use projects. Zach is dedicated to meeting deadlines and helps with developing design workflows and processes.
Raised in a family of builders, his early years were spent in his uncle’s workshop in front of plans. This kickstarted Zach’s drive to create.
Zach has grown from student intern in our San Diego office to a part-time employee, all while continuing to explore his passion for architecture.
B.Arch, New School of Architecture + Design (graduation 2019)
"To me, design process is an effort of finding a balance. When it is done right, it feels easy and comfortable."
Byung KangSenior Associate, Senior Designer — San Francisco
Byung has an extensive background, with experience in Commercial, Residential, Hospitality, and Healthcare projects. A creator, Byung does not feel architectural design is work, but instead finds joy in the process, from the time of design inception into the development of crucial details while maintaining design intention throughout the CD/CA phases. Great at understanding clients’ needs in terms of time, budget, and design quality, Byung has the ability to infuse excitement into any project.
- Registered Architect, California
- M.Arch, Georgia Institute of Technology
- M.Arch, Korea University, Seoul, Korea
- B.Arch, Korea University, Seoul, Korea
- LEED Accredited Professional
"Designing spaces is to create a lifestyle; the goal is to design one that will facilitate activity and light human spirit."
Jia ChenDesigner — San Francisco
Jia is counted upon to deliver efficient, creative design support to our staff. Her role as a Junior Designer is to ensure that our clients’ needs and goals are clearly conveyed in the finer details and overall package of a project.
With strong time management and project delivery traits, Jia takes pride in preparing documents for client and governmental approval as well as having the ability to prepare a variety of ideas at the concept phase. She never takes her mind off the priorities of each project. Jia believes that a thoroughly well-designed space can reach its full creative potential when attention is paid to subtle elements and executed thoughtfully.
- B.S. Architecture, University of Bath, United Kingdom
- M.Arch, University of California, Berkeley
"Architecture fascinates me with its combination of rational logic and perceptual understanding merging to focus on improving lifestyles."
Qianqian ZhangDesigner — San Francisco
A highly adaptable designer on the SGPA team, Qianqian combines her formal education with her experiences living, exploring, and studying abroad to inform and develop design solutions.
Well-versed in Autodesk CAD, REVIT, Sketchup, Adobe programs, Rhinocero, 3D Max, VRay, Maxwell, Grasshopper, and Lumion, Qianqian considers each projects’ possibilities, social sensitives, and design options with a fresh, well-trained perspective and an underlying passion for architecture and design.
- M.Arch, Texas A&M University
- M. Arch, Jilin Institute of Architecture and Civil Engineering
- B.Arch, Jilin Institute of Architecture and Civil Engineering
- LEED Green Associate
"Travel and experiences shape our perception and create a new and unique vantage in our way of seeing."
Hilary BackmanSenior Associate, Senior Designer, Studio Leader — San Diego
With over 25 years of experience, Hil has designed a range of successful projects in California and abroad. He has been fortunate to design many building types including Residential, Retail, Mixed Use, Senior Living, Hotels, Higher Education, and Creative Offices. Hil has also designed large scale planning projects from Eco-Tourism to Urban Planning.
At SGPA, Hil blends effective communication skills and a flexible approach to design while working with clients, consultants, and colleagues to create special places that resonate with end users. He is also involved with the architectural and planning communities with associations such as ICSC, NIAOP, ULI, and BIA.
Hil’s deep passion and wonder of our built environment inspired him to pursue a career in architecture and design. He enjoys bringing life to the projects, or in other words “taking it from dream to reality.” He enjoys the collaborative process of working with clients as he believes it always deepens and enriches the work. Hil draws his inspiration from past and current architectural masters defining design with mass, texture, light, time and space.
- M.Arch, Dalhousie, Nova Scotia, CA
- B. Environmental Design Studies in Architecture, Dalhousie, Nova Scotia, CA
- B.F.A. Painting and Drawing, Concordia University, Montreal, Quebec, CA
Nadya Robledo EspinozaDesigner — San Diego
As a Designer & Planner at SGPA, Nadya assists with design and production assignments for a variety of project types. With a degree in Architecture and concentration in Urban Studies, she is experienced in design research, pre-design, schematic design and design development. With over six years of experience, Nadya’s innovative design skills resonate from her belief that function yields more importance than form alone. Her technology-based skill set allows her designs to benefit from tools such as video editing, photography, 3D modeling, drafting and introductory software programming.
Architecture is ideally suited for Nadya; The combination of logistics and aesthetics fulfills her inherent desire to influence current and future generations through spatial design.
- B.Arch, NewSchool of Architecture + Design
"I most enjoy working on projects that combine great urban design with inspired architecture. I believe these types of projects can have the greatest positive impact on people's health, happiness, and quality of life."
Glenn A. WoodPrincipal, Director of Design & Planning, Studio Leader — San Francisco
With over 20 years of professional experience, Glenn specializes in the design of mixed-use urban environments that allow people to live more active, fulfilling, and healthy lifestyles while reducing their environmental footprint.
As a Residential | Mixed-use Studio Leader, Glenn has led the design effort on numerous projects that integrate residential, commercial, and civic uses into walkable and sustainable neighborhoods. His role includes leading the design direction of the San Francisco office, developing strong client relationships, and mentoring future firm leadership.
In each project, Glenn strives to develop a common vision that synthesizes the unique cultural, economic, and planning goals of the local community with the aspirations of the client to create livable and lasting new places.
- Registered Architect, California
- B.Arch, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo
- LEED Accredited Professional