Michael Kovac Founder and Design Partner

Michael was born into an Air Force family in coastal Maine, and his extensive travels as a youngster included long stays in Okinawa, Japan. Early influences – aviation, aircraft, and exposure to non-Western cultures – would later subtly inform his work. Michael’s family eventually settled in Las Vegas, from whence he subsequently escaped to the saner confines of the USC School of Architecture on a Trustee Scholarship.

Early in his career, Michael worked in the office of noted modernist Jerrold Lomax, before founding Kovac Architects (now Kovac Design Studio) in 1988; he soon earned a number of commissions for high end health clubs, commercial spaces, and detail-rich residences. Michael is passionate about design and innovation; not only in architecture, but also in industrial design and lighting. To this end, he is directing the office’s work on a line of lighting for mass production, as well as several pieces of furniture to be available in more limited release. Michael is, as they say, ‘outdoor-sy’, and experimented with just about every outdoor sport REI sells gear for before settling on mountain biking, stand-up paddle-boarding, and downhill skiing. He and wife Karina, a pediatrician, met while trail riding. She keeps his elbows bandaged, and her excellent vegetarian cuisine has moderated his penchant for hot dogs and In-N-Out Burger (or so he claims). They share a love of nature and sustainable living, and moved into Sycamore House, the firm’s first LEED Platinum project, in the Spring of 2010.



  • Michael Kovac read bio
  • Thomas Schneider read bio
  • Studio Directors

  • Chris Trettin
  • Kevin Johnson
  • Robert Hunt III
  • Studio Team

  • Matthew Gill
  • Michael Karp
  • Noelle Kichura
  • Architectural Team

  • Alex Morris
  • Anh Vo
  • Christos Kyratsous
  • David Garnett
  • Emily Hinkamp
  • Erik Yarosh
  • Ioanna Zachariou
  • Joanne Engelhard
  • Justin Li
  • Luiza Kapreliants
  • Lynn Tarbox
  • Michael Jourdanais
  • Riley Snyder
  • Paola Gomez-Pineiro
  • Samuel Kaufman
  • Samantha Mendez