Cynthia Correia (Department Head)
Cynthia Correia graduated from San Diego State University with a B.A. in Art. She is an accomplished furniture and lighting designer. After graduation she intended to become an art professor but her path was diverted by an interest in home design and building. Cynthia worked as a Design / Build General Contractor specializing in kitchens and Bathrooms in the bay area for 16 years. As a hobby she later became a developer, re-designing renovated homes in the East Bay. As a partner with 20/20 Builders, she won awards on these projects from the AIA. Some of her projects were featured in the S.F Chronicle.
Cynthia Correia is currently a professor of Carpentry and Construction Management at Laney College in Oakland California. She has been the Department Chair for the Carpentry department for the last 28 years. Cynthia has training in Passive house principals, RRP, BPI, Weatherization, Green Building and Sustainability. Currently she is developing curriculum and certificates in Advanced Manufacturing and Digital Fabrication for the construction industry. She was instrumental in the creation of a FabLab at Laney College. She has taught building of Tiny Homes and was a faculty mentor for the SMUD (Sacramento Municipal Utility District) Net zero Tiny Home Competition between Colleges and Universities in the State of California. Laney College won awards for Best Architecture and Design/Construction for their 200 square foot entry “The Wedge” in October of 2016. The Carpentry Department currently is working on a grant from the City of Oakland to design and produce 2 tiny house prototypes to house the homeless.
Cynthia has been building affordable housing with the Carpentry Department in a partnership with the City of Oakland and the Oakland Rotary for the last 28 years and completed the building of the first Passive house in Oakland, Ca. in 2016. She enjoys roaming the Makers faire and is always searching for creative pathways to contextualize education using creativity, design and building innovation.
Matt has a design/build background and is particularly interested in applying design, construction and education towards social responsibility. After completing undergraduate work at The Evergreen State College, Matt went on to work with a variety of nonprofits and organizations that combine hand craft with a social mission, including a fellowship with Designcorps in Mississippi building relief structures after hurricane Katrina and an apprenticeship at Yestermorrow Design/Build School in Vermont. Matt moved out to the bay area to work as a studio manager at The Crucible in Oakland, where he still teaches classes. Matt also co-authored the book ‘Reinventing the Chicken Coop.’ Currently, in addition to teaching at Laney, Matt is a Design Specialist at UC Berkeley’s Jacobs Institute for Design Innovation and is the founder of PRACTICE Community Design/Build in Oakland CA.