Current Affiliations

* communitecture, architecture & planning: Founder, Design Director, Portland, OR
* The City Repair Project: Co-Founder, Board, Core Member, Portland, OR
* Village Building Convergence, Co-Founder, Core, Co-Coordinator, Portland, OR
* Planet Repair Institute, Co-Founder, Core Member, Lead Instructor, Portland, OR
* Ecosa Institute, Guest Teacher, Prescott, AZ
* Dignity Village, Advisory Council Member, Portland, OR
* PLACE, Advisory Council, Oakland, CA
* Sellwood Gap Steering Committee, 2011 – 2017
* Earth Day Village “Celebration of Localization”, Co-Founder and ongoing supporter

Mark L 2017 Art Museum POD Exhibit

Short Bio for Mark Lakeman

Mark is a national leader in the development of sustainable public places. In the last decade he has directed, facilitated, or inspired designs for more than three hundred new community-generated public places in Portland, Oregon alone. Through his leadership in Communitecture, Inc., and it’s various affiliates such as the The City Repair Project (501(c)3), The Village Building Convergence, and the Planet Repair Institute, he has also been instrumental in the development of dozens of participatory organizations and urban permaculture design projects across the United States and Canada. Mark works with governmental leaders, community organizations, and educational institutions in many diverse communities.

Presentation Introduction for Mark Lakeman

Mark Lakeman is the founder of the non-profit placemaking movement and organization known as The City Repair Project. He is also principal and design director of the community architecture and planning firm Communitecture. Mr. Lakeman is an urban place-maker and permaculture designer, community design facilitator, and an inspiring catalyst in his very active commitment to the emergence of sustainable cultural landscapes everywhere.  Every design project he is involved with furthers the development of a beneficial vision for human and ecological communities. Whether this involves urban design and placemaking, permaculture and ecological building, encourages community interaction, or assists those who typically do not have access to design services, Mark’s leadership has benefited communities across the North American continent. These include cities such as Los Angeles, Seattle, and Ottawa where City Repair Projects are underway.

Stories of Mr. Lakeman’s projects have been told widely, including in such publications as El Mundo, Sotokoto, Dwell, Architecture Magazine, New Village Journal, Yes magazine, The Utne Reader, Permaculture Activist and many more. With City Repair, in 2003 Mark was awarded the National Lewis Mumford Award by the international organization Architects & Planners for Social Responsibility for his work with Dignity Village, one of the United States’ first self-developed, permanent communities by  and for previously homeless people.

(Photos downloadable for promotional use)

Longer Biography for Mark Lakeman


Mark Lakeman Bio: (B: 1961 –        )

Mark Lakeman is the founder of the City Repair Project in Portland, Oregon and served as the Co-Director of Creative Vision from 1995 to 2008. He has also been a long time board member as well as a core member and project leader for the annual Village Building Convergence. Mark is also the founder and principal of Communitecture, Inc, a cutting edge design firm with sustainable building and planning projects at many scales. These highly popular projects include such social and ecological innovations as The ReBuilding Center, numerous ecovillage projects and infill co-housing examples, and many projects involving low income and homeless people in the development of sustainable community solutions.

After working for several years in the 1980’s as a lead designer of large scale corporate projects, in the 1989 Mark embarked on a series of cultural immersion projects with numerous indigenous societies in order to derive place-making patterns which could be applied to urban settings in the United States. These patterns include broad participation, local ownership, and transference of authority to local populations, creative expression in planned and unplanned processes, and social capital as the primary economic engine of change. His travels lasted until 1995 when he returned to Portland to undertake a series of creative, culturally restorative initiatives. His cooperative initiatives include the Last Thursday Arts & Culture Project, The City Repair Project, Communitecture, Inc., the Intersection Repair Project, the T-Horse mobile public gathering place, Dignity Village, the annual Earth Day celebration of localization, and the Village Building Convergence (VBC).

