Students S18


  • Bahar Abiri, Ryan Maruyama, Daniel Matallana, Eli Metcalf
  • Ryan Al-Schamma, Alden Carr, Morvarid Dimaghani, Bradly Taylor
  • Leah Loostrom, Aaron Kent, Cody Knight, Jessica Glaeser
  • Joel Mbala-Nkanga, Walker Maddalozzo, Jasmine Martinez, Emily Pollman
  • Adam Chavez, Jose Cuellar, Derek  Jahelka, Ryan Janowski

Aaron Kent

MY BACKGROUND: Aaron is in his fourth year at University of Oregon studying architecture with a minor in interior architecture. Some of his interests outside of architecture are cooking, collecting sneakers and working out. He also played volleyball when he was in high school and try to play now whenever he gets the chance. He is fairly proficient in Revit as well as the Adobe creative suite programs and did an Internship last summer for a small firm in Eugene. He is great at time management so he likes to work efficiently but never compromise for doing a task incorrectly or less thoroughly. Being fairly proficient in the computer software and having a strong attention to detail allow him to be a valuable member of any team that will step up to get things done.

MY INTERESTS: In this class he is interested to learn the newest technologies in wood and timber construction as well as how as architects we can be smart and sustainable in the use of wood as a building material. Coming from the city of Chicago that is dominantly glass steel and concrete, he hasn’t been exposed to many large scale timber constructions until he came to Oregon so he is excited to learn more about it.

TEAMWORK THOUGHTS: Some lessons that he has learned from working in a team are: don’t use being in a group as an excuse to do less work. Being in a team allows the potential to have a really strong project and if all members of the team give forth their best efforts this is much more easily attainable. Another thing that he has learned is don’t be afraid to voice your opinion. Being quiet in group discussions only will lead to frustration so speak up.

–Morvarid Dilmaghani | April 8, 2018

Bahar Abiri


Background: Bahar hails from Iran. Her undergraduate degree was in Architectural Engineering at Shiraz University and is currently pursuing her Master’s Degree in Civil Engineering with an emphasis in Construction Management at OSU. Her strengths are within BIM, parametric design as well as planning. She has combined her previous undergraduate background, working experience, and current master’s degree to pursue her interests within the infrastructure industry.
Interests: Bahar is currently interested in new engineered wood products, such as CLT. She has also looked toward precedents such as Peavy Hall, the Department of Forestry, which utilizes the CLT as its primary structure. Her hopes are for this class is to delve deeper into grasshopper as well as parametric design.
Teamwork: Bahar has had her fair share of positive and negative team work experiences. Working for a year within the construction and design industry she has found that positive team work can stem from sharing resources to achieve a more efficient workflow. At times she has felt that collaboration can lead to disagreement which could potentially compromise the project.

— Ryan Maruyama| April 8, 2018

 Brad Taylor

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Brad Taylor’s the name, (structural timber) engineering’s the game. Brad is a Graduate student at Oregon State University pursuing a dual masters in Structural Engineering and Wood Science and Engineering.

Brad has had plenty of experience with engineering, not only in his Undergraduate Studies at OSU where he majored in Civil Engineering, but also during his summers working for the TallWood Design Institute where he scoured reports on timber construction in preparation for TDI marketing and meetings. He has also taken a number of design courses and has had the opportunity to work with a fair variety of different structural materials throughout his undergraduate degree. His experiences have bred in him a good understanding of mass timber products, and a keen structural knowledge. A very well-rounded guy, truly.

Brad’s motivations for this course are to learn more about mass timber connections, and about design softwares in order to better understand the design process–one could say to see how the other half (Architects) lives. Brad’s experiences with wood structural design make him a strong candidate for this course.

