OUR OBSESSION: We are crazy about building community. It’s our reason for being and it’s what fuels us as designers and architects. Our focus on Eat, Shop, Live and Play is the result of an extreme bias toward using design to foster interaction. We’re not interested in the austere or the exclusive. We were the kids in school who were on the dance committee.

A QUICK HISTORY: Our practice was started when architects Charles Kahn, Marites Abueg and Keith Morris merged firms to create a single studio offering services ranging from customized restaurant design to large multifamily buildings and united by a passion for craft and, of course, community.

PHILOSOPHY: We believe that good design is true to its social, historical and cultural context. For all projects, from remodels to new commercial buildings, we work to identify and express the character of the building, business or space.  We use a variety of tools – historical research, mood boards, community outreach — to elicit the essential values and qualities and represent them through warm, engaging design.

PROCESS: Our firm is highly service-oriented; every client relationship is unique and every design solution specific to the site, budget, brand vision, customer demographic, and schedule. We believe in the power of collaboration to find the best result and welcome input from clients, staff and the greater community to enrich our ideas.

EXPERTISE: Firm principals Charles Kahn, Keith Morris, Marites Abueg and Ann Slobod bring decades of experience to the practice. Each maintains a hands-on approach to the projects in the office while guiding a staff of exceptional designers, architects, project managers and one slightly obsessive code guru.  We thrive on challenges and are as proud of our intricate restaurant interiors as we of our record with entitlements for complex commercial projects.

Our portfolio illustrates the quality of our work but for a more personal take on working with us please ask for references, we’d be happy to share.

 

Please click on images below to read staff bios.
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CHARLES KAHN. 

Charles came to California from Alabama for the Master’s in Architecture program at U.C. Berkeley and immediately knew he was here to stay.  Enamored with the style, culture and landscape of the Bay Area, Charles began designing buildings that reflected the values that drew him to the region – openness, inclusiveness and community. A true people person, Charles excels in working with clients, city officials, contractors and the general public. He is renowned for his ability to work with disparate stake-holders to get complex and challenging projects entitled.  The office’s ethos of respect, kindness and vitality originate with Charles.  As managing principal, he ensures that our projects and policies are imbued with these qualities. Fact: He did very well with the girls at math camp.

Charles Kahn

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MARITES ABUEG. 

Marites moved to Berkeley from Ohio in 1991, after graduating from the University of Cincinnati’s acclaimed architecture program and more importantly, marrying Keith Morris. After working on numerous public and private projects Marites designed  A Cote Restaurant in 2000,  her first restaurant (with Mark Becker Inc.) and was hooked on restaurant design’s perfect combination of food, communal gathering and sensory experience.  In 2003 she and Keith opened Abueg Morris Architects.  She and Keith have designed over 40 food-related projects. She’s design obsessed and focuses her work on beautiful and balanced lighting, conversation-allowing acoustics, “right” color, ergonomics, and brand-supportive look, feel and fit. She loves being a go-to resource and loves sourcing new materials and products.  Fact: As a teen, she cultivated her design taste at the “Trash & Treasure Barn” in Ashtabula, Ohio.

Marites Abueg

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ANN SLOBOD. 

Ann Slobod came to Studio KDA in 1993 with a strong desire to work with like-minded creatives who shared her love of envisioning and creating a better built environment. As VP and firm manager, Ann is the integrator of Studio KDA’s strategic big picture and day-to-day operations, drawing out and uniting the strengths of the team to create a strong firm now and for the future. Her favorite Studio KDA project is the team itself – and creating pathways and processes for their growth as individuals and as a firm. She is the Communications Chair for CREW East Bay and a member of the Urban Land Institute.

When she isn’t driving the future of Studio KDA, Ann can be found running, gardening, rescuing senior dogs, traveling with her family, and enjoying a good glass of Chablis. She studied Landscape Architecture at U.C. Santa Cruz and Communications at U.C. Berkeley.

Ann Slobod

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KEITH MORRIS. 

Keith worked for Charles Kahn 23 years ago, where he first learned the art and science of restaurant design projects. His love of technical detail dovetails perfectly with his love of orchestrating a team to create a highly successful project.  “It’s rare when we find time to meet in person anymore. A beautiful, well-designed space can foster and support profound and poignant moments ”. Fact: He bought his “Ludwig Silver Sparkle” drum kit when he was 12 and plays it in two bands to this day.

Keith Morris

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BUDDY WILLIAMS. 

