About Pyatt Studio

At Pyatt Studio, we design buildings, places, and communities that provide a better quality of life for people. Our lens is wider. We believe that architecture is bigger than a single building, it’s a social art and political act built from profound relationships and hard work. We start earlier and end later; our bonds are deeper and our expectations higher. We build spaces around people, not the other way around. We bridge superior design with residents of every socioeconomic level, because a building is an opportunity to improve a family’s dignity, health, and well-being.

Four pillars fuel our cause:

  1. People
    are the soul around which we build
  2. Place
    is the inspiration where we find smart resources
  3. Craft
    is the embodiment of our material culture
  4. Community
    engagement ensures meaningful solutions

Our Team

  • Dr. Rongrong HU

    Senior Research Associate

    Dr. Rongrong Hu is a Senior Research Associate with Pyatt Studio. She graduated from Huazhong University of Science and Technology in Wuhan, China with her PhD in structural engineering in 2004. She also worked in the China Academy of Building Research in Beijing as a researcher studying seismic analysis and earthquake resistant building design in 2006 and conducted research on ecological housing as part of the Green Building Research Institute in Xi’an University of Architecture and Technology. Her current work focuses on the protection and development of vernacular architecture in China including traditional and modern rammed earth buildings. She is a key member of the national innovation academic team on the theory of architectural environments and energy consumption controls in Western China and a fellow with The China Architecture Academy.

  • Rob Pyatt, Assoc. AIA, LEED AP

    Principal & Design Director

    A principal of Pyatt Studio, Rob received his Master of Architecture from the University of Colorado Denver. He has extensive experience in community engagement projects. Rob’s award winning community outreach and design/build work has been published in Environmental Design and Construction, Architectural Record, Dwell, and Architect Magazine. Rob is the founding director of the Native American Sustainable Housing Initiative where he teaches and mentors students in project based service learning.

  • Michael Bertin, RA

    Principal & Senior Architect

    A principal and senior architect with of Pyatt Studio, Michael was born in New York City in 1946. He attended the New York Institute of Technology from 1964 to 1969, toward a Bachelor of Science in Architecture degree. He has extensive experience in renewable energy technologies, alternative building modalities, and permaculture design as well as environmental design, and sustainable community planning. Michael is currently a licensed architect in South Dakota, Colorado and New Mexico.

  • Janna Ferguson

    Designer & Project Manager

    Janna Ferguson has been a designer and project manager with Pyatt Studio for more than four years. Her work spans research, green building design, design education, and sustainable community planning. Over her college career, Janna helped facilitate relief and construction projects in Belize, Guatemala, Florida, New Orleans, Kansas, Jamaica, Haiti and Costa Rica. Following the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, she traveled with Experience Mission to design and build a house for a family who’s home had been destroyed in the earthquake. She received a Capacity Building Education Award from AmeriCorps for her work as a teaching assistant for the Native American Sustainable Housing Initiative’s inaugural design/build studio on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation and was awarded the Martin Luther King Housing Prize for her work in Haiti. She graduated with a Bachelor’s of Environmental Design in Architecture with a Certificate in the Study and Practice of Leadership from the University of Colorado, Boulder in 2012 and is currently a Master of Architecture candidate at Portland State University where she is also working toward a Graduate Certificate in Public Interest Design.

  • Heather Kahn-Pyatt, BFA, MFA

    Principal & Art Director

    A principal of Pyatt Studio, Heather received her Master of Fine Art from the University of Oregon. Her award winning work in design and graphics began after working extensively in the textile industries as a Senior Art Director at the RugSource in Denver. Heather oversees our graphic design and production. In addition, Heather teaches color theory at the University of Colorado Boulder.

  • Walt Pourier

    Designer & NASHI Advisory Board Member

    Walt Pourier is an Advisory Board Member for the Native American Sustainable Housing Initiative (NASHI). Walt is a member of the Oglala Lakota Nation from the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. He currently lives in Denver Colorado where he is the owner and Creative Director of Nakota Designs an advertising, design and graphics company, as well as the Executive Director of the Stronghold Society, a nonprofit dedicated to instilling hope and supporting youth movements through “Live Life Call To Action” campaigns. Walt’s focus, through his fine art and graphics and through the many creative movements he supports, is to share messages of hope, inspiration and of a healthy way of life. His outreach work, through youth empowerment movements, language revitalization, suicide prevention initiatives (Live Life campaigns), ending domestic violence initiatives, defending childhood initiatives, sustainable housing initiatives, healthy food initiatives and more, continue to have a positive impact in many communities.

  • Kirk McDonald

    Fabrication & Construction Manager

    A lead carpenter and fabricator with Pyatt Studio for more than 3 years, Kirk oversees all phases of construction on our design/build projects.

  • Elsa Hoover

    Research Assistant

    A Research Assistant with Pyatt Studio, Elsa is a rising senior at Columbia University studying architecture with a focus on design for indigenous peoples. She is Anishinaabe First Nations, born and raised in Minneapolis, MN. At Columbia, she is an active member of the Native American Council and Columbia Mentoring Initiative as well as the coordinator of Manhattan House residence for indigenous students. This summer, when not on Pine Ridge, she will be conducting research for a senior project on systems that maintain inadequate housing on the Blackfeet Reservation and visiting all her favorite rez dogs in Browning.

Process How we work

We love working in teams of all cultures and professions because in mixing diverse backgrounds we discover new potential and gain in unforeseen ways. We believe that with more kinds of minds come more interesting results. We always begin with a need. Then:

  • We discover, immersing ourselves in the context of a place and its people.
  • We design, creating solutions that are impactful, smart, and beautiful.
  • We build, leveraging the construction process for education and training.
  • We stay, evaluating the impacts of the design long after the building is done.
Our methodology is circular not linear. With each iteration we connect new discoveries to existing knowledge, ensuring successful, holistic buildings that house the future.

“Theory and practice are not only interwoven with one’s culture but with the responsibility of shaping the environment, of breaking up social complacency, and challenging the power of the status quo.”