In his past teamwork experiences Brad has demonstrated he works well with all kinds of personalities (he’s a kind and easy-going guy). He found that he sometimes tends to take a back-seat position, so to say, and so the project may take a course which is likely not where he imagined/wanted the project to go. He found that constant communication is absolutely necessary to a functional team. Having said that, he prefers a work structure where teams convene, discuss all that they need to, and then separate with tasks that need to be completed by the next meeting, rather than all working together in the same place.

Ryan Al-Schamma, April 6

Joel Mbala-Nkanga

MY BACKGROUND: Joel is from Ann Arbor Michigan, graduated from Adrian College with an undergrad in interior design, and is in final term of grad school to get M.Arch. He specializes in form finding, problem solving, and possess strong graphic design, rendering, and 3D digital modeling skills.  He also possess strong communication skills, both verbally and graphically. He studied abroad in Barcelona with Phillip Speranza, which was heavily focused on media and grasshopper. He has a lot of energy, very self motivated, and capable of working efficiently, and understand how to be relaxed, while still being very productive.

MY INTERESTS:  He is interested in inspiring and bringing people together through the use of powerful, risky, and purposeful design.  Often times opting to take the risky difficult design, and whatever challenges that comes with it over the more simple choice as long as it leads to something more inspiring and still purposeful and sustainable.  He is also interested in digital modeling methods as well as different media methods to present material. For this class he hopes to get a stronger understanding of the possibilities of wood as a building material.

TEAMWORK THOUGHTS:  He is equally capable of taking on both or either a leadership role and spearheading a goal/vision as he is capable of taking on a participant role.  Joel thinks groups are most successful when everyone is allowed to be creative, and transparent with each other, and not take things too personal. Joel aims to find the balance between working hard and having fun, and encourages others to do the same.

– Walker Maddalozzo, April 9, 2018

Walker Maddalozzo


MY BACKGROUND: From Philomath OR, Walker was originally interested in interior design and architecture, but decided to go the engineering route.  He is an undergraduate student at Oregon State University studying Civil Engineering with a focus in Structural Engineering. Walker has a unique thought process that allows him to see things with new perspectives and approaches, manifesting in creative and efficient solutions.

MY INTERESTS: Walker studied concrete and steel but is interested in learning the structural capabilities of engineered wood as both a structural and architectural medium. Specifically interested in hybrid systems of materials such as the use of structural steel reinforcement and tensioning in wood products. 

TEAMWORK THOUGHTS: When in the role of group projects Walker tries to maintain open-communication as a tool to maintain the groups bigger picture and to stay on path. He has not worked on a project of this magnitude with a team spread between multiple cities but thinks that with clear and constant communication it is a challenge that can be overcame. 

— Joel-Laurent Mbala-Nkanga | April 9, 2018

Cody Knight

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MY BACKGROUND: Cody grew in up in Coeur d’Alene Idaho, where he gained an appreciation for nature through recreational activities. His time in the solidified his interest in environmental activism and made him pursue a field through which he could have a positive impact. His previous interest in woodworking came into play when he decided to pursue a synthesis of both through a degree in Renewable Materials/Wood Science in which he is in his second year.

MY INTERESTS: Not only looking to research these topics, Cody is interested in the application of the findings in his field through design and structural application. He is particularly interested on how parametric design and 3D modelling can come into play in optimizing the use of these materials.

TEAMWORK THOUGHTS: His background in the military has taught Cody the importance of effective teamwork skills. Excited to work with people of different expertise and perspectives, he believes communication is at the heart of a successful team. Experience as both a leader and a follower, Cody enjoys working towards a common goal as part of a team.

— Daniel Matallana | April 8, 2018

Ryan Al-Schamma


BACKGROUND: A third year undergraduate architecture student at the University of Oregon, Ryan also minors in historic preservation and art history.  Very flexible in nature, he thoroughly enjoys expressive architecture and never feels restrained to certain styles or materials. He also displays strong leadership qualities due to his ability to get along with a wide variety of personalities.

