The Forward Issue

Design Equilibrium 2021

Inside Design Equilibrium, architects and designers confront the ongoing crises of systemic racism, equity, the pandemic, affordable housing, and the future of the profession. Designing an equitable, healthy, and resilient future requires collaboration between architects and the communities they serve. It also requires reassessing values, listening, and getting comfortable with uncomfortable conversations.

Meet the Contributors

Curt Jackson
Curt JacksonThe Saving Grace of Outdoor Space
Curt is a landscape architect project manager at Eberly and Associates and currently serves as the Georgia Chapter ASLA president. He believes every design is unique and begins with understanding surroundings and history. Stylistically dynamic, his designs can be modern or traditional but are rooted in familiar connections and accents.
Desmond Johnson, AIA
Desmond Johnson, AIADesigning Equal Access to Atlanta’s Great Urban Spaces
Based in Atlanta, Desmond is an architect practicing at the global design firm NELSON Worldwide. He received his Bachelor of Science in Architectural Studies and Master of Architecture from Florida A&M University and the Georgia Institute of Technology, respectively. Outside of the office, Desmond is an active member of the National Organization of Minority Architects, an Architect Licensing Advisor for NCARB, and serves on the AIA Atlanta Board of Directors.
Will Johnston
Will JohnstonLess Space, More Life
Will is the executive director of the MicroLife Institute and a thought leader and innovator in the micro-living world. Over the past six years, his organization has enabled policy change and brought acceptance of microstructures in the Southeast through events, pilot projects, and advocacy. His philosophy is allowing people to think outside the box by putting them in one.
Ganesh Nayak, AIA
Ganesh Nayak, AIAReconciliation: The National Memorial for Peace and Justice
Ganesh is a principal at Metier, Inc. in Atlanta, consulting on sustainable design. An architect with over 25 years of varied experience, he won a Corps of Engineers award for excellence. Ganesh has a master’s degree from Kansas State University and presently chairs the State Advisory Panel for Special Education in Georgia.
Kate Peterson
Kate PetersonSocial Enterprise Architecture: Paradigm & Practice
Kate Peterson lives in west Atlanta and writes creative nonfiction. You can find her online at
Heli Shah, Assoc. AIA
Heli Shah, Assoc. AIADiverging Emerging Professionals: A Conversation with Future Architects
Heli currently works in the Education & Research Studio at CDH Partners, Inc. and is passionate about creating impactful educational spaces for the world’s future leaders. She is on the leadership committee of AIA Georgia’s Equity in Architecture, AIA Atlanta’s Young Architect Forum, and is a 2020 graduate of the AIA Georgia’s Christopher Kelley Leadership Development Program.
Sarah Woynicz, AIA
Sarah Woynicz, AIADiverging Emerging Professionals: A Conversation with Future Architects
Sarah earned a Bachelor of Architecture with a minor in Leadership and Social Change from Virginia Tech. As an architect at HKS, Inc., she works on projects ranging from interior renovations to mixed-use/commercial projects over 500,000 square feet. Outside of work, Sarah is active in the Atlanta Harlequins Rugby team and Virginia Tech Mentorship Network, and is a 2020 graduate of the Christopher Kelley Leadership Development Program.

Past Issues



Design Equilibrium 2019 cover



Design Equilibrium 2017 cover