— Richard Mitchell, Planning Director, Richmond, California
"Opticos is unlike any other consultant I have worked with: They have come up with creative ideas that provide the ‘game changers’ that Richmond needs!"
Innovative. Passionate. Changemakers.
We believe in the transformative power of beautiful, sustainable, walkable communities for all.
Opticos is a team of urban designers, architects, and strategists who can help you find new solutions to the most challenging housing and community issues of our time. How do we build walkable communities that support social, mental and physical health while improving resiliency and promoting equity? How do we foster informed community conversation about local development and provide choice, attainability and affordability in the housing market? How do we help cities evolve, celebrating the existing community and avoiding unwanted gentrification? How do we encourage walkable communities in a car-centered culture?
We are the architects of a movement.
Opticos was founded in 2000 on the belief that walkable places are critical for healthy, resilient and equitable communities. Through that expertise, we introduced the concept of Missing Middle Housing, a transformative idea that highlights the need for diverse, affordable housing options in walkable urban places. In addition, we are leaders in the development of Form-Based Coding, zoning reform needed to make those walkable places a reality. Through our work, we are changing cities, communities and lives.
We are a founding B Corporation, which means we have pledged to run our firm with a focus on social, environmental and economic responsibility: a triple bottom line. This commitment informs everything we do, from the projects we work on to the pencils we use to do the work. And we work hard to practice what we preach – shopping locally, living small and biking, walking or taking transit to work.
Daniel Parolek, Principal and CEO
Karen Parolek, Principal and CFO
Stefan Pellegrini, Principal
Tony Perez, Senior Associate
John Miki, Studio Manager
Mitali Ganguly, Associate
Alexandra Vondeling, Associate
Drew Finke, Associate
Amanda Wiltz, Operations Manager
Megan Jennings, Finance & Risk Manager
Caroline Cochran, Senior Designer
Martin Galindez, Senior Designer
Xenia Alygizou, Senior Designer
Erick Bernabe, Senior Designer
Singeh Saliki, Senior Designer
Joseph Abbamonte, Senior Designer
Roger Foreman, Designer II
Beth Cichon, Designer I
Cal Kurtz, Designer I
Amy Bruhmuller, Finance & Marketing Coordinator
“It was a pleasure working with the staff at Opticos, not only for their experience and knowledge, but also for their creativity, sense of humor when needed, and resilient commitment to ensuring that the best possible final product was achieved despite budgetary limitations. Thank you for a job well done!"
“Opticos played a key role in guiding the Avalon Walnut Creek design team to solutions that bridged the gap between the intent of the community planning charrette, the formal architectural standards and the realities of construction. The end result is a project that the community and project owners can be very proud.”
2020 NAHB Best in American Living™ Platinum Award for Game Changer
Culdesac Tempe: A Car-Free Neighborhood
2020 NAHB Best in American Living™ Judges’ Discretionary Award for Innovative Site and Content Strategies, Multifamily (Development up to 3 Stories, For Rent)
Bungalows On The Lake at Prairie Queen: A Missing Middle Neighborhood
2020 Daniel Burnham Award for a Comprehensive Plan
Memphis 3.0 Comprehensive Plan