James Simeo Recognized for Trailblazing STEM Facility Design

Los Angeles Architect Elected a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects for National Industry Contributions

James Simeo, FAIA, a principal at CO Architects, was recently elected to the American Institute of Architects College of Fellows in recognition of his significant contributions to the profession. Projects under his leadership include the award-winning Northern Kentucky University Health Innovation Center (right). Photos: CO Architects, Bill Timmerman. Click here for high-resolution images.

LOS ANGELES: James Simeo, FAIA, LEED AP, NCARB, was elevated to the American Institute of Architects (AIA) College of Fellows in recognition of his design contributions to the profession.

A principal at CO Architects in Los Angeles, Simeo’s work reconceptualizing architecture, design, and planning for STEM education and academic research campuses for nearly 30 years was the major factor in receiving this honor. Through a novel inclusive programming process and integrated project delivery method, Simeo creates benchmark facilities that deconstruct traditionally closed-off buildings into adaptable, interactive, and transdisciplinary spaces to promote diversity and collaboration. This approach, which he pioneered on projects for the University of California (UC) system in the late 1990s, has become the standard practice for STEM buildings nationwide.

“A deeply committed architect, James has reimagined some of the most leading-edge research and educational facilities on campuses across the country by developing, refining, and promoting new programming systems that prioritize inclusivity and produce buildings uniquely suited to serve diverse communities,” says John H. Gormley, FAIA, Director of Design & Project Management at University of California, Los Angeles, in his letter nominating Simeo.

Simeo’s commitment to diversity is reflected in the local impact he has made in underserved communities, as well as within the firm. Partnering with a local STEM High School, he helped launch a pilot outreach program to bolster access to the architectural and engineering professions for minority students. Simeo has also mentored more than 50 of the firm’s younger members on client relationships and professional engagement through CO’s Leadership University.

Simeo holds a Master of Architecture degree from the University of California, Los Angeles, and a Bachelor of Science in Architecture from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He served on the Alumni Board of Governors for the University of Michigan’s Taubman College of Architecture & Urban Planning from 2011 to 2017. He has been associated with CO Architects since 1993. His Fellowship will be formally recognized in December at a ceremony to be held at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.

Los Angeles-based CO Architects is nationally recognized for architectural planning, programming, and design in the healthcare, science and technology, and higher-education sectors, and works with leading institutions from coast to coast. CO Architects’ specialized expertise includes transformative schools of medicine and health professions, advanced research and teaching laboratories, and innovative clinical facilities on higher education, healthcare, and urban campuses. The firm has been nationally and internationally recognized with more than 175 awards for innovative design and project delivery, including the AIA California’s Architecture Firm of the Year Award.

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