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School of Interior Architecture & Design Faculty

Grover C. Dear Jr.

Executive Director, School of Interior Architecture & Design

Grover C. Dear Jr. is a 45-year veteran of the architectural profession, and the managing director and design principal of ARCHASIA Hong Kong Limited, a Hong Kong-based global architectural practice. Dear is a registered, authorized architect in Hong Kong; a registered architect in California, Georgia, and Florida with NCARB certification; and a registered architect in the United Kingdom with ARB certification. He is a member of the Hong Kong Institute of Architects and the American Institute of Architects. In 2009, he obtained Green Building Council Institute accreditation as LEED AP, and in 2010, he was elected to the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Architects. Dear is also a design critic, guest lecturer, professional advisor to various educational venues (including the Department of Architecture at the Chinese University of Hong Kong and theSan Francisco Design Center), and founding member of the Hong Kong chapter of the American Institute of Architects.

Dear attended the Faculté des Lettres of L'Université de Dijon in 1969 and received his bachelor of architecture degree from Georgia Institute of Technology. He launched his career with I.M. Pei & Partners in NewYork and, after working in Atlanta with John Portman and Associates, he relocated to Asia in 1980 to establish Portman's Hong Kong operation. Since establishing ARCHASIA in 1987, he has offered international clients in the luxury residential, corporate, and hospitality markets distinctive architecture, interior, and master planning design services. As chief design consultant for the Hong Kong Four Seasons and ifc mall (2003-2005), he was responsible for the coordination and approval of all designs prepared by the project's 12 participating architectural and design firms.

Dear joined the faculty of Academy of Art University in February 2016, as the new Executive Director of the School of Interior Architecture & Design.

Archana Myer

Director, School of Interior Architecture & Design

Archana Myer has a unique background which combines hospitality design, project management, and marketing. Most recently she was at the world's largest Hospitality Firm, Hirsch Bedner Associates (HBA) as a Senior Designer/Project Manager. While at HBA she worked on several large-scale international hospitality projects including properties for Ritz Carlton, Hilton Hotels, and InterContinental Hotel Group.

In addition to her design and project management responsibilities, she co-managed the San Francisco office of HBA and played a key role in creating a new marketing and client development strategy which has proven to be quite successful.

Prior to HBA, Ms. Myer worked as a Marketing Coordinator at Fluor Corporation, a Fortune 500 engineering and Construction Company. The skills gained while at Fluor proved to be extremely useful in the design industry throughout the course of her career.

Holding degrees from UC Santa Barbara and Academy of Art University, Ms. Myer has a unique educational background that has led to her diversity as a design professional. Her combination of design skills and management experience makes teaching the natural next step for her.

Kathleen Valkuchak

Associate Director, School of Interior Architecture & Design

Kathleen Valkuchak is a graduate of the Interior Architecture & Design program at Academy of Art University, holds a BA in Art History from UC Santa Cruz, and is a certified interior designer in California. While earning her degree in Art History, Kathleen was first introduced to art education through an internship at an after school art program for children. It was during this experience that she discovered a true passion for education, art, and design.

After graduating from Academy of Art in 2006, Kathleen worked with several design firms in San Francisco including Angela Free Design, and Backen, Gillam & Kroeger Architects.  Her services included end to end design for a variety of high-end residential, commercial, and hospitality projects.

Kathleen went on to become a design consultant, working with various companies in the Bay Area where she provided comprehensive services which ranged from design concept, to project management.  She began working with the Academy as an adjunct instructor in 2011, and in 2016 became the Associate Director of the School of Interior Architecture & Design.

Kathleen has enjoyed a successful designing career and especially appreciates the opportunity to assist both students and instructors in achieving their career goals.  Her ‘real world’ experience in design provides an understanding of the type of education strategies that will help ensure the success of her students.  Finally, Kathleen is grateful for the opportunity to be able to share her love for design, knowledge, and experience with students and colleagues.

Pamela Tang

Materials, Systems, & Code Coordinator, School of Interior Architecture & Design

Pamela Tang received her Master of Architecture and Master of Science in Civil Engineering from MIT and B.A. in Architecture and Economics from Wellesley College.  Trained in Architectural Design, Building Systems, and Project Management, she is also an NCARB Architect Licensing Advisor and Instructional Resource-IDP Officer on the AIA San Francisco Architecture Licensing Committee.

Most recently, working with the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development and a national non-profit developer, Pamela was the project manager and designer of two San Francisco Housing Authority multi-family residential rehabilitation projects in the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) Program.   

Education has been at the core of Pamela’s work over the last thirty years.  She is a founding trustee and Vice-President of the MIT School of Architecture Alumni Board and has served on the Board of Trustees of San Francisco University High School and Chinese American International School.  She was Chair of the 2007 San Francisco Decorator Showcase.