Steven brings to ZGF a wealth of experience across urban planning and design, most recently holding a post with the City of Detroit as the Design Director for the Central Region of Detroit’s Department of Planning and Development as well as holding a Professorship in Practice, leading design studios focused on community issues and urban planning at the University of Michigan. He was a founding partner of the firm RAW International in Los Angeles where he helped build a successful design practice over a 20-year period and collaborated with ZGF on memorable projects, including the Exposition Park Master Plan and the California Science Center, that made a tangible difference in the fabric of their communities. In 2004, Steven accepted an invitation to join the U.S. General Services Administration’s Office of the Chief Architect in Washington, D.C., where he served a four-year term as program manager. Key projects included the $300m renovation of the Federal Complex in downtown Chicago designed by Mies van der Rohe, security pavilions at the 26 Federal Plaza Federal Building in New York City, and the Thurgood Marshall Federal Courthouse renovation in Washington D.C.
“We have had the privilege of working with Steven on exceptional projects that have had a distinct impact on the cultural life of the city,” notes Ted Hyman, ZGF’s managing partner. “His commitment to community building and placemaking is woven into every project he touches.”
In addition to Steven’s excellence across the built environment, he demonstrates a commitment to equity in the profession that infuses every part of his professional life. Steven was a Loeb Fellow at the Harvard Graduate School of Design for the 2006-07 academic year, where he focused on the issue of race within the profession of architecture. In December 2010, he concluded a two-year term as President of the National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA), traveling around the U.S., and several other countries advocating for architects-of-color. Steven used his platform as NOMA president to prioritize cultivating the next generation of diverse architects and designers. He was the 2016 recipient of the AIA’s esteemed Whitney M. Young, Jr. Service Award, and was elevated to the AIA’s College of Fellows.
“I’m thrilled to embrace a role at ZGF that will allow me to continue to work in communities across the country to drive commitment to equity and inclusion, community building and placemaking, and design excellence,” says Steven Lewis.