Studio
Our multi-disciplinary team of architects, designers, engineers and technologists work to synthesize elegant solutions, resolving complex problems.
Profile
Founded in 2002, Fluidity Design Consultants is a leading, Los Angeles-based water feature design and engineering firm with an international practice. Fluidity’s work has been recognized for its creativity and design excellence through numerous awards, competition successes, publications, speaking engagements and repeat clientele. The firm collaborates with many of the world’s most respected architects, landscape architects, institutions and real estate developers in the realization of water features for a variety of significant and delightful places.

The company is staffed by a highly experienced team of architects, landscape architects, designers and engineers, led by founding principal James Garland AIA. The abilities of Fluidity’s staff of approximately twenty professionals covers imaginative water expression, urban space design, architectural detailing, theatrical lighting design, art history, systems engineering, and advanced computer controls. Fluidity’s internal, multidisciplinary culture of co-creativity and apprenticeship learning is managed to benefit the firm’s projects, staff development, and the water design profession, at large.

Critical to our success is our unique, ongoing study of historical precedents, motion design theory, and our virtual and physical mockups. Together, they inform Fluidity’s contemporary approach to water design, where creativity is prioritized over perfectionism and contextual sympathy is balanced with universal truths.

Over the past twenty years, Fluidity has completed the designs and overseen the construction of nearly 200 large-format water features. Fluidity’s completed projects are mostly located in North America, the Middle East, and Asia, although the firm has also worked in Europe and South America.
Team
The firm is comprised of an interdisciplinary team of architects, engineers, designers, artists and trade professionals, many of whom have practiced at Fluidity for over a decade.
JIM GARLAND AIA, NCARB, Hon ASLA  
President, Founder, Design Director

James A Garland founded Fluidity Design Consultants in 2002 after twenty years of practice in water design, architecture and urbanism. 

Jim began consulting to a large water design company in 1986, while maintaining a private practice and teaching Architecture at the university level. By 1994, Jim had concentrated all his professional time to water design. His major projects during this period included Canal City Hakata (Fukuoka, Japan), Al Faisaliah (Riyadh, Saudi Arabia), Lisbon Expo ‘98 (Lisbon, Portugal), the Burj Al Arab (Dubai, UAE) and Water Tower Place (Chicago, IL). Jim also led the designs for numerous other water feature projects in Europe, the Middle East, Asia and North America. In 1999, Jim left water design to return to practicing architecture and urban design at the Jerde Partnership, where he stayed for three years.

In 2002, Jim established Fluidity to create a new generation of water features conceived, crafted, and engineered for a more sustainable century with a fresh, invigorating aesthetic. Jim’s work in such projects as the Hearst Building (New York City, NY), Roppongi Hills (Tokyo, Japan), the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York City, NY), Myriad Gardens (Oklahoma City, MI), Longwood Gardens (Kennett Square, PA), Tongva Park (Santa Monica, CA), Eskenazi Health Center (Indianapolis, IN), and the Nancy Best Fountain (Dallas, TX), are all examples of Fluidity’s advanced design initiative.

Jim Garland holds a Masters degree in Architecture from UCLA, with a focus in architectural design and urban design. His undergraduate degree, also in architecture, was obtained from the University of Louisiana. Jim interned at Urban Innovations Group under Charles W. Moore, FAIA, an internationally celebrated architect and professor, who was known, among many things, for his enthusiastic and skillful use of water in architecture. In 2020, Jim was awarded an honorary PhD for his career in advancing the profession of water design.

Jim is licensed to practice architecture in twenty-three states and the District of Columbia. He has lectured at Harvard University, London’s Architectural Association and the American Academy in Rome. In 1998, two of his sketchbooks were selected for exhibition at the Smithsonian Institute’s National Design Museum. Concurrently with directing Fluidity’s design efforts, Jim is writing a book covering the history of fountains, viewed through case study examinations of the best examples, worldwide.

JIM GARLAND AIA, NCARB, Hon ASLA  
President, Founder, Design Director
TOM YANKELITIS
Vice President, Founder

Tom Yankelitis has spent his entire professional career in water design—over twenty-five years, after obtaining a Bachelor of Architecture degree from Woodbury University, in Los Angeles. While a university student, Tom began working on water feature projects with Jim Garland. Over his six years with a previous water design firm, Tom served as a water feature designer, choreographer, and as a studio Design Manager. In 2002, Tom joined Jim in the establishment of Fluidity. 

