Why "inchoate"?

in.cho.ate \ in-koh-it \

Inchoate comes from a Latin word for beginning. When something is inchoate, although you don’t yet understand what it is fully, you have a strong sense that it is indeed coming. It’s stronger than the wisp of an idea that never turns into anything. But it’s hard to really find the language to describe an inchoate idea. That’s the whole point: you don’t have the words for it yet!

For us, inchoate means just beginning to form. You can have an inchoate feeling, like those first butterflies when you meet someone new.  Or you can have an inchoate idea, like the earliest flickers of images for your masterpiece...

adapted from vocabulary.com

Our Mission

Inchoate was formed with the goal of supporting the sustainable triple bottom line – environment, economy and equity – in all of the work that it does.  Inchoate's focus is on urban and sustainability issues of all scales, working collaboratively with both public and private clients, as well as for non-profit organizations, on the environmental issues involved in design of buildings, sites and communities. 

Our Team


Stephanie (Ericson) Halverson, Architect, LEED AP

Founder and Principal

Stephanie Ericson is a licensed architect and a LEED Accredited Professional with more than fifteen years of experience in the field of green building and sustainable design.  She has worked for several sustainable architecture firms of note in Los Angeles, New York City and Berkeley, most recently as a Project Manager for five years with Pugh+Scarpa (now Brooks+Scarpa and Gwynne Pugh, Urban Studio), winners of the 2010 AIANational Firm Award and 2010 AIA California Firm Award. She has direct experience with many program types, including both single-family and multi-family housing, market-rate and affordable housing, office interiors, government clients, public buildings and schools.  In addition to being an early adopter of the USGBC’s LEED system of rating buildings, earning her accreditation in 2002, Stephanie has prepared written sustainability guidelines for several projects including work on the World Trade Center site in New York City after 9/11. She lives in Portland, OR with her husband, daughter and dog.


University of California, Los Angeles, CA  2008-2010

Master of Arts in Urban Planning

Concentration in Community Development and Housing

Applied Research Project for Community Corporation of Santa Monica:  “Sustainable Trust:  The Greening of Existing Affordable Housing”

Leaders in Sustainability Certificate Program

California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, CA  1993-1999

Bachelor of Architecture

Minor in Construction Management

Denmark's International Studies, Copenhagen, Denmark 1996-1997


Emily Hodgdon, Architect, LEED AP


A licensed architect and LEED Accredited Professional, Emily Hodgdon has over fifteen years experience in architecture, sustainable design, and a variety of building types.  She was a Project Manager at the award-winning architecture firm Brooks + Scarpa Architects (formerly Pugh + Scarpa) for almost 10 years.  Known for marrying aesthetics with sustainability, they were the recipient of the 2010 AIA National Firm of the Year Award and the 2010 AIA California Firm of the Year Award.  Prior to living in Los Angeles, Emily lived in San Francisco for six years, working at another award-winning firm, Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, as well as a small firm specializing in residential design.  This vast experience has allowed her to work on a variety of project types, including multi-family residential, affordable housing, schools, museums, retail, governmental clients, office buildings and interiors.  She served on the City of Los Angeles Westwood Design Review Board for three years, reviewing proposed projects of all scales in the Westwood district.  Emily currently resides in Santa Monica with her husband and two children.


Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, May 1999

           Bachelor of Architecture

           Cum Laude

            Dean’s List

Virginia Tech Architecture Study Abroad Program, Fall 1997 & Spring 1998


Catalina Maysles

Architectural Designer

Catalina Maysles has more than eight years of experience working with several architectural firms in New York City and Los Angeles. Originally from Bogota, Colombia, she holds a Master of Architecture from Columbia University and a Bachelor in Architecture from the Universidad Piloto de Colombia. Catalina has worked on single family residences, multi-family housing, office interiors, government clients, commercial buildings, institutional buildings, tenant improvements and landscape architecture. Before joining Inchoate, she practiced architecture in Los Angeles with Gwynne Pugh Urban Studio.


Columbia University, GSAPP, New York City, May 2005 – 2006

MS.AAD Master of Science in Advanced Architectural Design

Universidad Piloto de Colombia, Bogota, Colombia 1997-2002

Bachelor of Science in Architecture and Arts

Thesis “Urban Renovation in Bogota” was published and exhibited in Bogota, 2002



"Stephanie and her team are amazing!"

