Rupal Engineer, RA

Architect ... Designer ... Educator ... Mentor ... Catalyst ... Dancer

Rupal Engineer is the Principal-in-Charge and Project Architect for Design Plus, LLC. She has been in continuous practice for over 25 years and possesses a diverse portfolio of project and programming experience in New Mexico and has experience working throughout the country. She possesses extensive technical expertise in resource management, building systems, innovative design solutions, sustainable design practices, building life-safety and fire codes, ADA regulations, and universal accessibility standards.

She is also the founder of the design research, strategy, and educational studio, Indigo Moose, which focuses on specialized educational facility research and the design of custom and innovative, hands-on educational programs that use design thinking while integrating STE(A)M concepts, Common Core, NAEYC program and accreditation standards, 21st Century Skills, and Connected Learning principles.

 Rupal possesses research and practice based expertise in developing sensitivity calibrated built environments whereby each student finds their optimal learning potential, whether they are students enrolled in early childhood programs or students with severe and profound social, mental, and physical disabilities. She also has in-depth knowledge of universal design practices and experience with applying evidence based research into program requirements for education facilities. 


Manny Juarez

Designer ... Educator ... Mentor ... Ideator ... Photographer

Manny is Partner and Co-Founder of Design Plus, LLC. His role is to oversee projects at many phases from conception, through programming, construction documents, and construction administration. He also oversees marketing efforts and community outreach for the studio.

Manny is also Director of Programs for Indigo Moose, a studio dedicated to research and to developing educational initiatives based on design thinking and the design process. He manages the development of educational programming for the studio incorporating a variety of standards including Common Core, NAEYC, 21st Century Skills, Next Generation Science Standards, and Connected Learning Principles such as HOMAGO and embracing the power of informal, experiential, design-process based learning.

As a designer, facilitator, and educator Manny has a broad range of experience in the field of design education and has facilitated workshops and presented at conferences in Europe, Japan, Australia, and throughout the United States. 


DAWN OTTEN

Designer ... Creator ... Adventurer ... Visionary ... Enthusiast

Dawn was born and raised in Colorado where she gained an appreciation of the built environment and a passion for good design. She became interested in Architecture at an early age realizing the potential and impact of the places we inhabit. She has an adventurous spirit and enjoys exploring New Mexico’s landscape during her free time while mountain biking, hiking, and camping.   


Laura stamatkin

Creator ... Planner ... Organizer ... Gardener ... Chocoholic

Born and raised in the suburbs of Chicago, Laura grew up exploring a city rich in architectural history. Her grandfather, a retired architect in Detroit, shared his love for art and the built environment throughout her childhood and teens, which inspired her to become an architect. Laura studied architecture at the Illinois Institute of Technology's historic Mies van der Rohe campus in Chicago. After graduation, Laura worked in Chicago for a couple years before meeting Rupal and deciding it was time for a change in scenery. She packed her bags for Albuquerque and now enjoys the New Mexico sunshine, green chile, gardening, playing with her dog, and exploring her state.


nancy shay

Irreverent ... Loyal ... Opinionated ... Compassionate ... Dependable

A child of the Atomic 50’s, Nancy graduated from Del Norte High School and completed several years of post-secondary education.  During her lifetime, she fulfilled many roles: student, mother, volunteer, supporter and staying out of the limelight. 

During her long working career, she has mostly held administrative/legal assistant positions.  She believes her designated purpose is to help others succeed (and to be indispensable).  Her wacky sense of humor helps her get through the difficult times.  She looks forward to her “retirement job” in the next few years, although she does not yet know what it will be...


celine gordon

Designer ... Artist ... Educator ... Climber ... Rebel

Celine splits her time between many design interests including architecture, education, graphic design and visual art. She graduated with a degree in art history and architecture from Barnard College in New York City, where she also worked for a book designer in Brooklyn and interned at an anarchist architecture firm. She moved back to Albuquerque after college and joined Design Plus in order to gain experience in design education.  She assists in teaching Indigo Moose's Design Studio at Albuquerque Academy every summer, and plans and teaches other Indigo Moose classes throughout the year. 


eva cohen

Student ... Intern ... Sprout ... Artist ... Yogi ... Friend

Eva has been a student of Rupal and Manny from the age of eight, when she first took a design class from them as a part of a summer program at the Albuquerque Academy. After several years of study with Rupal, a summer working at her fathers construction company, and another summer working at a local restaurant, Eva was lucky enough to be offered an internship at Design Plus. Eva enjoys learning new things, exploring the arts, and spending time with friends.