Jones Studio is a mid-sized architecture, interior design, graphic design, public art, and planning firm founded in Phoenix 1979 by Eddie Jones, AIA. Younger brother Neal Jones, AIA joined the firm in 1986, and in 2014 Brian Farling, AIA and Jacob Benyi, AIA became principals and partners.
From the beginning, Jones Studio has created unique and memorable architecture that is a direct expression of the values and culture of those who occupy it and of the community in which it stands. We are widely respected as one of Arizona’s most innovative architectural practices. With each of our projects, we bring curiosity and commitment to provide the highest level of service to our clients. We believe that architecture should be practiced with a respect for the earth, and that human ingenuity and creativity can shape our built environment for the better.
Jones Studio has received over two hundred design awards for over fifty projects. In 2014 Jones Studio was ranked 21st in the Architect 50 and 6th in the Sustainability Category. In 2016 the Mariposa Land Port of Entry received an AIA Institute Honor Award, and in the same year was awarded a GSA Design Excellence Program Honor Award in Architecture. In 2011 Jones Studio was the recipient of the AIA Western Mountain Region’s Firm of the Year Award.
Jones Studio has been recognized repeatedly for advancing sustainable design, including seventeen Arizona Forward Environmental Excellence Awards and six APS Energy Awards, and the Studio’s ability to create strong teams has won five AIA Arizona Goodwin Awards for collaborative effort between the architect, contractor, and owner resulting in design excellence.
Since its start, the Jones Studio “family” has been a diverse team of highly motivated and enthusiastic creative professionals. We thrive on the process of learning something new from each and every endeavor.
Eddie M. Jones, AIA, NCARB
It was morning, June 8, 1979. Instead of leaving for his day job with the oldest firm in Arizona, Eddie calmly stepped outside his home and glued eleven letters beside the door.
So began JONES STUDIO: in the spare bedroom, leaking roof, no money, and one brave client.
Five years later Eddie’s younger brother, Neal, joined him, completing their childhood dream of working together and forever changing the scale of the practice.
Forty plus years forward, 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, have made better human experiences and better architecture.
Under Eddie Jones’ leadership, Jones Studio has received 205 design awards including a National AIA and a GSA Design Excellence Honor for the Mariposa Land Port of Entry in Nogales, Arizona. In 2018 Eddie was awarded the AIA Arizona’s Architects Medal, the highest honor an individual practitioner of architecture can receive in the state.
Eddie is a 2004 recipient of the Melvin R. Lohmann Medal (for career achievement in architecture) from his alma mater, Oklahoma State University. The Lohmann Medal is the highest honor bestowed on a graduate of the College of Engineering, Architecture, and Technology. Soon after, Eddie also became an inductee of the College of Engineering, Architecture, and Technology Hall of Fame. Although state rivals, the University of Oklahoma College of Architecture named Eddie the Bruce Goff Chair in 1999. For the fiftieth anniversary of the iconic Progressive Architecture Awards, he was specially selected to be a member of the esteemed jury.
Eddie was appointed in 2007 to the GSA Design Excellence Peer Review. He was named a Founding Board of Governors member by The School of Architecture at Taliesin in 2017. He is very active in Arizona Forward, Arizona’s premier organization for promoting sustainable design. Eddie also hosts many community events at the new office building, completed in 2016 to serve as a model of sustainability in desert environments.
There are currently 40 books, 227 magazines and journals, 29 TV shows, various radio programs, one Hollywood movie and one documentary film including the Studio’s works.
Recently, Eddie Jones realized his day job was again with one of the oldest firms in Arizona.
Neal E. Jones, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP
Neal moved to Phoenix in June 1986 to begin a journey with Jones Studio that has evolved the firm to the internationally recognized practice it is today. As President, Neal has 33 years’ experience in the procurement, design, production, and management of the firm’s projects. His mature business management and organization skills will keep the team intact and resolve problems as they arise.
