January 31, 2024
by Center for Architecture
Design by Studio Elana Schlenker
Design by Studio Elana Schlenker

On Thursday, March 7, architects, designers, architecture enthusiasts, and young professionals will gather at the Center for Architecture for Guess-A-Sketch, an architecture-themed tournament to support the nonprofit’s  education initiatives. Emceed by Benjamin Prosky, Assoc. AIA, President of the Classical American Homes Preservation Trust and former Executive Director of AIA New York and the Center for Architecture, four architects will live sketch iconic buildings from around the world on stage as competing teams guess to win. Audience members are also invited to guess, with the opportunity to win a selection of items generously donated by our prize sponsors.

Try your luck at Guess-A-Sketch >>

Meet this year’s four honoree sketchers:

Mark L. Gardner, AIA, NOMA, Principal, Jaklitsch / Gardner Architects; Assoc. Professor of Architectural Practice & Society, Parsons School of Design, the New School, School of Constructed Environments

Mark L. Gardner, AIA, NOMA, is a principal at Jaklitsch / Gardner Architects (J/GA), an award-winning design practice and studio that works across scales from product design to interiors to buildings. His firm has won an AIA National Honor Award and numerous AIANY, NOMA, and Architizer design awards. Gardner is the current 2024 AIANY Secretary and a Board Member. He is a Past Co-Chair and current member of the AIANY Diversity and Inclusion Committee, which he helped to restart with Venesa Alicea. He is the Associate Professor of Architectural Practice and Society at the School of the Constructed Environments, Parsons School of Design, the New School. He is the past Director of the Graduate Program in Architecture. Gardner is on the Board of Advisors for the University of Pennsylvania Weitzman School of Design, where he advocates for issues of diversity and inclusion. Among his accomplishments, he is helping to establish the Julian Abele Fellowship, named after the first African-American Penn Architecture graduate. Gardner is a Board Member of the Let Freedom Ring Foundation in Williamsburg, VA. The Foundation is working on a restorative justice project to seek acknowledgement of the Historic First Baptist Church founded in 1776. Gardner also currently serves on the Board of Youth Design Center (YDC), a nonprofit on a mission to reduce the number of disconnected youth in Brownsville, Brooklyn by lowering their barriers to entry into the STEAM professions and the innovation economy. He is a Vanguard Member of the Van Alen Institute’s Board of Trustees and a Fellow of the Urban Design Forum. He currently lives in Brooklyn with his wife, Margit Detweiler, and their rescue dog, Bo.


Jerome W. Haferd, NOMA, Principal, JEROME HAFERD Studio; Co-founder of BRANDT : HAFERD Architecture; Assistant Professor, City College of New York, Spitzer School of Architecture

Jerome W. Haferd is a licensed architect, public artist, and educator based in Harlem, NYC. He is principal of the award winning Jerome Haferd Studio and co-founder of BRANDT : HAFERD Architecture. Haferd is Assistant Professor of Architecture at City College’s Spitzer School of Architecture where beginning Fall 2023 he began co-directing the new Place, Memory, and Culture Incubator.

Haferd’s practice critically engages built environment projects in both urban and rural contexts, often looking to marginalized histories to unlock a new imaginary for architecture, design, and cultural infrastructure. His work on complex sites includes collaborations with the Harlem African Burial Ground, Roots to Sky Collective, The Park Avenue Armory, and the National Black Theatre. He is lead architect and installation designer for the 2023-24 Culture, Creativity, and Care Initiative with the Mellon Foundation and Harlem Grown. The studio is one of the first prize recipients for the International Africatown Design Competition in Mobile, AL.

Haferd is a core initiator of Dark Matter U, a BIPOC-led trans-disciplinary network geared towards new models of design pedagogy and practice. He received the 2022 #BlackVisionaries award as part of a DMU cohort.

His team’s recent projects include the Sankofa installation in Harlem, their winning Africatown Competition Proposal “In the Wake,” the BLK BOX experimental arts venue and Beautiful Browns, awarded second prize in the 2021 OnOlive emerging Black architect housing competition. Haferd co-led the DMU “Constellation” exhibit at the 2022 Lisbon Architecture Trienale : Terra.

Haferd has worked for internationally recognized firms including OMA/Rem Koolhaas and Bernard Tschumi Architects, where he was project leader on numerous institutional, planning, and exhibition projects worldwide. 


Jing Liu, AIA, Co-Founder and Principal, SO-IL Architects

After receiving her education in China, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States, Jing Liu, AIA, co-founded SO – IL with Florian Idenburg in 2008 in New York City. Over 20 years of practice, Liu has brought an intellectually open, globally aware, and locally embedded sensibility to her work spanning a wide range of mission-driven cultural projects.

Through building practice and interdisciplinary collaborations, Jing has led SO – IL to explore new fabrication techniques, such as in Kukje Gallery, Las Americas Housing project, and K11 Museum—and to engage with the socio-political conditions of contemporary cities—in projects like Martin Luther King Library in Cleveland, Neighborhoods Now initiative in New York, and the Melbourne Arts Precinct Transformation. In each case, Liu carefully considers the feedback loop between the cultural, social, economic, and political systems unique to the place and its material practices and seeks to make positive contributions toward transformation. As a past and present board member of several non-profit institutions, including the Van Alen Institute and the Urban Design Forum, Liu furthers these endeavors in the broader public sphere.

Liu has written on a number of topics, including housing, design culture, and female practices. She has contributed to Solid Objectives: Order, Edge, Aura published by Lars Müller, The Fabricated Landscape published by Carnegie Museum of Art and Inventory Press, Home Futures: Living in Yesterday’s Tomorrow published by the Design Museum, and the Avery Review by the Office of Publications at the Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation.


Thomas Phifer, FAIA, Founder, Thomas Phifer and Partners

Since founding Thomas Phifer and Partners in 1997, Thomas Phifer, FAIA, has completed the Glenstone Museum, the Corning Museum of Contemporary Glass, the United States Courthouse in Salt Lake City, Utah, the North Carolina Museum of Art, the Brochstein Pavilion at Rice University, the Moody Amphitheatre in Austin, Texas. Ongoing projects include the Museum of Modern Art and TR Warszawa Theatre in Warsaw, and the Wagner Park Pavilion, which is part of the South Battery Park City Resiliency Project in Lower Manhattan.   

Since 1997, Thomas Phifer and Partners has received four Design Excellence awards from the General Services Administration and more than 30 honor awards from the American Institute of Architects, as well as numerous national and international citations. Phifer received the prestigious Rome Prize in Architecture from the American Academy in Rome in 1995 and was awarded the Medal of Honor from the New York Chapter of the American Institute of Architects in 2004. He was elected as an Academician of the National Academy of Design in 2011. In 2013, he received the Arts and Letters Award in Architecture from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. In 2016, Phifer was honored by the New York Chapter of the AIA with the President’s Award and by the Sir John Soane’s Museum Foundation. He also gave the 2016 keynote lecture at the Royal Institute of British Architects in London. In 2019, the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum awarded him the National Design Award in Architectural Design. In 2022, he was elected as a lifetime member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Mr. Phifer is a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects. He serves on the boards of both the Architectural League of New York and the New York Review of Architecture.