A Brief Life Chronology

  • 2-27-1961, Born to Sandra Davis & Richard Evan Lakeman in Cincinnati, Ohio
  • 1975-77, Moved to join Father, live in collaborative arts community, NW Portland
  • 1979, Graduated Lincoln HS, Portland, Oregon
  • 1976 – 1985, Special Mentoring with Willard K Martin
  • 1985, Graduated with Bachelor of Architecture, University of Oregon
  • 1986-87, Designer at ZGF Architects
  • 1986-92, Many artistic projects & exhibitions, including painting and sculpture
  • 1987-88, Designer at GBD Architects
  • 1988-95, World Travels, w/ immersion in Lacandon Rainforest Maya Culture
  • 1990, Founder of The Last Thursday Arts Collaboratory in NW Portland, lived at Last Thursday, between travels, from 1989 to 1995.
  • 1996, Initiator & Founder of The City Repair Project, The Moonday T-Hows, Intersection Repair, T-Horse Project, and Hands Around Portland, all in first year.
  • 1998, Founder of Communitecture, Inc., a cutting edge sustainable community architecture & planning firm
  • 2000, Co-Founding supporter and sustainer of Dignity Village to 2006/7
  • 2000-2004, Developed design for ReBuilding Center, with Communitcture, Inc.
  • 2004, Ran for Portland City Council in a field of 13 candidates, came 2nd nearly missing the general election.
  • 2001, Co-Founder of The Village Building Convergence, present sustainer
  • 2001-present, City Repair expansion to a national movement level
  • 2010, Co-Founder of Planet Repair Institute, initiated by ML in 1996
  • 2014, Married Sarah Frances Michaelson
  • 2017, Became a family with a child

Mark’s Life Influences, Including:

  • Both of his inspiring parents. His father, the architect Richard Lakeman, who as founder of Portland’s Urban Design Division within the Bureau of Planning, was a key design activist that is credited with being the driving force behind the creation of Portland’s Pioneer Courthouse Square. His Mother, architect and theorist Sandra Davis Lakeman, is best known for her transcendent, decades-long studies of the characteristics of natural light and urban form in ancient villages. Her book, Natural Light and The Italian Piazza, is the best source on this subject.
  • As a young man, Mark also grew up among numerous artists in the home, that more than 12 years later, would become The Last Thursday House. These people would go on to inspire each other to become founders and directors of creative organizations, events, museum-scale painters, fashion designers, musicians, and even an academy award-winning artist/director. Most notable among these characters were Randall Koch, former executive director at Sitka Center, and academy award winner Bob Gardiner.
  • Through his parents Mark became acquainted with a cosmos of local and national figures in the world of design and architecture, especially including the beloved Will Martin, architect and winner of the international competition to design Portland’s Pioneer Courthouse Square.
  • The University of Oregon School of Architecture & Allied Arts might have been a greater influence had the tide of “Post-Modernism” not come in. It was a serious time, with many dogmas and self-serious professors. Some, however, such as John Reynolds, Guntis Plesums, G.Z. Brown, or Alkis Tsolakis, were true teachers. For Mark, this was also when the most profound philosophical and artistic influence arrived in the ideas of Louis Henry Sullivan, who has been revered as Frank Lloyd Wright’s teacher, and who had first developed the notion that “Form should ever follow function” as a basis for an American architecture that would emerge from organic principals.
  • The Last Thursday House, which held once-monthly, four level, interdisciplinary arts festivals each month from 1990 to 1999. It can be said that Portland’s Last Thursday arts & culture gatherings really began with this powerful cultural nexus. The people who recovered and renewed the arts culture of the house, in it’s second incarnation that began in 1990, went on to become adventurers, amazing artists, many musicians, and life long friends with each other.
  • Mark’s frequent interactions and associations with powerful women, particularly Sandra Lakeman, Jennifer Lakeman, Brandy Gallager, Frances Michaelson, Lydia Doleman, Jenn Rawling, Diana Christian, Starhawk, Penny Livingston, and many others through the Village Building Convergence have been deeply inspiring and affecting for him. His focus on designing spaces that express and reflect gylanic or partnership culture visions is an expression of his deep affinity with both feminine and masculine aspects of his nature.
  • Mark’s travels between 1987 and 1995 proved to be deeply transformational. His exposure to First Nations cultures in Central & North America provided his first introduction to truly sustainable cultural and design principles, including permaculture and natural building. Mark’s three immersions with the Lacandon Maya were most impactful of all.
  • Since founding City Repair in 1996, Mark has been mostly influenced through his interactions within the vast galaxy of culture and leadership of community activism in Portland, Oregon, and in many other contexts across North America.