INTERESTS: Ryan’s specific interest in this course includes learning how to interact with structural engineers on a common project. He also hopes to develop his Grasshopper skills as he has only limited experience with the software. Although well-versed in the basics of how structures carry load, Ryan hopes to develop a deeper understanding of load paths and the stresses that loads create within a structural element.

TEAMWORK THOUGHTS: Ryan believes consistent communication is the key to working well as a group and looks forward to applying his strengths of modelling, idea exploration and graphics in order to achieve a common group design goal.

— Brad Taylor | April 8, 2018

Ryan Maruyama

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MY BACKGROUND: Ryan has grown up in California. He finished his bachelor’s in Purdue University in Civil Engineering with emphasis of structure. Currently he is studying master’s in Architecture at University of Oregon. He has worked in construction firms for 5 years in Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur. He worked as a construction management of resources, quality control and assurance. Also, he was consultant for Highrise buildings for 2.5 years. His major expertise is concrete.

MY INTERESTS: Ryan motivations are virtual modeling parametric and new products. He likes to learn new things that has not been used often. His expectations of the class is to learn better Grasshopper, more connection detailing and how it can be used in different parametric plugins.

TEAMWORK THOUGHTS: Ryan believes that he can acquire knowledge from his peers in teamwork, learning different methods, ways and perspectives of problem solving. But he thinks, if every group member wants to be happy with the design or the method implemented, the project would not be successful at the end. And also, miscommunications in a group can be negative for the performance of the whole team, someone thinking on something but someone else thinks differently.

— Bahar Abiri | April 8, 2018

Derek Jahelka

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MY BACKGROUND: Derek grew up all over the west coast until 2009 when he moved to Texas. He pursued his Bachelor’s of Architectural Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin, where he focused on structures and design integration. He is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Civil Engineering at Oregon State University focusing on structures and seismic design. Derek’s hobbies include rock climbing, backpacking, and camping. Through these activities he has developed a passion for the outdoors and desire to preserve the natural world. He hopes to explore the potential for environmental sustainability in new materials, disaster resiliency, and structural design optimization.

MY INTERESTS: Derek is very interested in the collaborative potential for parametric design. Often the design process is iterative and having tools to quickly adapt to the architect’s needs would be extremely useful to a structural designer. From a structural materials perspective he’s curious about the future of mass timber and the role it could play in sustainable urban design. He hopes to develop a proficiency with Rhino and Grasshopper and apply them to adaptive structural modeling of complex geometry.

TEAMWORK THOUGHTS: Gaining numerous opportunities for collaboration in his undergrad as well as current employment as a structural designer, Derek is familiar with the benefits and potential pitfalls of interdisciplinary collaboration. He believes in compromise, mutual respect, and maintaining a practical approach to design deadlines with realistic project goals.

— Derek Jahelka| April 8, 2018

Alden Carr


MY BACKGROUND: Alden grew up on a blueberry farm in Washington. He then moved to Arizona to study Environmental Science and Biology at Northern Arizona University, where he subsequently worked in forestry restoration gaining valuable experience in landscapes and nature. He is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Landscape Architecture at the University of Oregon. Alden brings his expertise in landscapes, design, ecology and natural resources to the class, as well as previous work experience in traditional building construction. He has taken a parametric class with Nancy Cheng before and therefore has excellent knowledge of Rhinoceros 3D and Grasshopper.

MY INTERESTS: Alden is very interested in using analytical thinking and parametrics with landscape design to create engaging pavilions. He’s also interested in exploring the way BIM can work within the scope of landscape architecture. As for this class, he is very interested in learning about the structural side of design and understanding the content of wood design as a whole. He says he is particularly interested in learning about different types of wood joints.

TEAMWORK THOUGHTS: Alden is no newbie to group work. He says he really likes working in teams in general. He believes that good communication and being comfortable with sharing ideas is a great way to do great things within a group. In his experience, it’s when there is no communication and people have their own secret agendas that will derail a project so he tries to stay away from those types of groups.

