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About us

Based in San Francisco, Pencil Box Architects is a full service architecture firm focusing on holistic design which optimizes our clients' ideas and values. We provide unique, modern solutions for the workplace and home space that enable individuals to thrive within their built environment. 

Kyle Brunel, AIA, LEED AP BD+C is the founding principal architect of Pencil Box Architects, Inc. She is currently working with clients ranging from multi-billion dollar biotechnology leaders and universities to disruptive start ups and specialist developers in addition to spending some time in the world of Healthcare for significant providers and educators in the bay area. Her focus on providing value, efficiency and inspiration for her clients keeps her busy and happy. After putting herself through architecture school, she began her west coast career at M+W Zander, then settled down with the SmithGroupJJR San Francisco Laboratory Studio for 9 years and spent another 5 years with DGA prior to starting her own firm. She provides clients projects that enable vision and performance to thrive within each unique architectural environment. Next to Kyle's desk is an easel. She has been painting for 30 years and finds the medium indispensable for exploring creative potential in architecture.


Kyle holds a BA from Clark University, a MArch from the Boston Architectural College and is a Leadership San Francisco Alumna, as well as a past board member with AIASF and Leap Arts. Kyle lives in the Miraloma neighborhood of San Francisco with her husband JJ and 2 children, Cobalt and Cypris.

Licensed in:

California, Massachusetts, District of Columbia, Washington State

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Fumiko Docker, AIA, LEEP AP BD+C, WELL AP joined Pencil Box Architects in January of 2020. A San Francisco Bay Area native, Fumiko brings 15 years of experience to Pencil Box with a wide variety of project types. With a background in healthcare architecture, she strives to design with health and wellbeing in mind. She strongly believes that the growing body of evidence demonstrating the positive impact of sustainable design on health is a key design driver, but not the only reason to optimize green decision making on projects. Fumiko considers the ultimate goal of the built environment is to increase our connection with the natural world, and support the health of all of Earth's living things.

She holds a Master of Architecture from the University of Oregon and a Bachelor of Science in Ecology, Behavior and Evolution from UC San Diego. She completed the UCSD Education Abroad Program at the University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia, and spent 3+ years teaching English in Niigata and Kyoto, Japan before returning to the US to study architecture. Fumiko lives in the Mission District in San Francisco, where she loves to spend quality hours exploring, in addition to the regional, state, and national parks on our doorstep in California.

Licensed in:

California, Maryland

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NJ Unaka, PhD joined Pencil Box Architects in July of 2020. A native of both Nigeria and New England, NJ brings 30 years of varied experience to Pencil Box. During his professional architecture career, he has worked on schools, office buildings, libraries, and hospitals, with architectural firms in Boston, New York, and Milwaukee. These projects have been across the Americas, Africa and elsewhere. He has taught at middle and high schools in the US and in the Bahamas and has lectured with the architecture departments at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, and Wentworth Institute of Technology. In addition to teaching design studios, he has led technology courses on building construction techniques and environmental systems, as well as seminars on design ethics. He continues to be engaged in applied research at the intersection of ecologically sensitive solutions involving community participation and local resources for construction implementation. He is especially interested in how education can be a catalyst for such interactions.

He holds a BSc in Civil Engineering, from the University of Massachusetts, an MArch in Architecture, from the Boston Architectural College and a PhD in Architecture, from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. NJ lives in Rhode Island with his family, and continues to teach in the Boston Area. He has a passion for experimental and sustainable ecological communities, as well as appropriate technology use in low-income areas around the globe, including informal settlements.

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