  • Extensive drawing & modeling training, site visits w/ architect parents, ’64-Now
  • Independent art investigations, 1966-Present
  • Lincoln H.S., Portland, Oregon 1976-79
  • Special Mentoring with Will Martin, Architect & Artist, 1977-1985
  • University of Oregon, Bachelor of Architecture, Eugene, Oregon 1985
  • Numerous indigenous & western cultural immersion projects & studies, 1987-95
  • Extensive cultural investigations & experiments in urban contexts, 1995-Present

Professional Experience

  • Planet Repair Institute, Urban Permaculture Design Course Instructor, 2011 – Present
  • Mentor & Co-Coordinator, Village Building Convergence, 2001 – Present
  • Co-Director, Creative Vision, The City Repair Project, 1996 – 2008.
  • Communitecture, Inc, Founder & Lead Designer, 1998 – Present
  • Metro Learning Center, Special Projects & Cultural Places Instructor, 1998-2001
  • Munz & Lakeman Atelier, 1990 – 95
  • Natural Light & The Italian Piazza Exhibition, Production, Siena, Italy, 1992
  • Michael & Lakeman Architects, Intern Designer, 1985, 1989
  • Zimmer Gunsul Frasca Architects, Project Designer, Corporate Projects, 1986 – 87
  • GBD Architects, Lead Designer, Various Corporate & Institutional Projects, 1987- 88
  • Collaborative projects with Richard Lakeman (Father), 1975-1995

art work by Mark Lakeman


  • communitecture, architecture & planning, Founder & Lead, 1998-Now
  • The City Repair Project, Founder & Co-Director, Creative Vision, 1995-Present
  • MotiveSpace Advisory Board, Portland, OR, 2009-Present
  • People’s Food Cooperative, Board Member, 2004-2005
  • SE Uplift Neighborhood Coalition, Land Use Comm. & Board Member, 2000-04
  • Portland Chapter American Institute of Architects, Associate Member, 1995-05
  • Prescott College, Adjunct Professor, Adult Degree Program, 2002-2004
  • Last Thursday Art Collaborative, Co-Founder & Sustainer, 1989-1995(‘99)

Presentations and Workshops by Mark Lakeman (Partial List)

(Please see “Mark Lakeman Speaker Bio & Information” for an updated list)

  • Numerous presentations, 2009 – Present
  • UC Santa Cruz, Featured Speaker ISLP Series, CA, 2009
  • Bioneers Conference Keynote, Rocky Mountain Location, 2008
  • Seattle Green Festival, Featured Speaker, WA 2008
  • Vaughan, Ontario, Canada, Featured Speaker, 2008
  • PNCA Focus The Nation, Portland, OR, Featured Speaker, 2008
  • Dwell Magazine, First Speaker, Sustainable Design Conference, SF, 2007
  • Keynote Speaker, Arts & Cultural Development Conf, Lansing MI, 2007
  • 2010 Olympic Design Process – 2 Major Presentations, Whistler, BC, 2006
  • US Green Building Council, Keynote Presentation – Annual CA Conf, 2005
  • U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National. Conf, Sustainable Visioning, 2005
  • The City Repair Project, Oversight for more than 300 projects, 1996-11