Jones Studio is a mid-sized architecture, interior design, graphic design, public art, and planning firm founded in Phoenix, Arizona in 1979 by Eddie Jones, AIA. Younger brother Neal Jones, AIA, joined the firm in 1986, and Brian Farling, AIA and Jacob Benyi, AIA became Principals and Partners in 2014.
Since its start, the Jones Studio “family” has grown to include 10 highly motivated and enthusiastic individuals. The firm’s portfolio displays a broad range of building types, spanning from a “two-holer” outhouse trailhead located on a remote desert site, to the 54-acre Mariposa Land Port of Entry in Nogales, Arizona – the fourth busiest land port in the United States and a major gateway for the bulk of the fresh produce entering the US from Mexico.
The studio’s completed projects include higher education facilities, research facilities, performing arts centers, land ports of entry, an NFL training facility, a town hall, a softball-soccer stadium, an entire college campus and over 18 custom designed homes.
Jones Studio and their clients have been honored with over 200 design awards, for 55 built projects. In 2014 they were awarded the Arizona Forward Crescordia Award for Environmental Stewardship and were ranked 21st in The Architect 50 and 6th in Sustainability. They are the proud recipients of the 2016 AIA National Institute Honor Award and the 2016 GSA Design Excellence Program Honor Award in Architecture for the Mariposa Land Port of Entry.
In April 2016, they moved into their new custom built studio in Tempe. This new space has given them the ability to host events for organizations such as Arizona Forward and the USGBC, among others.
Eddie M. Jones, AIA, NCARB
Edward (Eddie) Jones, with his business partner and brother Neal, were raised in the oil fields of Oklahoma. From a very early age the two bothers aspired to be architects and share a studio.
Eddie was born in Fort Worth, Texas in 1949 and moved to Arizona in 1973 after graduating from Oklahoma State University. Eddie became the Lead Designer at Lescher & Mahoney, Arizona’s oldest architecture firm, where he worked for five years. He founded Jones Studio on June 8, 1979, three months before his 30th birthday. It was not until years later, he realized he had begun his professional career on the birthday of his two major heroes… Frank Lloyd Wright and Bruce Goff.
Eddie’s persistence and innovation have expanded the palette of materials and methods available throughout Arizona. His long-standing implementation of sustainability and environmental design, matched with an extraordinary sensitivity to the factors that create space, has improved the experiences of those that occupy, and moreover, the spaces occupied.
Neal E. Jones, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP
Neal Jones, AIA, LEED AP, NCARB, comes from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. He attended Oklahoma State University where he received his Bachelor of Science in Architectural Studies in 1977. He then went up to the University of Illinois where he earned concurrent Master of Architecture and Master of Business Administration degrees in 1980. From Illinois, Neal began his career with Heery Architects & Engineers; Atlanta, Georgia.
In 1986, he relocated to Phoenix, Arizona to begin his life-long dream of working with his brother, Eddie. Neal has been President of Jones Studio and acted as Principal-In-Charge on countless projects over the past 32 years. He loves to garden and travel internationally—Vietnam, Japan, China, and Iceland to name a few. Neal maintains close affiliations with the AIA and in 2014 was appointed by the Governor of Arizona to the Arizona State Board of Technical Registration. He is the 2017 recipient of the AIA Arizona Architect’s Medal.
Brian C. Farling, AIA
Brian Farling, AIA is a principal with Jones Studio Architects. A recognized regional leader in micro scale water augmentation projects, Brian is committed to impacting our collective cultural identity through the innovative design of the built environment. He was lead designer on many recognized projects including: Mesa Community College Performing Arts Center, the G.S.A. Mariposa Land Port of Entry, the University of Arizona’s College of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture, South Mountain Community College Performing Arts Center and is the local architect on the new Beus Center for Law and Society at ASU’s downtown Phoenix campus (in association with Ennead Architects). Graduating from the University of Arizona’s College of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture, he is grounded in the region’s most important issues and in 2005 had the privilege of leading the redesign of the school. Farling regularly lectures to a wide range of audiences – from grade school to national conventions – and spoke at the 2015 AIA National Convention and 2016 Greenbuild on water issues in the Southwest. He serves as vice-chair on Arizona Forward’s Water Committee and donates his time as an official with USA swimming and the local Mesa Aquatics Swim Club. Brian practices architecture as a pragmatic art and brings a respect for the earth and belief that human ingenuity and creativity can shape our world for the better.
Robert Viergutz, RA
Senior Associate (1998)
Rob Viergutz is originally from Marshall, Virginia. He came to Arizona and got his Bachelor of Science and Design from Arizona State University in 1996, followed up by his Master of Architecture at the same institution in 1998. Joining the Jones Studio family, Rob has served as a Project Manager for the past eleven years, after six years as Job Captain and Designer. He was PM on Desiderata Alternative High School , ASU’s Karsten Golf Clubhouse, and the Cornell|Cookson Door Manufacturing Facility . He was also a key member of the Mariposa Land Port of Entry team during programming, design and construction stages. Rob found his passion for architecture after visiting Frank Lloyd Wright’s masterpiece, Fallingwater.
Maria Salenger, AIA
Senior Associate (1999)
Maria Salenger, AIA, grew up in Phoenix, Arizona, and headed south to Tucson to attend the University of Arizona where she received her Bachelor of Architecture degree in 1994. After earning a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University College London, Maria joined Jones Studio in 1999. Maria is now a Senior Project Manager and heads up Jones Studio’s public art projects. Outside of work she is involved with public art, the American Institute of Architects, the Arizona Women Principals Group, and is a regular Arizona State University/University of Arizona Guest Juror.