Neal received his Bachelor of Science in Architecture from Oklahoma State University in 1977. From OSU, Neal went on to attend the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana, where he earned double Masters degrees, both a Master of Architecture and Master of Business Administration, simultaneously. Neal has taught, lectured, and served on many design award juries around the country and the world. His belief in good design as a public responsibility as well as a private passion, lies at the heart of his practice.
Neal is a Governor appointee of the Arizona State Board of Technical Registration and serves as Secretary of the Board in 2019. Before his appointment to the Board, Neal served 17 years on the Board’s Enforcement Advisory Committee. Neal has served as Chair of AIA Arizona’s Professional Practice Committee, Founder and Chair of AIA Arizona’s Contracts Committee, Chairman of AIA Arizona’s Design Awards Program, and has guest lectured on financial management, contracts, and professional practice at several universities around the country. Neal is a frequent mentor to young professionals starting their practice, assisting them in all things business and financial.
He is a 2004 recipient of the Melvin R. Lohmann Medal (for career achievement in architecture) from his alma mater, Oklahoma State University. The Lohmann Medal is the highest honor bestowed on a graduate of the College of Engineering, Architecture, and Technology. Neal is also an inductee of the College of Engineering, Architecture, and Technology Hall of Fame. In 2018, Neal was appointed by the Dean of the College to the College’s Strategic Advisory Council. The Council is made up of senior executives with experience in strategic thinking, and assists the Dean in setting and achieving aspirational goals for the College’s mission.
Neal is the 2017 recipient of AIA Arizona’s Architects Medal—the highest honor an individual practitioner of architecture can receive in the state. Under Neal Jones’ leadership, Jones Studio has received 205 design awards including a National AIA and a GSA Design Excellence Honor for the Mariposa Land Port of Entry in Nogales, Arizona—a regional juggernaut of export/import of goods throughout the U.S., generating $35 billion of revenue per year.
Brian C. Farling, AIA
Brian is an architect and principal at Jones Studio. Over the past 20 years he has led the design of award winning projects that offer unique, environmentally innovative solutions for forward thinking institutions and individuals. Some of the most notable projects include: the Mariposa Land Port of Entry, Arizona State University Beus Center for Law & Society, Mesa Community College Performing Arts Center, the San Luis Land Port of Entry, and the redesign/expansion of his alma mater’s architecture school: the University of Arizona College of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture.
A graduate of the U of A with a Bachelor of Architecture, Brian is grounded in the Southwest’s most important issues. He practices architecture as a pragmatic art with the belief that human ingenuity and creativity can shape our world for the better. With a particular focus on how architecture and the built environment can be inspired by the challenge of water scarcity and conservation, he lectures regularly to a wide range of audiences – from grade school to national conventions. In 2015 he presented at the AIA National Convention in Atlanta, in 2016 at Greenbuild Los Angles, and most recently at the 2018 AIA Western Mountain Region conference in Tucson.
Brian is a member of the board of the Arizona Forward’s Central Regional Council and Water Committee, Friends of Tempe Center for the Arts, and a member of the Tempeans for Arts & Culture steering committee, in which capacity Brian helped guide the recent Arts tax vote to approval. Brian serves as design review juror and speaker at the architecture schools of Arizona State University, the University of Arizona, the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and Taliesin, and has been on the faculty teaching a Bachelor of Architecture fifth year capstone studio at the University of Arizona CAPLA. Brian is also on the Board of Directors for the Scottsdale Aquatics Club, and when not working on the arts, architecture, or water, Brian can be found on the competitive pool deck volunteering as a lead official with USA and High School swimming.
Robert Viergutz, RA
Senior Associate (1998)
Rob Viergutz, RA, NCARB, grew up in the Virginia suburbs of Washington DC and moved west to Arizona for adventure and architecture school. He earned his Bachelor of Science in Design and Master of Architecture degrees at Arizona State University in 1996 and 1998 respectively, and then joined the Jones Studio family in 1998.
