ATLANTA, GA – The Design Futures Council (DFC) has named six professionals as its Emerging Leaders at the organization’s 15th annual Leadership Summit on Sustainable Design. The event took place in Seattle, Washington on September 11-13, 2016.

The Design Future Council’s annual Leadership Summit on Sustainable Design brings together 100 business and sustainability leaders from the world’s most influential architecture, engineering and construction (A/E/C) firms, real estate companies, educators, and building product manufacturers to identify drivers of change, analyze emerging data, and explore innovation in sustainable design.

One of the Design Futures Council’s missions is to identify and recognize future leaders who are having-and will increasingly have-an impact on design practices, design professions, and the community. The DFC Emerging Leaders scholarship program addresses this goal by selecting individuals who represent the future of design practice in terms of its broadening scope, service to society, sustainable design, and technological innovation. DFC Emerging Leaders are nominated by members and senior fellows of the Design Futures Council and selected by editors and managers at DesignIntelligence, the Design Futures Council’s parent organization.

“As a recipient of the DFC Emerging Leader Award, I was invited to share the floor with some of the most creative leaders in the industry,” said 2016 awardee Mark Palmer of CallisonRTKL.” It was a remarkable opportunity to hear their ideas, learn from their experiences, and be given a voice in creating a more sustainable future.”

Each of the six emerging leaders received a scholarship to attend the summit. Scholarships were provided by DuPont Protection Solutions. DuPont has been the exclusive sponsor of the DFC Emerging Leaders program since 2010.

The 2016 Emerging Leaders:

bahe_jonathan-120x0-isJonathan Bahe is a senior associate at NBBJ. He provides process design leadership and client management for civic and corporate organizations. His passion for collaborative inquiry, robust problem solving, and constant curiosity provides NBBJ and its clients with a powerful voice for design and process. He is a strong advocate for the integration of design and business, constantly exploring how space impacts critical issues of human capital and performance. A member of the AIA Seattle Strategic Advisory Council, he is also a past president of the American Institute of Architecture Students, and a Richard Upjohn Fellow of the AIA.


bhatia_neeraj-120x0-isNeeraj Bhatia is a licensed architect and urban designer whose work resides at the intersection of politics, infrastructure, and urbanism. Bhatia is founder of the design practice, The Open Workshop. He is also an assistant professor at the California College of the Arts, where he co-directs the urbanism research lab, The Urban Works Agency. Select distinctions include the Architectural League Young Architects Prize, Graham Foundation Grants, The Lawrence B. Anderson Award, Shell Center for Sustainability Grant, Odebrecht first-prize award for sustainability, and the Fulbright Fellowship.


dahl_peter-120x0-isPeter Dahl works in HGA Engineers and Architects’ Minneapolis office, where leads a group focused on sustainability for clients in HGA’s three core practice groups: healthcare, public/corporate, and arts/community/higher education. He has a penchant for building performance data and systems optimization. Peter holds a Ph.D. and Integrated Masters and Bachelor of Architectural Engineering degrees from The Pennsylvania State University. Peter is currently chair for the USGBC Minnesota Community.


finch_emily-120x0-isEmily Finch is project architect and sustainability lead on public airport projects at Fentress Architects. Emily is passionate about local urban design forms that are inherently sustainable. Through her work on large airports, where millions of people visit every year, she has developed ideas for designing a more sustainable future. Emily’s recent airport projects have achieved LEED Silver (SJ Airport) and LEED Gold (SFP Control Tower).


hughes_april-120x0-isApril Hughes is the 2013 AIA Illinois and AIA Chicago Young Architect of the Year and the managing principal of HPZS, a full service architectural firm specializing in combatting climate change through adaptive reuse in order to “Preserve a Sustainable Future” for Chicago. Her expertise commits to sustainable design at all scales, from the planning of a net-zero Navy SEAL training campus to designing Chicago’s first two net-zero buildings, down to contributing to innovative policies such as Chicago’s first Water Reuse Manual.


palmer2-120x0-isMark Palmer is an associate vice president at CallisonRTKL in their Washington, DC office. Mark’s design philosophy is driven by an interest in culture, ecology, social impact, and thinking about buildings as systems rather than objects. Mark is a member of CallisonRTKL’s Performance Driven Design Leadership Council and the Corporate and Social Responsibility Leadership Council. He has worked with Architecture for Humanity to facilitate public interest design projects in Africa, India, and Washington. In 2010, Mark spoke at the UN Habitat Conference on Green Building Rating Systems in Africa.


More information about the DFC Emerging Leaders program

About the Design Futures Council

The Design Futures Council is an independent and interdisciplinary network of design, product, construction and real estate leaders who explore trends, challenges, and opportunities to advance innovation and shape the future of the AEC industry and environment. The DFC integrates the latest research to benefit the built environment, improve the way we design and build, and strengthen member organizations. The organization challenges conventions and limiting beliefs, offering fresh intelligence, innovation, and strategic optimism to enable the design, product, construction and real estate industry to improve the human condition. The DFC was co-founded in 1994 by Dr. Jonas Salk and James P. Cramer, the organization’s current chairman.

About DuPont Protection Solutions

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