121 Center Street
Portland, ME 04101
Chelina Odbert is cofounder and executive director at Kounkuey Design Initiative (KDI). She believes in the potential of low-cost, high-impact design interventions to improve the physical, economic, and social quality of life in low-income communities. Chelina’s experience and expertise cover a range of topics from leadership, participatory planning, and social entrepreneurship to urban development, environmental remediation, and social impact design. She has lectured and written about KDI’s community-engaged approach to planning in the United States and abroad, and has been recognized by the Van Alen Institute, American Express, and the Aspen Institute.
Chelina holds a bachelor of arts from Claremont McKenna College, where she graduated with magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa honors. She received her Master of Urban Planning from Harvard University.
Jennifer Toy is cofounder and design director at Kounkuey Design Initiative (KDI). Trained in landscape architecture and urban planning, Jennifer has committed her career to participatory design and development in places where good design is not often found. She provides the design vision for KDI’s work in LA and leads the built work projects with a focus on process, constructability, and project delivery. Her diverse project experience ranges from regional planning, park design, and habitat creation, to tactical urbanism, graphic identity, and public space management. She teaches, writes and lectures about KDI’s work throughout the United States.
Prior to joining KDI, she worked at the offices of OLIN, Reed Hilderbrand, and Sasaki. Jennifer holds a Bachelor of Arts in history and science, and a Master of Urban Planning and Master of Landscape Architecture from Harvard University.
What is your favorite meal of the day?
Odbert: All three
What talent would you most like to have?
Toy: Rock singer
Odbert: Gospel singer
What was your first job?
Toy: Playing violin at the farmer’s market.
Which president would you like to meet?