Who We Are

Suisman Urban Design is an award-winning, internationally recognized urban design studio.

We are a studio of architects and creative professionals who design urban places and public spaces, from districts and campuses to streets, parks and plazas.

We are known for our combination of creativity and pragmatism. We spend a lot of time listening to those who care about the place in question. We build consensus around a shared vision by uncovering opportunities and showing possibilities.

We help connect places that are disconnected and enliven places that are moribund. We draw deeply on the history and terrain of the place, shaping a vision that connects the past to the present and the site to its surroundings. We help add substantial value to places—economic, cultural, and social—by connecting people to their environment.

Suisman Urban Design creates places that are Connected. Sustainable. Livable. Vibrant. Beautiful.

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Doug Suisman, FAIA


Doug Suisman is an internationally recognized, award-winning urban designer and architect. He founded Suisman Urban Design in 1990 to reshape and revive city places through an innovative process integrating architecture, research, planning, landscape design, narrative, and graphic design.

His work focuses on sustainable regional development, effective public transit, vibrant public spaces and buildings, and walkable streets. His clients range from public agencies and cultural institutions to think tanks and community groups in cities as diverse as Burlington, Doha, Hartford, Hong Kong, Los Angeles, New Orleans, New York, Pittsburgh, Ramallah, and Vancouver. His projects include master plans and facilities for regional transit systems, downtowns, cultural districts, university campuses, transit-oriented development, civic and community centers, plazas, parks, and streetscapes.

Among his many honors, Doug Suisman won the top master plan and Future Project of the Year award at the 2010 World Architecture Festival for The Arc, his acclaimed plan for a Palestinian state. One of his current projects, the iQuilt cultural district plan for downtown Hartford, won an AIA Honor Award and two major grants from the National Endowment for the Arts. In 1999, Doug was honored by his peers and made a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects. He was named a National Peer in Urban Design in 2006 by the U.S. General Services Administration.

Doug Suisman is the author of “Los Angeles Boulevard,” considered a classic urban study of America’s second largest city. The book’s 25th anniversary edition was released in 2014. He has taught at the University of Minnesota, UCLA, USC, and UC Berkeley

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Eli Garsilazo

Associate Principal

Eli Garsilazo is an Associate Principal at Suisman Urban Design and has been with the firm since 2001. His work focuses on sustainable regional development, urban revitalization, public spaces and buildings, and public transportation. During the summer, Eli loves the sound of the Palm Springs desert from 10,834 feet up at the peak of Mt. San Jacinto (it’s cooler up there). He is a fan of Dodgers baseball in Spring and Fall, and he doodles with oils and water colors—regardless of the season.

Eli acted as project manager on the firm’s recently completed infrastructure assessment for Downtown Santa Monica Inc. which was a study that included strategies for improving pedestrian linkages, wayfinding systems and identity in the district in anticipation of the various major projects impacting the area including the proposed Expo Line terminus, Tongva Park, and new housing projects. He has also been managing the design of the iQuilt Plan, a culture based urban design project in Hartford, Connecticut. Now in its fourth phase, the project has won an Honor Award from the American Institute of Architects and a major grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. Eli was project designer for the firm’s award-winning master plan for a Palestinian state, produced in partnership with RAND Corporation. The proposal has earned seven major design awards, including world’s best master plan at the 2010 World Architecture Festival in Barcelona, where it went on to win the overall festival prize as Future Project of the Year. The project has recently won a prestigious National Honor Award from the American Institute of Architects, a Progressive Architecture award, and an Honor Award from the Los Angeles chapter of the AIA.

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Sean Christensen

Graphic Designer

Sean Christensen is a Graphic Designer at Suisman Urban Design and has been with the firm since 2012. His work focuses on branding/identity, environmental graphics, and wayfinding and signage. He received his B.A. in Fine Arts, with an emphasis in Design, from the University of Southern California.

Notable projects of his include the iQuilt Plan, for which he assisted in the development of Downtown Hartford’s wayfinding system, as well as neighborhood gateway signage. He has also designed maps and wayfinding for Santa Monica’s Third Street Promenade. For the Museums of Miracle Mile, he developed a new identity and environmental graphics for the museum district, which included banners and signage. He has led the effort in designing extensive reports and master plan documents, such as the street design standards book for the city of Burlington, and the iQuilt Master Plan.

He is currently working on designing a series of cultural markers for the Charter Oak Mile in Hartford, which highlight and make public a collection of historic buildings along a mile-long corridor, anchored by the historic state capitol on one end and Colt National Park on the other.