Frank Costantino
Co-Founder of ASAI

As an architectural illustrator for over forty-five years, Mr. Costantino has served renowned architectural, design, and development firms throughout the United States, Canada, Europe and Japan. He is a recipient of the Hugh Ferriss Memorial Prize – the world’s most prestigious award for architectural illustration – as well as Lifetime Achievement Award from ASAI for his many contributions. A recipient of the Arthur Ross Award from the Institute of Classical Art and Architecture in New York, he shares the distinction with one colleague as one of the only illustrators in the world to receive both the Ferriss and the Ross awards. His work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, most notably at The Art Institute of Chicago, New York’s Urban Center, the Octagon Museum in Washington, D.C., as well as in Tokyo, Seoul, Berlin, and Lisbon. Award winning artworks from his career have been published in more than fifty books or catalogues. Representative drawings for Chicago projects are included in the permanent collection of The Art Institute of Chicago., and a sizable and substantive collection of original works will also be donated to the Library of Congress in Washington, DC. His commissions for a stellar clientele, including AIA Gold Medal award winners Cesar Pelli, Moshe Safdie, Benjamin Thompson, and SOM, as well as I.M. Pei & Partners, Robert Stern, SOM, Gensler, EHDD, C7A, and many others span a wide range of projects around the world, including skyscrapers, office buildings, museums, concert halls and aquariums, among others. He has also designed five post cards for the US Postal Service’s Historic Preservation series, and been commissioned by private and civic institutions for his artworks. He has taught at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, the Boston Architectural College, and the Rhode Island School of Design, as well as guest-lectured at numerous institutions and conferences across the U.S. and overseas. He conducts seminars in illustration to architects and artists at locations around the country, offering courses in architectural watercolor for all levels of experience, with workshops and field sketching programs. Mr. Costantino is regarded as one of the world’s most respected practitioners in, and vigorous proponents for, the field of architectural illustration.


Jackie Wheat
Principal – PDR

Jackie has been a Lead Designer with PDR since 2000 with project experience extending across the globe to Europe and the Middle East. She nurtures client relationships as well as leads project teams in conceptual design, design development, material selections, design detailing and furniture selection. Jackie’s passion for thoughtful design and working with others has allowed her to build environments and relationships with a lasting impression. CITGO, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, and Occidental Oil and Gas are a few of the clients that Jackie has worked with, creating spaces to fit each company’s needs. She recently served as the Lead Workplace Designer for the ExxonMobil campus in The Woodlands, Texas. Her work for the campus illustrates her deep level of understanding when it comes to benchmarking, initial programming, building efficiency analysis, space planning, design development and implementation. Many of Jackie’s projects have displayed her desire to exceed a client’s expectations and her sensitivity to cross-cultural collaborations. Jackie’s design expertise encompasses workplaces, executive suites, executive dining areas, conference centers, fitness centers, and specialty spaces. Her strength in conceptual design and understanding of materials and color drives her focus on the project’s requirements of image, value, function and flexibility which allow her to consistently deliver a product which matches her client’s objectives. Jackie’s dedicated work ethic and ability to meet demands make her an invaluable part of any team. Jackie is certified by the National Council for Interior Design Qualification and is a Registered Interior Designer in the State of Texas. She is also a LEED Accredited Professional who graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Houston with a Bachelor of Fine Arts and a minor in Architecture.


Alex Hogrefe
Co-Founder – Design Distill

Alex is the creator of visualizingarchitecture.com, a website focused on teaching and experimenting with architectural representation techniques. Alex is also the co-founder of Design Distill, an architectural visualization studio in Cambridge Massachusetts that works with architecture and landscape architectural offices in the Boston area and throughout the United States. Before moving to New England, He grew up in northwest Ohio where he received his Bachelor of Architecture degree from Bowling Green State University and his Master of Architecture from Miami University of Ohio.


Scott DeWoody
Director of Visualization – Gensler

Scott serves as the Director of Visualization for Gensler in Houston, as well as the company’s Firmwide Creative Media Manager. Scott began drawing and sketching at an early age, and he knew by middle school, when his love for video games took shape, that his passion for art would lead to a career in computer animation. He taught himself 3D modeling in high school and attended the Art Institute of Houston for college, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in media arts and animation. Upon graduation in 2007, he joined Gensler as an Illustrator. From there, he has risen to oversee his firm’s rendering technology with the addition to VR, AR, and interactive media. He has worked for numerous clients, including NVIDIA Corporation, ExxonMobil, Shell Oil Company, BP, City Center Las Vegas, and many more. Scott continuously studies color theory and composition, while maintaining an intense focus on image quality and workflow. His leadership at Gensler enables the firm to explore new possibilities of architecture in the interactive space.


Chris Nichols
Director of Chaos Group Labs – Chaos Group

Chris Nichols is a CG industry veteran and Director of Chaos Group Labs. He strives to be a strong advocate for photorealism in the field, and to continue leading in both commercial and feature films with an emphasis on design and environment as it relates to his roots in architecture. Chris has a strong interest in CG lighting and has published two training DVDs for Gnomon on the subject of Global Illumination.

Chris can be heard regularly as the host of the CG Garage podcast, which attracts 10,000 weekly listeners. With a background in both VFX and Design, Chris has worked for Gensler, Digital Domain, Imageworks and Method Studios. His credits include Maleficent, Oblivion and Tron: Legacy.​ He earned a Master of Architecture from Rice University and a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics and Fine Arts from Colgate University.


