are we?
POP/ARCH is an urban placemaking laboratory. Through adaptive, inclusive design, we help communities transform their underutilized streets, sidewalks, lots, plazas, waterfronts, and parks into vibrant public spaces. We believe that small interventions can have a huge impact on how people live, interact, play, and grow within their neighborhood. We work intimately with each community to achieve its unique identity and vision for the public realm.
"we help communities transform their underutilized streets, sidewalks, lots, plazas, waterfronts, and parks into vibrant public spaces."
Kate Goodson Founding Principal
Kate believes that good design belongs to everyone. She has led two pioneering projects in downtown San Diego, each of which has influenced regulatory policy and design standards for local placemaking. In 2014, Kate and a small team of designers and fabricators won the Downtown San Diego Partnership’s Mobile Parklet Design Challenge. Together, they worked with the City’s various regulatory agencies to design and build a prototype for a mobile, modular parklet. This parklet, the first of its kind in Southern California, was unveiled to the public on (Park)ing Day 2014. This project launched the City’s Temporary Pedestrian Plaza Pilot Program, which is geared toward clarifying and streamlining the process for parklet design and execution. In 2015, Kate joined Rob Nelson Architecture and Design, an East Village-based boutique architecture firm specializing in small-scale commercial projects. Rob and Kate worked with Moniker Group and the East Village Association to develop the first permitted parklet under the new regulatory process. Kate holds a Master in Architecture from NewSchool of Architecture and Design and a BS in Neuroscience from Tulane University. She brings to the table a unique set of experiences and skills to see novel and complex projects through to completion. Kate also strives to make the practice of placemaking a collaborative, informative, and rewarding experience for everyone involved.
Monika Wozniak Principal
Monika Wozniak is a San Diego native with over 10 years of experience in the built environment: as a landscape designer, a city planner and a teacher. Her professional experience in the design and planning field have allowed her to fully understand the collaborative process that brings a design project to life: involving the efforts of landscape architects, architects, planners, engineers, artists, and community members. Growing up in San Diego, Monika has seen dramatic transformations of the city. Her passion is to continue to enhance the urban environment by creating compelling landscapes through careful consideration of natural, social, and cultural factors that enrich and continuously improve the quality of life in San Diego. Prior to joining POP/ARCH, Monika worked at Wimmer Yamada and Caughey as a landscape designer focusing on public park projects and streetscape design. She also worked as a Graduate student instructor at UC Berkeley teaching a course on the Social and Cultural Factors of Architecture and Urban Design. During her graduate studies, Monika worked at Project for Public Spaces (PPS) where she gained experience in participatory planning projects and worked on implementing short-term programmatic interventions to activate desolate spaces. Monika was also employed by the City of San Diego in the City Planning and Community Investment Department. Her work at the City consisted of facilitating and leading discussions between community members and planning professionals, participating in design review processes, and developing maps using GIS and analyzing potential space for emerging mixed-use landscapes. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Urban Studies and Planning from the University of California, San Diego and Master’s of Landscape Architecture from the University of California, Berkeley.
Julissa Lopez-Hodoyan Creative Partner
Julissa is an urbanist and lover of anything related to the public realm. She believes in the constant dialogue between culture and open space and how these affect and inform each other. Born and raised in San Diego with a bi-cultural heritage, she is interested in the nuances that join and differentiate people as they explore cities together. She received her Bachelors in Architecture from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo in 2001, and an MA in Housing and Urbanism from the Architectural Association School of Architecture in London, in 2006. As such, her architectural and professional career can be split roughly into two stages: ten years in California where she studied and gained invaluable experience from award-winning architecture firms in San Diego, and ten years where she was in London, UK, working on local and international projects. Julissa brings to the table a keen awareness and knowledge of current movements across the worlds of design, architecture and urbanism, and has been tracking the challenges that these face as they overlap with technology, social media, and the communities they serve. This experience stems from being in the profession for over 15 years, working on projects of all scales and complexities, and through close involvement with organizations and clients who aim to build strategically and with great design. From a master plan, to an interior space; a floating park, exhibition or an app, Julissa enjoys collaboration and looks to bring life to any project with potential and room for positive impact.
are our partners?
