BRACE’s membership and Board of Trustees is comprised of a dynamic group of social entrepreneurs that includes architects, designers, engineers, educators and students.


Anthony PiermariniAnthony Piermarini, AIA

Co-Founder + President, BR+A+CE

Principal, Studio Luz Architects

Anthony Piermarini, AIA received his first professional Bachelors of Architecture degree at Cornell University (1997) and post-professional Masters of Architecture II degree at the Harvard Design School (1999). Anthony is a Massachusetts Registered Architect and a recipient of the 2010 National AIA Young Architects Award. Anthony’s approach emerges from a design philosophy that is sensitive to the specific culture and climate in which architecture operates. He seeks to strengthen the interrelationships between design, technology and the environment in which we build. He is an advocate for making design accessible and potent, as demonstrated in his firm’s participation in the 1% Pro Bono program. Anthony is currently an Assistant Professor at Roger Williams University.

Hansy BetterHansy Better Barraza, AIA, LEED AP

Co-Founder + Treasurer, BR+A+CE

Principal, Studio Luz Architects

Born in Barranquilla, Colombia, Hansy L. Better Barraza, received her first professional Bachelors of Architecture degree from Cornell University (1997) and a Masters of Architecture in Urban Design from the Harvard Design School (2000).  As a Professor of Architecture at the Rhode Island School of Design and as well as a practitioner, Hansy offers an intense focus on design methods that embrace social responsibility as she works with clients to reach their goals for every project. Hansy’s work fuses handcraft and digital fabrication techniques to bridge the advancement of the means and methods of construction with an awareness to the working of materials that ties it to a specific culture, environment, or manufacturing process. Recently, her book Where are the Utopian Visionaries? Architecture of Social Exchange was published by Periscope Ltd., located in Pittsburgh, and distributed worldwide by Prestel Press. The Boston Business Journal and El Planeta highlighted Hansy as one of 20 Hispanic executives making a difference in Boston.

Ariana Lee

Clerk, BR+A+CE

Post-Baccalaureate 2017, School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Intermedia/Multimedia

Ariana Lee is a Boston-based artist. She earned her B.A. in history from Brown University and a Post-Baccalaureate degree from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, where she was a recipient of the Presidential Scholarship. Ariana assisted with the fabrication and publicity of the Tilt-Down Fence. Currently, she is currently working in the Education Department at the Institute for Contemporary Art as a visitor assistant, where she enjoys helping foster visual critical experiences for visitors at the museum. Additionally, she is pursuing her own art work, which centers on issues of identity formation and the memory of immigration. Her work has recently been featured as part of a juried competition at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and she also provided projections as part of Asad Raza’s piece, Mother Tongue, in the Whitney Biennial.

Lynn HsuLynn Hsu

Trustee, BR+A+CE

Architect, Sasaki Associates

Lynn Hsu is an architect at Sasaki Associates with extensive experience in the design of cultural, academic, and higher education projects.  Prior smaller scale work has focused on modular, collapsible prototypes in canopies and furniture design.  She enjoys collaborating across disciplines and is a supporter of integrating art and architecture into the community. Lynn currently holds a Master of Architecture from the Harvard Graduate School of Design.

Ryan Salvas

Trustee, BR+A+CE

Director of Innovation, Skanska USA Commercial Development

Ryan Salvas is currently serving as the Director of Innovation at Skanska USA Commercial Development. Salvas has a diverse background with over 15 years of experience as a technologist, entrepreneur, designer and educator working with Universities, Designers, and Technology Startups. These diverse experiences allow him a unique perspective on innovative new technologies within the design and construction space and has overseen the development of a number of new technologies. Most recently he worked with nano-materials startup Ubiquitous Energy in helping them to secure a successful series B round of funding. Ryan has completed building  projects across the country including the Time Inc. headquarters in New York City, the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY and Cornell Milstein Hall in Ithaca, NY. He holds a Master of Science in Built Ecologies and a Bachelor of Architecture from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Gretchen SchneiderGretchen Schneider Rabinkin, AIA

Trustee, BR+A+CE

Executive Director, Community Design Resource Center of Boston (CDRC)

Gretchen Schneider joined the staff of the Community Design Resource Center of Boston (CDRC-Boston) in July 2011. A licensed architect, she has long worked with individuals and community organizations to celebrate and improve Boston-area neighborhoods.  An experienced educator, she has taught high school through graduate students at many institutions, including the Boston Architectural College, Wentworth Institute of Technology, Smith College, and Columbia University.  She holds a Masters in Architecture from the Harvard Graduate School of Design, and is the former deputy editor of ArchitectureBoston.

