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David Johnson

Expert leader in integrated design in the built environment. Award-winning work as an architect, designer, urban planner, and systems innovator. Principal of SERA Architects. Educator, lecturer, climate advocate. 

David is an internationally recognized leader in applications regenerative principles in the built environment. His award-winning work as a designer, architect, urban planner, and systems innovator is focused on the creation of enduring economic, ecological, and cultural value; community; health; well-being; and inspiration.   

He currently leads the California practice of SERA Architects as a principal for the firm. Prior to SERA, David was a partner at William McDonough + Partners, where he directed the international practice for five years and guided the firm’s implementation of the Cradle to Cradle sustainability protocol within the firm’s building and community designs. 

During his extensive career, David has directed teams on an array of large scale technically challenging, and programmatically intricate urban projects in the U.S. and abroad. These include a wide spectrum of high performance and award-winning projects, such as transportation and cultural buildings at the Canary Wharf in London, iconic governmental headquarters in Singapore, conceptual carbon positive city planning in Asia, and large-scale mixed-use office campus master plans, medical teaching institutional facilities for the Cleveland Clinic and Mayo Clinic. 

In California, transformative projects include the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory/UC Berkeley Campus Masterplan at Golden Gate Fields, the AltaSea Innovation and Research Campus Masterplan in Los Angeles, the UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital San Francisco, and The Treasure Island Sustainability Framework in San Francisco.

Throughout his life and career, David has been passionate about sustainability and committed to transformational, positive, regenerative, and sustainable design. 

He has held public office in Marin County and is presently active with the AIA, ULI, and SPUR. David is an advisor to The Healthy Building Network (HBN), The California Forward Capital Market Task Force, and Drawdown Bay Area.org. He frequently lectures at universities on sustainable design and was a Design Studio Instructor at Stanford University, 

In 2021, David was named by the American Energy Society (AES) one of the 500 global sustainability thought leaders.