Join us for Lecture 4 in a series highlighting historic preservation projects in Miami Beach and beyond.
Architect JJ Wood of Urban Robot Associates will discuss historic preservation projects on Miami Beach and beyond.
Please note: Registration is not required. Seating will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.
About JJ Wood, AIA
JJ Wood, AIA is Founder + Principal of Urban Robot Associates. JJ is interested in urban solutions that create places, and places that tell stories. While attending Harvard, JJ specialized in researching urban economics and industrial districts, contributing original conjecture in the field of redevelopment through urbanized agriculture. JJ has managed an array of projects, from small and large mixed-use architectural projects, across multifamily housing, to commercial “eatertainment” venues. Interested in the implementation of computer technologies and design, he has helped implement BIM production methods firm-wide. At Urban Robot, JJ has continued to develop a design ethos based on practical, rational, and elegant minimalist intervention, while simultaneously spearheading the technical advancement of highly complex, multi-million dollar projects involving extensive public infrastructure.
About Urban Robot
“Urban Robot Associates (UR) is a design collective located in Miami Beach, specializing in landscape architecture, architecture, urban design and interior design.
As an interdisciplinary firm, UR inherently approaches design with an understanding of the lasting value that comes from listening to everyone’s voice. The process of uncovering the inner truths of a project — each site’s unique history, each community’s unique personality, and each client’s unique goals — is core to our design approach, and has allowed UR to create spaces that are meaningful, functional, and memorable. Whether a streetscape, tower, restaurant or park, UR strives to improve urban life.
UR’s rare composition as a multi-disciplinary firm ensures that we design places that address all scales — from urban planning considerations to specific plant selections — as well as all programmatic needs — from architectural to ecologic. This cross-pollination between fields leads to expanded creativity and problem-solving, and allows for an elevated understanding of the full spectrum of design challenges and solutions. It has culminated in multiple awards, including an Historic Preservation Award for the restoration of an historic MiMo building in South Beach, and multiple awards from the American Institute of Architects.
Diversity is embedded in the leadership of our team: Founded by female designer, Justine Velez, UR’s leadership group is rounded out by JJ Wood, Sebastian Velez and Giancarlo Pietri — of Cuban, Colombian and Puerto Rican heritage, respectively. The firm draws upon on its team’s diverse backgrounds to bring about singular narratives that are true to concept and tailored to each project. We understand that we are designing spaces for people to live, play, eat and work, and that design decisions can determine whether a neighborhood or a venue thrives.
Our core team for this project has cemented a dynamic and synergistic working relationship over many years working together. Principal Justine Velez, Project Manager Wally Lucky, and Project Designer Daniela Romero have worked hand-in-hand on over three dozen projects. The recent addition of Brook Dannemiller, RLA, adds even more depth to our collective experience, as well as specific expertise in horticulture, arboriculture and construction details. Architectural expertise will come from principals Sebastian Velez (Design Lead) and JJ Wood (Construction Lead), who collectively bring decades of experience with both historic and contemporary buildings. Pre-qualified by the City of Miami Beach for Historic District Resiliency and Adaptation, Sebastian and JJ are known experts on the effects of sea level rise on our urban fabric, and are poised to provide solutions.
UR is passionate about improving the urban condition in general — but especially in Miami Beach, our home. Fifteen years of living, working, and building in Miami Beach have engendered a strong understanding of “genius loci” and a deep familiarity with the City’s history and peoples. Extensive experience throughout South Florida has ensured we are unusually well-versed in local code, building practices, approvals, and resiliency, and our location on Lincoln Road Mall — a stone’s throw from Ocean Drive — ensures that we have our finger on the pulse of the City. We are here to listen.”