President / Chief Design Officer

Irvine, California

In his dual role as President and Chief Design Officer (CDO), Keith guides the firm’s integrated, design process, which connects building performance and design excellence on every project, regardless of scale or budget. A passionate advocate for the benefits of a research-based, multi-discipline approach, he is helping to lead the national industry’s effort to develop best practices for developing higher performing buildings that better serve people.

At LPA, Keith continues the tradition of having a designer lead the evolution of the firm. He serves as a resource for designers across the practices and studios, striving to bring consistency to every aspect of the design process.

Since joining LPA in 1995, Keith has devoted his career to developing and sharing an integrated design model focused on collaboration, maximizing passive strategies and establishing measurable performance goals on every project. His influence can be found on a wide variety of award-winning corporate and education projects, including the Edwards Lifesciences Campus in Irvine, California; the modernization of the John C. Fremont High School in Los Angeles, California; and the Flight Projects Center at the Jet Propulsion Laboratories in La Canada-Flintridge, California.

Keith is a frequent speaker on the importance of data-driven research and the path to a more sustainable built environment. He serves on the AIA’s National 2030 Commitment Working Group, where he helps other firms meet their sustainability targets. He is also a member of the AIA National Large Firm Roundtable Sustainability Working Group, which is focused on sharing knowledge and developing resources for firms across the U.S.

In 2021, Hempel was elevated to the AIA College of Fellows, recognizing his significant national contributions to the architecture profession.

“We want to deliver the same rigor to every project, day in, day out, regardless of the size or budget, across all our project teams. My role is to help guide the design teams and connect them to the resources that will make their design solutions stronger.”