Kamran ZahediKamran Zahedi

Trustee, BR+A+CE

President, Urbanica, Inc.

Kamran Zahedi is the President of Urbanica Inc. Graduating from MIT in 1980 with a degree in Architecture and Civil Engineering, Kamran made Boston as his home base and began his entreprenuerial ventures at a young age. He traveled up north to work on renovating old mills in New Hampshire. For the past 30 years, by happenstance and by strategy, he has worked on more than a dozen renovations and new-built projects of various scale; each unique with its historical contexts and challenges. Driven by a passion for reimagining a new future for urban living, a penchant for progressive design and a respect for existing context, Kamran has created a niche for transforming and revitalizing living, working and playing spaces in Boston. With great energy, Kamran continues to search for new ideas and inspirations in creating great spaces.



Antonia Better-WirzAntonia Better-Wirz

Advisor, BR+A+CE

ABW Educational Consultants

Trained in early childhood education, Antonia Better-Wirz is an educational consultant and parent advocate for various community organizations in Stamford and Fairfield County. She served on the Board of Stamford Achieves to close the achievement gap in Stamford’s public schools (2013-2016). For over 15 years Ms. Better-Wirz has been an advocate, advisor, and community organizer for low-income families, especially those in the Latino immigrant community. She currently works as an Educational Consultant for All Our Kin in Stamford. All Our Kin trains, supports, and sustains community child care providers to ensure that children and families have the foundation they need to succeed in school and in life.  Antonia is originally from Barranquilla, Colombia, and she speaks fluent Spanish. She has been volunteering for BR+A+CE since its founding and in 2010, she authored Children All Over the World Love Hammocks for the Big Hammock Project.


Griscel DiazGriscel Diaz

Advisor, BR+A+CE

Designer, Tappe Associates

Griscel Diaz is an architect specializing in the design of High End Residential, Medical and Educational spaces. Her interests include cycling, kayaking, hiking, and camping, as well as sewing, repurposing furniture and building things. Her philosophy as a designer is to attempt understand the culture, values and intentions at play in each design problem she is faced with, in order to reach a more appropriate and meaningful solution. Griscel currently holds a B.Arch from the Boston Architectural college.

Elizabeth McLean

Advisor, BR+A+CE

Organizational Development Specialist

Liz McLean is an Organizational Development (OD) specialist with over 15 years of experience designing, managing and implementing complex projects worldwide. Liz has over a decade of experience working globally and spent a good deal of time in Africa. During her 10 years at Management Sciences for Health (MSH), she worked within the Center for Leadership and Management (CLM) building the leadership and management capacity of dozens of NGOs and Ministries of Health in developing countries. She currently teaches a course on Socially Minded Leadership at Simmons College, offers OD consulting, and coaches leaders in the non-profit sector.

Peter Robinson

Advisor, BR+A+CE

Urbanist/ Educator

Peter Robinson currently teaches at Parsons and has held teaching positions at Syracuse University, Cornell University and Barnard College at Columbia University. He was born in Kingston, Jamaica and raised in both Kingston and New York City. Peter received a Bachelors of Architecture degree from Cornell University and a Masters of Science in Architecture and Urban Design from Columbia University. He has worked at a number of noted architectural practices in the areas of design, management and programming, greatly contributing to the successful futures of leading corporate, cultural, religious and academic institutions.



C. Thomas Swaim, Esq., Holland & Knight



Jeanine Dias


About us

Brace is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Brace was founded by artists and designers to create new community spaces that engage social, economic, and cultural issues facing communities around the world.

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