Steve Johnson and Jim Favaro founded the architecture practice Johnson Favaro in 1988 in Culver City, CA with a commitment to the public realm, where they believe architecture has the greatest impact and is most appropriately experienced.

For over thirty years Johnson Favaro has focused their work on schools, libraries, and community centers, as well as cultural and civic institutions. The firm is founded on the principle that high quality and inspiring architecture in support of the social infrastructure of which these institutions are a part is crucial in the advancement of our democracy and civil society.

Highly regarded among those they serve and their peers nationwide, Johnson Favaro’s services include all areas of planning and design: master planning, programming, feasibility studies, facilities assessment, cost planning and conceptual design, building design, document production, and construction administration.


Jim Favaro, Principal

  • Harvard University, Graduate School of Design, Masters of Architecture, 1982
  • Stanford University, Engineering School, Phi Beta Kappa, Bachelor of Science, 1978
  • Licensed Architect, State of California #C32185

Jim Favaro founded the firm with Steve Johnson in 1988. In the thirty years since he has worked with Steve on buildings for schools, libraries, civic, cultural and community facilities. Jim like Steve believes that excellent architecture in the public realm is crucial for the viability of our democracy, civil society and the dignity of individuals. He believes that architecture can and should both reflect and initiate change in society and that all buildings contribute to a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts. Jim has taught at UCLA, USC, the Rhode Island School of Design and the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University. He received his Masters in Architecture from Harvard University and his Bachelor of Science in Engineering from Stanford University. He was the recipient of the Rome Prize in Architecture from the American Academy in Rome where he lived before moving to Los Angeles in 1987.


Steve Johnson, Principal

  • Harvard University, Graduate School of Design, Masters of Architecture, 1983
  • University of Florida, Bachelor of Design, Architecture, 1979
  • Licensed Architect, State of California #C17181

Steve Johnson founded the firm with Jim Favaro in 1988. Thirty years of firm experience includes the planning, design and construction of campuses, school buildings, libraries, museums and residential buildings throughout Southern California. With Jim, Steve’s focus has been on the public realm and the premise that a new building must give shape and form to public space, provoke conversation and engagement and intensify your sense of place in the city and the world. He works daily with the belief that models you can physically walk around and drawings you can erase remain indispensable tools of the practice. He has previously been an instructor in both the graduate and undergraduate programs at Sci-ARC. Steve has lived in Los Angeles since 1984, relocating from the east coast after receiving a Masters of Architecture degree from Harvard University where he received the Henry Adams AIA Gold Medal.


Brian Davis, Associate Principal

  • Licensed Architect, CA #C34524
  • Masters of Architecture, University of California, Los Angeles, 2001-2004
  • Bachelor of Architecture, University of Nebraska, 1996-2000

Brian has been with the firm for over twelve years. He recently served as the project manager for the Manhattan Beach Library and UCLA Hedrick Study, and is currently project manager for the Southwestern Community College Allied Health Sciences Building. Brian's responsibilities include all aspects of a project from initial site visits through permitting and construction, including client/consultant meetings and presentations, researching and writing specifications, detailing and plan check/planning/public agency submittals. A LEED Accredited Professional, Brian works closely with the client and subconsultant team to incorporate sustainable design strategies that are embedded into the design and not mere embellishments. A selection of his key project experience includes: Manhattan Beach Library, West Hollywood Library, UCLA Hedrick Study, UCLA UNEX Master Plan, Southwestern College, National City Center, LATTC Student Services/Administration Building and Technology Classroom Building, and Chaffey College Main Instruction Building.


Kathy Williams, Senior Design Associate

  • Masters of Architecture, Rice University, 2001-2004
  • Bachelor of Science in Architecture, University of Michigan, 1994-1998

Kathy Williams has sixteen years of professional experience, having spent the last six at Johnson Favaro after joning the firm in 2011. She was co-project manager on the Beverly Hills Library renovation project which opened in 2012, and additionally worked on the Manhattan Beach Library, completed in 2015. Kathy is currently the project manager on the Early Education and Elementary School project. Kathy's responsibilities include all aspects of a project, from initial site visits through permitting and construction, including client/construction meetings and presentations, researching and writing specifications, detailing and plan check/planning/public agency submittals. A selection of Kathy's experience includes LAUSD Master Plans for Markham Middle School; JF Kennedy High School; Frost Middle School; Porter Middle School; Old South Gate School, Los Angeles, CA.


