Who We Are
DPZ CoDesign has been a leader in the practice of planning and urban design for over 30 years. Our philosophy is the platform of New Urbanism, a movement promoting mixed-use, traditional neighborhood planning over the segregated-use suburban sprawl seen worldwide. Co-founders of the Congress for New Urbanism (CNU), DPZ’s principals have been longtime advocates of urban growth through compact, pedestrian-oriented, transit-friendly communities that continue to shape policy and have recently influenced new sustainability codes.
DPZ works under many arrangements, tailoring the process for each project. From conventional multi-step engagements, to pure research addressing contemporary problems, to the charrette, we seek informed efficiency and integrity of result.
The charrette is a dynamic and stimulating process of design. A week-long work session assembles key decision-makers in an iterative design cycle of proposals, feedback and revisions, organizing a complex project quickly. Rapid prototyping ensures informed choices and saves months of sequential coordination. In a private setting or with a public audience, the charrette ensures a comprehensive approach and builds support for the vision.
DPZ assists project implementation through approvals, and in many cases, marketing, first-phase detailing, and construction. For new community plans, a Town Architect is often identified to guide subsequent phases of construction.
The term ‘charrette’ is derived from the French word ‘little cart’, referring to the 19th century École de Beaux Arts method of transporting students’ drawings while last-minute finishing touches were being applied.
DPZ was founded in 1980 by Andres Duany and Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk as an architectural practice. Identifying the deficiencies of the suburban context for their early buildings led to a rediscovery of neighborhood structure and influenced the design of Seaside, acclaimed for its traditional town plan, streetscapes and buildings.
Recognizing the need for an alternative to suburban zoning, the firm proposed a re-integration of urban components with the Traditional Neighborhood Development (TND) in 1990. The TND became a model regulation for compact mixed-use neighborhood design, informing hundreds of municipal ordinances throughout the country.
With several new communities well underway, Duany and Plater-Zyberk joined contemporaries to found the Congress for the New Urbanism (CNU) in 1993. CNU’s charter, annual meetings and numerous policy initiatives, are guiding an international movement of sustainable urban growth and community design. The firm’s subsequent initiatives have generated documents that reflect DPZ’s commitment to ‘open source’ – the Lexicon, SmartCode, Transect, Lean Urbanism, Sprawl Repair, Light Imprint, among them.
Today the firm counts over 300 projects built, ranging from individual buildings and small urban infill projects to new communities, regional plans and zoning codes. Over 150 alumni of the firm continue to impact the built environment advancing lessons learned at DPZ.
Diverse in background, DPZ’s leaders enable the firm’s global reach. The partners are thought leaders, certified professionals, experienced designers, skilled facilitators for the public process, educators, seasoned speakers, and disarmingly charming.
Andrés Duany, architect, urban designer, planner and author, has dedicated over three decades to pioneering a vision for sustainable urban development and its implementation. He has influenced planners and designers worldwide, redirected government policies in the U.S. and abroad, and produced plans for hundreds of new and renewed communities of enduring value.
Duany’s leadership can be credited with the plan and code for Seaside, the first new traditional community; the Traditional Neighborhood Development (TND) zoning ordinance; the development of the SmartCode, a form-based zoning code, adopted by numerous municipalities seeking to encourage compact, mixed-use, walkable communities; the definition of the rural to urban Transect and Agrarian Urbanism; as well as inventive affordable housing designs, including Carpet Cottages and Cabanons.
Duany is the author of many essays and articles, and co-author of several books, including Suburban Nation: the Rise of Sprawl and the Decline of the American Dream. The SmartCode, The Smart Growth Manual, Garden Cities: Agricultural Urbanism, and The New Civic Art.
Duany’s work has been recognized with numerous awards, including the Richard Driehaus Award, the Jefferson Medal, The Vincent Scully Prize and several honorary doctorates.
Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk is an architect and urban designer and planner, with over thirty years of experience in a variety of projects at every scale, including regional plans and municipal zoning codes, downtown and neighborhood revitalizations, new towns and neighborhoods, streetscapes and building designs.
