Our Team


Thom Mayne

Founder, executive director

Thom Mayne has been a committed educator in architecture for over 40 years. His firm, Morphosis, is engaged in broader social, cultural, urban, political and ecological issues, which he brings to his teaching and research at the Now Institute. Mayne’s distinguished honors include the Pritzker Prize (2005) and the AIA Gold Medal (2013). He was appointed to the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities in 2009.

Mayne’s significant contributions to architectural education include the highly regarded L.A. Now and Madrid Now initiatives. Under Mayne’s direction, UCLA students won the 2005 PA Award for L.A. Now: Volume 3, 4. There has always been a symbiotic relationship between Mayne’s teaching and practice, evidenced in his commitment to innovative, affordable housing for the Make It Right Foundation in New Orleans developed with UCLA students. Currently, he holds a Distinguished Professor position at UCLA Architecture and Urban Design, where he has taught since 1992.


Eui-Sung Yi


Eui-Sung Yi is an Adjunct Assistant Professor at UCLA’s Department of Architecture and Urban Design and the Director of The Now Institute.  He is also Principal at Morphosis Architects with a focus on urban planning and Asian projects. His professional and academic discourse speculates on contemporary urbanism with an emphasis on the dynamic and unorthodox Asian context.  He has built a wide range of projects from the Korean Embassy in Tokyo to the tallest detached core steel tower in China. His San Francisco Federal Building was the first office tower in the U.S. to forgo air-conditioning in favor of natural ventilation. He has also taught and lectured extensively globally.  He received his B.Arch from Cornell University and his M.Arch from Harvard University.

Philippe Maman.jpg

Philippe Maman

Strategy and research

Philippe leads our research and communications team at the Now Institute and received his B.S. from Tufts University in Cognitive and Brain Sciences with a minor in Computer Science. In his position, Philippe is in charge of designing all public facing materials, coordinating research efforts of our students and staff, as well as making sure the implementation of our projects in Los Angeles and Haiti is on track.

Lily Bakhshi.jpg

Lily Bahkshi-Sheppard

Graphic and publications

Lily Bahkshi Sheppard, a graduate of Woodbury University (M.Arch) and 10 year industry veteran, has led our graphics and visual design team for over 4 years. She is responsible for shaping the visual language of our institute and publishing all major print works.


Our Associates