LDG is comprised of design professionals with backgrounds in architecture, environmental design, and wetland ecology
photo by: daniel gutierrez
Living Designs Group Florida Architects, Inc. (LDG), is a family business based in Lake Worth Beach, Florida. LDG is a tenacious Architecture team, providing consulting and integrated architectural design services to local, regional, national and international clients. With over 40 years of accumulated experience in Florida, 10 years in New Mexico, and 5 years in New England, we provide dynamic design solutions which reflect innovative and diverse applications of natural systems and materials.
FOUNDER + PRINCIPALS
photos by : JA photography
JOHN W. SZERDI
Architect, LEED AP
Originally from Perth Amboy, New Jersey, John W. Szerdi moved to Wilton Manors, Florida in 1963. After graduating with his AA in 1972 from Broward Community College, he went on to receive a BA (’75) and MA (’77) in Architecture from the University of Florida (UF). He taught Architecture and Structures at UF as a graduate assistant from 1975-77 and taught at Broward Community College from 1980-1998 (serving as department head from 1985-1998). John worked at a Fort Lauderdale-based firm before founding his own design / build practice, Szerdi and Associates in 1981. He specialized in waterfront residential projects in Fort Lauderdale until moving to Taos, NM as a partner to form Dharma Living Systems in 1998. While practicing in New Mexico, John developed extensive experience integrating Living Machine™ technology and other natural energy and water systems in diverse environmental project applications for distinctive image and branding benefits including the El Monte Sagrado Resort (Taos, NM), Angel Fire Resort (Angel Fire, NM), Sundy House Resort (Delray Beach, FL), EcoPlex Office Building (West Palm Beach, FL), and Yaxche School (Taos NM).
After 7 years in Taos, John relocated his practice back to Florida. He became an Architecture Adjunct Professor at Florida Atlantic University in 2006 and is currently an Assistant Professor at Indian River State College since 2011. He has been a featured lecturer at numerous Green Building Conferences and National Professional Association Conventions. John not only holds a license to practice architecture in the state of Florida since 1979 - he is a licensed General Contractor in Florida since 1977. He is the founder and current President of LDG Florida Architects, Inc., based in Lake Worth Beach, Fl.
In addition to his design and construction background, John is an avid offshore fisherman and has developed a fishing lure prototype called the Z-lure, inspired by the characteristics of the classic cedar plug.
JOELLE SZERDI GUTIERREZ
Lead Designer, Project Manager
Born in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, Joelle Szerdi Gutierrez studied at the University of Florida (UF) where she received a Bachelor of Design in Architecture with honors in 2009. During her first years at UF, Joelle worked in Boynton Beach, Florida as an architectural intern during the summers and studied abroad at the Vicenza Institute of Architecture in Italy for a fall term. She taught at UF as a Graduate Teaching Assistant for Architectural Design 1- 2 and was awarded a scholarship to study abroad at the Preservation Institute: Caribbean in Guadalajara, Mexico. She graduated from UF in 2011 with a Master of Architecture, a Concentration and Certificate in Sustainable Architecture, and a Graduate Academic Achievement Award.
After completing her Master’s degree, Joelle moved to New York where she worked for H.T.O. Architect, a Manhattan based firm specializing in high-rise residential, commercial, and mixed-use buildings. In 2013, Joelle moved to Boston and joined Oudens Ello Architecture where she worked on various academic, cultural, and institutional projects. In addition to being part of numerous project teams, she was the Project Manager for the Eastham Public Library, managing the construction administration and interior design of the 18,000 sf library in Cape Cod.
In the summer of 2016, Joelle relocated to Lake Worth, Florida and became a Principal at LDG, joining her husband Dany Gutierrez and father, John Szerdi. She was also an Adjunct Professor at Indian River State College until 2018, teaching Architectural History and Digital Architecture. Joelle can often be found painting in the studio of her 1950 Lake Worth Beach home.
DANY A. GUTIERREZ
Lead Designer, Project Manager
Born in Mendoza, Argentina, Dany Gutierrez migrated with his family to Orlando, Florida when he was 12 years old. While attending an Engineering Science and Technology high school magnet program, he completed the last two years as full time dual enrollment student at Valencia Community College. In 2007, he graduated high school at the same time as receiving an Associate of Arts degree in Architecture. Thereafter, he transferred as a junior into the University of Florida Architecture Program where he graduated with honors in 2009 to receive a Bachelor of Design in Architecture. Dany also studied abroad for four months as part of the VIA program based in Vicenza, Italy. Continuing at UF, he completed his Master’s of Architecture degree with a certificate in Sustainable Design in 2011.
For the next 5 years, Dany worked in Boston, Massachusetts for the renowned architecture firm, Machado Silvetti. There he was part of the design team for numerous projects and design competitions of multiple scales and programs such as Kuala Lumpur TRX Master Plan, the Vietnamese German University Campus, and the Pomona College Museum of Art. From intern to project manager he developed a keen eye for design and experience being part of complex project teams.
In 2016, Dany relocated to Lake Worth, Florida together with his wife, Joelle to join as a Principal at LDG where he’s an integral part of the preliminary design through construction administration process of each project. Dany is not only a zealous fisherman and furniture builder but, is a musician; he plays the acoustic guitar and ukulele.
In 1981, John W. Szerdi founded and was president of the original firm Szerdi and Associates for over 18 years. Located on Las Olas Boulevard in downtown Fort Lauderdale our work focused on custom waterfront residences in south Florida.
In 1998, John partnered to form Dharma Living Systems as president of the design/build firm. Working in both Florida and New Mexico led to a diversification of project types which included hospitality and commercial buildings with a strong focus on sustainable and environmental design.
In 2003, the firm was renamed Living Designs Group and re-established as Living Designs Group Florida Architects, Inc. in 2005. With over 25 years of experience in a variety of project types, LDG also provides consulting services on larger scale projects such as city master plans and major development proposals on the east coast of Florida.
In 2016, Joelle Szerdi and Dany Gutierrez joined the office as principals fusing the expertise with vigor, creating a dynamic team that continues to produce design solutions for various types and scales of projects.
Photo of founder and president, John Szerdi with the late Dave Thomas in front of his property; Szerdi and Associates designed a 12,000 sf home as a personal resort for Mr. and Mrs. Thomas
Photo of John Szerdi on site at one of our Fort Lauderdale waterfront residential projects under construction in the early 1980's
Photo of principals, Joelle Szerdi Gutierrez and Dany Gutierrez at the LDG office in downtown Lake Worth Beach, Fl
Photo of Curly, the LDG office mascot and treat requester
- "Superior Performance, Unending Dedication and Outstanding Leadership", U.S. Green Building Council South Florida Chapter Board of Directors, 2010 -2011
- “Outstanding Leadership and Dedication” to Chair member, U.S. Green Building Council South Treasure Coast - Palm Beach Branch, 2009-2010
- “Integrating Ecosystems as Green Infrastructure”, John W. Szerdi, Florida Engineering Society Journal, March 2009
- Founding Member of Destiny, America’s First Eco-Sustainable City, 2008
- Co-author of patent for “Gunnash wall system”, applied/granted in New Mexico, USA 2002. Green Construction system using a non-retrievable forming system with a flyash, cement and native soil mixture also granted by the State of New Mexico as an alternative means of construction
- Shared copyright for the Biolarium© concept as a building space using natural systems for indoor environmental quality
- “For Excellence In Design - Architecture for Renovations Delray Art Center”, The Delray Beach Site Plan Review & Appearance Board, 1999
- “For Excellence In Design - Architecture for Milagro Children's Center”, The Delray Beach Site Plan Review & Appearance Board, 1998