Alden is very familiar with grasshopper + rhino and keeps an open mind with the goal of having fun throughout the design process and would great for any group. He says along with his technology proficiency, he can spearhead any type of site content, as he particularly enjoys working in the landscape.

— Leah Loostrom | April 5, 2018

 Leah Loostrom

MY BACKGROUND: Leah is a Nebraska transplant, finishing her second year as a Master of Architecture student at the University of Oregon. She studied Art and Business Administration in her undergraduate studies. As an artist and designer, she classifies herself as a minimalist. Her art pieces are wood sculptures and tend to be interactive ranging in sizes of 4’x4’ to 12’x12’.  She draws inspiration from works by Richard Serra

MY INTERESTS: Art is a foundation of her expertise which allows her to think abstractly, though she is equally strong in analytics and practicality. She is proficient in advanced mathematics, and Rhino 3D. Recently Leah completed the Mass Timber Design Studio. Additionally, she is knowledgeable in the science of building structure, from a course she is fond of.

Leah is interested in gaining a general knowledge base from this course although she especially interested in Learning grasshopper. She enjoys prototyping and building physical models.

TEAMWORK THOUGHTS: She is an advocate of team-based projects. She has had the best experiences in teams that can communicate well and define specific leadership roles. She looks forward to bringing an open mind and an easy-going attitude to team projects. She is equally likely to fulfill a leadership or participant role.

— Alden Carr |April 5, 2018

Jasmine Martinez

jasmine bw pictureMY BACKGROUND: Jasmine is an outgoing Bachelor of Architecture student from Pomona in Southern California, just outside of L.A. Originally, she attended the University of La Verne, but later transferred to Mt. SAC. She then decided to apply to Oregon, because she wanted something different from Cal Poly and was interested in architecture.

MY INTERESTS: Jasmine loves any creative activity that involves working with her hands, including drawing and painting. While in Judith Sheine’s studio last term, Jasmine had the opportunity to design a tiny house using mass timber. As a part of the studio, she constructed a ½” scale model of the tiny house, which required extensive use of the wood shop. Through this, she realized she loves working with wood and sees Timber Tectonics as an extension of the mass timber studio. She hopes to learn how we can use technology to design timber structures. Some of her strengths include thinking on her feet and finding solutions in unique ways when unexpected fabrication issues arise.

TEAMWORK THOUGHTS: Early in life, Jasmine was inspired by self-driven projects through watching her father update the cabinetry in their house. Although she is familiar with most power tools and computer programs, Jasmine believes the best way to learn is by practicing and becoming familiar with a program or tool. She is a team player and loves collaborating with people and allowing ideas to flow freely in order to circulate around studio and other work environments. While she appreciates working alone, she also looks for a balance in working with others because ideas are much better when formed in groups. In a team, Jasmine believes it is important to find out what people’s strengths are so the specialties of each individual can shine through the project.

-Jessica Glaeser | April 8, 2018

Daniel Matallana

Daniel Matallana

MY BACKGROUND: Daniel spent most of his life in the City of Roses, Portland. Taking full advantage of what the area has to offer, Daniel spent a lot of time hiking and backpacking with his loved ones, and developed a passion for skateboarding. He was born with a creative soul, drawing throughout his childhood, which developed into painting his skateboards and designing T-shirts. With his creativity and interest in math, Daniel found the architecture program at UO an ideal field of study.

MY INTERESTS: Besides finding a creative outlet, one area of Daniel’s interests is in sustainable design and growing field of mass timber. The capabilities of pairing this sustainable material with digital modeling and fabrication tools to create new possibilities in construction and design motivates Daniel to study this field further. Especially since Portland is one of the leading cities in the U.S. to implement these innovative technologies.

TEAMWORK THOUGHTS: A corner stone to good teamwork is effective communication. Luckily, modern technology makes it easier than ever to collaborate and connect people from around the world. Daniel also believes a critical component to an efficient team is in compromise. When working with multidisciplinary teams, it’s important to know when to be flexible and when to stand by a decision.

