Our multi-disciplinary team applies their expertise from a range of complimentary fields in the arts and architecture to further the goals and scope of MADWORKSHOP. With decades of collective experience, our team shares an insatiable commitment to the design process, from conception to fabrication, and beyond.
David C. Martin
David C. Martin, FAIA, a third-generation architect, continues his family’s legacy of major involvement in the architectural planning and civic life of Southern California. Martin received his Bachelors of Architecture from the University of Southern California (USC) and his Masters of Architecture from Colombia University. Upon completion of his formal studies, Martin spent four months on a Traveling Fellowship researching the great urban spaces of the world.
David was Design Principal for AC Martin Partners, a 110-year old architecture firm founded by his grandfather and noted for its historic and contemporary landmark projects. During his tenure with AC Martin, David transformed neighborhoods, academic institutions, and cities. Martin’s final project was the 80-story high-rise hotel and office complex in the heart of Downtown –the new Wilshire Grand Tower.
Martin is a member of the Dean’s Advisory Council at USC, a past President of the Southern California Chapter of the AIA, and a former Board Member of the AIA California Council. He is currently on the Boards of the Los Angeles Conservancy, USC School of Architecture and the Art Center: College of Design in Pasadena. Martin is an award-winning designer that has been recognized for his innovative, inspirational, and cutting-edge projects. David, along with his business partner and cousin Christopher C. Martin, FAIA, have received the American Institute of Architecture (AIA), Los Angeles Chapter’s Gold Medal of Honor, for their major contribution to the built environment in the City of Los Angeles.
David is an avid watercolorist and his works have been exhibited throughout the U.S., including “On Site: Travel Sketches by Architects” at Hunter College, “line.dot – Drawing the Design Process at the Martin Design Studio” at UCLA, and “Form Follows Software: A Revolution in the Architectural Process” at USC, University of Arizona, and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.
Currently, David along with his wife, Mary Klaus Martin, have established MADWORKSHOP, a foundation that endows innovative designers with the opportunity to freely explore their ideas from inspiration to reality.
Mary Klaus Martin was appointed by Mayor Richard Riordan to the Cultural Heritage Commission for the City of Los Angeles in 2000; she served seven years and three mayors, half of those as president. In 2008, The American Institute of Architects presented her with the “Good Government Award” honoring her commitment to preserve and protect the city’s cultural and historic landmarks. Under her Commission’s watch, the city’s Historic Core underwent a major revitalization.
She attended school in Switzerland and earned her Bachelor and Masters in Education and French at the University of Southern California. A two-time All-American triathlete, Mary qualified for TEAM USA, representing the United States and placed third at the Inaugural World Champion Triathlon in Avignon, France.
After serving as a Docent for the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), she became a Charter Founder for the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) where she recently (2015) was elected as trustee to its board. She works in support of the Music Center, The Colleagues, the LA Public Library and the Kennedy Center’s National Committee for the Performing Arts.
Mary founded the Los Angeles apparel company Mary Martin for Rainbow of California and was named “Outstanding Woman of the Year.” She is owner of an international aerospace company based in California. Mary along with her husband, have established MADWORKSHOP, a foundation that endows the next generation of inventors with the opportunity to freely explore their ideas from inspiration to reality.
Sofia Borges is a practicing writer, architect, designer, curator, and trend consultant. She is a faculty member at the USC School of Architecture, a regular contributor to Mark Magazine, and a contributing curator at viction:ary.
Sofia has an extensive background in architecture, urbanism, and the arts. She studied photography at the California Institute of the Arts and completed her Bachelors in Urban Studies at the New School University. Informed by her diverse upbringing that extended from LA to Latin America and beyond, Sofia relocated to Berlin after completing her Master of Architecture degree at UCLA. During her time in Europe, she founded the interdisciplinary design practice Affect Studio and became the architecture editor at Gestalten. Sofia has authored and edited nearly two dozen titles on architecture and design. Her most notable books to date include The Tale of Tomorrow, Rock the Shack, Hide and Seek, The Sky’s the Limit, and the LA edition of the CITIx60 travel guide series. Sofia returned to her home town of Los Angeles in 2014, joining the faculty at the USC School of Architecture and launching Colorblock Studio. In Fall of 2016, she joined MADWORKSHOP as their new acting director.
Sofia is currently spearheading the MADWORKSHOP Homeless Studio at the USC School of Architecture to find compassionate and novel design solutions for solving the homeless crises in Los Angeles.
John Uniack is Program Coordinator of MADWORKSHOP. He brings to the position over 40 years of experience in architecture, industrial design, and the visual arts. Early in his career, John was involved in the design and fabrication of prototypes for Pacific Bell, Max Factor and Marantz Electronics. John studied at Art Center College of Design and went on to serve as owner and principal of UNIACK, a commercial photography studio. After ten years as a photographer and business owner, he returned to college to study architecture. Upon receipt of his Bachelor of Architecture degree from the USC School of Architecture, John joined the firm of A. C. Martin Partners, where he contributed as a planner and urban designer for eighteen years prior to joining MADWORKSHOP. John also teaches a very popular furniture design course at the USC School of Architecture.
Gail Larkin has been a long time curator of style and a fashion tastemaker. Gail moved to France after completing her studies at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in San Francisco. She successfully launched several interior design and lifestyle stores in the French Basque Country. Gail then sold her stores and moved back to the US where she became the Buyer for Fred Segal’s Santa Monica location and then a personal shopper at Barneys NY. Gail went on to launch a unique styling company called VIP Closet Consultants. Her clients included some of the most fashion forward women in Los Angeles in addition to numerous entertainment entities. Gail has been profiled in C Magazine, the Los Angeles Times, and Angeleno Magazine for her personalized approach to fashion.
Gail eventually moved on from fashion and worked closely with the Founder of Boxfli, a unique retail concept, to launch and operate the store’s flagship location. Gail’s passion for entrepreneurship has led her to her most recent endeavor, designing vintage pillows through her Lark Design brand.
Gail is currently an Estate Manager for Cielo and manages the Martin Project.
Lillian Nguyen is currently attending her second year pursuing a BARCH at USC School of Architecture. She was born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii and graduated from Punahou School.
Although she is currently a full time student she also devotes a significant amount of her time managing her online store called, BonjourLily. During her sophomore year of high school she founded BonjourLily accessories on Etsy, specializing in handmade headbands and jewelry. BonjourLily has been featured in Seventeen Magazine and worn by Ariana Grande and fashion bloggers.