Andrew Watkins, AIA, LEED AP, AICP

Title: Principal
Organization: SWA Group
Location: Laguna Beach, CA

Andrew Watkins, AIA, LEED AP, AICP, is an architect, planner and urban designer with over 15 years of professional experience. As a principal at SWA in Southern California, his work focuses on large-scale urban design projects that explore the confluence of ecology and urbanism. Andrew has led the design of community plans, urban design and new city planning projects in diverse locales, the United States, China, Indonesia, India, South Africa, Botswana, Ethiopia, Germany, Italy, Armenia and Mexico.  

Andrew’s work focuses on place making and creating high-quality public realms. His project experience includes urban and suburban revitalization as well as green-field development, with new community work totaling over 20,000 acres of development featuring more than 50,000 homes, retail, commercial and light industrial districts. Andrew has particular interests in projects that engage the ecological systems of food, mobility, waste, shelter and water.  

Andrew has researched contemporary urban conditions as related to these ecological systems, infrastructure and grassroots organization in both developed and developing nations. Past research projects include ‘The Search for the Perfect Ride: The Future of Mobility Oriented Development in Orange County’; ‘Hyperfood: Integrated Food Systems for the Future’; ‘Building for Resilience’ on the Front Range of Northern Colorado; ‘Social Entrepreneurship: Expanded Business Models in Developing Markets’ studying methodologies for Social Impact Design at SWA; ‘Ecologies of Gold’ in Johannesburg, South Africa; ‘Villages in Development’ in China’s rapidly developing Pearl River Delta; ‘Opportunities of Contemporary Urban Transformations’ in Eastern Germany; and ‘Tall Buildings in the City,’ a research fellowship with Moshe Safdie that explored the potentials of connecting tall buildings. Andrew’s research has been published in Places306090Inmobiliare and Architecture Plus 

He participates as a Visiting Professor for a yearly Urban Design studio at Cal Poly Pomona and has served as a part-time lecturer at the University of Southern California. A Full Member of ULI, he is part of the national Residential Neighborhood Development Council and has served locally as both a co-chair for the OC/IE Pro-Bono Technical Assistance Panel (TAP) and a member of the ULI NEXT Initiative Council. Andrew holds a Bachelor’s of Architecture from Syracuse University and a Masters of Architecture in Urban Design from the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University. 

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