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Note: Design Forward LLC is proud to have served the Southern California area designing straw bale homes for over 15 years. However, we have moved on to other business ventures and have closed the business as of January 2017. We will not taking any new projects or responding to phone and email requests. This website will be left up as an archive of data for straw bale and design. You may find that some of the links are broken or out of date, but we will not be updating this site any longer. Thank you!
Staff Background


Logo Button Staff > Lisa A. Swan

Work Experience

Design Forward LLC 2002 – Present Pasadena, CA
Owner / Principal Designer
• Own and operate business founded in March 2002
• Design single-family residences with sustainable design concepts
• Produce documents and construction drawings in AutoCAD for clients
• Cooperate with engineers, building departments, and county offices on permit acquisition
• Design and maintain websites: www.designforward.net, www.dfdrafting.com, www.df-store.com
Art Institute of California, Hollywood 2007– 2012 Los Angeles, CA
Adjunct Professor

• Teach design courses with an emphasis in residential and commercial construction documents and detailing for an interior design environment

• Teach AutoCAD courses at the introduction and intermediate level

Westwood College 2005 – 2007 Torrance, CA
Adjunct Professor

• Teach AutoCAD courses with an emphasis in residential and commercial design techniques, application and creation of construction documents

Puchlik Design Associates 2004 – 2004 Pasadena, CA
Draftsmen (part-time)
• Produced construction documents and presentation drawings in AutoCAD 2004 for healthcare facilities
• Assisted with acquiring building permits
• Collaborated with design teams to complete projects
Ronchetti Design, Inc 2001 – 2002 Rancho Santa Fe, CA
Architectural Intern
• Created construction drawings in AutoCAD 2002 for clients and permit review for high end custom homes
• Collaborated with engineers, landscape architects and interior designers on design development
• Assisted with project management through meetings with the architectural team
Splinter Associates, Inc 2000 - 2001 Chicago, IL
Architectural Intern
• Built presentation models as part of design development
• Created presentation drawings in AutoCAD14 for clients
• Assisted with design development of projects through meetings with clients


Norwich University 2004 - 2006 Northfield, VT
Master of Business Administration (MBA)

Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) 1996-2001 Chicago, IL
Bachelor of Architecture
• Graduated with Honors

Awards & Recognitions

Certificate of Recognition: Co-Creating the Ideal Life 2013 for the area of Construction (Straw Bale) [2007]

Inclusion in The Heritage Registry of Who's Who [2006-2007 Edition]

Career Profile in the Book "Becoming an Architect" published by John Wiley [2006]

Exhibited at the Art Institute of Chicago Museum - Chicago Architecture: Ten Visions (IIT student work) [November 26, 2004 - April 3, 2005]

Silver Residence Featured on Huell Howser's California's Green Production "Strawbale" (Show #105) [2004]

Outstanding Contribution the University Community Award [2001]

Clinton E. Stryker Distinguished Service Award [1999 & 2001]

Spies Droste Traveling Scholarship [1999]

First place, IIT Bus Shelter Design [1999]

Jac Rose Scholarship [1997]

Professional Memberships

American Institute of Architects, Assoc. AIA

California Straw Building Association

Green American Business Network

Environment California

Community Activities

MOMS Club of Altadena - President (2010 & 2012), Treasurer (2011) and Advertising Coordiantor (2011-2012)

Volunteer Editor for the Google Open Directory Project - straw bale construction and earthship categories

Nation Public Radio KPCC Volunteer - membership drives

Susan G. Komen for the Cure Volunteer - updated website, volunteer at events

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Revised September 2, 2012