Maria Kivisild Ogrydziak established 'Maria Ogrydziak Architecture' in 1985. Over the last 20 years, the firm has completed over 500 built projects, including custom homes, retail spaces, and religious centers. Its projects have won international recognition, winning such varied awards as: AIA California Honor Award, ‘Best of the Bay’ Honor Award (San Francisco Bay Area), Metal Architecture Design, Concrete Masonry Honor Award, Decorating & Remodeling Magazine National Award for Best Bath & Bedroom, and the Interfaith Disability Project Annual Award. Publications include Sunset, Decorating & Remodeling, Limn, San Francisco Examiner, The Sacramento Bee, Metal Architecture, Time, and Metropolis.
Maria obtained her architecture degree from MIT, receiving the Compton Prize
for most outstanding student school-wide and the Grunsfeld traveling scholarship
for excellence in architecture. At MIT, as one of the first female student body
presidents at a major US university, Maria received worldwide attention -- focusing
the spotlight on design by creating a prototype ‘model classroom,’ still
used as an example today.
As a passionate advocate for architecture and its power to transform
everyday life, Maria has continued to be involved in promoting architecture as
an integral part of community. A dedicated proponent of design policy, Maria
is personally involved in the political discourse on architecture, at the local,
state, and international levels, serving as Treasurer for the AIA Central Valley Chapter and Chairman of the Board of the US/Baltic Foundation.
She is also committed to ongoing innovation and research: her firm is active
in the area of green technologies and living roofs, and Maria
has been an invited speaker and writer on subjects ranging from electric vehicles
to live/work typologies to LEDs.
In addition to her practice, Maria has taught architecture at MIT, Stanford,
and UC Davis, helping to develop key design courses. She is also a painter and
sculptor, and recently took part in a two-person show at the Oakland Museum.
Born to Estonian parents and raised in Canada and Taiwan, Maria holds both US
and Estonian/EU citizenship.