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Joanna Shin

Senior Design Lead

Joanna Ha Yean Shin, Assoc. AIA, LEED GA, SEED, has joined the MKDA as Senior Design Lead in our newly-opened Washington, D.C. design studio. 

Ms. Shin joins Executive Managing Director Kristín Aldan Guðmundsdóttir, Intl. Assoc. AIA, in the design studio, which offers comprehensive and integrated design across a broad spectrum of markets, including workplace and commercial buildings. Its unique design approach merges practice areas, trends, outside market events, and robust national and local expertise. 

“Joanna is a strong addition to our D.C. team and we are thrilled to have her on board,” said MKDA President Michael Kleinberg. “With an intelligent research-based approach to creatively solving design challenges, we are confident that she will deliver purposeful and impactful designs for clients.” 

“Drawing from her varied experience, Joanna is not afraid to draw outside the lines to deliver the unexpected,” added Ms. Guðmundsdóttir. “We share a united vision for trend-forward projects and look forward to offering clients a fresh perspective and a human-centric approach that cuts through the clutter.”

Ms. Shin, who the Washington Business Journal named as a 2018 “Top 3 Architects You Need to Know”, was formerly an Associate and Design Purpose Leader at Gensler, where she combined research strategy with design to execute purpose-focused projects. 

In addition to experience that includes workplace design, sports facilities and live/work environments, she has repositioned commercial office buildings, transforming existing assets with design brands that fit each location. 

Earlier in her career, Ms. Shin worked at the South-South Cooperation, Special Unit at the United Nations Development Programme, where she studied emerging development projects throughout the globe and developed her ethos  that progress is a result of great partnerships who share a common goal. 

Ms. Shin earned a Masters of Architecture from Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation and a Bachelor of Arts from Barnard College, Columbia University in Human Rights and Architecture.  

With a strong interest in how design addresses the critical issues faced by communities, Ms. Shin holds LEED GA accreditation and a Social Economic Environmental Design (SEED) certificate that advocates for purposeful consideration of social, economic and environmental matters in the built environment. 

In addition, Ms. Shin has taught seminar workshops in the undergraduate Architecture program at Barnard College and lectured at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation. She has also taught Senior Thesis at George Washington University and is a visiting critic for Marymount University.

“I look forward to hitting the ground running and offering clients a passionate and entrepreneurial local team that is backed by the firm’s 60-year legacy in design,” said Ms. Shin, who believes that good design includes value beyond the visual appeal and can affect social change within the built environment.