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Daniela Deutsch

Daniela Deutsch


  • Master of Architecture, Darmstadt University of Technology
  • Bachelor of Architecture, Darmstadt University of Technology

About Daniela

Daniela Deutsch was educated in Darmstadt, Germany, where she earned both her Bachelor and Master of Architecture degrees. Daniela is multi-lingual and her architecture and teaching careers have flourished both in Germany and the United States. She is the co-founder of the award-winning firm, exitecture architekten, in Frankfurt, Germany, and Principal of exitecture archLab Inc. in San Diego, California. She has also worked as a project designer with Schneider and Schumacher (Frankfurt, Germany) and with Westfield, LLC Design Carrier Johnson + Culture, and Ballinger AE in the U.S.

Her teaching experience is as diverse as her professional efforts. Daniela has had a successful teaching career in both Germany and the U.S., spanning over 20 years. In the U.S., she has taught at Woodbury University, San Diego State University, University of California San Diego, University of San Diego, and Boston Architectural School.

At NewSchool, Daniela is an Associate Professor, currently serving as the 4th-year level coordinator, where she has led the Integrated Design Studio for more than 7 years. Her most recent academic interests have led her to develop various interdisciplinary courses (both design studio and lecture classes), linking architecture to scientific theory as well as to the philosophy of technology and environmental sciences. Her methodology for teaching design is informed by her natural affinity to architectural practice as well as health, and environmental considerations. Representative examples of some of the more recent Integrated Design Studio projects are, “The Ford District” in Portland, Oregon, “A Waterfront for All” in Seattle, Washington, the “National City Project” in National City, California, and the 2019-2020 studio project, “A Wetlands Education and Research Center at Kendall-Frost Marsh” in Mission Bay, San Diego.

Recent awards with her firm, exitecture, are for the project WineBANK Mainz, winning a special mention in the category of Excellent Communication Design – Interior Architecture at the 2019 German Design Awards, and for the project LINDLEY LINDENBERG, in Frankfurt, Germany, chosen as one of the top 3 concepts in the Hotel Property Award of the Year 2019, as well as one of the 25 Coolest Hotels of the World by the FORBES List.

Stephen Matley


  • Master of Business Administration, Chapman University
  • Bachelor of Science in Business Management, University of LaVerne

About Steve

Steve Matley has over 25 years of experience in leadership and management in multiple industries. His business management and project management experience was cultivated in real estate, land development, and construction, involving commercial, institutional, residential and public works projects. He has held positions as a General Building Contractor, a Senior Project Manager for an ENR top 50 rated agency construction management firm and Vice-President of Land Acquisition and Forward Planning for a production homebuilder. In these positions, Steve successfully planned and executed numerous projects including educational complexes, high-rises, master planned communities, production homes, custom homes, public works and infrastructure projects. He has been designated as an expert witness in real estate, development, and construction-related litigation cases.

As a business owner, Steve managed multiple companies of his own, including DCM Group Inc., a development and construction management consulting firm, which managed land acquisition, entitlement, and planning for projects valued at over a half billion dollars within an eight-year period. During this time, Steve personally managed dozens of projects, consistently performing above projected ROI expectations. He later was Owner and Principal of Building Solid Foundations, LLC, a leadership and business management advising and consulting firm. Currently, he serves as President of Coast 2 Coast Equities, Inc., a real estate investment, acquisition and development firm.

Steve is a member of the Construction Management faculty at NewSchool of Architecture & Design in San Diego, acting as Program Chair for the undergraduate and graduate degree CM programs and Associate Professor. He previously served as a professor for the Gordon and Jill Bournes School of Engineering at California Baptist University. Steve led the creation, curriculum development and WSCUC accreditation process for the Associates of Science Degree program in Construction Management at San Joaquin Valley College where he held various positions including Program Director, Division Manager and Student Dean.

Steve participates as a facilitator and speaker for educational seminars and workshops in both the construction / building industry and the general business environment. Notable presentations include expert panel facilitation for the CMAA (Construction Management Association of America), seminar and workshop presentations for the NAHB (National Association of Homebuilders) International Builders Show, and IVBCF’s Educational Speaker Series. The City of Temecula retained Steve to present the opening keynote for their inaugural Start-Up Week. In addition, he is the designated expert panel facilitator for the Business Leaders Summits, produced by and FIRE Up Live Events produced by Finest Women in Real Estate. Steve is a certified trainer for the National Association of Homebuilders (NAHB) and presents as an expert for audiences in the education, real estate and construction industries, speaking for business workshops, seminars, conferences and symposiums.

