Interior Design Tech+Design explores the intersection of technology, design—and technology's influence on the workspace and beyond. The day is hosted and moderated by Cindy Allen, editor in chief of Interior Design . The event concludes with the 1st annual MakeItWork Awards honoring design's impact on the workplace. #IDtechdesign

September 29-30 | Contemporary Jewish Museum, San Francisco








Advisory Board




Enter MakeItWork


Tech+Design Advisory Board

Cindy Allen , Editor in Chief, Interior Design

Cindy Allen is lauded as “one of the most influential advocates for the interior design industry”. Since her editorship in 2001, Allen has established herself as a force in elevating the publication’s importance and exposure—strengthening its credentials as the main ambassador of design while proving it the vehicle of growth and success for the industry it represents.

Allen is an industry champion, promoting both the giants of design and the rising stars. A self-proclaimed design junkie, she brings an unbridled passion for design to the pages of the magazine each month, offering a unique view into design and personal connections to leaders in the industry. It doesn’t stop at the printed page; she actively participates in a variety of panels, juries, roundtables, speaking engagements, and industry events worldwide.

Allen received an Honorary Doctorate from the San Francisco Academy of Art in 2012 and the New York School of Interior Design in 2010. Recipient of the 2010 Circle of Excellence Award from IFDA and the 2009 Alpha Award by Alpha Workshops, Allen has served as juror for the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Awards and the Gensler Design Excellence Awards, among others, and is a board member for the Alpha Workshops. Cindy Allen is the 2014 Open House New York Honoree and is chairman of the national board of DIFFA (Design Industries Foundation Fighting Aids).

Collin Burry , Principal, Gensler

Collin is a 2013 inductee into Interior Design Magazine’s Hall of Fame. A “soft modernist” at heart, he describes himself as both a left- and right-brain designer who creates environments that strive for beauty and are grounded in strategy. Collin has transformed the interiors of many of the world’s most innovative brands, such as Apple, Samsung, Gallo and Dolby. His creative and contemporary approach to design has earned him more than 60 design awards and frequent publication in international design and business media. Collin believes in designing spaces that are responsible to our planet and enrich the lives of the people who use them; and he is a longtime advocate of design education and the performing arts. Collin is an IIDA Fellow and holds a B.S. of Interior Design from Woodbury University.

Melissa Duffy , Managing Principal, San Francisco, STUDIOS Architecture

Melissa joined STUDIOS in 1998, was promoted to Principal in 2011 and is the Managing Principal of the San Francisco office.

During her tenure, Melissa has established and cultivated long-term relationships with public and private clients alike, and has led management and design efforts for large, complex projects with multi-layered client and consultant teams.

Melissa is a member of the STUDIOS Project Management, Standards, and Steering Committee, as well as a driving force behind the firm's Mentorship program, supporting junior architects and interns to develop and achieve their professional goals.

Melissa Hanley , Principal and CEO, Blitz Architecture + Interiors

Melissa is the principal and co-founder of Design Blitz. A graduate of the College of Environmental Design at the University of California, Berkeley, she spent several years with a mid-size firm specializing in higher education and K12 projects prior to co-founding Design Blitz in 2009.

Melissa has always had a passion for interiors and user-centered environments and has worked to make Blitz a leader in commercial and workplace interior design. Inspired by research, metrics and rigorous investigation of workplace typologies, Melissa works to ensure Blitz projects are not only beautiful and a pleasure to inhabit, but meet the functional and economic requirements of efficient work space in the modern business world.

Daniel Herriott , Director of Interior Design, HOK

Daniel Herriott, IIDA, LEED GA, is director of interior design in San Francisco. Since joining HOK in 2005, his experience includes corporate, commercial, retail, residential, mixed-use and product design projects. He takes pride in providing an exceptional level of service that creates the best projects and most value for clients.

