2008 Alumni Gary Garcia and Jesus Aguilar, six years after graduation

2008Alums_6YearsLaterGary Garcia is a Senior Designer and Office Manager at Living Green Designs.
“Born and raised in South Los Angeles, Gary pursued his interest in furniture and graphic design by enrolling in Santa Monica Community College’s Architecture program. After earning an Associate of Architecture degree in 2003, he began an early professional career as a designer for Robert Treman Architecture. After working for two years, Gary enrolled full-time at Otis College of Art and Design in the fall of 2005, in the Architecture/Landscape/Interiors program, and earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 2008. Otis’ multi-disciplinary Architecture/Landscape/Interiors program fueled him to challenge the conventional notions of the “private and public” living spaces we inhabit and led him to continuously and aggressively explore the possibilities of overlaying program uses with cultural and social trends. This method and further determination enabled Gary to pursue a Master of Landscape Architecture degree from the University of Southern California as well as a Graduate Certificate in Architecture and Urbanism, both of which he achieved in 2011. Gary has held professional internships with SWA Group and been employed with several international design firms in the fields of landscape architecture, planning and urban design, most notably as a Senior Designer with KAS Design Company in Shenzhen, China. With KAS Gary established and led Concept Development of urban designs dealing with commercial architecture and public landscapes. The results were a reformed and enhanced approach of creating urban environments and experiences that interface the spatial design fields within political negotiation, social/cultural trends, infrastructure and ecological strategies.” – Gary Garcia

Gary is also a Principal of his own firm, studio PERFORMATIVO.
studio PERFORMATIVO recently earned an Honorable Mention in the Northeast L.A. (NELA) Placemaking Design Competition for their project entry, FIND – YOUR – WAY. The competition sought “implementable projects that enhance the neighborhood identity, river revitalization, community health, and public spaces of the NELA river area and its adjacent neighborhoods.” FIND – YOUR – WAY addressed the “Entire NELA Area,” Regional Category, which included all five areas of the competition: Atwater Village, Cypress Park, Elysian Valley, Glassell Park, and Lincoln Heights. Projects/entries could address one of the five areas, or all five in “Entire NELA Area.”


Jesus Aguilar will begin Master of Architecture Professional Degree studies at the School of Architecture at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) with Advanced Standing (starting in the second year of the three-year program) this fall, 2014, with a Tuition Waiver. Jesus also applied to and was accepted with Advanced Standing at USC’s School of Architecture, with a renewable USC School of Architecture Scholarship.

Excerpts from Jesus’ UIC acceptance letter:
“Based on your previous academic experiences and the strength of your portfolio, we have recommended the Graduate College that you be admitted with advanced standing into the second year of our Masters of Architecture program in the School of Architecture at the University of Illinois at Chicago.” “The School of Architecture has selected you to receive a University of Illinois Board of Trustee Tuition Waiver for one semester of the academic 2014-15 year. This award is granted to the most outstanding graduate students and we are pleased to welcome you to this group.”

“After graduating from Otis in 2008, Jesus worked for The LADG (The Los Angeles Design Group), a design firm specializing in contemporary design at all scales, where he worked on residential and commercial interiors in California, New York, and Chicago. In early 2010 Jesus left The LADG to pursue his personal and independent interests in residential, commercial and graphic design, as Made by Jesus. Made by Jesus studio is rooted in the idea of full spectrum design aiming to bridge the multiple mediums of design; spatial, visual, and conceptual, to produce spaces, brands, and objects. Made by Jesus has completed projects in Los Angeles and San Francisco. Jesus continues, periodically, to collaborate with other firms such as The LADG, DSH || Architecture, and Fievre Jones. Since 2011, Jesus has served as a Teaching Associate in the Architecture/Landscape/Interiors department and was the department’s Academic Mentor in 2013-2014. Jesus will teach the Architecture/Landscape/Interiors studio in Otis’ Summer of Arts program before moving to Chicago for graduate studies this fall, 2014.” – Jesus Aguilar

top left: an image from studio PERFORMATIVO’s FIND – YOUR – WAY project
top right: Gary Garcia
bottom left: Jesus Aguilar
bottom right: Surefoot New York, by The LADG, with Jesus Aguilar, Designer