2023 Forge Prize Jury
The Forge Prize Jury consists of world-renowned architecture professionals with decades of experience in practice, research, design, teaching, and publishing.
Rona G. Rothenberg, FAIA, DBIA
Rona G. Rothenberg, FAIA, DBIA has devoted her career to service as an architect in government and industry. She has been a program and project management leader within public and private sector institutions for the past 35 years, including two decades in California state and local government. She has provided executive-level leadership in master planning, design, and construction delivery of over 200 institutional projects in multiple programs in government, industry, health care, and higher education.
Throughout her career, Rothenberg has contributed to AIA national, state, and local board and committee leadership in justice- and community-based projects as a city planning commissioner and in government and non-profit board appointments.
Rothenberg is currently the AIA California 2022 President. She is a mentor to younger architects, serving as a Distinguished Visiting Fellow of the College of Environmental Design of UC Berkeley and in local public school STEAM programs in Oakland, Calif. as well as through AIACA and national pipeline programs. For these contributions, Rothenberg won the AIA 2020 Thomas Jefferson Award for Public Architecture.
Melanie Harris, AIA, LSSYB, NCARB
An expert in healthcare architecture, Harris is currently the national healing practice director at BSA LifeStructures.
Harris became passionate about peoples' wellbeing at age 15, when her mother died of cancer. However, instead of pursuing a career in medicine, she devoted herself to architecture for healing. She has worked with clients like MD Anderson Cancer Center since she earned her master's degree from Texas A&M University in 2006. She joined HOK's Houston healthcare team in 2014 and, in 2017, transitioned to lead HOK's healthcare practice in central Florida. She started as BSA's principal for Tampa in 2020 before moving into her current role as national healing practice director.
Sean Joyner is a writer and essayist based in Los Angeles. He is currently the Southwest regional communications strategist at Gensler and previously served as an adjunct professor and director of communications at Woodbury University, where he received his Bachelor of Architecture degree. Joyner's essays and articles typically explore themes spanning history, pop culture, and philosophy and how they connect to the field of architecture, though his topics of exploration vary widely.
Before launching his career in writing, Joyner worked in several firms as a designer and project leader, primarily on K-12 and some higher education work.
Outside of architecture, Joyner enjoys reading, training in Brazilian jiujitsu, and spending time with his family.