Meet the team
Ron Eng, RA
With more than 29 years of professional experience & 18+ years in design education, Ron has been Director of Design at Formactiv since it’s creation (founding the practice in 1999 with Eugenie Huang). Having completed projects at scales ranging from boutiques, galleries and townhouses, to large mixed-use and institutional projects, Ron has maintained a practice that strives for a collaborative and often pedagogic approach to Designer-Client relations. Though the majority of the work has been in the NYC area, project locations have ranged from the Hollywood Hills to the Bund in Shanghai. Prior to founding Formactiv, Ron worked in the offices of Rafael Vinoly Architects, Davis Brody Bond Architects, and Greenberg Farrow Architects. Ron is a Registered Architect in New York State, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey and is an active Researcher, having previously taught at Pratt Institute, MIT, the Parsons School of Design and on juries at RISD, RPI, NYIT and City College of New York. With four generations of family cultivated in New York City (and two more generations of tinies in development), Ron is an Alum of Stuyvesant ’87/MIT ’91 + M.Arch ’94 and is an avid collector, with an overflowing collection of books, furniture, toys and other ephemera.
Yu Duk So, RA, AIA
Duk has over 20 years of professional experience designing and completing projects of various uses and scales. From the design of custom furniture to the design of large scale mixed-use buildings, each project presents an opportunity to create a unique design solution based on the mutual collaboration between the client and architect. Prior to becoming a Partner at Formactiv, Duk was a Design Principal at S9 / Perkins Eastman, Design Director at Greenberg Farrow Architects and a Designer at Davis Brody Bond Architects.
Notable projects include The New York Wheel, Empire Stores in Dumbo, Dock 72 / WeWork at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, Industry City, Ponce City Market, 160 East 22nd Street, 205 Water Street, Uniqlo Soho Flagship Store, and the Harlem Offices for President Clinton. Duk received a Bachelor of Architecture and Bachelor of Building Science from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He is a Registered Architect in New York State and is a member of the American Institute of Architects.
Prior to joining Formactiv Architecture as a senior designer/project manager in 2008, David was director of Ishida/Crandall from 2004-2008, specializing in a diverse body of residential and commercial work. David’s previous work experience includes Rafael Vinoly and Maya Lin. Currently David teaches a design studio at Parson’s New School and has held teaching positions for the past 12 years including Rhode Island School of Design and University of Detroit Mercy. On weekends, David can be found upstate building a house with his family, brick by brick.
After 15 years of study of the piano, Jane decided one day to change the direction of her life. She graduated with a B.A. from Pratt Institute in 2009 and has been an interior designer at Formactiv Architecture since. The majority of her repertoire here has been residential renovations. Her favorite director is Quentin Tarantino for his smart fast paced chapters and gritty cinematography. She avoids clutter and at any free moment, she doodles careful little illustrations on colorful post-it notes. Loves her dog Bravo and dressing him up in dapper little bow ties. She has an ever growing appreciation for all things bread.
A graduate of Carnegie Mellon University, Dan’s interests range broadly, from cooking to wood working, enjoying anything that involves the use of his hands. Lately, he has been spending his weekends restoring and customizing a vintage motorcycle. Having grown up just outside of New York, he is excited to develop his career in such a dynamic and exciting environment.
A native New Yorker, Denise studied Fashion Marketing and Management at the Fashion Institute of Technology. She is self-trained in the art of chaos control, a skill which she has spent the bulk of her post college career honing. She joins the Formactiv team as its’ Director of Operation a.k.a “Chaos Controller”. In her spare time Denise enjoys spending time with her family and playing volleyball…. adequately.
Jonathan Baker, RA, CPHD
Leon Schimdt, RA
Leon is a Registered Architect in New York State. He received his Diploma of Architecture from TU Darmstadt in Germany and as a member of the 2007 Solar Decathlon winning team, he has since worked on several energy-efficient pre-fabricated homes showcasing German design and technology. Before moving to NYC in 2011, Leon worked in Nepal and Germany and is excited to continue his work in Brooklyn.
Agnes is a graduate of Pratt Institute with a BFA in interior design. Born and bred in Chicago, Agnes left the Midwest in order to pursue her creative goals and to live in a city where she wouldn’t have to drive a car. When she’s not working, she makes a point to visit her family back in Poland and aggressively consume popular media and culture. Agnes doesn’t like to limit herself or her tastes, so her favorites range from Jenny Holzer to Carlo Scarpa to One Direction. She hopes that by allowing herself to absorb various forms of art and design, high and low, she will be a more well rounded and thoughtful designer herself.
Sofia is a recent Pratt graduate with a BFA in Interior Design. A Miami transplant, she moved to New York in search of the chaotic excitement of the city and a life less hot. Prior to moving, she worked at Sam Robin Design and Melida Wiliams Inc. aiding residential and hospitality projects. Outside of the workplace, she enjoys a hunt for vintage oddities and caring for her pet snake Veronika. If she wasn’t a interior designer she would have liked to have been a special effects makeup artist.
Paula Anne Allen
After spending a few sparkling summers and very dark winters in Scandinavia studying cemeteries and funerary chapels, Paula came to New York to seek her fortune. In 2010, on the heels of a successful Kickstarter campaign, she founded the BKNYdesign Workshop, producing custom furniture and products like the V-luxe. She is a passionate and obsessive maker with more than a decade of experience in wood and metal fabrication.
Paula joined Formactiv in 2015. She earned a Master of Architecture as well as a PhD in Architectural History and Theory from the University of Washington, where she also taught courses on materials and furniture design. She is an alumna of the AA’s Visiting Students Programme. Her work has been featured in the New York Times, Popular Mechanics, French GQ, and was recently published in Retro Vintage.
Izabela is an architectural designer with a great deal of experience in residential and commercial projects. Her journey into architecture began at the Professional Technical Building School in Gdansk where she first discovered her love for the history of architecture and project planning. Trained in both architecture and engineering at Gdansk University of Technology in Poland, Izabela lends a European perspective to her work. When not designing architectural projects, you can find her immersed in her photography, looking for reflected imagery on glazed urban buildings.