We believe the process of urban planning is evolving, becoming increasingly graphic, grassroots-driven, and interactive. With the growing presence of technology in our world comes near-constant visual stimulation, unprecedented access to information, and an empowered generation of do-it-yourself activists. Planning is a form of advocacy – for a better future and for engaged, equitable communities. Our practice and approach celebrates these shifts.
We strive to make planning and design accessible to all audiences with a style that is approachable, artistic, playful, and intended to welcome the public into the planning process. We listen to people from all walks of life, we research, we draw, and we make many, many maps. Our mutual exchange with residents and stakeholders is one of trust and respect, honest and real. We actively listen and develop relationships with the people and places where we work.
Our role is to mine for data and help uncover the trends that shape our cities. We translate data into compelling graphics that enable residents and stakeholders to see their communities with fresh eyes.
We believe that early actions and incremental steps are critical to build confidence and momentum. We are as interested in what happens in the next 6 months as we are over the next 6 years and beyond. Changing places for the better is a process that requires a unifying vision, partnerships and clear pathways to guide us from today towards our goals.
We work hard, but we laugh along the way. We care a lot about what we do – for our clients and their communities, for ourselves, and for the greater good. Our team has a penchant for bright colors, fun fonts, birthday celebrations, cookies, and animated GIFS. We trust in one another and encourage every new employee to help broaden the ways in which we work.
We’re proud of what we do and have been recognized with state awards and nine national awards including the first ever National Excellence Award for an Emerging Planning Firm from the American Planning Association.
Ben is a planner and urban designer interested in how neighborhoods, cities, and regions can incentivize and best manage processes of revitalization and reinvention. As a city planner, Ben has led projects in cities, first-ring suburbs, and walkable downtowns with a focus on land use, transportation, economic development, and public outreach. Ben’s experience also includes a rich portfolio of tactical urbanism projects that seek to re-activate dormant civic spaces through creative interventions that capture the public imagination. Ben is a two-time winner of the Knight Cities Challenge and creator of the Pop-Up Pool Project and the Little Music Studio. Ben also served as the project manager and lead planner/urban designer for the award-winning Roosevelt Plaza Pop-Up Park in Camden, NJ. Ben is currently working with the Knight and Kresge Foundations on research related to promoting economic integration in public space. Ben holds a Masters in City Planning from the University of Pennsylvania with a Certificate in Urban Design.
Stacey brings an international perspective, cultural competence, and dedication to social justice to her work. Before joining Interface Studio, she focused on community development and social programs for low-income and immigrant communities in New York City. Her interest in city planning and urban design developed after living in Asia for a number of years where she observed transformations in Asian urbanism and gained proficiency in Mandarin Chinese. With Interface Studio, Stacey has led projects ranging from citywide comprehensive plans to neighborhood and district plans addressing downtowns, industrial strategy, economic development, climate resiliency, and waterfront communities. She has worked with diverse communities in cities around the country, from fast-growing areas like Atlanta and the Dallas-Fort Worth region to former mill towns and rural communities in New England to midwestern cities like Akron and Detroit. After years in the Philadelphia office, she is now Brooklyn-based. She received a Master of City Planning degree at the University of Pennsylvania School of Design and a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Chicago.
Ashley joined Interface Studio in 2008, cultivating her interests in a multidisciplinary approach to ecological design and planning. In her time at Interface Studio, Ashley has led projects on urban design, greening, stormwater management, industrial reuse, and site design and redevelopment at all scales for a wide range of clients. Her passion for graphic representation can be seen across the Interface Studio portfolio, and many of our famed annual holiday cards. She has also been immersed in several extensive GIS data initiatives, and has developed a reputation for infographics, data manipulation and spatial analysis. In 2019, her work in Lewiston led to a $30 million Choice Neighborhoods implementation grant. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Landscape Architecture from Rutgers University and a Master of Science in Sustainable Design from Philadelphia University, is a LEED Accredited Professional (LEED AP), and has been serving on the City of Philadelphia's Civic Design Review Board since 2017.
Chris is our GIS star and has led work on park system planning, neighborhood planning, housing policy, and qualitative & quantitative research. Recently he has specialized in designing data-driven scoring methodologies to drive equitable citywide investment in parks and neighborhoods. His work designing citywide scoring to prioritize parks for investment in Pittsburgh, PA won a National Recreation and Parks Association Social Equity Award in 2020. Before joining Interface, he worked as a social policy researcher exploring ways to better involve the public in local decision-making on education, health care, and other issues. He is an adjunct lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania Weitzman School of Design, where he assists with the first year city planning studio. He has a Master’s degree in City Planning from the University of Pennsylvania and a Bachelor’s degree in Religion and History from the University of Rochester.
Maria is a Venezuelan urban designer and architect specializing in public space activation, placemaking, neighborhood planning, and multilingual community engagement. Having lived and worked in Venezuela, Costa Rica, Colombia, and various cities across the US, Maria brings a multicultural, people-first approach in the development of neighborhood revitalization strategies, public space design, and inclusive community engagement with(in) diverse communities. Her notable projects at Interface include the Collins/Arapaho TOD & Innovation District Study in Richardson, TX, the Las Vegas Trail Neighborhood Transformation Plan in Fort Worth, and Philadelphia's first Urban Agriculture Plan. In addition to her Master’s Degree in Urban Placemaking and Management from Pratt Institute, Maria holds a Bachelor’s degree in Architecture from Universidad Simón Bolívar in Caracas, Venezuela.
