Jeff Funovits Joins Populous to Lead Campus Planning Practice, Open Pittsburgh Office

October 15, 2015

KANSAS CITY, MO. – Jeff Funovits has joined global design firm Populous to lead the firm’s campus planning practice.  He will open a new Pittsburgh office focused on campus planning as part of the firm’s continued growth. The addition comes after a number of milestones, including strategic hires, office additions on the West Coast (San Francisco) and in the Northeast (Boston), the acquisition of internationally recognized and award-winning brand and interior design firm Jump Studio in January and a move to a new global headquarters in Kansas City’s Country Club Plaza district this month.

“The campus planning market is a natural extension of our brand promise of creating the places where people love to be together,” said Earl Santee, Populous Americas Managing Director.  “Our firm is based on understanding the experiences every customer, student, fan, recruit, alumni, athlete and professor has as he or she enjoys the places we create. From doorstep to doorstep, we study every moment to ensure the experience they have is the best it can be. By focusing more broadly than programming and building functionality, we will help campuses enjoy greater success than they ever dreamed possible.”

Funovits has more than 25 years of experience working with a diverse client base that includes universities, developers, institutions and government agencies, including Ohio State University, the University of Massachusetts Amherst and University of Dayton, to deliver master plans that have shaped campus and cities throughout the United States.  He was chosen after a one year search to find the most innovative, leading campus planner in America.

Populous has worked on more than 120 university campuses, designing memorable experiences that have transformed campus life at places like Baylor University, Texas A&M University and Rutgers University.  With experience working on complex collegiate athletic master plans and designing a variety of athletic training, competition and student-life facilities, the firm’s body of work will complement Funovits’ portfolio.

Funovits’ expertise further strengthens Populous’ robust integrated planning practice, which includes master planning, landscape architecture and urban planning services in offices in Kansas City, Denver and San Francisco. His leadership in campus planning is driven by his approach to evidence-based planning – layering campus culture and student, faculty and alumni experience on top of research and data-driven design. Funovits is also known for his interactive approach to campus planning. He has used social media and technology to engage all stakeholders in developing a master plan that is flexible, mobile and intuitive – a truly living document.

“We’re bringing a fresh, new approach to campus planning founded on Populous’ philosophy of creating great cities, campuses and communities,” Funovits said. “Focusing on the individual moments that create memories, we will help campuses entice recruits, build their brand and ensure a long-term return on their infrastructure investment.”

“For Populous, this is a natural evolution of our firm and our expertise,” said Santee. “We have been looking for the right people – the people who will strengthen our practice and help build a bold future for the firm. Along with the  additions of Boston and San Francisco offices in 2014, Funovits’ leadership in the Pittsburgh office will allow us to strengthen our national reach which rests on hiring the most talented people.”

To learn more about Populous’ planning practice, visit


About Populous

At Populous, we believe in creating environments that draw people and communities together for unforgettable experiences. In the world’s top cities and on more than 120 university campuses we have designed more than 2,000 projects worth $30 billion. Our designs for places like Yankee Stadium, the London Olympic Games, Baylor University’s McLane Stadium and the Phoenix Convention Center have created emotional connections between people and the civic sports and entertainment places and events they love best. The top communities entrust Populous to help build their brands through design.

Our unrivaled knowledge – both visionary and technical – is unveiled through comprehensive planning and design services with experiential design at the core. Our focus includes not just the individual buildings that define a community, such as sports architecture, conference and exhibition center architecture or aviation design, but also the urban fabric that weaves these buildings together.  We offer architecture, interior design, environmental graphics and wayfinding, event planning and overlay, master planning urban planning and sustainable design consulting from offices on four continents, with primary locations in San Francisco, Denver, Kansas City, Boston, Pittsburgh, London and Brisbane. We have been recognized 200 times over with global design awards, including three national American Institute of Architects awards. We also have been listed three times as one of Fast Company magazine’s most innovative companies. Every community has a story to tell – it is our mission to give life to those stories through design. We are the people who create the places where communities unite. We are Populous.


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