Jacob R. Benyi, AIA, LEED AP
Jacob Benyi, LEED AP, grew up in Scottsdale, Arizona, and got his Bachelor of Science and Design from Arizona State University in 2003. He was Jones Studio’s summer intern between his junior and senior years in college. After five years with Jones Studio, he attended Columbia University in New York City where he earned a Master of Architecture Degree in 2010. Upon his return he became a Project Manager with Jones Studio and continued his nearly lifelong involvement with the Boy Scouts of America where he now serves as District Commissioner. He has somehow found the time to hike 40 of the 50 High Points in the US, and is also an opera fanatic.
Associate and Project Manager (2014)
Rob Huff is originally from Phoenix, Arizona. Passionate about functional design from an early age, Rob grew up in the shop designing and building anything he could imagine. As an accomplished welder and woodworker, Rob is passionate about modeling and likes a hands-on approach to design. Rob joined Jones Studio during an internship the Summer of 2014 and has continued to work there whilst working on his Master’s degree. His Chief design influences include Bjarke Ingels and Glenn Murcutt.
Office Manager (2014)
Tony is a modern day Renaissance man. His wide range of skills allows him to work on a variety of day to day jobs around Jones Studio and keep the practice running smoothly. Highly gifted in logistics and analytics, he has helped streamline the office.
Miles Foster, Assoc. AIA
Project Designer (2018)
Miles Foster, Associate AIA, is an Arizona native and grew up in Chandler. He received both his Bachelor and Master of Architecture from The Design School at Arizona State University, graduating summa cum laude. Safe to say, Miles is forever a Sun Devil fan. In his six years at Arizona State University, Miles received eight design excellence nominations and was awarded the AIA Henry Adams Medal and Certificate of Merit upon graduating from the M.Arch program.
Miles joined the Jones Studio family in 2018 as a Project Designer, previously working for several other Phoenix-based firms including Wendell Burnette Architects, A-I-R, and Christy & Company. Miles has a passion for design in the desert and is intrigued by how our built environment can improve the way in which we live in our unique climate. When he is not in the studio, you can usually find Miles on the golf course losing a few balls or chasing after his Standard Schnauzer, Zoe.
Shawn Swisher, AIA
Project Architect and Designer (2018)
Shawn Swisher, AIA, was born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona. He received his Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Southern California, where he was recognized as a USC Discovery Scholar and received the 2010 USC Global Prize for his design work while traveling abroad in France. Upon graduation in 2010, he was awarded the Jon A. Jerde Traveling Fellowship to study the work of Peter Zumthor in Switzerland, Germany, and Austria. He received his Master of Architecture from the University of California, Berkeley in 2013 and returned to his home state shortly thereafter to practice architecture and start a family.
Shawn joined Jones Studio in 2018 as a project architect and designer. He previously worked as an architect and designer at Richärd+Bauer, where his project experience ranged from local libraries to US Consulates around the world. Shawn is driven to create beautiful, meaningful architecture and strives to engage with the communities in which we build and confront issues endemic to the construction industry.
When he’s not in the studio, he enjoys biking around Tempe and traveling the world with his wife and son. Shawn is active in the local chapter of the American Institute of Architects, co-chair for AIA10 Phoenix Metro, and a member of the local collaborative for the Living Building Challenge.
Kira Collins, Assoc. AIA
Project Designer (2018)
Kira, Associate AIA, grew up in the North Texas Blackland Prairie, then jumped the Red River for university and architecture school in 2013. She graduated summa cum laude from the University of Oklahoma with a Bachelor of Architecture in 2018. Kira then moved west looking for as much sunlight as possible and started working at Jones Studio in the summer of 2018.
While at OU, Kira developed a love for the unique, fiercely independent legacy of The American School, including the work of Bruce Goff and those he taught. Her interest in research and commitment to academic excellence led to deep involvement with several projects, including a position for three years on the Bruce Goff Committee and independent research through the University of Oklahoma Honors College. She has received the Award for Outstanding Academic Achievement in Architecture, given to the top student in each division, and is a member of both the Honor Society in Architecture and the Allied Arts, Tau Sigma Delta, and The National Honor Society for History, Phi Alpha Theta. Kira believes design is an act of storytelling that looks to our past and then speaks of the future.
When not thinking about Architecture, Kira enjoys fiction, nonfiction, and making soup.
Project Designer (2018)
Spencer Bates was born in San Antonio, Texas while his father served in the Army. He lived in two other states before the age of five, when he finally landed in Phoenix. The seeds of Spencer’s architectural passion were planted early while he helped his family complete several major home renovations during his adolescence. They would later begin to germinate as he developed his skills as a woodworker in the garage workshop.
Spencer graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in Architectural Studies from Arizona State University in 2014 and went on to earn a Master of Architecture in 2016 from the same institution. His interest in materiality and his enthusiasm for experimentation grew while he worked as an architectural model builder after graduation. This ethos led him to join Jones studio as a project designer in 2018.
In his free time Spencer enjoys being with his family, spending time in his garage workshop, or getting his hands dirty landscaping his backyard. Every year at Christmas time he enjoys building and launching model rockets.