The annual Gil Oberfield Lecture was founded in honor of Gil Oberfield, AIA, former member and chair of the AIANY Interiors Committee. The lecture brings to the podium speakers whose work excels in the field of interior architecture. This year’s lecture will feature Desai Chia Architecture.

Desai Chia Architecture celebrates conceptually bold design, deliberate eloquence, and graceful simplicity to improve our collective experiences of space and placemaking. Desai Chia solves rigorous design problems for institutions, organizations, and private clients, driven by the guiding principle that architecture can transform communities. The studio is known for two things: a preference for social and humane architecture and iconic projects that benefit from the firm’s sustainable technical strategies and extensive knowledge of materials. Rooted in a multidisciplinary background, Desai Chia blurs the boundaries between building and nature by integrating light as a unifying theme. Each design opportunity is informed by previous projects and expertise, which allows the firm to conduct new research, challenge traditional expectations, and ask bigger questions to build inspired and spirited architecture.

Arjun Desai, AIA, and Katherine Chia, FAIA, are the founding principals of Desai Chia Architecture. Since 1996, they have established the firm’s reputation for authentic design, creating inspiring environments expressive of light, materials, and collaboration. Desai Chia’s projects have been published extensively and received many accolades, including numerous AIA Design Awards, American Architecture Awards, and Interior Design Best of Year Awards, and an AIA Honor Award. In 2018, ARCHITECT Magazine ranked Desai Chia Architecture #19 in the nation for design. The book The Women Who Changed Architecture by Princeton Architectural Press included Chia and the firm’s work in a chapter titled “Raising the Roof.”