Current Projects

  • NAVFAC Projects: NAWS China Lake – 180 buildings: fire/life safety retrofits and upgrades, Fire Alarm reporting and mass notification systems NSA Monterey Naval Post Graduate School – 3 buildings (educational research labs and offices), fire/life safety retrofits and upgrades
  • Land Development: Multiple land acquisition, forward planning, entitlement and development projects under Coast 2 Coast Equities, Inc.


Certificate of Recognition, California State Assembly, Melissa Melendez, 67th District Certificate of Recognition, Optimist International District 41, Outstanding Judging, Oratorical Contest Finals Certificate of Recognition, California State Assembly, Marie Waldron, 75th District District Champion, Toastmasters District 12 Speech Evaluation Contest Most Outstanding Employee Award, Gafcon, Inc. Advanced Communicator Gold (ACG) – Toastmasters International Certified Aging in Place Specialist (CAPS) – NAHB/HBI University of Housing Certified Green Professional (CGP) – NAHB/HBI University of Housing\ Certified Trainer – NAHB/HBI University of Housing Advanced Leader Bronze (ALB) – Toastmasters International Licensed General Contractor (B-inactive), State of California, CSLB


Professional Member, National Speakers Association Member, NSA-GLAC (National Speakers Association – Greater Los Angeles Chapter) Gold Level Member, Fire-Up Connect Professional Resources Member, CMAA (Construction Management Association of America), San Diego Chapter, San Diego, CA Officer/Member, Rock Toastmasters Club, San Diego, CA Member, BNI Temecula 1 Chapter, Temecula, CA Officer/Charter Member, Toastmasters Professional Speakers, Advanced Club, Murrieta, CA Bootstrappers, Entrepreneurs Mastermind & Networking Group, San Diego, CA President, IVBCF (Inland Valley Business and Community Foundation), Temecula, CA Board Member, BIA (Building Industry Association) – Baldy View Chapter, Rancho Cucamonga, San Bernardino County, CA Member, BIA-SC (Building Industry Association of Southern California), Irvine, CA Member, NAHB (National Association of Homebuilders), Washington DC Affiliate Member, SRCAR (South Riverside County Association of Realtors), Murrieta, CA Club Advisor, Helper/Speaker, Student Venture, Vista Murrieta HS, Murrieta President / VP Membership, Toastmasters #7917, Temecula (Toast of the Valley) Area Committee Member, Young Life, Temecula Founding Board Member, Anza Valley Building Association, Anza, CA Leadership Council/Moderator, CBMC Forums, San Diego, CA Founding Member, Building Foundations, San Diego, CA Founding Member / Facilitator, Leadership Forums Professional Mastermind Professional Member, ICBO (International Conference of Building Officials – now ICC), Whittier, CA

Additional Information

  • Community Service & Affiliations: Steve has served as a Board Member for the Building Industry Association (BIA-SC, Baldy View Chapter), a Member of CMAA (San Diego Chapter), an Area Committee member for Young Life (Temecula Valley), a member of NAHB, an Affiliate Member of SRCAR (South Riverside County Association of Realtors), a member of ASC (Associated Schools of Construction), and is President of the Inland Valley Business and Community Foundation, a non-profit 501c3 organization.

Elena Pacenti


  • Ph.D. in Industrial Design, Polytechnic University of Milan
  • Master of Architecture, Polytechnic University of Milan

About Elena

Pacenti comes from Domus Academy in Milan, Italy, which is one of the top-ranked design schools in the world, bringing her professional and academic expertise in design-related fields. Pacenti previously directed the Design School at Domus Academy in Italy. She was director of the Domus Academy Research Center from 2002 through 2009, where she oversaw the development and coordination of design innovative research projects for the European Union and for government and private groups in Italy. In 2011, she established the Master in Service and Experience Design program at Domus Academy.

Additional Information

Throughout her career, she has developed research and projects in different areas of design innovation. Her research interest focuses on the theory and practice of service and experience design, in particular about the interaction among human beings, service systems, and built environments.

Bruce Matthes


  • Master of Arts in English: Comparative Literature, California State University, Chico
  • Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and Food Science, California State University, Chico


  • NewSchool Faculty Member of the Year – 2012

Additional Information

  • Co-author of two books, including a recent text, Evidence Based Design: A Process for Research and Writing
  • Conference Presenter (Topic: The Evolution of Surfing: An Interdisciplinary Approach to General Education Course Design) at 52nd Annual Conference of the Association for General and Liberal Studies
  • Member, High Tech High Graduate School Taskforce


Bruce Matthes is an Associate Professor and Head of Integrative Studies at NewSchool of Architecture and design where he has been teaching and designing interdisciplinary courses since 2009. He holds a M.A. English from California State University, Chico where he taught literature courses from 2003-2005. He also completed his CA single subject teaching credential at National University in 1999. He is the co-author of two texts, including Evidence Based Design, published by Pearson/Prentice Hall in 2011. In 2012, he was awarded Faculty of the Year.