Today, Tom directs Operations, and works in various senior positions, analyzing and developing projects, brainstorming ideas, counseling water design teams and their programming of water features on sites around the world. Additionally, Tom directs the studio’s facility and technology needs, overseeing IT, mock-ups, and testing of special products. Tom’s major projects include: Hearst Building (New York, NY), Segerstrom Center for the Arts (Irvine, California), Dubai Festival City (Dubai, UAE), Shelby Farms (Memphis, Tennessee), Franklin Square (Philadelphia, PA), Torre Manacar (Mexico City, Mexico), Friendship Fountain (Jacksonville, FL), the Houston Decorative Center (Houston, Texas), Square 487 and the Federal Reserve Board, both in (Washington, DC).

TOM YANKELITIS
Vice President, Founder
KAREN ADHIKARI LEED AP
Principal, Studio Director

Karen Adhikari, a top-level Fluidity Principal and broadly experienced water designer, joined the company in 2005. She began her professional career as an architect and landscape architect for various firms in Asia, Europe and Africa before settling in the United States working for Walt Disney Imagineering, Watermark Design Associates, and Fluidity.

Karen has led the creation of many of Fluidity’s signature projects, guiding projects through both the design and the construction processes. She has completed a wide variety of projects around the world, managing her division of Fluidity’s team of designers, liaising with clients, coordinating with consultant team members, and implementing aesthetic and technical quality controls for every water feature. Karen’s major projects include Longwood Gardens (Kennett Square, PA), the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, NY), Klyde Warren Park (Dallas, TX), Myriad Gardens (Oklahoma City, MI), KL118 Linear Park (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia), Signature Place (St. Petersburg, FL), Scottsdale Quarter (Scottsdale, AZ), Sundance Square (Fort Worth, TX), Peavey Plaza (Minneapolis, MN), SoFi Stadium (Los Angeles, CA), Century City Plaza (Los Angeles, CA), Dubai Festival City (Dubai, UAE) and the Omaha Riverfront Revitalization’s Gene Leahy Mall (Omaha, NE).

KAREN ADHIKARI LEED AP
Principal, Studio Director
John Perry
Emeritus Engineering Director

JohnPerry has been a central participant in Fluidity since 2003. In his current role, John advises Fluidity’s engineering group while contributing to special studies for the studio’s most challenging water feature concerns. John’s responsibilities include engineering analysis, staff development, mechanical, electrical, and controls systems review, and construction commissioning consultation. John’s nearly thirty years of experience in water engineering contributes significantly to Fluidity’s standards of quality. 

Prior to joining Fluidity in 2003, John spent several years with a large water design firm, where he served as Project Electrical Engineer for numerous projects, including the Fountains of Bellagio in Las Vegas. John’s projects with Fluidity have included Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, NY), Longwood Gardens(Kennett Square, PA), Dubai Festival City (Dubai, UAE), Cairo Festival City(Cairo, Egypt), Madinaty (Cairo, Egypt), Klyde Warren Park (Dallas, Texas),Myriad Gardens (Oklahoma City, MI), Eskenazi Hospital (Indianapolis, IN), Tongva Park (Santa Monica, CA), The Index Building (Dubai, UAE), ScottsdaleQuarter (Phoenix, AZ), and Wyatt Square (Houston, TX).

John Perry
Emeritus Engineering Director
DOLLY WISCO RA
Associate Principal

Dolly Wisco joined Fluidity’s team in 2003 after obtaining her Bachelors of Fine Arts in Environmental Design from Otis College of Art and Design. After six years with Fluidity, Dolly returned to academia for a Masters of Architecture from the University of Illinois at Chicago, obtained in 2011. Dolly returned to Los Angeles, worked in architecture for one year, then rejoined Fluidity. In 2015, she became a licensed architect in the State of California, and in 2018, Dolly was elevated to the level of Associate Principal.

During her time at Fluidity, Dolly has served as project director, project designer, water choreographer and onsite construction coordinator for many of Fluidity’s projects, domestically and abroad, including a significant period of time spent in Dubai. Dolly works closely with Jim Garland and Tom Yankelitis in the creation and development of water feature designs and their constructions. Her commitment to advancing the field of water design is an integral part of Fluidity’s design methodology. Dolly is currently the lead Principal working in BIM and delivering water feature projects in Revit.

