Alice Kimm, FAIA, LEED AP B+C
MArch (Harvard) | BA Economics (Cornell)
Born in Chicago, Alice spent her high school years in Seoul, then returning to the US for what she thought would be one year, but has now been more than twenty. Alice held the position of Chair, and then Director of Undergraduate Architecture at USC from 2010-2014 and was appointed Adjunct Professor in 2015. She spends the little free time she has reading fiction and playing squash.
Alice was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to research housing types in Korea in 1997, and was selected to deliver a TEDx Talk by the Fulbright Association in 2015. She currently serves on the Advisory Board of the LA Forum for Architecture and Urbanism and has been a peer reviewer for the Design Excellence program of the Government Services Administration for the past decade. Alice has also served on the Boards of AIA Los Angeles and Woodbury University’s School of Architecture. Alice was elevated to the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Architects in 2010.
JOHN FRIEDMAN, FAIA
MArch (Harvard) | MA Philosophy, Politics, Economics (Oxford)| BS Architecture (MIT)
With over 30 years of experience in the field of architecture, John co-founded JFAK in 1996. John was raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, where he studied hard, played water polo harder (3-time NCAA D3 All-American). He’s since traded in his Speedo for a sketch book, and the Beatles for Radiohead, and you'll find him most days at his desk drawing.
John has served on the Board of Directors of AIA Los Angeles and has taught design studios at Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc) and USC. He is an appointed member of MIT’s School of Architecture +Planning Visiting Committee. Both partners were named Emerging Voices by The Architectural League of New York in 2004, and in 2007, John was elevated to the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Architects.
How We Work
John Friedman Alice Kimm Architects (JFAK) believes that architecture can dramatically affect people’s lives. JFAK exploits this potential to create new types of social spaces that encourage creative interaction, sustain the environment, and catalyze positive change for their users and surrounding communities.
JFAK’s distinct and joyful formal landscapes are the result of an inquisitive design process that mines the possibilities and complexities of our contemporary, heterogeneous society.
Each project is therefore committed to expressing the aspirations and identity of the entity it represents through productive dialogue with its physical and cultural surroundings. Sculptural exterior volumes work with light-filled interior spaces to create meaningful adjacencies and unexpected views, as well as to encourage a range of activities – from individual contemplation to communal interaction and creative teamwork.
The size, type, or budget of a project is not important to JFAK. Rather, the firm takes on projects that involve a meaningful design challenge and the promise of developing an innovative solution. This endeavor often involves the utilization of new types of performative materials in concert with the most current design software and fabrication technologies. For JFAK, new digital techniques are not an end in themselves, but tools to explore new types of efficiencies, forms, spaces, and branding possibilities.
As a matter of ethical and environmental urgency, JFAK applies the full range of sustainable strategies, whether they involve the most sophisticated engineering systems, simple passive techniques, or the choice of the most responsible materials. Casting its net as wide as possible, JFAK engages in collaborations with an ever-expanding list of artists, engineers, scientists, builders, and other specialists. Whether these individuals are JFAK clients, consultants, or advisers, they become partners in a shared vision, one of creating integrated and sustainable environments that inspire their users and better their lives.