Elena Manferdini is the Graduate Programs Chair at SCI-Arc. She graduated from the University of Civil Engineering (Bologna, Italy) and later received her Master of Architecture and Urban Design from the University of California Los Angeles (Los Angeles, CA). In 2004 she founded Atelier Manferdini, a design based office in Los Angeles, California. The firm has been highly visible as an advocate of design excellence and has been recognized internationally for its ability to create imaginative architecture, art and product design. The office is based on a multi-scale work methodology and embraces the philosophy that design can participate in a wide range of multidisciplinary developments that define our culture. Manferdini was recently awarded one of the prestigious 2011 annual grants from the United States Artists (USA) in the architecture and design category, and her Blossom design for Alessi received the Good Design Award for 2011. Currently, Atelier Manferdini is designing a cruise boat in Kyoto, Japan and a fabric installation for Seika University. The office recently completed two large scale projects in New York and United Kingdom; an interactive installation for Sephora's newly opened scent museum in New York's Meatpacking District, and an Inverted Crystal Cathedral art piece for the Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery in the UK, sponsored by Swarovski. Concurrently, the office was also working on designing a single family villa in Ascona, Switzerland, a 250,000-sq.ft. master plan in Macerata, Italy including 80 apartments, a museum and an open theater. Atelier Manferdini has been selected to design a 150,000-sq.ft. residential tower in Guiyang, China along with other 10 leading design firms from around the world. The firm has collaborated with internationally renowned companies such as: Swarovski, Sephora, Driade, MTV, Fiat, Nike, Alessi, Ottaviani, Moroso, Valentino, Arktura and Lerival. In 2006, Manferdini was invited to design the West Coast Pavilion representing the USA at the Beijing Biennale in the Chinese Millennium Museum. In 2008 and 2010, she curated the West Coast USA session of the Beijing Biennale exhibition. She has lectured widely, including at MIT, Princeton, GSD and Bauhaus. In addition to leading her design practice, in the past 9 years Manferdini has been teaching architectural design studios and technology seminars for the Graduate and Undergraduate programs at SCI-Arc. Currently she is the Coordinator of the Graduate Thesis Program at SCI-Arc. She has also held Visiting Professorship at Cornell University and Seika University.