URBAN DISTRICTS REGULATORY AGENCIES PRIVATE BUSINESSES DESIGN PROFESSIONALS COMMUNITY INSTITUTIONS Neighborhood Planning Groups and BIDs have a vision for their communities, an enthusiasm for public life, and a commitment to the health, safety, and happiness of the people they represent. POP/ARCH partners with these groups in the execution of specific placemaking projects and the cultivation of broad planning strategies for the evolution of the neighborhood. Private Businesses will discover a uniquely symbiotic relationship with the public spaces in their neighborhoods. Private investments in public amenities not only add stability to the community, they draw patrons to adjacent storefronts. We work with businesses to develop Privately Owned Public Spaces (POPS) that support both brand identity and local culture in both function and aesthetic. POP/ARCH also guides our business partners through various approval and regulatory processes to ensure the seamless execution of the placemaking initiative. Developers, Architects, and Urban Planners carry the heavy responsibility of implementing projects that permanently change the landscape of a neighborhood. Placemaking can function as a laboratory for testing big ideas on a small scale. We consult with design and development professionals in the early stages of large-scale projects to inform strategies that address the needs and values of the community, thus rallying public support and controlling cost. Regulatory Agencies play a critical role in ensuring public safety and welfare. Because these unique project types may lack a local precedent, we include all relevant regulatory agencies on the front end of the design and planning process. This collaborative effort helps to mitigate unforeseen permitting issues, thus controlling cost and establishing a streamlined procedure for similar projects in the future. Community Institutions (schools, places of worship, community centers) are invaluable resources to the public in the services they provide and the spaces they can share. POP/ARCH collaborates with neighborhood institutions to identify opportunities to safely offer facilities and land resources to their communities after hours.
POP/ARCH partners with community groups in the execution of specific placemaking projects and the cultivation of broad planning strategies for the evolution of the neighborhood.
is place-making?
place mak ing
noun the multi-faceted process of planning, designing, and managing public spaces for the purpose of maximizing shared value, facilitating creative patterns of use, and upholding the physical, cultural, and social identities that define a place and support its ongoing evolution verb the activity of collectively reimagining public spaces as the heart of every community
01. 02.
LOW RISK / HIGH REWARD We believe Placemaking works. It has the power to transform a community at minimal cost and minimal risk.
MAKING PLACES / MAKING CHANGE We are change-makers. We savor seeing the immediate effects of everyone’s hard work. If a project is successful, the reaction from the community yields instant excitement and enthusiasm. If something isn’t jiving, we can respond quickly and efficiently to adapt to the needs of our users. GOOD DESIGN FOR ALL We believe that good design belongs to everyone. The activation of public spaces serves the common good by making our communities more engaged, safe, prosperous, and healthy.
WORKING ALL HANDS ON DECK We love getting our hands dirty. Placemaking is a collaborative and responsive process. Beyond the strategy and the design is the most fun part…the “making.” Together we build, test, revise, and use the places we make.
"The activation of public spaces serves the common good by making our communities more engaged, safe, prosperous, and healthy."
do we work?
We take an interdisciplinary approach to the development of placemaking strategies, and we rigorously incorporate principles of social and behavioral sciences, environmental design, and urban planning. We also seek out exceptional placemaking precedents both locally and internationally to evaluate how they achieved success and what we can learn from their results.
Before we build, we test. We are continuously evaluating materials and techniques that will improve the durability, comfort, and functionality of our placemaking products. We like to include our partners in the prototyping process to ensure a cohesive vision is achieved for the final project.
Our post-work evaluation includes our assessments of how the community interacts with and responds to the project, how cost and time were managed throughout, and summarizes the overall short-term success of the project. We believe Placemaking is a process, and one project always informs the next. The evaluation process helps you and us improve our strategies going forward. Collaboration with creative partners, community stakeholders, and regulatory agencies is paramount to the success of any placemaking initiative. We rely on our clients’ experience, insight, and inspiration to establish our priorities and guide our process.
POP / ARCH LLC info@pop-arch.com 619.762.0672