— Cody Knight 4/07/2018

Jessica Glaeser


MY BACKGROUND: Jessica is a native Oregonian from Grant’s Pass which is a few hours south of Eugene. She’s no stranger to Oregon State University’s campus as she earned her Bachelor of Natural Resources in the College of Forestry there. Her studies at OSU gained her interest in renewable materials and engineered wood products. Due to the interdisciplinary nature of her undergrad degree her background in wood science and engineering is very broad. Currently she is pursuing a Master of Architecture degree at the University of Oregon.

MY INTERESTS: While she enjoys arts and crafts in her spare time, Jessica has more recently began skiing and loves taking a trip out to the mountains every chance she gets. Last Fall she took Judith Sheine’s Mass Timber Courthouse studio. She is passionate about mass timber and is always looking for more ways to broaden her knowledge in the timber technology field. She is motivated to learn how the advancement of timber technology can influence design decisions.

TEAMWORK THOUGHTS: During the Mass Timber Courthouse studio Jessica had to work in a group and learned valuable lessons from that. Communication is probably one of her most important concerns while working in a group. Ensuring everyone is on the same page is something she’s found to be very important. Above all she enjoys talking and working with people and having fun while doing so.

— Jasmine Martinez April 8, 2018

Eli Metcalf

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MY BACKGROUND: Eli is an undergraduate architecture major and art history minor at the University of Oregon. Eli was born and raised in Portland, Oregon. While growing up, Eli developed an interest in art and design.

MY INTERESTS: Along with Eli’s interests in art and design, he also enjoys playing guitar and producing music. Eli also has an interest in animation and other forms of digital design. Eli also enjoys biking and traveling. Eli is interested in learning about new wood materials and how they can expand the use of wood in building design.

TEAMWORK THOUGHTS: Eli has connected his interest in traveling with some work experience by interning in Shenzhen, China last summer. Eli also has some previous experience working on construction jobs. In previous group work, Eli has found that it can go well as long as the communication is good. Eli has a fair amount of experience with Rhino and a little with Grasshopper. However, he has no experience with Karamba.

— Adam Chavez 4/8/2018

Ryan Janowski

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MY BACKGROUND: Ryan’s love of architecture was ignited at an early age while he was growing up in Los Angeles, California. His exposure to several incredible Mid-Century Modern designs, such as the Case Study Houses, and his love for his many LEGO sets, are what initially inspired him to become an architect. Currently, Ryan is amazingly double-majoring in both Architecture and Art/Architectural History and is about to complete his fifth year at the University of Oregon. Some of his current inspirations include Charles and Ray Eames, Peter and Allison Smithson, Kenzo Tange. Eileen Grey, and Renzo Piano.

MY INTERESTS: Ryan has a good amount of experience working with Rhino and Grasshopper due to past courses and studios, but he has very little experience designing and working with engineered wood products and is therefore excited at having the chance to learn more about the many types of EWP and their role in timber construction. Some of his personal interests include road cycling, mountain biking, gardening, baking (particularly puff pastry), cooking, and concocting new and exciting drinks based on what he finds in his fridge.

TEAMWORK THOUGHTS: Ryan’s experience with teamwork has been both positive and inspiring, but it has also been frustrating. Ryan loves being able to work in a team, especially when he can learn from and collaborate with his team members who have specific knowledge or skills, but he has been in groups where his team members weren’t able to or were unwilling to contribute their fair share of the work.

— Emily Pollman | April 8, 2018

Morvarid Dilmaghani

MY BACKGROUNDMorvarid was born in Iran. She earned her Bachelor of Architectural Engineering from Tabriz Azad University. Then, she moved to Turkey to complete her master in Architecture at Istanbul Technical University. She is currently pursuing her Graduate Studies in Wood Science and Engineering at the Oregon State University. She is familiar with AutoCad, 3D MAX and Photoshop programs. Additionally, she has had experiences in working in an international team project and performing experiments on timber structural elements

MY INTERESTSSome of her interests outside of engineering and wood science are cooking and painting. Her studies at ITU gained an interest in engineered wood products. In this class, she is interested in expanding her knowledge about new technological developments and construction techniques in timber building designs.