Stephanie and her team are amazing! We remodeled our upstairs master bedroom and build a master bathroom. First things first, she is a master architect. I felt confident in the project from our first meeting. Stephanie really listened to what my vision was and helped guide me when I felt overwhelmed.She clearly and thoroughly walked me through the process of the entire job and made sure I understood everything. Her team was kind, warm, efficient and were great with any dealings downtown with the city. Stephanie was actively involved and available throughout the entire project and helped me filter the best general contractor for my job. In addition to being very professional, Stephanie brought her whole self to the job, which really helped me to feel safe to have exactly the dream home I wanted. A heart felt thank you to the Inchoate team.

"I would highly recommend her. My wife and I could not be happier with the outcome."

My wife and I had the opportunity to work with Stephanie on a recent remodel of our 1926 Spanish home. We added a 2nd story and did a complete renovation of the downstairs. This was a major project and selecting the right architect was extremely important. We sure are thankful to have made the right decision by working with Stephanie. She is a very good listener, detail orientated and was able to completely comprehend and make our vision a reality.She was awesome! She was easy to work with and she worked around our busy schedule. I would highly recommend her. My wife and I could not be happier with the outcome.

"Stephanie has great environmental awareness and credentials - critical to us - and she found ways to minimize our foot print and be as eco-friendly as possible in the remodel."

Stephanie at Inchoate was a great listener who re-designed our house and paid careful attention to the unique way we live. For example, my husband loves cooking and entertaining simultaneously. She took down old walls and opened up space so the kitchen became the centerpiece of the home, flooded with cheerful natural light and lots of natural, breezy beach cross-ventilation. The design was also quite minimalistic, which means the natural beauty and lines of the space are the centerpiece.She also swapped the position of the Master Bath/bedroom and the kitchen so that the master bedroom/bathroom turned into a private area in the back of the house that didn't require new plumbing - we used the old kitchen plumbing which saved us money. Finally, Stephanie has great environmental awareness and credentials - critical to us - and she found ways to minimize our foot print and be as eco-friendly as possible in the remodel. I highly recommend Stephanie if you want a careful, considerate, classy architect to help you with your home.

"I appreciate the time they took to make sure I got what I wanted (even when I wasn't sure)."

Inchoate did an excellent job remodeling my Venice duplex. The entire second floor unit was torn down to the studs and rebuilt. The old layout had several small, dark rooms, centered around a house that was mostly a master bedroom.  Inchoate spent a lot of time understanding my lifestyle (entertaining and cooking are important) and delivered personal touches like an open kitchen and a floor plan that emphasized the light and air we get so close to the beach.By using a giant, sliding glass front door, Stephanie let us open the inside of the house to the large outside landing, making for a very big room that was partially outside.  Inchoate also has a good understanding of sustainable materials. We had several conversations about windows, insulation, HVAC / air circulation / fans, etc. The bamboo floor they suggested might be more popular now, but was the first of its kind that I'd seen.  The overall design process included a lot of discussions and a couple of design iterations. I appreciate the time they took to make sure I got what I wanted (even when I wasn't sure).

"Our family can't thank her enough for making our dream home a reality."

Stephanie helped design a 1937 second floor addition - master bedroom, master bathroom and an office in Silverlake. We would not be breaking ground without her help. She has a wonderfully calm demeanor and was always reachable via phone/text/email. She listened to our needs and made great suggestionsto create a more functional layout. Her experience in dealing with LA Building and Safety was critical to our job. It seemed like every red flag that came up she was able to get resolved. Stephanie has the clout to get plans approved and homeowners to the point of build, efficiently.Our family can't thank her enough for making our dream home a reality.

"She was an absolute delight to work with, going above and beyond our expectations."

Stephanie worked with my husband and I on a renovation of our 1930's home. We completely gutted the first floor and Stephanie helped us create a more open concept floor plan that better utilized our space. She also helped us rework a tricky patio and a few rooms on our second floor. She was an absolute delight to work with, going above and beyond our expectations. Stephanie was always responsive to emails and phone calls. She listened to our many questions and concerns with regards to our house and came up with multiple layout designs. She also took great care when working with all the technical details and needed drawings for permits. We would definitely use her again for another project down the road!

"We cannot recommend Stephanie enough. We would gladly work with her again."

Stephanie designed the remodel and addition plans for my family's new home. She is extremely personable and easy to work with. From day one, she made herself very accessible by email, phone, and in-person while demonstrating a very enthusiastic and strong commitment to our project. Our project had some frustrating zoning/green coding issues and Stephanie weaved through them deftly to provide a building plan that was creative, met all of our goals, and made LA city's building folks happy.Moreover, we had a tight time-frame based on resources that she did everything in her power to achieve. We have now been living in the remodeled/renovated home for more than a year and are so happy with how it turned out. It has the space and designed [sic] that we needed given our constraints. She truly helped design us a home. We cannot recommend Stephanie enough. We would gladly work with her again.