In 2014, Daniel moved from HOK’s London office to join the San Francisco team. While in London, he led the design of the BBC New Broadcasting House, a 484,400-square-foot, state-of-the-art interior renovation that incorporates sophisticated technology within a highly flexible workspace. Interior Design magazine named the BBC headquarters project one of the Top 10 Design Projects of 2013.

Michelle Ives-Ratkovich , Director of Interior Design, AECOM

Michelle Ives Ratkovich has more than 20 years of design leadership specializing in strategy and workplace design. She brings experience in design, real estate, and construction. She has proven herself instrumental by merging aesthetic sensibilities with business goals.

Arnold Levin , Workplace Strategist, SmithGroupJJR

Arnold’s experience conducting workplace research, designing and developing workplace strategies, working with clients in workplace design, design strategy and change management from technology, science, media, finance and healthcare sectors. He has a BFA in design, an MBA and an MPhil.

Russ Nichols , President, RMW architecture & interiors

Russ Nichols has been practicing architecture in Silicon Valley and beyond for more than 30 years.As president of RMW architecture & interiors, Russ's holistic approach to workplace design and real estate strategy has helped shape campuses for high-tech giants such as Yahoo!, Juniper, and Oracle.

Primo Orpilla, Principal, Studio O+A

Primo Orpilla is co-founder, with Verda Alexander, of Studio O+A, the San Francisco firm responsible for groundbreaking workplace designs at Facebook, AOL, Microsoft, Yelp, Cisco, Open Table, and many other companies. O+A's designs have received awards from the International Interior Design Association, FX Magazine, Interior Design, Contract, and the Chicago Athenaeum Good Design Program. In 2011 Contract Magazine named Primo Orpilla and Verda Alexander Designers of the Year. A strong advocate for design education, Orpilla has taught workplace design in the Bay Area and beyond. This year he will lecture at the IE School of Architecture and Design in Madrid.

Carol Sandman, Founder and President, AP+I

As founder of AP+I Design in 1993, Carol provides the firm’s overall management, business development and design philosophy. She has over 30 years experience in the planning, design and management of interior architectural projects. Carol’s primary focus is to make sure the firm delivers value-added design solutions coupled with a positive project management experience for all clients. Carol, her husband, Peter, and twins Gage and Ally, enjoy spending time in and around Los Gatos where they live. In her off time, Carol loves to take beach and spa vacations (actually, traveling as much as possible), spending time with family and friends and reading, which there’s never enough time for!

Mark Strauss , President Emeritus, Interior Design

Mark Strauss is the President Emeritus of Interior Design the global, industry-leading design publication, website, and events brand serving the interior design industry.

Beginning his media career in advertising sales in 1976, Mark Strauss became the National Sales Manager of the largest B to B magazine of its time. He was named Publisher of Interior Design magazine in 1994, which under his leadership has experienced strong, continuous growth. He headed the development of, the site for the industry's largest and most engaged design audience. In 2010, a book publishing division was added to the portfolio. Leading the charge, Interior Design Events was launched in 2011, creating in person experiences that connect the industry and promote thought leadership and collaboration across a wide range of practice areas.

A leader in the design community, Mark is an active participant in many industry organizations including the International Interior Design Association (IIDA) and Council of Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA) where he sits on the board. He is a frequent speaker at industry events and is also the Chairman of the Interior Design Hall of Fame.

Sascha Wagner , President and CEO, Huntsman Architectural Group

Sascha sees the designer’s role as an advocate for clients by translating space requirements into meaningful, high-performing built environments. As President and CEO, he is responsible for developing business strategy, client partnerships, and project opportunities for the firm. With 18 years of design and project management expertise, he leads projects for portfolio clients including Moody’s Analytics, Pixar, Google, Dolby, and Lucasfilm. Sascha has served as IIDA Northern California president and is a member of CoreNet, USGBC, and the Interior Design Coalition of California. He holds a BFA in Interior Design from Ringling College of Art and Design.


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