Recipient of numerous awards, she has been an initiator of many of the firm’s advances over the years, is a sought-after speaker, has published numerous essays and is co-author of Suburban Nation: the Rise of Sprawl and the Decline of the American Dream, and The New Civic Art.
Plater-Zyberk has maintained a career-long affiliation with the University of Miami School of Architecture, continuing to teach after 18 years as Dean of the School. She is active in a variety of volunteer positions locally and nationally.
Galina Tachieva is a planner, urban designer and architectural designer with more than twenty years experience in sustainable urbanism, urban redevelopment, sprawl repair, and form-based codes. She is the author of the award-winning Sprawl Repair Manual (Island Press) and the SmartCode Sprawl Repair Module.
Multilingual, Tachieva has experience with projects across the United States, Latin America, Europe and Russia, including regional plans, environmental conservation, new communities, resort towns, downtowns and urban infill, and commercial, retail, institutional and residential buildings. Managing complex projects and teams, she has led charrettes and other public processes, from project initiation through implementation.
Tachieva maintains an active civic engagement. A member of the Congress for the New Urbanism (CNU) she has been leading its national Sprawl Retrofit Initiative. She is a founding member of the Council for European Urbanism (CEU), and she has lectured throughout the world. She has been a visiting lecturer and design critic at Harvard University, the Federal University of the State of Rio de Janeiro (UNIRIO), and at the University of Miami.
Marina Khoury is an architect, urban designer and planner, with more than sixteen years of experience in a broad range of project types from regional plans to new community and redevelopment plans and regulations, to building designs including affordable housing.
Fluent in several languages, she has designed and managed projects across the United States, Europe, and the Middle East, including new communities ranging in size from 50 to 2,000 acres (30 to 1,600 hectares), brownfield redevelopment, agricultural urbanism, and form-based zoning codes, among them Miami 21, a new zoning code for the City of Miami. Khoury’s experience includes managing complex public projects and teams, leading charrettes and other public meetings, and guiding approvals processes.
She is active in Washington area civic groups, including the local chapters of the American Institute of Architects and of the Congress for the New Urbanism, and she lectures on affordable, sustainable and walkable communities.
Matthew Lambert is an architectural and urban designer and planner, with more than a decade of experience that covers a broad range of project types, from multi-county regional plans, to new community and redevelopment plans and regulations, to affordable and modular housing design.
He has managed projects for campus plans, hospital strategic master plans including program distribution, resort towns, and disaster recovery plans, throughout the U.S., and he has worked with communities in the Caribbean, Europe and the Middle East. He also leads DPZ’s information technology team.
Lambert is active in the Congress for the New Urbanism; he is a founder of the CNU Next-Gen. As a member of the Transect Codes Council, he is contributing to the evolution of the Smart Code. He is also active in civic affairs in South Florida.
Senen M.A. Antonio
Senen Antonio is an architect, urban designer and planner with nearly twenty years of international experience in sustainable design and planning, including plans for regions, military base redevelopment, transit-oriented development, disaster recovery, urban reclamation, revitalization and infill, and new towns, in Asia, Africa, Europe and North America.
Antonio has managed projects across all phases from conceptual design through construction. He lectures widely, with a recent focus on Asia, with government and university-sponsored lecturers in China, Laos, Indonesia, and the Philippines, and he contributes articles to professional journals.
Senior Designer and Illustrator
Chris Ritter is an architectural and urban designer and planner with more than fifteen years of experience across a broad variety of project types throughout the world. Ritter’s hand-drawn three-dimensional illustrations are a critical component of the project design and implementation process. His drawings emerge in parallel with the master plan, influencing the plan as well as testing it in process. His aerial renderings drawn in elaborate detail describe the urban and architectural character of a place specific to its underlying geography and culture.
Senior Project Manager
Judith Bell is a planner and urban and architectural designer with ten years of experience in a variety of project types, from regional plans and new community master plans, urban revitalization and infill plans, and design guidelines and zoning codes. She has participated in projects in North and South America, the Caribbean, Europe and China, and she has lectured on the New Urbanism and the SmartCode in Paraguay.