TEAMWORK THOUGHTSIn her experience, setting up meetings between group members on a regular basis, determining responsibilities of group members appropriately, are important in a teamwork. She prefers team projects because teamwork includes some benefits like; increased efficiency, the ability to focus different minds on the same problem. In addition, when a team is able to work well together they accomplish more than individuals can do alone. Morvarid has some great qualities that make her a good team player. She is self-motivated, responsible, good at management and leadership.

–Aaron Kent | April 8, 2018

Adam Chavez


MY BACKGROUND: Adam is a 3rd year undergraduate renewable materials major and business minor at Oregon State University. He was born into an American military family in the northern Italian city of Aviano. Raised in Italy and living abroad in Corvallis, Oregon, Adam identifies as more of an European than an American.

MY INTERESTS: Adam shares interests in renewable materials such as the use of mass timber and reclaimed wood. Previously having had an internship with a saw mill company in California, he is currently looking to intern in the timber industry in Oregon this summer. Other personal interests include playing volleyball and swimming.

TEAMWORK THOUGHTS: Adam believes that a good team dynamic includes clear communications of thoughts and motives as well as a coordination of shared work output. During his sophomore year, he had an experience with a team assignment in which there was an unfair distribution of work among members. Some members failed to contribute due to a lack of communication. Since then, Adam has worked toward better communicating in group projects and has see success when using snapchat and text rather than email when collaborating.

— Eli Metcalf | April 9, 2018

Emily Pollman

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MY BACKGROUND: Emily was born in Denver, Colorado, and moved to Gainesville, Florida, when she was six years old. Although she had always possessed a deep love for art and design, it wasn’t until introductory courses at the University of Florida that she realized her passion for architecture. She graduated with a Bachelor’s of Design in Architecture and a Bachelor’s of Art in Art History. Emily is currently a second-year Track II grad student enrolled in her terminal design studio.

MY INTERESTS: Emily is fascinated by the evolution of timber construction, particularly the increased possibilities for organic and modular forms. She hopes to learn more about the structural side of timber construction and joinery, and is particularly excited at the prospect of being able to physically realize these designs. Her interests outside of class include hiking, DIY home improvement projects, and assisting with her boyfriend’s thriving Etsy business.

TEAMWORK THOUGHTS: Although Emily is aware and appreciative of the importance of teamwork in the professional design field, she has had mixed experiences with it in an academic context. Far too often one person ends up burdened with an undue amount of the work, which is negative for both group dynamics and the ultimate quality of the project. Emily believes the most important quality to a successful group is keeping open and free lines of communication – this is how the best ideas can be shared! She hopes her skills in Rhino, physical modeling, and graphic design are able to contribute to a strong and successful group project.

— Ryan Janowski | April 8, 2018

Jose Cuellar


Jose is a top Graduate student in the University of Oregon’s Architecture program, currently working towards his M.Arch.  He was raised in Las Vegas,NV where he received his undergraduate degree.  He chose to do his graduate studies at the University of Oregon, because of the school’s focus on sustainability and interdisciplinary collaboration.

As it pertains to the course, Jose is interested in obtaining a better understanding of timber and engineering products, and how to incorporate this understanding to push the limits of design.  Jose excels at design and digital modeling, with a good understanding of Rhino and Grasshopper.

TEAMWORK THOUGHTS:  When it comes to teamwork, Jose is always ready to collaborate and share ideas.  He recently completed a complexteam architectural design that incorporated environmental analysis. While he has had to do some group work before, He has never been involved in a project that requires working with students at another school.  Jose is optimistic about the opportunity to work with people that can provide a different point of view and level of expertise on certain topics.


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