Our backgrounds are very distinct, yet complementary. 

We are professionally trained in design research methodologies, strategic planning and architectural design. Strawn + Sierralta work on projects independently, in joint collaboration, and in partnership with other talented individuals and organizations. 


Strawn is a design strategist and service designer with a background in zoology and architecture. He was trained at IIT's Institute of Design in user-centered design and ethnographic research.

Brian grew up on a family farm in the flat middle of Illinois, where he lived in an underground house and raised a troop of spider monkeys. Since then he has lived and worked in China, India, Holland, Italy, Hong Kong, Venezuela and the United Kingdom.

He received a Master of Design from IIT's Institute of Design, a Master of Architecture from the University of Illinois at Chicago and a Bachelor of Arts in Zoology from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. 



Sierralta is an educator and Venezuelan architect. Trained under a Fulbright Scholarship, she is currently an Assistant Professor at University of Hawai'i at Mānoa School of Architecture, where she leads the Basic Design Studios and teaches special topic seminars on design communication. Previously, Karla was the director of the first year graduate studio at Illinois Institute of Technology's College of Architecture where she was a Studio Associate Proffesor .

Karla grew up on the Caribbean coast of Venezuela. She has a passion for travel and languages. Before moving to the United States, she studied English, French and Italian, in addition to her native Spanish.

She received a Master of Architecture from the University of Illinois at Chicago and a Bachelor of Science in Architecture from Universidad del Zulia in Venezuela.


Partnerships and collaborations include: Chicago Architectural Club, Chicago Architecture Foundation, Landmarks Illinois, Graham Foundation, BRT Steering Committee, Chicago Transit Authority, Chicago Department of Transportation, IBC Engineering, Louis Shell Structures, Martin Thaler, Dugdale Strategy, FogPilot, and AIA Chicago.