We bring collaboration and innovation to everything we do.

Thomas Robinson and Pamela Kislak founded LEVER in 2009 with a goal of making great design more accessible to projects regardless of budget or type. Today, they lead our two studios together with a group of eight Principals and Senior Associates.

 

Our 50+ person team is a diverse collective with a shared passion for creating inspiring and innovative designs. We are curious, ambitious, hardworking, and fun, and our work evolves through a collaborative process. Giving back to our communities is a cornerstone of our firm culture. 


Interested in joining our team? View our available positions

Being engaged with construction is an essential part of our office culture.

We take time to gather as a firm, have fun, and enjoy each other's company.

Our designs evolve through a collaborative process of regular team pin-ups and dialogue. 

We value giving back to our community and dedicate time to service projects.

Hiking, ski trips, and other outdoor activities build community and help us find balance.

Take a real break from your desk — we come together for lunch, happy hours, and LEVER's traditional all hands Friday breakfast.

Interested in becoming an architect? Enroll in TeamUp, our youth design initiative.
Learn more

Team

Thomas Robinson
Principal

Thomas is the Founder and Principal of LEVER Architecture. He works closely with clients to develop the design vision for each project. Prior to establishing the firm, Thomas led cultural and institutional projects for Allied Works and Herzog & de Meuron. He received an MArch from the Harvard University Graduate School of Design and a BA from the University of California, Berkeley.

Pamela Kislak
Chief Operating Officer

Pamela is responsible for the operations of LEVER Architecture. Prior to joining the firm, she spent 20 years leading marketing, strategy, and operations for growing companies. Pamela holds an MBA from the Haas School at the University of California, Berkeley and a BA from Dartmouth College.

Chandra Robinson
Principal

Chandra has 12 years of experience creating beautiful spaces that are accessible for all. She serves on the Portland Design Commission, and prior to joining LEVER, led the construction of the largest mass timber building in the US. Chandra received a MArch from the Boston Architectural Center and a BS from Portland State University.

Doug Sheets
Principal

Doug is closely involved in the conceptual development and design of LEVER projects. Part of the firm since its inception, he has played a key role in all of LEVER’s major completions. Doug’s expertise includes the design of significant institutional, educational, and creative office projects. He received a BArch from Ball State University.

 

Jonathan Heppner
Principal

Jonathan has over 18 years of design and management experience working with significant civic and creative organizations. As a native Oregonian, his interest in timber detailing and construction led to his management role on Framework, the first mass timber high-rise project in the US to receive permitted approval. Jonathan holds a BArch from the University of Oregon.

Sara Martin
Principal

Sara leads the firm’s business development, marketing, and communications efforts. She draws on 10 years of experience working in the offices of Selldorf Architects, Diller Scofidio + Renfro, SOM, and OMA/ Rem Koolhaas among others. Sara studied architecture at Smith College and the Harvard University Graduate School of Design.

Dannon Canterbury
Senior Associate

With 20 years in the field, Dannon has experience with hospitality, residential, creative office, cultural, and institutional work. He has held teaching positions in architecture and interiors at the University of Oregon. Dannon studied at the Mackintosh School of Architecture and holds a MArch from Tulane University.

Don Lee
Senior Associate

Don has practiced Architecture for over 20 years. He has managed an array of projects ranging from commercial high-rise and mixed-use to small residential. Prior to joining LEVER, he was a Senior Associate at Robert AM Architects in New York. He received a BFA and BArch from Rhode Island School of Design.

Michael Faulkner
Senior Associate

Michael has more than 15 years of architectural design and management experience working on large, high-profile projects for institutional, healthcare, and residential clients in the US and internationally. Michael received a MArch from Harvard University Graduate School of Design and a BArch from Penn State University.

Cecily Ryan
Senior Associate

Cecily is an Interior Designer with 16 years of experience leading design efforts on a diverse range of project types, including corporate and creative offices, hospitality, residential, and mixed use development. She received her BFA in Interior Design from Pratt Institute.

Tye Bailey
Associate

Tye is a licensed architect with over a decade of experience creating elegant, sustainable design solutions for innovative projects at all scales. He has been instrumental in the design and completion of multiple commercial and mixed-use developments along the west coast, most recently serving as the lead designer for 843 N Spring Street, one of LA’s largest mass timber buildings.

