Stephen D. Luoni
Director and Principal Designer
Stephen Luoni is Director of the UACDC where he is the Steven L. Anderson Chair in Architecture and Urban Studies and a Distinguished Professor of Architecture. Under his direction since 2003, UACDC’s design and research have won more than 100 awards, including Progressive Architecture Awards, American Institute of Architects Honors Awards for Regional and Urban Design, Charter Awards from the Congress for the New Urbanism, American Society of Landscape Architecture Awards, Environmental Design Research Association Awards, American Architecture Awards, and a Holcim Award, all for urban design, research, and education. His work at UACDC specializes in interdisciplinary public works projects combining landscape, urban, and architectural design. Current work includes scenario planning that addresses municipal transit infrastructure and urban food production, pocket housing development, neighborhood revitalization, and highway corridor redevelopment.
Luoni directed production of the center’s award-winning book: Low Impact Development: a design manual for urban areas. His work has been published in Oz, Architectural Record, Landscape Architecture, Progressive Architecture, Architect, Places, L’Architecture d’Aujourd’ hui, Progressive Planning, International New Architecture, and Public Art Review. In addition to being appointed a 2012 Ford Fellow by the United States Artists, he has regularly served as a resource team member for the Mayors’ Institute on City Design.
Luoni has a BS in Architecture from Ohio State University and a Master of Architecture from Yale University.
Paco Mejias Villatoro
Paco Mejias is Project Designer and Adjunct Professor at the University of Arkansas Community Design Center (UACDC). He has a Master in Architecture degree from Valencia Polytechnics (Spain), and Master Science in Architectural Projects from the European University of Madrid. Paco currently is working in his Ph.D. Dissertation to be presented at the Madrid School of Architecture “Architectural Artifacts, Gadgets and Tricks. A Taxonomy of 20th Century”.
Paco has been teaching architecture since 1997, at the Valencia School of Architecture (Spain), Alicante School of Architecture (Spain), Azrieli School of Architecture and Urbanism at Carleton University in Ottawa (Canada), and Anadolu University in Eskisehir (Turkey). He has been a Visiting Professor and Lecturer at International Architecture Workshops in London, Barcelona, Venetia, Milan, La Habana, Berlin and Eskisehir (Turkey).
Paco has worked as designer for the Zaha M. Hadid office in London, for Javier Garcia-Solera and Alfredo Paya office in Alicante (Spain), and for the Alfonso Penela office in Vigo (Spain). He is cofounder and Principal of Figueiras y Mejias Architects since 1997. Paco has participated in more than 50 national and international competitions, and has garnered 15 awards. His work has been shown in national and international exhibitions, and is widely published and recognized. Paco received 1st Prize in the Regional Architecture Biennale Competition in Murcia (Spain) granted by the College of Architects, and was nominated for the prestigious Mies van der Rohe European Award in 2003.
Tanzil Shafique joined the University of Arkansas Community Design Center as a Project Designer in January, 2015. Previously he worked in New York City at Roger Ferris and Partners as an architect. He received an M. Arch in Architecture and Urbanism from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York where he received the Graduate Faculty Award for academic excellence. His graduate thesis was published in the online architecture magazine SuckerPunch. Prior to moving to the United States, Tanzil was a Teaching and Research Fellow at his undergraduate alma mater, BRAC University in Dhaka, Bangladesh, where he was involved in collaborative research with partner universities in the UK. Tanzil holds a B. Arch from BRAC University where he graduated top of class winning the President’s Gold Medal. He also was involved in architectural projects ranging from urban masterplans to residential towers.
Since joining the UACDC, Tanzil has been involved in design research and visualization in disaster recovery town planning for Mayflower and Vilonia and is currently involved in producing an Urban Watershed Framework for the City of Conway. Apart from these professional services, Tanzil leads an Urbanism History Seminar in the 5th year urbanism studio for Bachelor of Architecture students of the Fay Jones School of Architecture + Design. His design research involves developing transferable typologies for urbanisms that intersect architecture, landscape, infrastructure and ecology.
Jay Williams is a Project Designer at University of Arkansas Design Center (UACDC). Upon completion of a Bachelor of Architecture degree from the University of Arkansas in May 2015, Jay joined UACDC. He assists in teaching, research, and planning. His work on urban regeneration of downtown block in Texarkana, TX has been exhibited at the Southeastern Conference of Applied Arts in Atlanta, GA and has been shortlisted in the 2016 World Architecture News Awards for Urban Design. Other work at the center has included putting together a briefing book for the Mayors' Institute on City Design and researching a reconciliation of the urban fabric with the watershed through the Conway Urban Watershed Framework Plan.
His interests in urbanism began after studying abroad in Rome; a full immersion into a diverse and walkable city fabric. The following summer as an intern at Cromwell Architects in Little Rock, Jay was able to contribute to creating such a fabric. He had the privilege of working on a Main Street loft apartment retrofit of a historic newspaper building. This project was collateral of a larger urban regeneration catalyzed by “The Creative Corridor” Main Street masterplan by the UACDC. Prior to his architectural work, much of Jay’s time was spent guiding wilderness trips through the backcountry of Colorado. This leadership experience fueled a passion for the “great outdoors” seemingly paradoxical to his architectural studies. The work at the UACDC has the opportunity to unite his interests in urbanism and appreciation for wilderness through a larger design narrative of reconciling nature with urbanism.
Executive Assistant to the Director
Linda provides invaluable administrative and accounting support to Community Design Center staff. Originally from New York City, she moved to northwest Arkansas in 1984. After her daughter completed a degree at the University of Arkansas, it was Linda’s turn: she graduated magna cum laude in 2004 with a bachelor’s degree in geography and a minor in business administration. She completed a master’s degree in geography in 2008. She won numerous awards during her academic career, notably the Outstanding Geography Undergraduate Student Award in 2003 and 2004, the Fulbright College Senior Scholar in 2004 and the Outstanding Physical Geographer of the Year in 2008. She has more than thirty years of accounting and corporate paralegal experience.
The UA’s Staff Senate recognized her in May 2010 as an Employee of the Third Quarter.
Matthew is a Development Associate for UACDC and also serves on the City Council of Fayetteville, Arkansas. He is Chariman of the City's Transportation Committee and oversees transportation planning and budgeting.
As a Development Associate, Matthew conceptualizes projects, builds partnerships, and pursues funding. Projects which have received awards include Walkscapes: Sidewalks to Rooms and Four Housing Narratives to Anchor an Arts District.
Matthew has a BS in Mathematics and Political Science from the University of Arkansas. His undergraduate research was focused on urban modeling.