Jamie is an urban planner and designer interested in the interrelationship between the built and natural environments and urban economics. With both creative and pragmatic mindsets, he brings a comprehensive approach to tackling urban issues. His recent work includes multiple downtown revitalization plans, citywide economic strategies, and district wide urban designs. In addition to his work at Interface Studio, he has taught a graduate level City Planning studio at the University of Pennsylvania since 2016. Jamie holds Bachelor of Arts degrees in both Urban Studies and Economics from Brown University, and a Master of City Planning degree from the University of Pennsylvania.
Sarah is an urban planner, designer, and proven project manager with experience working across many scales and disciplines. She is passionate about urban design that supports public life and place-making. Sarah is an Adjunct Lecturer for the University of Illinois at Chicago’s (UIC) College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs, and a Program Associate for the College’s Master of City Design Program. She holds a Masters of Urban Planning and Policy from University of Illinois in Chicago, and a Bachelor of Science in Architecture with a minor in urban design from Washington University in St. Louis, MO. She is AICP and LEED GA Certified.
Lisa joined Interface in September 2014 as our Business Manager. Educated with a doctorate in engineering from U.C. Berkeley, she has shifted gears to help small companies run the business side of their organization. Lisa takes care of day to day financial processes including anything invoice, payroll, tax, and budget related as well as human resources. She lives in the Fairmount section of Philadelphia with her husband, 3 children, a cat, a dog, and a fish.
Scott brings more than 25 years of diverse experience ranging from large-scale planning to site-specific design and redevelopment strategies. Scott founded Interface Studio in 2004 to focus specifically on community-driven design with an emphasis on creative grass-roots engagement. Scott was fortunate to finish architecture school in Paris and intern for the government in Singapore which fueled his early interest in urban design and planning. As a young planner, his independent research on technology and design provided the opportunity to speak at international conferences and publish articles in magazines and journals. Since that time Scott has grown Interface Studio to focus on neighborhood and district planning, Downtown plans and city-wide initiatives targeted to economic development, housing and parks. Scott is a lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Design, where he leads studio-based classes focused on urban design, climate resiliency and site planning. He has served on many local boards including the Citizens Planning Institute and helped to launch the Healthy Rowhomes Initiative with the Design Advocacy Group. Today Scott attempts to tell his two teenage boys how cities work who casually roll their eyes in his general direction. Scott holds degrees from the University of Pennsylvania and Georgia Tech.
Kylee is an urban designer and planner who is passionate about dynamic public spaces that have a meaningful impact on the communities around them. She uses her previous work experience in architecture and historic preservation to understand how the built environment has evolved over time and how the past can inform the future of design. She is particularly interested in the intersection of public space, transportation, equity, and access. At Interface Studio, Kylee has worked on a range of projects, including neighborhood plans, economic development and housing strategies, and street design guidelines. She holds a Master of City Planning with a concentration in urban design from the University of Pennsylvania and a Bachelor of Arts in Architecture from Princeton University.
Mikaela is a planner and urban designer dedicated to strategizing meaningful urbanism projects that improve vibrancy, resiliency, and equity in communities. Her experience includes placemaking, real estate development advisory, community-economic development, transportation experience, downtown plans, coastal resiliency, and holistic citywide and community visions. Mikaela is focused on leveraging the built environment to adapt to and mitigate climate change from an environmental justice perspective. She is interested in the challenges posed to the public realm by today's urbanization and development trends. Mikaela has a Master of City Planning and Certificate in Urban Design from MIT's School of Architecture and Planning and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science.
Tobin incorporates design, community engagement, and photography into his work. Tobin is an integral team member on a variety of projects including downtown action plans, park equity plans, and commercial corridor and housing studies. His previous work experiences have allowed him to work with communities throughout the U.S. and in Japan, South Korea, and Kenya. He is inquisitive and dedicated to engaging with others to share ideas and perspectives on some of our greatest challenges related to climate change, affordable housing, social and racial equity, and under-invested civic assets. Tobin holds a Master of City Planning degree from the University of Pennsylvania and a Bachelor degree in Urban Studies and Planning from the University of Pittsburgh. He is an adjunct lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania guiding first-year graduate students through the fundamentals of city and regional planning.
Mindy has been with Interface since 2005, leading projects that range from citywide policy strategies and community-driven advocacy projects to place-based downtown and neighborhood plans. These days, much of her work focuses on larger-scale data-driven efforts to support the equitable and just allocation of public dollars, services, and other resources. Mindy’s work has been recognized with national excellence awards for grassroots efforts, public outreach, and graphic representation from the American Planning Association (APA) and for social equity from the National Parks and Recreation Association (NRPA). Mindy holds a Master in City Planning from the University of Pennsylvania and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Cornell University. She currently serves on the board of The Village of Arts and Humanities in North Philadelphia, and as a novice but eager birder, she is experiencing cities and their natural spaces anew.