Home  /  About Us

About Us

Mission Statement

MOCK Studio Firm Profile (PDF)

MOCK Studio is a consulting firm that provides city and regional planning, landscape, architecture and urban design, and real estate development services. MOCK Studio works to create affordable, livable and sustainable communities through socially responsible and environmentally beneficial projects and initiatives. By producing mission driven results developed from grassroots consensus building and expert private and public sector collaborations, MOCK Studio creates high quality designs and services for clients, investors, neighborhoods and the greater good.

MOCK Studio will:

  • Plan, design and build livable, sustainable communities;
  • Consult and implement creative and practical solutions to address the issues surrounding the development of mixed-use, mixed-income, infill and transit-oriented projects; and,
  • Promote public sector, private sector and grassroots support for the advancement of sustainability initiatives.

Gunnar Hand, AICP

Gunnar Hand, AICP Cirriculum Vitae (PDF)

Recent Professional Experience

MOCK Studio, President
Kansas City, MO (February 2011 – present)

  • Organized MOCK Studio LLC, a design, planning, and development consulting firm in order to take an active role in the betterment of local neighborhoods in the metropolitan Kansas City region. Simply put, MOCK Studio helps people make their communities better.

The Architect’s Newspaper, Editorial Assistant + Contributor
New York, NY, Los Angeles, CA & Chicago, IL (August 2004 – present)

  • Contributed in archiving, research, fact verification, writing and editing articles for the bi-weekly journal for the New York edition. Primarily covered the urban policy beat, including current issues facing New York’s built environment. Contributor and writer for the California and now Midwest editions. Published over 70 articles, reviews, and editorials to date for all editions. Link to publication.

railLA, Executive Director and Founding Board Member
Los Angeles, CA (February 2010 – February 2011)

  • Developed the bylaws and organizational structure and incorporated railCA (dba railLA) as a nonprofit corporation to continue advocating for high-speed rail, transit, and sustainable communities in California. Was the non-profits first Executive Director from incorporation in August 2010 to January 2011.
  • Prior to incorporation, led an all-volunteer group, supported by the Los Angeles Chapters of the American Planning Association and American Institute of Architects to develop programs and products to raise public awareness and elevate the public discourse on High-Speed Rail in California. Programs include a series of community and station design workshops, a panel discussion, and an international call for ideas that led to the month-long exhibition LA Beyond Cars. Link to organization.

Los Angeles Department of Regional Planning, Senior Regional Planning Assistant, Los Angeles, CA (June 2006 – June 2010)

  • Developed strategic objectives and content, wrote and designed the update to the Los Angeles County General Plan, a 25-year long-range vision and policy document, with additional responsibilities in community outreach and inter-departmental coordination. The General Plan, with a strong commitment to sustainability, serves as a guide for the growth and redevelopment of the unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County, which includes over 1 million residents and approximately 2,600 sq. miles.
  • Lead representative to the Antelope Valley Integrated Regional Water Management Plan Committee, the Mobile Source Air Pollution Reduction Review Committee Technical Advisory Committee, and alternate representative to the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority Technical Review Committee.
  • Conducted case processing activities for the Department’s Current Planning Division. Working both in the Land Divisions and Zoning Permits Sections, processed permits for the subdivision of land, conditional use permits, oak tree permits, alcohol permits, non-conforming reviews, parking permits, yard modifications, variances, and wireless telecommunication facilities. Link to organization.

Harry S Truman Coordinating Council, Community Planner
Joplin, MO (June 2003 – August 2004)

  • Facilitated the development and subsequent implementation of the City of Pineville, Missouri Comprehensive Plan (2004), including a successful Water Rehabilitation Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) application as the inaugural step towards meeting the Plan’s objectives.
  • Facilitated the four-county Transportation Advisory Committee to develop a prioritized list of projects for the Southwest Missouri region. The Committee included local government agencies, the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO), and the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT). Developed a hazard mitigation plan as mandated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for Newton, Jasper and McDonald Counties. Link to organization.


Pratt Institute, Masters of Science in City and Regional Planning, Brooklyn, NY (2006)

  • Certificate in Physical Planning/Urban Design
  • Thesis: Conceptual City Planning and the Teleportation City. An examination of the historical context of utopian visions of the city and positing a new utopian vision of the city through conceptual city planning – a process of envisioning the ideal physical configuration of an entire region based on its local culture, geography, biota, and long-term vision. Link to school.

University of Arkansas Walton College of Business
Fayetteville, Arkansas (2003)

  • Strategies in Transportation Logistics Management, graduate course

University of Colorado, Bachelor of Environmental Design
Boulder, CO (2003)

  • Major in Planning & Minor in Political Science
  • Summer studios abroad in Turkey, Denmark and China

Rockhurst High School, Kansas City, MO (1999)

  • High School Diploma with Honors

Professional & Elected Affiliations

American Institute of Certified Planners (2007-present)

American Planning Association (APA), Member (1999-present)

  • APA Los Angeles Chapter Board of Directors, Vice Director of Professional Development (2010)

Kauffman Foundation, FastTrac New Venture Certification (2011)

Armour Hills Homes Association, Board of Directors (2010-current)

  • City Liaison and Kansas City Area Transportation Authority (KCATA) Liaison

Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council, Area-Wide Workforce, Public Sector Director (2008-2010)

  • Grievance Committee, Chair
  • Sustainability Committee, Voting Member
  • Planning and Land Use Committee, Voting Member
  • Skid Row Tree Planting Project Lead (2009-2010)
  • Meet Your Council Person Event Coordinator (2009)
  • Park[ing] Day LA Event Coordinator (2008)

East Hollywood Neighborhood Council Planning & Beautification Committee, Co-Chair (2007-2008)

  • Founded the Committee and developed the guidelines and development standards for the review of local projects.

Professional Juries + Speaking Engagements

  • American Institute of Architects Central States Region, Leadership in Design Summit, Presenter (2011)
  • University of Missouri-Kansas City, Urban Planning + Design Studio 312, Jury Critic (2011)
  • Pacific Northwest Economic Region, Annual Leadership Summit, Invited Roundtable Presenter on High-Speed Rail (2010)
  • America 2050, High-Speed Rail Leadership Summit, Invited Roundtable Presenter and Facilitator (2010)
  • City of Compton, Grant Administered Position, Independent Hiring Review Panel (2010)
  • Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, Renewing Environments for Nutrition, Exercise and Wellness (RENEW) Juror (2010)
  • US High Speed Rail Association, Panelist (2010)
  • Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, Livable Active Community and Environments (PLACE) Juror (2009)
  • Los Angeles Art Association “Fat City”, Panelist (2008)
  • Los Angeles County Department of Regional Planning, General Plan Environmental Impact Report Review Panelist (2007)
  • 31st Meeting of the Society for Utopian Studies, Panelist (2006)
  • Boy Scouts of America, Eagle Scout (1997)


National Civic Review

The Architect’s Newspaper (selected articles)