Having lived and worked as an architect in South Africa, Lesotho, England, France and Boston, MA, Buddy Williams brings a wide range of experience to Studio KDA’s practice of contemporary green design. As a senior designer and project manager, Buddy provides design solutions that are consistently inspired, practical and informed by principles of sustainability. Fact: Buddy’s home includes chickens, bees, hamsters, garden beds and humans, large and small.

Buddy Williams

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DARSHAN AMRIT. 

Hailing from Ketchum Idaho, Darshan learned about architecture first by designing vacation homes in Sun Valley with his step father then as a designer for Gensler. After a brief foray into fine art Darshan joined the Studio in 2007. He integrates and utilizes these experiences to bring careful project management and a high level of refinement to projects of all sizes. Fact: He’s not East Indian – his parents were hippies.

Darshan Amrit

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KIM FISHER. 

Studio Director and Senior Project Architect, Kim Fisher, blends her sensitivity to form, scale and context with a passion for detail. Kim is highly adept managing very complex projects with multiple stakeholders and dozens of consultants to create buildings of superior quality. She has extensive expertise in retail buildings and centers and often manages projects with budgets exceeding $40 million. Fact: There is nothing Kim can’t do with a spreadsheet.

Kim Fisher

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TIFFANY ROSE AMRIT. 

Tiffany was drawn to architecture through her desire to create beautiful things that enrich everyday life. She heads the commercial interiors division of the firm, teaches in the Interior Design program at U.C. Berkeley Extension and is a Certified Interior Designer. Tiffany joined Studio KDA in 2001. Fact: She is most at home in the kitchen – designing, cooking or eating, it doesn’t matter.

 

Our principals are supported by a team of expert project managers, designers and technicians who bring a diverse set of skills, viewpoints and cultures to bear on each of our projects. The team includes:

 

Tiffany Rose Amrit

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JASON ANDRE. 

Jason Andre

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BRIAN CARTER. 

Brian Carter

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CHRISTIE DENG. 

Christie Deng

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ANGELA KIM. 

Angela Kim’s puzzle-solving and people-watching interests combine in her love of architecture. As a Project Coordinator, she is interested in making the design process and profession a more inclusive space while serving the clients and communities she around her. Since joining the Studio KDA team in 2021, Angela’s favorite projects have been any contributions to multifamily housing because they address the Bay Area’s need for greater housing options and supply. She is an active member of the National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA).

Angela also enjoys relaxing and enjoying the Bay Area’s numerous ice cream options. She holds a Bachelor’s of Architecture.

Angela Kim

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TILL HOUTERMANS. 

Till Houtermans

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CARTER LEUNG. 

Carter Leung

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HANNAH MICALLEF. 

Hannah Micallef

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JENNIFER NEWMAN. 

Jennifer Newman

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VITA RAY. 

Vita Ray

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MARIA REINSTEIN. 

Maria Reinstein

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BRETT SPENCER. 

Brett Spencer brings a passion for residential architecture to his work as a project manager at Studio KDA. He enjoys the balance of creative expression and technical constraints in architecture, and his expertise in construction administration, code constraints and opportunities, and building-information modeling make him an asset to the team since he started in 2022. Brett is active with the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards, offering mentorship to those about to take their AREs. Some of his favorite projects with Studio KDA so far have been the Sonoma Retreat, Virginia remodel, and the 2nd Street live/work space.

When he isn’t parsing out project details with the Studio KDA team, Brett can be found at a baseball game, playing guitar, or hanging out with his dog, Groot. He holds a B.A. in Environmental Design from the University of Colorado, Boulder

Brett Spencer

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AUSTIN SPRINGER. 

Austin is a project manager in SKDA’s housing studio who is highly focused on the use of computational tools and how they can be used to drive and innovate designs. Using his business acumen and design skills, Austin enjoys helping clients realize the potential of their buildings and project sites. Additionally, Austin brings a unique attention-to-detail and passion for code analysis and compliance to each project.

When he isn’t getting into deep discussions about code interpretations with his coworkers, Austin can be found exploring the local food and drink scene, riding and tinkering on bicycles, motorcycles, and mobile homes, and traveling with his partner. He holds a B.A. in Urban Planning from U.C. Berkeley.

Austin Springer

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LAYLA TAHAN. 

Layla Tahan

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ERIK WATERMAN. 

Erik Waterman comes to architecture from an interest in how places and space affect the ways people live, work, and hang out. He joined the Studio KDA team in 2016 and has been building relationships with clients and consulting teams, developing strong conceptual design ideas, and implementing efficient workflow processes ever since. In addition to his work as a Project Architect for Studio KDA, Erik is the Board President for a local pre-school and the Alameda County Safe Routes to School champion for a local elementary school. He is most proud of the projects that explore new ideas for housing and community event spaces including Poet’s Place and Mad Oak Biergarten.

