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School of Interior Architecture & Design Faculty

Archana Myer

Executive 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

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.

Tom Collom

Capstone Coordinator, School of Interior Architecture & Design

Tom received his B.A. Degree in Architecture from the University of California at Berkeley.  While still attending school, Tom won first place, including the design commission, in the National Endowment for the Arts sponsored, "National Cityscape Design Competition," for a site specific sculpture park in St. Paul, Minnesota.  Tom's experience spans many design fields including city and regional planning, architecture, retail, corporate interiors, landscape and industrial design.

Upon graduation, Tom worked for a mid-sized architectural and industrial design firm, deTienne Associates in San Francisco, designing office buildings, corporate interiors and developed new product concepts for workstations and work environments for Herman Miller, Inc.  Some of the work and findings have been published in Facilities Design & Management.

Since then Tom worked with In-house architectural director, Bruce Slesinger at Esprit de Corp helping to define Esprit's retail image worldwide, through the design of retail stores, showrooms, custom furniture and store fixtures.  Tom and Bruce's successful working partnership inspired them to open their own design firm BruceAndTom (BAT) in 1993.

BruceAndTom (BAT) is listed in VM&SD as one of the top 50 Design Firms and Display & Design Ideas (DDI) as one of the top 100 Retail Design Firms since 1996.  With a primary focus on Retail and Commercial design, a few of the retail identities BruceAndTom have created are: Hot Topic - Blackheart, Gymboree, bebe, Discovery Channel, Janie and Jack, Fila, Adidas and Reebok.

In the last 5 years, BruceAndTom have been involved in developing and operating several new and innovative retail food companies in the SOMA area of San Francisco: Small Foods and The Market on Market Street with an eye on expanding these concepts nationally.