Tierra sol y mar, inc. was formed in 1994 by three UCLA Architecture school classmates: Victoria Yust, Ian McIlvaine, and Aidan Bird. (Aidan Bird left the firm in 2000 to move north.) Their first project was to design and build a straw bale pavilion for the Yuba Sutter County Fair. Since then, the firm has gone on to design several single family residences, tenant improvements, a three story commercial building in Santa Monica, a Hollywood theater façade, and a multi-family building in Venice.
Victoria Yust received her BA in Italian and French from UCLA in 1982. She was Director of Public Relations at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel before leaving to attend UCLA’s Graduate School of Architecture and Urban Planning where she received her M-Arch in 1993. While at UCLA, and also after graduation, she worked at the Urban Innovations Group (UIG), a non-profit architecture and planning firm affiliated with UCLA. At UIG, she worked on the Monterey Peninsula Museum of Art and LANI, the Local Area Neighborhood Initiative through the City of Los Angeles Mayor's Office. She is a native Angeleno, fluent in Spanish, and she is a licensed architect in the state of California.
Ian McIlvaine received his BA in East Asian Studies from the University of Virginia, and lived and worked in Taiwan before entering UCLA’s Graduate School of Architecture and Urban Planning. He received his M-Arch in 1993. He worked with Pizzinini-Luxembourg before leaving to form Tierra Sol y Mar with Aidan and Victoria. Fascinated by natural building technologies, Ian has worked on rammed earth, adobe and straw bale structures. Following the Malibu fires, he organized a conference for the City of Malibu called "From Ashes and Quakes to Opportunity". He is a co-founder of the Los Angeles Eco-Village, and continues as a board member of CRSP, the non-profit umbrella for the Los Angeles Eco-Village. He is also a past board member and president of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition. Ian grew up in Guinea and Kenya, and speaks French, Spanish and Chinese (Mandarin). He is a licensed architect in the state of California.