SITELAB Founding

Laura Crescimano and Evan Rose founded SITELAB urban studio in 2012, drawing on their years of experience working in intriguing and challenging urban settings. Their vision for SITELAB grew out of their mutual obsessions with recasting urban design as a social practice, beyond simply technical or formal study. SITELAB asks: How can we design our cities and public spaces as places for people — to be inhabited, shaped by use, and thus brought to life?
Together, Laura and Evan built an urban design practice based on their belief in shared valuethat we can create places and processes that bring together communities, individuals, economies, politics, history and context.

From nearly the first daySITELAB hit the ground running with multi-faceted projectsincluding Pier 70 and the 5M Project, and enjoyed collaborations with a range of talented designers, artists,engineers and thinkers. Evan was not one to waste time. Despite a diagnosis of a rare cancer, he worked tirelessly on both coasts, dedicated himself to his students at U. Penn, and was fiercely committed to his family. Evan died on July 13th, 2015, but his family, friends, students, and his work survive him.

Today, propelled by Evan's unwavering optimism, Laura's leadership, and a growing team of inquisitive, thoughtful designers, SITELAB continues Evan’s legacy. Dedicated to the same originating principles, SITELAB embraces the very real contradictions and often competing interests of urban work, while staying focused on the limitless potential by asking, as Evan often did, “What if...?”

Evan Rose (1964-2015)

A designer, thinker, observer, artist, and teacher, Evan Rose’s 25+ year career provides a legacy in cities across the US and world. For Evan, it wasn’t just that the glass was half full — it was as if the half empty part of the glass represented an even more fascinating aspect of life to be discovered.

Describing Evan, Marilyn Jordan Taylor, Dean of Penn’s School of Design wrote, “Evan Rose was the smartest urban designer I will ever know.  He knew where urban design came from and, far more than the rest of us, where it had to go. His commitment to exploring the 21st century public realm, with its diversity, technology, and edge, defined his works and his teaching.”


John King, in an obituary published in the San Francisco Chronicle wrote, “Where other planners take a bureaucratic approach to their job, content to enforce the rules, Mr. Rose saw his job as a way to enhance the pleasures of everyday life…”

His sketches and words, exhibited and published as “Urbanologies,” in 2005, put to paper what we all love in our Cities.

Evan Rose co-founded SITELAB urban studio with Laura Crescimano in 2012. His 25+ year career provides a legacy in cities across the US and world. SITELAB is proud to continue in his honor. 

After earning his BA at Reed College and Master in Architecture at UC Berkeley, Evan started his career at the San Francisco Planning Department, writing the award-winning San Francisco Waterfront Urban Design and Access Plan; as well as initiating and implementing San Francisco's acclaimed Downtown Streetscape Plan.

In private practice, Evan led a wide range of distinguished and challenging commissions throughout his career, including the Pier 70 project in San Francisco, the Anacostia Waterfront Initiative and Poplar Point Plans in Washington, DC, the Sayreville Waterfront Redevelopment, the Brooklyn Piers Plan, the Boston Central Artery Master Plan, the Willamette River Concept Plan, the Mission Bay Plan, the Port of Los Angeles Framework Plan, the St. Louis Downtown and Riverfront Plan, the new town of Southfield, Massachusetts, and the Bi Village Greenbille and Kamenskoe Plato projects in Kazakhstan. Evan also led Urban Design Plus, a New York-based practice, and was previously a Principal at SMWM where he led the urban design practice, alongside Karen Alschuler, for 11 years and established the New York office. This work earned SMWM™s successor firm, Perkins+Will, the APA™s 2015 National Planning Excellence Award for a Planning Firm. 

Alongside professional practice, Evan was a Professor of Practice in City and Regional Planning at the University of Pennsylvania School of Design where he was awarded the G Holmes Perkins Award for Distinguished Teaching. He served as a Board member for the SFAIA and the California Council of the AIA, president of the SFMOMA Architecture & Design Forum, board member of SFMOMA's Board of Directors, and a regular critic for architecture and urban design studios at MIT, SCI-ARC, UCLA, CCA, Stanford, GSAPP, and UC Berkeley.