Matthes has presented at numerous academic conferences including WASC ARC 2018 where he spoke about his pedagogical approach: Integrative Studies: Establishing Realms of Study and Lenses of Understanding across Disciplines and at the 55th Annual Conference for the Association for General Education and Liberal Studies (AGLS) where he shared his expertise on how to engage international students in Myth of the City: A Diversity-Oriented Pedagogical Approach to uniting International Students and Faculty. Most recently, Matthes was invited on honorarium to read a chapter of his debut novel, Sanctuary, at the Oceanside Museum of Art (OMA) event Around the Campfire: A Spoken Word Gathering of Scribes and Storytellers held on February 4th, 2022.

Pedagogical Statement: Matthes believes that education is a concerted effort of both student and instructor to commit to lifelong learning. This is evident in the integrative model that he co-designed and continues to evolve at NewSchool of Architecture and Design. It is a pedagogical focus that stems from the belief that while the world may be getting smaller (metaphorically) its interconnectedness of regions, of peoples and cultures, is expanding. Therefore, the response to such change must be larger and it should move beyond an investigation into commerce (a model representative of many traditional curriculums) and instead, turn toward a rediscovery of the foundational human qualities that either link or divide us. Matthes uses the Integrative Studies diagram as a model to demonstrate how we may connect the disciplines of scientific and humanistic inquiry. It is an approach that he believes will lead to more innovative design solutions and one that was originally modeled in the text Evidence Based Design.

Stanley Buchesky

Stanley Buchesky is the Chairman and CEO of pi-top, a global education technology company that brings computer science education to students around the world using project based learning. He is also the founder and Managing Partner of the EdTech Fund, investing in seed stage education technology companies in K-12 and Higher Education.

In January 2017, Mr. Buchesky was appointed to serve as interim CFO of the U.S. Department of Education. He ran and oversaw all of the Department’s finances and operations during the initial days of the Administration until the Secretary could be confirmed by the Senate and other senior political appointees could be hired.

He has a passion for education. Stanley first became involved in education while leading mergers and acquisitions for McGraw-Hill and then as one of the founding board members of Equality Charter School in the Bronx. Starting with an idea in the heads of three educators, he led the school through start-up phase, established oversight committees, and eventually helped expand Equality from a single middle school to a high school as well, graduating its first senior class in 2018.

Stanley has led M&A departments and activities for large companies such as McGraw-Hill, L-3 Communications and Pitney Bowes, leading deals ranging from minority equity investments and joint ventures to multi-billion dollar transformational acquisitions. He has a depth of knowledge in private and public company tax and accounting issues and is a skilled negotiator. He has has also advised candidates for Governor in two different states on education policy.

Prior to a career in business, Stanley was an Airborne Ranger Army officer serving in peacekeeping missions in Bosnia, Kosovo and Macedonia. He is a West Point graduate with a BS in computer science engineering and a double major in German and French, and he holds an MBA in finance from Columbia Business School.

Gary Brahm

Gary Brahm gained the honorary title of chancellor emeritus after having served as chancellor of Brandman University, now UMass Global, since 2007. As chancellor, he oversaw the overall operations of the institution, including an annual budget of $100+ million. In 2009, the university transformed from Chapman University College to Brandman University, a separately accredited institution. In 2021, Brandman left the Chapman University System to affiliate the University of Massachusetts and change its name to UMass Global. UMass Global is a WASC accredited, non-profit, institution that focuses on meeting the educational needs of working adult students nationally. 

Read more about him here.

Daniel Manlongat


  • Bachelor of Architecture, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo

Blas Herrera


  • Master of Science in Architecture, Landscape and Urbanism, Woodbury University, San Diego
  • Bachelor of Architecture, Woodbury University, San Diego

About Blas

Blas Herrera studied architecture at Woodbury University in San Diego, California. In 2010 he moved to Mexico City to work for COLECTIVO MX, where he has collaborated in projects such as laboratories and offices for Probiomed and L’Oreal. He was teacher assistant for the Master of Washington University, St. Louis, summer program abroad, held in San Diego. He has worked in CROstudio, a collaborative practice that focuses on urban renewal through architecture, in urban studies at the border between Tijuana and San Diego. Blas earned his Master’s in Landscape and Urbanism at Woodbury University, San Diego and is currently collaborating in CROstudio and teaches at NewSchool of Architecture & Design.