Rob has brought his passion for design, high quality construction, and the integration of nature into the built environment to a broad spectrum of Jones Studio projects, including those for government, commercial, educational, and residential clients. Rob has served as a Project Manager at Jones Studio for the past fourteen years, including on the SEW Eurodrive Building, Cornell/Cookson Door Manufacturing Facility, and Desiderata Alternative High School. He was also a key member of the Mariposa Land Port of Entry team through the Programming, Design and Construction phases, and Project Manager for later additions to ASU’s Karsten Golf Clubhouse. Outside of the office Rob has served on the Scottsdale Historic Preservation Commission and enjoys spending his off hours hiking, biking, and surfing the ocean.
Maria Salenger, AIA
Senior Associate (1999)
Since joining Jones Studio in 2000, Maria Salenger, AIA, has supported the firm’s commitment to merging pragmatic and artistic concepts in architecture and public art. She is currently project manager for the Monroe Street Abbey, an urban adaptive re-use project fusing historic preservation, new integrated building systems, and landscape space. Maria previously served on the project management and design teams of the Mariposa Land Port of Entry, Arizona State University Beus Center for Law & Society, University of Arizona College of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture, Mesa Community College Performing Arts Center, South Mountain Community College Performing Arts Center, and the Arizona 9-11 Memorial.
Maria’s process of design in both architecture and art explores the relationships between nature, urbanism, community, and individual influence. She exhibits work in Arizona and has installed nine public art projects within the US. Her work has been published in the Wall Street Journal, Architectural Record, Architecture Magazine, and Dwell. She co-chaired the National AIA Women’s Leadership Summit in 2013, and has since worked with the AIA Arizona Women’s Leadership Group to strengthen diverse voices, ideas, and actions in design practice.
Maria graduated from University of Arizona College of Architecture with a Bachelor of Architecture in 1994, and earned a Master of Fine Arts from the Slade School of Art, University College London in 1999. She has taught in the Schools of Architecture at Arizona State University and University of Arizona.
Jacob R. Benyi, AIA, LEED AP
Jacob grew up in Scottsdale, AZ and developed an early appreciation for the desert southwest. He completed his Bachelor of Science in Design at Arizona State University in 2003, interning with Jones Studio during his fourth year at ASU. Jacob then spent four years with Jones Studio learning the practice of Architecture prior to moving to New York City to earn his Master of Architecture from Columbia University in 2010. Following graduation, Jacob returned to Jones Studio to manage some of the firm’s largest projects, including the Mariposa Land Port of Entry and the Beus Center for Law and Society. He has been a Principal at Jones Studio since 2014.
Having achieved his Eagle Scout as a youth, Jacob has spent 20 years volunteering with the Boy Scouts of America in numerous capacities. In addition to volunteering with a Troop in Scottsdale, he also serves on the Executive Board of Directors for the Grand Canyon Council as the Vice President of Operations. In 2017, Jacob spent two weeks at the National Scout Jamboree in West Virginia teaching sustainability practices in the built and natural environment to youth from across the United States.
Jacob was a teaching assistant for two Advanced Architecture Studios while at Columbia University, and now periodically volunteers to help with student reviews at Arizona State University. In his spare time, Jacob enjoys spending time outdoors in the desert southwest and throughout the country. He has hiked the Grand Canyon more than 30 times and has climbed to the highest point in more than 40 states. He also plays the piano and enjoys attending the opera at venues around the world.
Associate and Project Manager (2014)
Rob is our jack-of-all-trades! Passionate about functional design from an early age, he grew up in a wood shop developing his love of detail oriented design through hands-on project experience. From high-end wood working to welding and steel fabrication, he has done it all. If it can be built, Rob can do it! Rob’s experienced, practical approach to design makes him unique as a Project Manager for Jones Studio.