Sean Bolden
Designer

Sean is a designer and project coordinator. With over 15 years experience in the field, his work leverages advanced technology with a tactile understanding of project execution and craft. Prior to joining LEVER, Sean worked for firms including Houston's HOK and Gensler, and holds a MArch from Prairie View A&M University and soon to be MBA from Syracuse University.

Carla Bonilla
Designer

Carla is a designer and artist. She graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with an MArch, and with a BS from the University of Utah. She worked for two years at Gehry Partners in Los Angeles and has previously taught at the University of Oregon. Her personal work has been published on design platforms such as FRAME and DesignBoom.

Chinita Brazil
Controller

Chinita is a finance and accounting professional with over 14 years of experience. A native of Alabama currently based in Los Angeles, her past work includes six years in the architecture industry prior to joining LEVER. Chinita holds a BS in Accounting and a BS in Finance, MACC, and EMBA.

Flynn Casey
Designer

Flynn is a designer and maker. Drawing inspiration from the landscape, his work leverages advanced technology with a tactile understanding of material and craft. Prior to joining LEVER, Flynn worked for Lake|Flato Architects and holds an M.Arch from the University of Oregon.

Linda Chung
Architect

Linda is a licensed architect currently leading multiple projects in Los Angeles. She is passionate about interdisciplinary collaboration and innovative design with high sustainability goals. Prior to joining LEVER, she was responsible for delivering the first Living Building Challenge project for California State University at Long Beach. She received her BArch from the Cooper Union and MArch from Harvard University.

Timothy Cooke
Associate

Timothy is a licensed architect whose work focuses on integrating a keen understanding of material and energy use into the design process. In addition to his project work, Timothy leads interdisciplinary research at LEVER that is focused on increasing transparency and access to information about the forest practices associated with wood products used in the built environment.

Blair Cranston
Architect

Blair is a licensed architect with over 10 years of experience focusing on education, cultural, and commercial projects. He is passionate about creating spaces for people to work and learn collaboratively. He has worked on numerous projects while at LEVER, most recently the North Portland and Albina libraries. Blair has an MArch from Harvard University and a Bachelors in Chemical Engineering.

Jennifer Engler
Project Coordinator

Jen is a project coordinator and executive assistant with over fifteen years of experience supporting mission-driven organizations and nonprofit operations focused on access to nature and building community. Originally from NW Florida, she has put roots down in Oregon where her love of nature inspires her daily.  Jen holds a BS degree from Florida State University in Environmental Studies.

Jeff Ernst
Architect

Jeff is an architect with over 10 years of experience designing and executing a variety of project types, with a focus on private and multifamily residential projects. His approach is highly technical and creative, foregrounding the unique vision of his clients.

Michael Gastineau
Designer

As a newcomer to the Pacific Northwest, Michael brings 7+ years of design and project management experience across small and medium-sized cultural projects. His methodology embraces the potential of design as a collaborative investigation of context, craft, and materiality ­­- seeking precision and clarity through an iterative and immersive process. Michael holds an MArch and BS from Ball State University.

Whitney Geier
Senior Marketing Manager

Whitney is a passionate marketer, designer, and photographer who brings 10 years of marketing and management experience to LEVER. With roots in Hawaii and the Pacific Northwest, she has a deep love for nature that inspires her work. Whitney holds a BA in Photography and Digital Arts from University of Oregon.

Logan Goins
Designer

Logan holds an MArch from the University of Oregon and a BA in Architecture from Miami University with specializations in urban culture, service learning, sustainability, and housing. Logan brings a detailed, technical perspective to projects from design through construction. His work includes a range of projects from single-family homes to corporate headquarters and large-scale mixed-use projects.

Michael Gross
Associate

Michael currently leads LEVER's 3D visualization efforts. His contributions are integral to the development of our projects, providing instant visual feedback loops during collaborative design processes. He has managed the design and construction of award-winning LEVER projects, including the L'Angolo Estate Winery. Michael received his MArch from Southern California Institute of Architecture and a BS from Portland State University.

