Christina Cho Yoo, AIA, PE, LEED AP BD+C
is co-founder of Atelier Cho Thompson. She received a BS & MS in civil & structural engineering and construction management at Stanford University and received a masters in architecture at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. She was a structural engineer at the international engineering company Arup, where she was the Structural Sustainability Champion for the Americas & worked on projects such as the LEED-Double Platinum California Academy of Sciences, UC-Davis Veterinary Medicine facilities, UCSC Engineering Building, Kaiser hospitals, Schroder Overcrossing, and various other projects. She went onto work at architecture firms worldwide including Kao Design Group on Richard Branson's Eco-Island, SHoP Architects on the Google HQ, Neri & Hu in Shanghai, Mass Studies in Seoul, and Bohlin Cywinski Jackson on Apple stores, the Apple iAd office, and the Square HQ.
Her work has spanned typologies from single-family to multifamily residences, hospitals, labs, museums, innovative workplaces, hospitality and food service, to retail, exhibits, furniture, and graphics for various organizations. Her inspiration comes from exploring the particularities of a place, client, material, or technology. She thrives in the rich in-between spaces of disciplines -- structures & architecture, landscape & furniture, graphics & interiors, etc. Her work explores design's ability to catalyze new types of interactions between people & communities. She has lectured on Green R&D at Harvard and served as a critic at Parsons, Stanford, Harvard, & the California College of the Arts. She has been a Senior Lecturer at the CCA, teaching Integrated Building Systems.
Christina took courses at the California Culinary Academy & worked as a stagiaire at Tartine Bakery. She enjoys running, cooking, gardening, playing the piano, and working on furniture projects with her husband. She serves as Design & Innovation Chair of the Stanford Club of SF.
Ming Thompson, AIA
is co-founder of Atelier Cho Thompson. As a practicing architect, Ming is focused on bettering human experience through design; she insists that good design must occur at all scales, from the building to the furniture to the logo, and everything in between.
Ming studied architecture at Yale University and the Harvard Graduate School of Design. Before founding ACT, she spent time working for large and small firms around the globe, including Zephyr Architects in Beijing and Bohlin Cywinski Jackson in San Francisco, where she focused primarily on commercial spaces for cutting-edge tech companies. While at Harvard campus planning in Cambridge, she worked with adaptive reuse projects to insert new programs into historic buildings. She has also worked as a designer for non-profit organizations, with a specialty in building community around design. Her work as an architect has been exhibited at the Venice Biennale, and published in books and periodicals in the United States and France. Deeply interested in bringing the arts to the public, Ming has worked in museums and galleries throughout her career, including the Peggy Guggenheim Collection and the National Gallery of Art, and has created and managed exhibitions as an independent curator.
Outside of architecture, Ming serves on the Board of Trustees of the Yale-China Association and the Alumnae Council of The Madeira School. She is also part of AIASF's Missing 32% Project to address equity and diversity in architecture and has been a Sr. Lecturer at the CCA. Prior to ACT, Ming established a successful graphic design company called Pounding Mill Press, and her work has been featured in numerous international magazines. Ming was raised in the kitchen of her family's restaurant in Appalachia, and today she continues to pursue her passion for the craft of food through photography, recipe blogs, food-related infographics, and her exploration of the diverse and inspiring culinary landscape of the Bay Area.
Ken was born and raised in Hong Kong. He received his masters in architecture at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, a MA in Economics from New York University, and a BS in Business Administration from Drexel University. Previously, he worked on various institutional design projects at Cannon Design as well as performing arts and community centers at Toshiko Mori Architect. He believes in the simplicity of architecture achieved by basic geometry and materials.Ken has worked for investment companies, completing multiple private fundraising mandates for real estate private equity firms and developers and working with structured finance and derivatives. In addition to architectural design, Ken previously worked in fashion PR, finance, and real estate. He has worked in investment banks and real estate companies including Credit Suisse, Barclays Capital, UBS, GAW Capital, and Hodes Weill & Associates. Ken enjoys taking photographs, dancing Argentine tango and thinking about economic policies.
Mikaela Leo focuses her career on making art that matters. From her experience volunteering with Habitat for Humanity of Santa Fe and partnering with New Mexico non-profit Warehouse 508, she learned how powerful design can be. She watched non-skilled volunteers learn to build homes together and her undergraduate architecture studio worked on designs for a youth warehouse that would encourage troubled youth from downtown Albuquerque to turn to art and creativity over drugs and gangs. The Bay Area’s eclectic and dynamic environment lured Mikaela to San Francisco. During graduate school at the California College of Arts, where she obtained her Masters in Architecture, she partnered with Bay Area organizations working to solve the food desert problem in West Oakland, running youth-led design build programs, and encouraging kids to get involved with their urban community through the act of play. Motivated by this work, her Master Thesis explored how large scale urban strategies could preserve enclaves for artists and other disappearing populations in a boom and bust economy.
Liz is an architectural designer and strategist. She received her Master of Architecture from California College of Arts where she was the recipient of several awards including the Thesis Prize, Jury Prize, and the Dean’s Scholarship Award. Her research on the spatial complexities of perceived risk has been awarded the AIASF 2013 Unbuilt Citation award and published in the publication Bracket [At Extremes] by InfraNet Lab and Architect. Prior to Atelier Cho Thompson, Liz worked for The Open Workshop, Rapt Studio, MKThink, and Cary Bernstein Architects, providing services as an architectural designer, researcher, and spatial strategist. Liz’s has done work for various non-profit organizations such as KIDmob and Indian Valley Academy. The XQ Super School Project is a challenge to reimagine and rethink high school. Liz lead workshops with students from Indian Valley Academy to produce clear graphics and narrative of what it takes to achieve the success of the Super School project. She likes to nerd out about old maps, system drawing, and the latest trends in notebook design.
Minji is currently studying Interior Design at the California College of the Arts in San Francisco. After growing up in Korea, Minji traveled the world and found her passion in seeing how different cultures utilize space. She aims to design interior spaces that shape behavior and human interactions. In her free time, Minji loves exploring, windsurfing, and rock-climbing.