Shirl Buss

Y-Plan Creative Director


Ph.D.  Architecture, Urban Planning, University of California, Los Angeles
M.A.   Architecture and Urban Planning, University of California, Los Angeles


Shirl Buss is a designer, educator and urban planner. For more than 25 years, Shirl has worked with children and adults on architectural, interpretive design and community development projects, with a specialty in consensus-based participation in the design process. Shirl holds an M.A. in Human Development from Pacific Oaks College, and an M. Arch. and Ph.D. from UCLA Graduate School of Architecture and Urban Planning. She is an award-winning researcher and educator who has lectured in design and architecture at San Francisco State University, UCLA, UC Berkeley, and California College of the Arts. As an educator and designer Shirl has directed programs, facilitated professional development workshops and taught K-college students in schools, museums and informal settings including SFMOMA, Headlands Center for the Arts, Zeum, Asian Art Museum, Museum of Children's Art and Headlands Center for the Arts. Shirl feels that projects focused on the built environment create a framework for powerful learning about self, about the physical and natural world, and about community. The processes encouraged in the best design and architectural studios - critical thinking, creative problem solving, teamwork and integrative learning - are those which are central to a high-quality educational experience.