DOLLY WISCO RA
Associate Principal
CHINMOY PANIGRAHY
Associate Principal

Chinmoy Panigrahy earned his Bachelor’s degree in Architecture from Iowa State University in 2004. He began his architecture career in Southern California focusing on medium-scale civic and commercial projects, together with high-end, modern, single-family houses before joining Fluidity in 2008. As Associate Principal, Chinmoy works closely with the firm’s engineers and design principals, focusing his fifteen years of water feature expertise on crafting drawings packages and administering to construction. Chinmoy has extensive experience researching materials and assemblies, visiting project sites, and resolving construction issues.

Chinmoy’s major projects have been among Fluidity’s most complex, including Myriad Gardens (Oklahoma City, OK), The Sidney & Lois Eskenazi Health Center (Indianapolis, IN), Tongva Park (Santa Monica, CA), World One (Mumbai, India), Cleveland Public Square (Cleveland, OH), Segerstrom Center for the Arts (Irvine, CA), and recently, The Sandy Hook Permanent Memorial (Sandy Hook, CT).

CHINMOY PANIGRAHY
Associate Principal
DEBBIE JALOMA
Client Relations

Debbie Jaloma focuses on identifying potential projects, bringing in new business opportunities, proposals and contract negotiation, and maintaining relationships with new and existing clients. Debbie is responsible for expanding Fluidity’s portfolio both domestically and worldwide, with a concentration on projects in Latin America. Debbie comes to Fluidity from a large Los Angeles-based water feature design firm where she was a key participant in securing major projects including Baha Mar in the Bahamas, The Grove at Farmer’s Market in Los Angeles, Denver City Park, Detroit Metro Airport and Kansas City Union Station. Her prior positions include Director of Business Development at ResortCom International (San Diego, CA) and Director of Business Development with Interval International (Miami, FL), She is fluent in Spanish and is a graduate of the University of Southern California.

DEBBIE JALOMA
Client Relations
ALYCE TORREZ
Designer

In 2018, Alyce Torrez earned her Master of Architecture degree from Kansas State University, where she also performed special studies in printmaking, metal smithing, and landscape theory. After graduation, her interest in water expression and design led her to Fluidity. Alyce contributes to projects across all of the design and construction phases. She produces ideas, diagrams, 3-D models, perspective renderings, preliminary design studies, details development, construction drawings, and field commissioning. Notably, Alyce is one of Fluidity’s water feature choreographers. In 2022, she developed six water feature choreographies for the innovative and complex, Nancy Best Fountain, at Klyde Warren Park, in Dallas, Texas.

ALYCE TORREZ
Designer
ANDRES STELL
BIM Manager

Andres Stell earned a BS in Architecture from the University of Virginia in 2000. Following his graduation, he worked with Perkowitz + Ruth Architects in Long Beach, CA, and then with MSTSD in Atlanta on retail projects. In 2005, he pursued a Master’s in Architecture from Georgia Institute of Technology. After earning the degree, Andres worked with Perkins + Will on complex science and technology projects, such as the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility. While there, he helped transition the office’s projects from Autocad to Revit. He also managed the coordination of the BIM models with outside consultants. 

Today, Andres is Fluidity’s in-house BIM Manager, setting up projects, training staff in Revit, and working with outside project teams through the design and construction processes. His major projects with Fluidity include Federal Reserve Board (Washington, DC), Riyadh BP06 and BP07 (Riyadh, KSA), the Salk Institute (La Jolla, CA), One Beverly Hills (Beverly Hills, CA), Desert Storm Memorial (Washington, DC), West Palm Point (Miami, FL), Andres is passionate about sustainable design and strives to design beautiful places closely tied to nature.