When he isn’t laughing with his coworkers and bringing projects to fruition at Studio KDA, Erik can be found exploring new places with family and friends. He holds a Master of Architecture.

Erik Waterman

OUR OBSESSION: We are crazy about building community. It’s our reason for being and it’s what fuels us as designers and architects. Our focus on Eat, Shop, Live and Play is the result of an extreme bias toward using design to foster interaction. We’re not interested in the austere or the exclusive. We were the kids in school who were on the dance committee.

A QUICK HISTORY: Our practice was started when architects Charles Kahn, Marites Abueg and Keith Morris merged firms to create a single studio offering services ranging from customized restaurant design to large multifamily buildings and united by a passion for craft and, of course, community.

PHILOSOPHY: We believe that good design is true to its social, historical and cultural context. For all projects, from remodels to new commercial buildings, we work to identify and express the character of the building, business or space.  We use a variety of tools – historical research, mood boards, community outreach — to elicit the essential values and qualities and represent them through warm, engaging design.

PROCESS: Our firm is highly service-oriented; every client relationship is unique and every design solution specific to the site, budget, brand vision, customer demographic, and schedule. We believe in the power of collaboration to find the best result and welcome input from clients, staff and the greater community to enrich our ideas.

EXPERTISE: Firm principals Charles Kahn, Keith Morris, Marites Abueg and Ann Slobod bring decades of experience to the practice. Each maintains a hands-on approach to the projects in the office while guiding a staff of exceptional designers, architects, project managers and one slightly obsessive code guru.  We thrive on challenges and are as proud of our intricate restaurant interiors as we of our record with entitlements for complex commercial projects.

Our portfolio illustrates the quality of our work but for a more personal take on working with us please ask for references, we’d be happy to share.

 

CHARLES KAHN.

Charles came to California from Alabama for the Master’s in Architecture program at U.C. Berkeley and immediately knew he was here to stay.  Enamored with the style, culture and landscape of the Bay Area, Charles began designing buildings that reflected the values that drew him to the region – openness, inclusiveness and community. A true people person, Charles excels in working with clients, city officials, contractors and the general public. He is renowned for his ability to work with disparate stake-holders to get complex and challenging projects entitled.  The office’s ethos of respect, kindness and vitality originate with Charles.  As managing principal, he ensures that our projects and policies are imbued with these qualities. Fact: He did very well with the girls at math camp.

MARITES ABUEG.

Marites moved to Berkeley from Ohio in 1991, after graduating from the University of Cincinnati’s acclaimed architecture program and more importantly, marrying Keith Morris. After working on numerous public and private projects Marites designed  A Cote Restaurant in 2000,  her first restaurant (with Mark Becker Inc.) and was hooked on restaurant design’s perfect combination of food, communal gathering and sensory experience.  In 2003 she and Keith opened Abueg Morris Architects.  She and Keith have designed over 40 food-related projects. She’s design obsessed and focuses her work on beautiful and balanced lighting, conversation-allowing acoustics, “right” color, ergonomics, and brand-supportive look, feel and fit. She loves being a go-to resource and loves sourcing new materials and products.  Fact: As a teen, she cultivated her design taste at the “Trash & Treasure Barn” in Ashtabula, Ohio.

ANN SLOBOD.

Ann Slobod came to Studio KDA in 1993 with a strong desire to work with like-minded creatives who shared her love of envisioning and creating a better built environment. As VP and firm manager, Ann is the integrator of Studio KDA’s strategic big picture and day-to-day operations, drawing out and uniting the strengths of the team to create a strong firm now and for the future. Her favorite Studio KDA project is the team itself – and creating pathways and processes for their growth as individuals and as a firm. She is the Communications Chair for CREW East Bay and a member of the Urban Land Institute.

When she isn’t driving the future of Studio KDA, Ann can be found running, gardening, rescuing senior dogs, traveling with her family, and enjoying a good glass of Chablis. She studied Landscape Architecture at U.C. Santa Cruz and Communications at U.C. Berkeley.

KEITH MORRIS.

Keith worked for Charles Kahn 23 years ago, where he first learned the art and science of restaurant design projects. His love of technical detail dovetails perfectly with his love of orchestrating a team to create a highly successful project.  “It’s rare when we find time to meet in person anymore. A beautiful, well-designed space can foster and support profound and poignant moments ”. Fact: He bought his “Ludwig Silver Sparkle” drum kit when he was 12 and plays it in two bands to this day.

BUDDY WILLIAMS.

