Founded in 2010 as a furniture design and manufacturing business, Sketch to Form has gradually expanded its services. We now focus on architectural services for residential, commercial and institutional projects, project management services, urban design services for large and small projects and consulting services on real estate development projects in the United States and abroad for domestic and foreign clients. We specialize in (but are not limited to) difficult and remote regions, such as islands and less-populated areas. Sketch to Form continues to design furniture, but has shifted away from manufacturing. Instead, we work with trusted, local fabricators to maintain the high level of quality we are known for.
In 2014, Sketch to Form gained its license to practice architecture in the State of Florida (AA26002967). It has assumed all projects under its founder and provides professional services both nationally and internationally. Although Sketch to Form began with contemporary roots, it has proudly expanded its design versatility.
The company provides professional services with a bespoke approach. No solution is ever the same, as the ideas required to overcome challenges are unique to each project. This is achieved with careful, extensive study throughout the entire process.
Technology is used as a tool to help clients visualize the end product, as well as to demonstrate, as accurately as possible, a model of how their resources will be utilized. We leverage financial modeling tools, 2d presentation tools, 3d modeling tools, sketching, physical prototypes, renderings, building information modeling (BIM) and virtual reality. We also use online project management tools with integration to mobile, in order to keep clients informed of their projects 24/7, no matter where they are in the world.
Sketch to Form subscribes to lean business principles. Efficient business practices are heavily leveraged, in order to achieve productive work schedules and cost effectiveness throughout the entire project.
Dion Lee Valencia, AIA is an architect, designer, urban designer, and real estate development consultant. His diverse career spans several facets of the building industry, including architecture, urban design, real estate development, project management and prefab manufacturing. This vast, unique experience makes him a highly sought-after professional by global clients with a myriad of projects that range from simple to highly complex.
Dion opened his own architecture and urban design practice in 2006, shortly after having earned his license to practice architecture in the State of Florida (AR92905). Prior to this, his architectural experience included an internship at Duany Plater-Zyberk in Miami, FL and employment opportunities at Blake Thorson Architecture & Design in Miami Beach, FL, Morris Architects in Orlando, FL, Joseph Kaller & Associates in Hollywood, FL and Gulf Design Group in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. He also did consulting work for Bermello Ajamil & Partners in Miami, FL.
His real estate development experience includes design coordinator at the Ford Plantation (a Dolan, Pollak & Schram Development) in Savannah, GA, design & development associate at Royal Palm Communities in Boca Raton, FL and project manager at Gulf Building Corp. in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. He was also assistant vice president of real estate development at Richmond Hill Land Co. in Savannah, GA.
For one academic year, Dion taught technical drawing at the Savannah College of Art and Design SoBA, as an adjunct professor.
Then came the Great Recession in 2008…He saw an opportunity to reinvent himself as a furniture designer and fabricator. His new venture caught attention, as he was featured on the cover of The Miami Herald’s Home and Design section (Oct. 9, 2011). Other recognitions included: The Miami Laker, Thrillist, Laguna Tools, Columbia Forest Products, the president of Dwell Magazine and a myriad of other blogs. Dion was also invited to participate in Burst Art Fair, a satellite art fair of the world-renowned Art Basel in Miami.
He used this design and fabrication experience to transition into prefabricated homes, a growing market after the recession, where he further refined his building information modeling (BIM) skills for the manufacturing sector. Before consulting for Cabin Fever in Miami, FL, the company’s production rate was five buildings per year. He improved this to 33 by leveraging lean manufacturing principles. For example, Dion implemented efficient scheduling and materials handling, as well as just-in-time delivery of parts. He introduced BIM for the production of products and parts, which increased coordination and communication between the design and production teams, and he established quality control systems and many other lean principles.
More recently, Dion had the role of vice president of design & development for Cotton Bay Developers Limited in Eleuthera, Bahamas, as well as consulted for Lindroth Development Company in Nassau, Bahamas. Dion currently has developer, client representative and project manager roles for a private villa project in Pointe Milou, St. Barths.
This experience prepared Dion for more complex projects and leadership roles that have been coming his way ever since.
Dion earned a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Miami School of Architecture (1997), as well as Masters Degrees in both Architecture + Urban Design (1999) and Real Estate Development (2001) from the GSAPP at Columbia University in New York City. He is a member of the American Institute of Architects, is NCARB certified and is licensed to practice architecture in the State of Florida. He is fluent in both English and Spanish.
Dion resides in Miami Lakes, Florida with his wife, son and daughter.
Dion was born in Puerto Rico to a draftsman and secretary. His grandfathers, one a CPA and entrepreneur and the other a carpenter, exposed him to two dissimilar, yet very disciplined worlds: business and hand-making. At the age of 10, as part of a military family, he moved to Fort Hood, Texas, which changed the course of his life forever. Military life allowed him to travel and explore the world, which fed his curiosity and love for architecture. Dion acknowledges that the foundation of his discipline and relentless drive comes from this 20-year military experience, as well as from the influence of mentors, such as Lieutenant General Mark P. Hertling.
Partial Client List
■ Mario Nardi, CEO Pietro Fiorentini (Milan, Italy)
■ Etienne Russo, Producer (Brussels, Belgium)
■ Franklyn Wilson, CEO Sunshine Holdings (Nassau, Bahamas)
■ Orjan Lindroth, CEO Lindroth Development Company (Nassau, Bahamas)
■ Victor Mendelson, CEO HEICO Corporation (Miami, Florida)
■ Cotton Bay Club, (Eleuthera, Bahamas)
■ Pastor Etta Harbin, Mishkan T’Hillah Worship Center (Miami Gardens, Florida)
■ Rev. John A. Barrow, St. Andrew Catholic Church (Stuart, Florida)
■ Cabin Fever, Tiny House Manufacturer (Miami, Florida)
■ Wellbilt International, Prefab Manufacturer (Miami, Florida)
• Florida Architect’s License (AR92905)
• NCARB Certified
• American Institute of Architects, Member
• Interdisciplinary Lecturer, University of Miami School of Architecture
• University of Miami School of Architecture ‘97 (Bach. Architecture)
• Columbia University GSAPP ‘99 (Masters Architecture + Urban Design)
• Columbia University GSAPP ‘01 (Masters Real Estate Development)