ANDRES STELL
BIM Manager
CARMINE GENTILE
Engineer

Carmine Gentile joined the engineering team at Fluidity in 2019. Prior to joining Fluidity, Carmine studied mechanical engineering at Syracuse University and worked in a variety of engineering disciplines, where he was able to develop his technical knowledge and field experience. Carmine’s responsibilities at Fluidity include concept analysis, infrastructure engineering surveys, mechanical and electrical systems engineering, construction cost estimating, and field work, including commissioning. Working closely with project team water designers, architects, engineers, contractors, and owners, Carmine’s involvement in each project contributes to each step of the realization process. Carmine’s major projects include the NFL’s Media Center (Los Angeles, CA), College of the Desert (Palm Desert, CA), St. Pierre Residence (Los Angeles, CA), and The Sandy Hook Permanent Memorial (Sandy Hook, CN).

CARMINE GENTILE
Engineer
CRISTINA CALISTRU
Project Designer

Cristina Calistru plays an integral role in the development of the innovative concepts that distinguish Fluidity’s work through her visualization abilities and by drawing influence from her extensive travels to cultural and historical landmarks around the world. Prior to joining Fluidity, Cristina developed her career and studies in art, architecture and building science in various countries in Europe and the United States, joining Fluidity in 2017. Her project work has involved collaborating with numerous, highly regarded design practices, including James Corner Field Operations, SWA, RIOS, Coen+Partners, Studio MLA, and Foster + Partners. Cristina is skilled in Rhino, Illustrator, PhotoShop and Revit in the development of articulate 3D design studies, finely finished illustrations, and concise construction details. Cristina’s major projects include Federal Reserve Board (Washington DC), NOOR (Cairo, Egypt), H18C (Hong Kong, China), Newfields (Indiana, IN), Miami Federal Courthouse (Miami, FL), Hellinikon Park (Athens, Greece), and the Nancy Best Fountain (Dallas, TX).

CRISTINA CALISTRU
Project Designer
JOSHUA SOMMERS
Project Designer

Joshua studied architecture at the University of Southern California, where he received his Bachelor’s degree in 2014. He pursued a variety of architectural specializations during and after his studies before his special focus in historic preservation. As an architectural designer and researcher, Joshua worked for five years preserving architectural history in Los Angeles, while enhancing the constructions to align with contemporary design and construction standards. In 2018, Joshua brought his eclectic knowledge to the design team at Fluidity. He works closely with Jim Garland and Karen Adhikari in his role as project leader, working to develop Fluidity’s design concepts into mature realizations, while guiding the process such that the projects stay true to the purity of their original intent, analogously to his foundation in historic architecture preservation. Josh’s major projects at Fluidity have included The Nancy Best Fountain (Dallas, TX), the Moncus Park Acadiana Swamp fountain (Lafayette, LA), Downtown Palm Springs Park (Palm Springs, CA), AT&T Headquarters (Dallas, TX), Fair Park (Dallas, TX), and Hellinikon Park (Athens, Greece).

JOSHUA SOMMERS
Project Designer
KEGAN MCGURK
Senior Project Designer / Creative Technologist

Kegan McGurk is a Belgian-American artist and animator who has shown work internationally. He received his training at The California Institute of the Arts and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He has worked in art, architecture, CG animation, software development, live animation, and non-traditional forms of motion and choreography. Kegan joined Fluidity in 2011, and has been involved in nearly all of the firm’s projects, developing creative motion ideas and design concepts, while handling animations, renderings, and on-site programming, as well as specialty in-house software development. Kegan also resolves complex controls problems during water feature commissioning. Some examples of his work with Fluidity can be seen in front of The Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, NY), Cairo Festival City (Cairo, Egypt), City Place Doral (Miami, FL), Segerstrom Center for the Arts (Irvine, CA), Dallas Fair Park (Dallas, TX), Navy Pier (Chicago, IL), Longwood Gardens (Kennett Square, PA), and the Nancy Best Fountain at Klyde Warren Park (Dallas, TX).

KEGAN MCGURK
Senior Project Designer / Creative Technologist
LINGLING DAI
Controller

Lingling joined Fluidity in 2013 after initiating a distinguished career as an accountant for various firms including JD Rush, Triton Imaging, Pilot International, and Sichuan Hengyuan Technology Development Col, Ltd. Lingling received her Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Ocean University of Qingdao in 2000, and her Master of Arts in Economics and Finance in 2004 from Brandeis University. At Fluidity, Lingling keeps the company’s books, processes invoices and payments, manages payroll, benefits, insurance and human resources. Linging and works with the studio’s project managers on project performance analysis and she advises the firm’s leadership regarding general financial strategy. 