Having lived and worked as an architect in South Africa, Lesotho, England, France and Boston, MA, Buddy Williams brings a wide range of experience to Studio KDA’s practice of contemporary green design. As a senior designer and project manager, Buddy provides design solutions that are consistently inspired, practical and informed by principles of sustainability. Fact: Buddy’s home includes chickens, bees, hamsters, garden beds and humans, large and small.

DARSHAN AMRIT.

Hailing from Ketchum Idaho, Darshan learned about architecture first by designing vacation homes in Sun Valley with his step father then as a designer for Gensler. After a brief foray into fine art Darshan joined the Studio in 2007. He integrates and utilizes these experiences to bring careful project management and a high level of refinement to projects of all sizes. Fact: He’s not East Indian – his parents were hippies.

KIM FISHER.

Studio Director and Senior Project Architect, Kim Fisher, blends her sensitivity to form, scale and context with a passion for detail. Kim is highly adept managing very complex projects with multiple stakeholders and dozens of consultants to create buildings of superior quality. She has extensive expertise in retail buildings and centers and often manages projects with budgets exceeding $40 million. Fact: There is nothing Kim can’t do with a spreadsheet.

TIFFANY ROSE AMRIT.

Tiffany was drawn to architecture through her desire to create beautiful things that enrich everyday life. She heads the commercial interiors division of the firm, teaches in the Interior Design program at U.C. Berkeley Extension and is a Certified Interior Designer. Tiffany joined Studio KDA in 2001. Fact: She is most at home in the kitchen – designing, cooking or eating, it doesn’t matter.

 

Our principals are supported by a team of expert project managers, designers and technicians who bring a diverse set of skills, viewpoints and cultures to bear on each of our projects. The team includes:

 

JASON ANDRE.
BRIAN CARTER.
CHRISTIE DENG.
ANGELA KIM.

Angela Kim’s puzzle-solving and people-watching interests combine in her love of architecture. As a Project Coordinator, she is interested in making the design process and profession a more inclusive space while serving the clients and communities she around her. Since joining the Studio KDA team in 2021, Angela’s favorite projects have been any contributions to multifamily housing because they address the Bay Area’s need for greater housing options and supply. She is an active member of the National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA).

Angela also enjoys relaxing and enjoying the Bay Area’s numerous ice cream options. She holds a Bachelor’s of Architecture.

TILL HOUTERMANS.
CARTER LEUNG.
HANNAH MICALLEF.
JENNIFER NEWMAN.
VITA RAY.
MARIA REINSTEIN.
BRETT SPENCER.

Brett Spencer brings a passion for residential architecture to his work as a project manager at Studio KDA. He enjoys the balance of creative expression and technical constraints in architecture, and his expertise in construction administration, code constraints and opportunities, and building-information modeling make him an asset to the team since he started in 2022. Brett is active with the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards, offering mentorship to those about to take their AREs. Some of his favorite projects with Studio KDA so far have been the Sonoma Retreat, Virginia remodel, and the 2nd Street live/work space.

When he isn’t parsing out project details with the Studio KDA team, Brett can be found at a baseball game, playing guitar, or hanging out with his dog, Groot. He holds a B.A. in Environmental Design from the University of Colorado, Boulder

AUSTIN SPRINGER.

Austin is a project manager in SKDA’s housing studio who is highly focused on the use of computational tools and how they can be used to drive and innovate designs. Using his business acumen and design skills, Austin enjoys helping clients realize the potential of their buildings and project sites. Additionally, Austin brings a unique attention-to-detail and passion for code analysis and compliance to each project.

When he isn’t getting into deep discussions about code interpretations with his coworkers, Austin can be found exploring the local food and drink scene, riding and tinkering on bicycles, motorcycles, and mobile homes, and traveling with his partner. He holds a B.A. in Urban Planning from U.C. Berkeley.

LAYLA TAHAN.
ERIK WATERMAN.

Erik Waterman comes to architecture from an interest in how places and space affect the ways people live, work, and hang out. He joined the Studio KDA team in 2016 and has been building relationships with clients and consulting teams, developing strong conceptual design ideas, and implementing efficient workflow processes ever since. In addition to his work as a Project Architect for Studio KDA, Erik is the Board President for a local pre-school and the Alameda County Safe Routes to School champion for a local elementary school. He is most proud of the projects that explore new ideas for housing and community event spaces including Poet’s Place and Mad Oak Biergarten.

When he isn’t laughing with his coworkers and bringing projects to fruition at Studio KDA, Erik can be found exploring new places with family and friends. He holds a Master of Architecture.