Ingrid Dennert, Senior Design Associate

  • Masters of Architecture, Harvard Graduate School of Design, 2005-2009
  • Bachelor of Fine Art, Mount Holyoke College, 1995-1999

Ingrid has been with Johnson Favaro since 2011. Ingrid's responsibilities include all aspects of a project from master planning through permitting, construction, and close-out. Ingrid has been instrumental in permitting a number of projects in our office as well as in closing out most of our DSA projects. She also manages all aspects of the development of the in-house Building Information Model (BIM) from design development through construction documents. A selection of Ingrid's experience includes the Manhattan Beach Library, the Early Education and Elementary School, and the Mirman School Athletic Facilities and Master Plan.


Ashle Fauvre, Design Associate

  • Masters of Architecture, University of Washington 2007-2013
  • Bachelors of Art with Honors NSCS, U.C. Berkeley 2000-2005
  • Fellowship at Kobe University, Japan 2009-2011
  • Language and Art student at UNAM, Mexico City 2003-2004

Ashle joined the firm in 2014. She runs the Construction Administration of Southwestern Community College National City Higher Education Center. Her responsibilities include client and contractor meetings, responding in real time to construction issues, and managing the project through DSA regulatory process. Ashle is on call for multiple projects including the Costa Mesa Library, Mirman School Entitlement, Blackwelder Office Renovation, and other business development. Ashle worked through schematic design, design development, construction documents, and permitting of the Early Education and Elementary School and the Southwestern College NC HEC.


Ryan Ekstrom, Design Associate

  • Bachelor of Environmental Design (B. ENVD), University of Colorado - Boulder
  • Masters of Architecture (M.Arch), Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc)

Ryan Ekstrom has worked on various projects throughtout the office since joining the practice in 2014, shortly after completing his graduate degree. Over the past two years Ryan has largely been focused on the Costa Mesa Library and the Neighborhood Community Center beginning from it's pre-design all the way through construction documentation and administration.


Cesar Murillo, Design Associate

  • Bachelor of Arts in Architecture, Minor in Sustainable Design, UC Berkeley

Since joining the team in 2014, Cesar has been a project designer for the Early Education and Elementary School in Los Angeles. His responsibilities include creating design models, researching products and materials, and producing drawings from schematic through construction documentation phases. Recently, Cesar was also involved in co-managing construction administration and completion of the Mirman School Athletic Facilities.


Kevin Geraghty, Design Associate

  • Bachelor of Architecture, Cum Laude, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo 2016
  • Washington Alexandria Architectural Consortium, off-campus studies at Virginia Tech

Kevin joined Johnson Favaro as a recent graduate in 2016. Drawn to the studio for its involvement in civic and cultural projects such as community libraries and museums, Kevin is interested in great architecture and urban design that everyone can enjoy. He works on various projects at different stages from early modeling, rendering, and diagramming to final stages of construction documentation. Currently, Kevin is working on the UCLA University Exchange tenant improvement.


George Klett, Design Associate

  • Bachelor of Science of Architecture, University of Virginia 2013

George joined Johnson Favaro in 2017. Since graduating in 2013 he has focused on projects in the public/civic realm, including working on the development of the largest net-zero energy school in the United States. Additionally he has worked on multiple master plans for urban K-12 school campuses. Past responsibilities have included producing design presentations, creating construction documentation, and working as a project manager. At the moment, George is working on the Riverside Library project.


Gerry Lee, Design Associate

  • Bachelor of Architecture, University of Southern California, LEED Green Associate

Since joining the practice in 2016, Gerry Lee has worked on projects including libraries, school master planning, and creative office campuses. Projects he has worked on includes Costa Mesa Library and the Neighborhood Community Center, Mirman School Master Plan, and UCLA UNEX project. Gerry received a Bachelor of Architecture from University of Southern California.


Hongjie Li, Design Associate

  • Masters of Architecture II, Harvard University
  • Bachelor of Architecture with Honor, Zhejiang University

Hongjie joined the office in 2017 after he completed his March II degree at Harvard University. His previous experience includes working at Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects. He is currently working on the new Riverside Library.


Daniel Nguyen, Design Associate

  • Masters of Architecture, Yale University
  • Bachelor of Art, Architectural Studies, UCLA

Daniel joined the firm in 2016 after completing his Masters of Architecture degree from Yale University. Since joining the practice, he has worked on cultural and institutional projects including the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, Museum of Redlands, Mirman School Master Plan & Physical Education Facility, and the Costa Mesa Library & Community Center.