Ramy Hanna

Ramy is the co-founder of TILTPIXEL, a full service creative studio and a leader in architectural visualization. With a Bachelor of Environmental Design from Texas A&M and a Master of Fine Arts from the Savannah College of Art and Design, Ramy has over fourteen years of experience in arch viz. Prior to TILTPIXEL, he worked as a 3D Artist for a leading design firm in Houston. With a passion for architecture, art and technology, Ramy shares his knowledge as a frequent guest speaker at conferences such as Autodesk University, Revit Technology, and Visday in Australia. He has written and developed tutorial DVDs for both Gnomon Workshop and Blackspectacles. Ramy participated in extensive beta testing of 3ds Max for Autodesk and V-Ray for Sketchup, and he was recently selected to serve on the Autodesk Advisory Council. He contributed to the development of an animated short, which was nominated at SIGGRAPH and was later shown in AMC movie theatres nationwide. He is also the recipient of an AIA Design Award. In 2016, Ramy received a Telly Award for his Natatorium short film, as well as an ASAI Award of Excellence for his design and rendering of a luxury townhome interior. He is a leader in the industry and a sought-after speaker for conferences and arch viz events.


Ryan Cohen
Managing Director NY and Partner – Neoscape

With Neoscape since 2005, Ryan leads the New York studio, constantly pushing technological, creative, and artistic limits to achieve the most beautiful and impactful pieces possible. Ryan develops and leads the NYC creative teams, responsible for managing the 2D and 3D design workflow from concept to delivery. His background in architecture, balanced with an established artistic expertise, is reflected in all aspects of the studio’s work. Ryan has been instrumental in extending the Neoscape brand and culture to the New York area, creating a world-class studio that fosters our core values of collaboration, drive, and creativity. Recent high-profile projects directed by Ryan include a series of 3D Illustrations for One Vanderbilt, set to become the tallest office tower in Manhattan’s midtown; a film for Northwestern University’s new Lakefront Athletic Complex in Evanston, Illinois; a full marketing campaign for the Mansion on Madison, including ASAI’s Hugh Ferriss award-winning illustration of 2015; and a marketing film for the luxury retail redevelopment of 144 Avenue des Champs-Elysées in Paris. Ryan has been a requested speaker at a variety of industry events including Autodesk University in Las Vegas and the d2 conference in Vienna. He also recently served as president of the New York Society of Renderers, a non-profit organization dedicated to fostering collaboration between rendering professionals. Ryan received his Masters of Architecture from UCLA, and a Bachelor of Arts from Union College.


Jesús Vassallo
Assistant Professor – Rice University School of Architecture

Jesús Vassallo is a Spanish architect and writer, and currently an assistant professor at Rice University. His work focuses on the problem of realism in architecture through the production of design and scholarship. He is the author of Seamless: Digital Collage and Dirty Realism in Contemporary Architecture (Park Books, 2016) and is currently finishing a second manuscript titled Epics in the Everyday.

His articles have been published internationally in magazines such as AA Files, 2G, Harvard Design Magazine, Future Anterior, Domus, Arquitectura Viva or Arkitektur DK. Since 2011 he is also an editor of Circo magazine.


Marc Teer
Founder and CEO – Black Spectacles

Marc Teer is the founder and CEO of Black Spectacles, a former award winning architect at Gensler, and Assistant Adjunct Professor at the Illinois Institute of Technology. He’s an unsaveable addict of all things design, and is driven to advance the creative potential of architecture & design through online learning.

Black Spectacles is an online learning platform for architects and designers, that offers a software curriculum and an ARE® exam prep curriculum.  All of the courses are available on demand, on any device with an internet connection, and are taught by practicing architects working at firms like SOM, Gensler & Krueck + Sexton- some of the most celebrated firms in the world.

Black Spectacles’ software courses are unique because many teach workflows between software – which is how architects & designers really work.  And their AIA ARE Prep curriculum is the first of its kind – an exclusively online ARE prep curriculum, built in collaboration with the American Institute of Architects (AIA).

Black Spectacles believes that by democratizing software and ARE prep education, they can have a positive impact on advancing what is possible in architecture and design.


Stephen Fox
Lecturer – Rice University School of Architecture

Stephen Fox is an architectural historian and a lecturer at the Rice School of Architecture.  He is also a lecturer at the Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture of the University of Houston and a Fellow of the Anchorage Foundation of Texas. Fox’s work is focused on architecture of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, especially the architecture of Houston and Texas.  In his scholarship he examines the ways that architecture engages such social constructs as class identity, cultural distinction, and regional differentiation.

Fox is the author of The Country Houses of John F. Staub (2007), Rice University: An Architectural Tour in Princeton Architectural Press’s Campus Guide series (2001), and the Houston Architectural Guide (1999). He has contributed to Art and Activism: Projects of John and Dominique de Menil (2010, edited by Josef Helfenstein and Laureen Schipsi), Gwathmey Siegel: Inspiration and Transformation, (2009, edited by Douglas Sprunt), Rienzi: European Decorative Arts and Paintings (2008, edited by Katherine S. Howe), and Architectural Regionalism: Collected Writings on Place, Identity, Modernity, and Tradition (2007, edited by Vincent B. Canizaro).

More speakers to come…stay tuned!