AIA Los Angeles Announces Jury for the 6th Annual Restaurant Design Awards


AIA Los Angeles ( is proud to announce the jury for the 6th Annual Restaurant Design Awards (RDAs). Once again, to keep up with the global submissions, AIA/LA has formed a stellar panel of judges – each considered leaders in their own fields – to evaluate the wide range of projects in the three categories of restaurants, cafes/bars, and lounges/nightclubs. The jury winners and the winners of the popular People’s Choice Award will be announced on Friday, June 25th at a special awards ceremony hosted on opening night of the Dwell on Design Conference.

The 6th Annual RDA jury includes:

BEN FORD – Chef/Proprietor Ford’s Filling Station

Renowned chef and restaurateur Ben Ford is known for his sense of craft and understanding of food. From the head to tail of an animal to the root to flower of a vegetable, the ingredients in his dishes celebrate the cycle of life and freshness of the earth. Ben earned his kitchen stripes at distinguished Los Angeles-area institutions Chadwick, The Farm of Beverly Hills, Opus, and Campanile. Ford’s Filling Station, a regional American gastropub, is based on the fundamentals of cooking, teaching, and foraging (Chef Ford, an urban forager, frequently finds his own ingredients in public areas surrounding the restaurant and his home). As chef and owner of a successful restaurant in LA, Ben will lend the panel a unique point of view on what makes a restaurant, bar, or lounge really tick or totally tank.

MICHELA O’CONNOR ABRAMS – President and Publisher, Dwell Magazine

Michela O’Connor Abrams is the President and Publisher of Dwell, the award-winning design and lifestyle media company. Under her leadership, Dwell has initiated several successful brand extension platforms including the magazine,, the Dwell Homes Collection and Dwell on Design. Dwell has played a key role in making modern design a household word for key demographics. Michela will lend her expertise to the panel, honing in on what works for restaurants, cafes, and lounges in the modern world.

LONNIE MOORE – Partner, The Dolce Group

The Dolce Group has held court in Los Angeles since 2003, building a veritable empire of highly successful restaurants based on innovative concepts including namesake Dolce Enoteca, futuristic restaurant and lounge Geisha House, and high-end American diner Ketchup. The Dolce Group also partnered with Sylvain Bitton to re-open the famed Hollywood haunt Les Deux. Today the Dolce Group is taking their signature mix of style and substance to other cities, opening restaurants in Georgia, Texas, Alabama, Nevada, and Washington, D.C. Along with long-time business partner Mike Malin, native New Yorker Lonnie Moore has played a significant role in changing the entertainment and dining landscape of Hollywood. As a developer and owner, he brings a fresh perspective to the jury.

CLIVE PIERCY – Principal, Air Conditioned

Besides what fills the space and what goes on the plate, there’s so much more that goes into making an excellent dining experience. As the founder of Air Conditioned, a Santa Monica-based design office, AIGA 2009 Fellow, and lecturer at Art Center College of Design, Clive Piercy is the ideal design expert to step in and help deconstruct and evaluate everything else that goes into making the perfect experience, from the flatware to the menus to the signage.

JOEY SHIMODA, AIA – Principal, Shimoda Design Group

Joey Shimoda is an award-winning architect and artist whose work has been exhibited in Los Angeles, San Diego, Chicago, New York. His design firm Shimoda Design Group is currently working on a wide range of projects across the country, including the restoration of historic and cultural landmark St. Ann’s School in Dallas, TX which will soon host the only Japanese samurai armor museum in the nation. With diverse experience designing everything from the cultural to the commercial, Joey will lend his keen eye for flawless execution to the jury evaluating all projects from an architectural perspective.

The rules of the competition are simple. The RDAs are open to all individuals and practices (owners & architects/designers can equally submit entries for consideration) for projects located in the United States and to US-based individuals and practices for projects outside of the USA. Register by April 2, 2010. Submit materials no later than April 30, 2010. For more detailed information, go to The Call for Entries is available online.