Chris Grosse
Associate

Chris attended Illinois Institute of Technology, and worked in Chicago for 10 years before joining LEVER. His strong technical knowledge supports his focus on producing exceptional design, and his experience encompasses a variety of large-scale projects, including a student center, a rehabilitation hospital, and most recently, LEVER’s expansion of Adidas North American Headquarters which he led from design through construction.

Ashley Koger
Architect

Ashley is a potter and ceramic artist whose interest in materiality and form greatly influences her approach to architecture. Her work on urban multi-family housing focuses on equitable access and designing inviting homes that help to fill the gap in affordable housing. She’s a licensed architect and holds an MArch from University of Oregon and a BSArch from University of Cincinnati.

Nate Lambdin
Associate

Nate's background in graphic design contributes to his ability to clearly communicate complex ideas to a diverse audience. He is a licensed architect with 11 years of experience designing and managing large projects for a variety of institutional and corporate clients. Nate holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from VCU and a Masters of Architecture from the University of Washington.

Charles Landefeld
Designer

Charles is a designer and maker with an interest in exploring materiality and sustainability - both in communities and as resources to discover practical and simple solutions. Prior to joining LEVER, Charles pursued his MArch at the University of Washington and worked for over two years in Copenhagen.

Samantha Lautman
Architect

Sam is an artist and licensed architect whose approach is one of creative pragmatism. She has a BFA in printmaking and drawing from the California College of the Arts, spent a month learning while living in a tent at Taliesin West, and contributed to many civic and institutional projects at EHDD in San Francisco. 

Kevin Lee
Architect

Kevin is a licensed architect who has over 10 years of design experience on domestic and international work. At LEVER, he was a part of the Adidas North American Headquarters, 843 N Spring St, and 2525 Hyperion Ave project teams. Kevin received his MArch from MIT and a BA in Architecture from UC Berkeley.

Henry Lennon
Designer

Henry is an architectural designer from the Midwest. Having worked on projects ranging from some of the largest stadiums in the world to small residential homes, he brings a diverse perspective and skill set to the table. No matter the scale, he is always focused on how our built environments affects the individual and helps to cultivate a community for those around it. He received his MArch from the University of Kansas.

Matt Loghmani
Architect

Matt is a licensed architect in the state of California with a passion for sustainable design. He has professional experience on commercial, multi-family, mixed-use, and cultural projects and his educational background consists of a Master of Building Science from University of Southern California and a Bachelor of Architecture from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona.

Sarah Lumelsky
Designer

Sarah is a designer at LEVER. They earned their BArch from Rice University after working at Weiss Manfredi in New York. Sarah's love of nature inspires both their work at LEVER and their personal photography projects.

Kelsey McWilliams
Architect

Kelsey is a designer and collaborator with a holistic, cross disciplinary approach to projects. Her designs explore texture and materiality with a keen sensitivity to a building's sense of place, and its relationship to the human experience. Kelsey holds a BArch from the University of Oregon and has over 10 years of experience in the Portland architecture and design community.

Doug Miller
Architect

Doug’s interests cover a wide range of scales, all the way from urban morphology to nuts and bolts. In addition to traditional architecture practices, he has worked in diverse settings that include an EV technology startup, several academic research centers, and, briefly, an English translation company in Tokyo. He is a licensed architect and has degrees from Princeton, UCLA, and Harvard.

Sigita Moran
Director of Business Development

Sigita is the Director of Business Development, based in Los Angeles. With an architectural degree from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and over 12 years of experience in the industry, she leads strategy, relationship building and positioning for the west coast region. Sigita brings a big picture perspective and critical eye to LEVER’s evolution as a practice.

Max Moriyama
Designer

Max is a Los Angeles-based designer interested in sustainable hospitality and residential projects that explore novel relationships between landscape and the built environment. Previously, Max worked at Bjarke Ingels Group and Tredje Natur, and has experience as a sustainable design consultant at the Energy Studies in Buildings Laboratory. He received his BA from UC Berkeley and MArch from the University of Oregon.

Tyler Nishitani
Architect

Tyler’s experience is focused on civic, cultural, and community design. He is passionate about design excellence in service to the public realm, and brings significant experience working with communities on the design of libraries. Tyler previously worked with Kengo Kuma and Associates on an iconic new complex of cultural buildings at the historic Portland Japanese Garden.