LINGLING DAI
Controller
MEGAN BRICKWOOD
Studio Manager

Megan Brickwood graduated with honors from UCLA in 2012, with a BA in English. After graduating, she worked in a variety of fields including editorial and print, music, and sales. She joined the Fluidity team as Studio Manager in 2018. In her role at Fluidity, Megan manages the studio’s daily operations, scheduling, and travel, and assists with staff management, human resources, and accounting. She works directly with Jim Garland in the administrative aspect of the studio and supports Fluidity’s marketing efforts.

MEGAN BRICKWOOD
Studio Manager
NICK ACURI AIA
Senior Designer

Nick Arcuri joined Fluidity in 2022 as a Senior Designer. He works closely with the firm’s design principals and engineers, focusing on design development, construction documents and construction administration. At Fluidity, Nick’s project experiences have included technical design for the Federal Reserve Board (Washington DC), commissioning and choreography direction for Moncus Park (Lafayette, LA), concept development for Bay Shores (Sarasota FL), and technical design for H18C (Hong Kong, China). Previously, Nick worked on healthcare, education, municipal and aviation projects as an architect and designer for a commercial architecture firm in Lafayette, LA. Nick is a licensed architect in the State of Louisiana and has spent time working on the State and local AIA Boards. He graduated from the University of Louisiana with a Master of Architecture in 2016. He also holds a Bachelor of General Studies, concentrating in arts and humanities from the same university, where he focused his curriculum in metalworking, blacksmithing and furniture building.

NICK ACURI AIA
Senior Designer
RON SCHAFER AIA
Senior Project Designer

Ron joined Fluidity in 2017 with more than 25 years of multi-disciplinary experience in water feature design, architecture and urban planning. Ron holds a Bachelor of Architecture degree from the University of Louisiana and is a licensed architect in California and Louisiana. As a Senior Project Designer at Fluidity, Ron works to create exceptional water experiences, preparing design studies and leading design teams through the design and construction phases. His major projects include Lucas Museum of Narrative Art (Los Angeles, CA), Franklin Park (Washington D.C.), Downtown Cary Park (Town of Cary, NC), and the Nancy Best Fountain (Dallas, TX). Ron previously worked for a large water design company, where he designed and choreographed water features around the world, including Bugis Junction (Singapore), Canal City Hakata (Fukuoka, Japan), the Rose Garden Arena (Portland, Oregon), the Mirage Volcano (Las Vegas, NV), and the Fountains of Bellagio.

RON SCHAFER AIA
Senior Project Designer
Valorie Born
Client Relations Consultant

For 20 years, Valorie Born has helped grow Fluidity’s influence and reach.  Initially an employee and now a consultant, Valorie introduces Fluidity to new design collaborators, nationwide.  Her contributions are many, predominately centered around fostering relationships with leading landscape architects. Her passion for cities and the role public realms play in daily life and building urban community have led to ongoing, successful collaborations with James CornerField Operations, OLIN, SCAPE, Hoerr Schaudt, Nelson Byrd Woltz, OJB and more.  In addition to growing Fluidity’s network, she works with staff on strategic marketing initiatives and securing public speaking engagements for Jim Garland.

 

 

Valorie Born
Client Relations Consultant
YIBO QI
Engineer

Yibo Qi earned her Master degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Washington in 2016, after obtaining her undergraduate degree, which is also in Engineering. She has worked as a consulting engineer for various firms in the US before joining Fluidity in 2019. Yibo is a LEED accredited professional and a registered Professional Mechanical Engineer in the State of California. Yibo is responsible for the conceptualization and engineering of Fluidity’s plumbing and electrical systems, working on projects through the full course of their activity in the studio and the field. Yibo coordinates closely with Fluidity’s design team and various outside engineering and construction entities, responding nimbly to the numerous questions and changes that take place in the fast-paced workstyle which characterizes contemporary practice. Yibo Qi has engineered many of Fluidity’s recent projects, including the particularly complex, Nancy Best Fountain (Dallas, TX). Yibo also engineered the water features for Downtown Cary Park (Cary, NC), Moncus Park (Lafayette, LA), Hellinikon Park (Athens, Greece), NOOR (Cairo, Egypt), and H18C (Hong Kong, China).

YIBO QI
Engineer
Co-Creativity