Martin poses during a hike high above Los Angeles.

Martin Ramirez, AIA, NOMA

Martin Ramirez, AIA, NOMA


Martin Ramirez, AIA, NOMA


“No matter your background or where you come from, you have the power to become an architect.”

Meet Martin Ramirez, AIA, NOMA, a distinguished architect at Gannett Fleming. His journey from an inquisitive child in Mexico to developing architecture studios in Los Angeles, California, and Phoenix, Arizona, exemplifies a lifelong commitment to innovation, social equity, and community.

With a passion sparked in childhood, Ramirez has dedicated his career to designing civic spaces that serve the public and inspire the next generation. His work is driven by a deep belief in the power of architecture to transform communities combined with Gannett Fleming’s culture of lasting relationships and personal growth. Through his involvement in significant urban projects and dedication to mentorship, Martin is shaping the future of civic spaces, transit-oriented development, and the field of architecture.

We asked Martin a few questions to get to know him better.

What brought you to Gannett Fleming, and what about the firm makes you want to stay?

Opportunity brought me to Gannett Fleming. The opportunity to start architecture studios in Los Angeles and Phoenix, along with developing strategic goals focused on the infrastructure and growth of our cities, was incredible.

The people and firm culture inspire me to stay. I have made many friends and always enjoy meeting new people in the organization because I know I am making long-lasting relationships.

Do you remember when you first wanted to become an architect?

Yes! I knew from a very young age that I wanted this career path. I dreamed of designing and building a home for my mother. When I was five years old and living in Mexico with my grandparents in a home bare of flooring, I found myself wondering about the stark contrast between our earthy living conditions and the polished floors of our relatives’ dwellings.

One day, I asked my grandfather, “Who designs and builds houses?” When he responded, “Architects,” I knew this was what I wanted to be when I grew up. This initial passion led to my desire to practice architecture and design for social equity and housing.

What do you enjoy about being an architect or the field itself?

I enjoy seeing a design go from the collaboration process to the construction of a usable space. I gravitate toward work in public spaces, civic work, and social housing.

My ambition is to design, but I also want to be an inspiration to the Latin community’s next generation. This is the driver behind my position as an adjunct professor at Arizona State University (ASU). Continued learning, exploring, and advocating for the greater good are of utmost importance to me.

When it comes to the core values of the architecture profession, what drives you to lead fellow architects to action?

Mentorship. It moves me to know that I can help a student of architecture or even a professional looking to grow in their career. As a student, I didn’t realize that many industries are touched by architecture. This profession plays a role in everything from public and private housing to the film industry, civic space, mixed-use development, and transit station design.

What insight or guidance do you have for future generations?

My advice to anyone considering becoming an architect is not to lose sight and to follow your dream. No matter your background or where you come from, you have the power to become an architect.

What are you looking forward to?

I’m excited for the continued growth and development of Los Angeles. The city has always been at the forefront of innovation and progress. From infrastructure and housing to public transportation and private development, there’s a momentum for driving positive change throughout the city. My involvement in projects like the Inglewood Transit Connector (ITC), a recent Gannett Fleming INSIGHTS webcast topic, has reinforced my passion for contributing to transformative projects that benefit underserved communities.

I look forward to further opportunities to engage in impactful projects that contribute to the vibrant future of Los Angeles.

You’re heavily involved with the Los Angeles chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA|LA). Tell us about that.

One of the initiatives I lead is the AIA|LA City Leader’s Breakfast. This is a platform for elected officials, policymakers, and architects to connect on some of the most important topics in the region. We have hosted leaders such as Mayor Karen Bass, Deputy Mayor of Housing Jenna Hornstock, Metro Deputy CEO Sharon Gookin, and Vice Chancellor and Chief Facilities Executive of Los Angeles Community College District Rueben Smith.

Tell us about your family and your favorite family tradition.

I come from a huge Hispanic family, so any time we get together is fun, but making tamales for Christmas and the New Year is my favorite. It’s a time we get to see aunts, uncles, and cousins whom we haven’t seen in a while, a time to prepare food from scratch, and a time to eat!

What’s the best advice you ever received?

One of the most impactful pieces of advice I received encouraged me not to wait for a formal promotion. Instead, the guidance was focused on proactive engagement with the aspired job’s duties. I have consistently applied this philosophy throughout my career.

For instance, while business growth wasn’t initially part of my role, I actively networked and sought opportunities at professional events. This led to bringing in new project work, and over time, I transitioned to a career path with more formal business development responsibilities. Embodying this approach resulted in business success and honed my leadership, strategic thinking, and communication skills.

What’s one thing most people don’t know about you?

I ride a motorcycle. I currently have an all-black 2017 Harley-Davidson® Fat Boy®. It’s currently my only mode of transportation aside from public transit systems.


Ready to tackle some of the biggest challenges facing our communities? Join the team that’s leading the charge.

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