Working Group 1 is a design collaborative founded in 2014 by veterans to built-form, in pursuit of exceptional design with a powerful narrative. We’re inclusive, inquisitive, generous of spirit and aspire to clients, consultants, and collaborators of the same mien.

As catalysts and synthesizers, we thrive in conversation, working projects bottom-up and top-down. With the expertise to provide full architectural and interior design services from conceptualization to commissioning, we are problem solvers who understand the value of limits.

We come to architecture from the fine and performing arts, commanding the technologies of representation and production, both of our generation and of our children’s, working at varied scales and when possible, with our hands. We engage in careful craft.


Melissa comes to the field of architecture with a background in the fine and performing arts. After earning a Bachelor of Arts degree from Smith College in 1988 with a focus in both fields, Melissa received a Master of Architecture degree in 1994 from the University of Illinois at Chicago, her studies garnering awards from the Environmental Design Research Association, the National Organization for Women, the Pratt Institute, and the Graham Foundation.

For the past twenty-nine years, Melissa’s work has manifested performing arts, institutional and residential projects, many of which involve the adaptive reuse of existing and historic buildings. All are the product of fruitful collaboration with client, design-colleague, consultant, and construction teams, and each reveals a dedication to artistry and craft. Notable performing arts projects include the home for Lookingglass Theatre in Chicago’s historic Waterworks, receiving the USITT Award of Merit, the AIA Chicago Design Excellence and the Chicago Building Congress awards; the rehabilitation of a prewar Chicago Public Library for the Old Town School of Folk Music; multiple venues for Manhattan Theatre Club; and a reimagined 600-seat theatre for The Hotchkiss School in Lakeville Connecticut.

Melissa was raised in the United States, Europe, and Japan, and calls both New York and the Northwest Hills, Connecticut, home. Melissa’s focus with Working Group 1 has been on both residential and institutional projects in collaboration with colleagues from New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles for clients across the country.


Bill Hogan realizes projects that synthesize broad and deep abilities in design, engineering, project management, and craft. Born and raised on the Eastern Seaboard, Bill earned a Bachelor of Arts in Literature and Film from Claremont McKenna College in 1985. In 1995, Bill completed the Master of Architecture program at the Southern California Institute of Architecture, Los Angeles, winning the Outstanding Graduate Thesis Award for “Making Place: A Furniture Production Node in Vernon, California.”

Following graduation, Bill joined architecture and urban design firm Studio Works, founded by fellow principals Robert Mangurian and Mary-Ann Ray, establishing a professional and personal relationship that continues to this day. With Studio Works, Bill has led the following notable projects: LAUSD West Adams Preparatory High School, a $100 million, 250,000 sf new campus on a 14-acre city center site; LAUSD Marshall Primary Center, a $7 million, 33,000 sf ground-up elementary school; Pilibos Armenian School, a $2 million, 15,000 sf addition to a private school in Los Angeles, and Milwaukee Montessori School, an award-winning $1.5 million, 60,000 sf transformation of an existing 3 story brick office building into an inspiring K-12 school.

Bill’s passion for structural engineering has fostered an ongoing collaboration on more than 100 projects with Gordon L. Polon, one of the premier engineering firms in Southern California. Bill is expert in Type 5 wood, steel, and concrete design, in integrating new structures with existing construction and in resolving the complexities of lateral design and detailing. Projects include high tolerance renovations to Richard Neutra and A. Quincy Jones designed buildings.

Teaching complements this work. Since 2004, Bill has taught both design studios and structures seminars at SCI-Arc and has been a guest critic at Woodbury University and UCLA.


Tony is a multi-modal design professional with significant experience ranging from software development, fine art and furniture design, to engineering solutions for the built environment. Tony’s academic career includes art education at The University of Texas at Austin from 1981 to 1983, a Bachelor of Arts in Biology from Swarthmore College in 1986, and a Master of Science in Clinical Psychology from The University of Houston in 1995.

Leveraging his twenty-plus year experience designing software for users in the financial industry, Tony has devised innovative solutions for architecture and construction applications. His tools and systems aid in design, drafting, and project management.

As a designer, Tony values opportunities to create spaces and furniture solutions that reflect each unique client, site condition and budget.


Ellynne Dec is an expert in long-term forecasting, data exploration, and in the development of practical models for complex dynamic systems. Ellynne received a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from Smith College in 1989, and was a PhD candidate in Engineering Economic Systems at Stanford University between 1995 and 1997.

For over 20 years, Ellynne has worked as a decision analyst and data scientist for organizations as diverse as the Royal Mail (UK), Bourne Leisure (UK), Novartis Basel (CH), and Planned Parenthood (USA). Her work combines qualitative information with quantitative data, creating scenario models that help reveal risks, assess the scale of uncertain opportunities, and hone the instincts of domain experts. In addition to her applied experience, she taught forecasting for five years at Columbia Business School.

With Working Group 1, Ellynne enjoys projects that defy standard templates, especially those that involve multiple stakeholders, or seem to offer too little or too much data to readily inform decision making. Ellynne’s decision analysis and design work inform and are informed by her work as a fine artist, her current focus manifesting in visually complex and multivalent woven glass sculpture that explores how information aggregates to shape form.


Cindy is a designer and architect with a commitment to human-centered design practices.  Her rigorous approach is grounded in a context-specific listening/learning feedback process, honed by the experience of over 35 years of work in design, architecture and project management.

Leveraging her background in fine and applied art, Cindy earned a BS in Interior and Environmental Design from Cornell University in 1986.  She received her Master of Architecture in 1994 from the University of Illinois at Chicago, winning public awards for socially responsible design, and for environmental design. She is a Licensed Architect and Interior Designer.

In practice, Cindy's work has varied from the study of co-housing communities in Denmark to a broad range of commercial and institutional projects. During her 25-year tenure with HOLT Architects (Ithaca, NY), Cindy has led the design and management of projects for academic, healthcare, commercial and housing clients in university and clinical settings.

Today Cindy collaborates with HOLT, Working Group 1 and other colleagues in architecture and design while pursuing her work as an artist with a focus on painting. She is based in Ithaca, NY and is a member of the Town of Ithaca Planning Board, the YMCA Board, and when possible, teaches design studios at Cornell University.