  • Honorable mention, 2012. “Displaced Cartographies”. The Greatest Grid Competition, organized by the Architectural League of New York and the Museum of the City of New York. ‘Displaced Cartographies’ was included in the exhibition The Greatest Grid, on view at the Museum of the City of New York. Proposal developed in collaboration with Zooburbia collective, Mexico City.
  • Honorable mention, 2012. “Go with the flow”. 14th International Arquine Competition. 2012 Published in the: Arquine Magazine 60th edition “Go with the flow”. Proposal developed in collaboration with Zooburbia collective, Mexico City.

Raúl Díaz


  • Mater of Urban Planning, City University of New York
  • Bachelor of Architecture, University of Southern California


  • Member, American Institute of Architects

Vuslat Demircay


  • Ph.D. in Building Science, METU in Turkey
  • Master of Architecture
  • Bachelor of Architecture, METU

About Vuslat

Vuslat is a long-time member of the NewSchool faculty. Raised in Germany, studied, licensed, practiced in Turkey, Vuslat made a shift from practice to academia in her early career years. She earned her Ph.D. from Middle East Technical University and taught architecture at this top-ranking university until she moved to the US. She continues her academic career in the United States at NewSchool since 2003.

Vuslat has been teaching architecture and design for over 30 years in multiple countries and the composition of her experiences span almost every area of design. Throughout her academic career she has developed and taught courses with an emphasis on instructional strategies and methodologies applicable to design studies, ranging from product and furniture design to regional planning including interior, building, neighborhood, urban, and city scale. Over the last 16 years at NewSchool, Vuslat taught courses in the areas of communication (graphic, oral, written), research methodology, building construction technology, construction history, professional practice, and thesis studio in graduate and undergraduate Architecture Program.

In her mid-career years, architectural pedagogy appeared as another major interest for Vuslat and as a subject matter expert in this area she has been assigned the ambassador by Architectural Schools in Turkey and participated in national and international professional organizations and commissions. She has presented several papers on pedagogy at conferences, symposia, and panels at European Association on Architectural Education EAAE, and ENHSA. These include the 2nd Workshop on Construction Teaching Methods, France in 2003, 19th International Conference on Re-integrating Theory & Design in Architectural Education, and 2nd International Conference on Changing Cities, Greece in 2015. She has been an active member of the Chamber of Architects in the development of curriculum basics towards the architectural registration process in Turkey.

The wide range of courses she teaches and her international/multicultural life and work experience bridging the two completely different parts of the world has shaped her personality for a life-long commitment as an avid learner. She is passionate to spread her inspiration to her students, whether those in their early years or those who are late in their journey, looking for new paths for themselves.

Vuslat has supervised around 150 graduate thesis studies in the past 16 years, both in teaching thesis seminar and design studio. Some of the graduates continue their thesis topics in doctoral programs, several thesis studies have been awarded by AIA- American Institute of Architects, San Diego Chapter and by other organizations, and others work in related fields. Her pedagogy prioritizes a trans-disciplinary approach and thorough analysis of a complex problem in its minor components and provides a learning experience by new ways of creative and critical thinking towards appropriate solutions through experimentation and developing an intellectual and innovative world vision.

Her scholarship includes journal publications, public lectures, conference presentations, edited books, book reviews, and contributions as a reviewer to peer-reviewed journals and international conferences. Vuslat was an invited juror, guest speaker, and keynote speaker at several schools in Turkey and in the US.

Vuslat was recognized with the prestigious President’s Award for her exceptional work in organizing and participating in the first ever Laureate Global Architecture and Design Summit.

Another path in her career -since 2011- is managing at a larger scale. In the past several years she served in many different capacities, among these were the positions of Acting Chair of Graduate Architecture Program, Chair of NCAP-Faculty Governance Council, Assessment Leader, Thesis Coordinator for Graduate Architecture Program, and Area Coordinator of Research for Undergraduate and Graduate Architecture. This exposure allowed her to investigate the intricacies of various programs.

She worked as a project designer and technical consultant in Turkey on national and international projects. Among those were the German Embassy Campus historic preservation project, German School, Goethe Library renovation project, residential, office, retail projects in Turkey, and residential remodeling projects in the US.

Vuslat speaks Turkish, German, and English fluently.


  • NewSchool President’s Award