This page will be updated soon with a full list of 2018 Design Matters Conference speakers.
Sam Assefa is the Director of Seattle’s Executive Office of Planning & Community Development (OPCD), an office responsible for developing and implementing planning policies and programs to support Seattle's current and future growth as envisioned in the City’s Comprehensive Plan. OPCD is also the City's lead planning agency that is charged with coordinating cross departmental functions in order to comprehensively and systematically address growth, prioritize and direct investments, and assess how existing policies and practices encourage or discourage equity and future development.
Christopher Hawthorne is the Chief Design Officer for the city of Los Angeles, a position appointed by Mayor Eric Garcetti. Prior to joining City Hall, he was architecture critic for the Los Angeles Times from 2004 to March 2018. With Alanna Stang, he is the author of "The Green House: New Directions in Sustainable Architecture" (Princeton Architectural Press). His writing has also appeared in the New York Times, the New Yorker, Slate, Architectural Record, Architecture, Harvard Design Magazine and many other publications. He is professor of the practice at Occidental College, where since 2015 he has directed the Third Los Angeles Project, a series of public conversations about architecture, urban planning, mobility and demographic change in Southern California. Hawthorne has also taught at U.C. Berkeley's Graduate School of Journalism, Columbia University and the Southern California Institute of Architecture. A frequent collaborator with KCET-TV in Los Angeles, he wrote and directed the hour-long documentary "That Far Corner: Frank Lloyd Wright in Los Angeles," which had its broadcast debut earlier this year, and received an L.A.-area Emmy Award for the 2016 KCET program "Third L.A. with Architecture Critic Christopher Hawthorne." His other professional honors include a mid-career fellowship from the National Arts Journalism Program at Columbia University, the Bradford Williams Medal from the American Society of Landscape Architects and a Residency in Criticism at the American Academy in Rome. Hawthorne grew up in Berkeley and holds a bachelor's degree from Yale, where he studied political science and architectural history.