Katie O'Connell
Associate

Katie’s passion is for designing architecture that is contextual, equitable, material-driven, and timeless. With a diverse portfolio including creative office, hospitality, and residential, Katie’s strengths lie in clearly conceptualizing and communicating in all phases of a project. She brings exceptional design experience from her previous years working in London and NYC. Katie received a BArch from the University of Tennessee.

Justin Oh
Architect

Justin is a California-based architect with 12 years of experience delivering innovative and creative designs. His work encompasses a wide range of projects, including art museums, tech and lab offices, and large-scale mixed-use developments. He received a BArch from the Southern California Institute of Architecture and led design teams at Gehry Partners prior to joining LEVER.

Peter Park
Architect

Peter is an architect in California, with a keen interest in the technical representation of architecture. His enthusiasm for drawing builds on his Studio Art background, where he focused on painting. He received his MArch from the Southern California Institute of Architecture and his BA in Studio Art at the University of California, San Diego.

George-Michael Rusch
Associate

George-Michael brings a deep understanding of construction and building technology innovation. His contributions to projects including Meyer Memorial Trust, Adidas, and Flex ensured that those buildings were realized with the highest levels of detailing and craft. George-Michael previously worked with Steven Holl Architects in Beijing and New York on cultural and urban projects including China’s first LEED Platinum building.

Jeff Stern
Architect

Jeff is passionate about projects that push the envelope of sustainability to help combat climate change, improve our neighborhoods and cities, and create spaces that inspire. A licensed architect, Jeff has completed an extensive array of projects from carefully crafted custom houses to large public buildings. He works diligently to achieve an architecture that is clear, effortless, and without self-consciousness.

Kayla Swanson
Designer

Kayla has worked on a variety of projects spanning adaptive reuse, renovation, and new construction, including projects for significant education and civic clients. She brings a background in both architecture and interiors to each project, balancing focus on the details amid big picture decisions. Kayla received her Masters in Interior Architecture and Masters in Architecture from University of Oregon.

Bryce Tolene
Architect

Bryce is a licensed architect with over 20 years of experience, specializing in complex educational, cultural, and institutional projects. He has worked in the Pacific Northwest and in Chicago, where he has developed extensive technical knowledge on envelope detailing and project delivery. He taught architectural studios at SAIC in Chicago and received a BArch from Ball State University.

McKenzie Vanko
Designer

McKenzie is a designer at LEVER. She is a recent graduate of the University of Oregon MArch program, and holds BS in Public Policy with an emphasis in Health Management from the University of Southern California. In addition to architecture, McKenzie has experience with community engagement, behavioral health, and academic research that informs her interests and work.

Yen Vo
Designer

Yen is a designer and maker passionate about design that inspires, brings joy, facilitates growth, and engenders resiliency while being experientially sublime. Her approach begins with exploring how materiality and tactility can imbue people to experience and use space to live meaningful lives. She has honed these skills through a variety of experiences in urban design, healthcare, civic and educational projects.

Greg Whitney
Architect

Greg is a highly technical architect who approaches each project with thoroughness and attention to detail. He brings extensive experience leading and integrating digital workflows into the design process. Greg enjoys the challenge of carrying initial concepts through to project completion. He holds an MArch from the University of Pennsylvania with a Certificate in Ecological Architecture.

Johan Wijesinghe
Designer

Johan is a researcher and designer with a highly-technical approach to architecture. His work focuses on sustainability and applications of digital technology. Previously, he worked for firms in London, Sri Lanka, and Los Angeles, and received a BArch from the Southern California Institute of Architecture and a MSc from University College London.

Madeleine Wilhite
Operations Manager

Madeleine is a collaborative operations strategist with over a decade of experience working with values-driven organizations such as Caldera, Headlands Center for the Arts, and now LEVER. A dedicated advocate for spaces that inspire and bring people together to create, celebrate, and learn, Madeleine’s interests lie in the overlap between art and the built and natural environments.

Hayley Wilson
Marketing Manager

Hayley is a marketing professional with a background in publishing and six years of experience in architecture. She treats every piece of copy as a self-contained story with the power to build connections between people, whether it’s a bite-sized social media post or a proposal with real gravitas. Hayley earned a Masters in Writing and Publishing from Portland State University.