Bell has been a leader in various DPZ office initiatives to organize information and document projects. As a contributor to Galina Tachieva’s Sprawl Repair Manual, Bell managed documentation and graphic design. She also coordinated the production of Andres’ Duany’s Garden Cities: Theory and Practice of Agrarian Urbanism.
Khang Chien Nguyen joined DPZ in 2005 as the IT manager and is responsible for all aspects of information technology, network maintenance and support at the firm. Working in the IT field full time since 2000, Mr. Nguyen came to DPZ with a wealth of knowledge having served as a systems analyst manager and network administrator. Chien speaks four languages, and holds a specialized degree in Computer Network Engineering and a Master’s Degree in Telecommunications.
Michael D. Weich
Senior Project Manager
Michael Weich is a project manager and designer with over 9 years of experience in planning and urban and architectural design, including regional plans, mixed-use new towns, transit-oriented development and suburban retrofit projects in the United States, Canada, Europe, and the Middle East. He has played a key role in the planning, design, and management of several large DPZ projects in Saudi Arabia.
Michael joined DPZ in 2006 and works in the firm’s Kentlands office in Gaithersburg, Maryland. Weich and his family live in Kentlands, one of DPZ’s first Traditional Neighborhood Developments. He is an active member in the community, and manages the Kentlands Community Garden, a project he helped to design and build.
Shannon Tracy joined DPZ in 1999, bringing with her over seven years of administrative and coding experience in the health field. She serves as the executive assistant to the founding partners, Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk and Andrés Duany, and oversees travel arrangements, manages daily schedules and correspondence, and coordinates meetings and events. She has assisted in the production of DPZ publications such as Suburban Nation, The SmartCode, The New Civic Art, The Smart Growth Manual, and Garden Cities: Theory & Practice of Agrarian Urbanism, among others. Shannon holds a B.A. from Florida International University.
Senior Project Manager
Xavier Iglesias, is a planner and architectural and urban designer with over twenty-five years of experience. His planning and urban design experience includes master plans and design regulations across the transect, from rural villages to downtown revitalizations, for developers, not-for-profit organizations and municipalities. Iglesias leads DPZ’s Healthcare Initiative involving campus and community plans for Bon Secours Virginia Health System.
His architectural experience includes all phases of building design from feasibility studies and schematic design through construction documents and observation, for a variety of building types, from single and multi-family residential to educational, medical and civic structures. He leads design review for Schooner Bay, the Bahamian eco-village.
Iglesias also directs DPZ’s public relations, coordinating publicity and awards, and he edited the firm’s principal monographs, Towns and Town-Making Principles (1991), The Architecture of Duany Plater-Zyberk and Company (2005), and the Richard H. Driehaus Prize Monograph (2008).
The DPZ Team is made of a core work force at our three locations, augmented by a group of collaborators, the DPZ Cloud. The firm maintains the flexibility of a small business while providing the capacity of a large multi-disciplinary practice. This arrangement offers our clients both a generalist perspective and specialized expertise.
The DPZ Cloud is a cadre of professionals with whom we engage to collaborate on projects, depending on type and scope. Our rolodex of engineers, architects, landscape architects, planners, attorneys, market analysts, developers, builders, economists, retail guru, and DPZ alumni, is international and collegial in sharing knowledge and experience. Many are renown in their own right, with publications illustrating their work in successful DPZ projects.
DPZ’s clients are individuals and organizations with high ideals. Town-founders (NTBA), civic leaders, dedicated municipal servants, their work impacts communities and regions, creating a legacy of community building and enhancement of the built and natural environments.
All four offices are located in walkable neighborhoods. The Miami office is a historic industrial building in Little Havana, an inner-ring suburb. The Washington office is a historic farm structure, in Kentlands, one of the firm’s first new communities. The Portland office is a bungalow in a historic mixed-use neighborhood. The Puerto Rico Office is located in the historic town of Yauco, known for its coffee.
Children and pets welcome.