Rob found his home with Jones Studio in 2014 after graduating from Arizona State University with a Master of Architecture. Because of his unique skill set and love of people, he quickly became an asset in project management both in the office and the job site. While at Jones Studio, Rob has managed three projects in four years while providing technical documentation support for five additional projects. During construction of the Jones Studio Office located in Tempe, Rob was integral to the development of details and construction implementation. His expertise in these areas was also a benefit for the new Student Services facility at Mohave Community College. He is currently managing a 10 million dollar renovation for the Valley Presbyterian Church, , where he has been critical through the Master Planning, Programming and Design of the project.
When not on a job site or in the office, Rob is passionate about hydroponic gardening and how it relates to the desert and built environment. He escapes the city by exploring canyons in Arizona & Utah, camping with his family and volunteering as an adult leader with his local scout/youth group. Recently Rob has passed on his design and construction skills to a group of youth by helping them design and build a full-size working trebuchet (catapult). As an Eagle Scout himself, Rob leads a high adventure training camp every summer that gives youth experiences like repelling and canyoneering.
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.
Kirsten Keane, Assoc. AIA, WELL AP
Director of Marketing (2019)
Kirsten Keane, WELL AP and Associate AIA, was born in Minnesota, but grew up in Phoenix. Kirsten has a diverse background, with undergraduate degrees in psychology and journalism, as well as a Master of Interior Architecture from Arizona State University. During her graduate program, Kirsten received numerous design excellence nominations and awards, and served on the national Board of Directors for the American Institute of Architecture Students.
Upon graduating, Kirsten ventured up to the Pacific Northwest where she worked as marketing coordinator for Perkins+Will’s Seattle office. During this time she also volunteered with the ACE Mentorship Program and the Seattle Architecture Foundation. However, an overabundance of cloudy days began to affect her mood, and being perpetually wet began to affect her hair. As she had long suspected, she’s solar-powered!
Kirsten returned to the Valley in 2016 and started with Architekton, where she worked on the award-winning Helios Education Foundation, along with other workplace and education projects.
In addition to her work at Jones Studio, Kirsten teaches “Design and Human Behavior” at The Design School at ASU, and serves as the Associate Director for the AIA Phoenix Metro Chapter. A recent point of pride was earning her WELL AP credential in 2017. She looks forward to working with other designers and clients eager to be at the forefront of the expanding wellness movement. Outside the office, Kirsten enjoys traveling, reading, watercolor, and playing tug-of-war with her two puppies, Joli and Bruno.
Brianna Tsatskin, Assoc. AIA
Studio Coordinator (2019)
Brianna, Associate AIA, is an Arizona native passionate about sustainability in the built environment. She believes it is architects’ essential responsibility to implement sustainable design strategies due to the enormous impact that building construction has on health and society. Her favorite projects are ones that breathe new life and purpose into older structures through historic preservation or adaptive reuse. Brianna’s resolve was further solidified when she graduated from Arizona State University with a Bachelor of Sustainability with an emphasis in Energy, Materials and Technology as well as a minor in Architectural Studies. She has served as Treasurer for the ASU chapter of the American Institute of Architecture Students (AIAS) and President of the U.S. Green Building Council’s student chapter.
Beyond sustainability, Brianna developed and leads Upside Effects, an organization focused on providing resources to those in design and the arts affected by mental illness. Through a website, podcast and social media, Upside Effects promotes the “upsides” while supporting the challenges that come with mental illness, particularly as they apply to the creative community. Brianna and Upside Effects have won several grants, and won a $2,500 grant as first place winner in ASU’s 2019 Change the World event in the Health Category.
She loves Jones Studio’s pet-friendly culture—as does her dog Calvin, who can often be found stirring up trouble with the firm’s mascot, Timmy the desert tortoise. Brianna is a leader with AIA Phoenix Metro’s Associates group and assisted in planning the 2019 and 2020 annual Arizona Associates Conferences. During her free time, she enjoys mentoring children at the Boys & Girls Club, traveling with her fiancé and shooting hoops.