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Get Acquainted With the Final Five Honorees of the AutoCAD 35 Under 35 List

Leah E. Friedman
October 9, 2017

We’re proud to introduce you to the final five members of the AutoCAD 35 Under 35 young designers list. This month, get to know an acclaimed lighting designer, a CAD systems coordinator who tackles out-of-the-ordinary projects, a sustainability-focused designer, and two luxury tiny house developers with an HGTV pedigree. Meet them below.

[First Five / Second Five / Third Five / Fourth Five / Fifth Five / Sixth Five / Seventh Five]

The Seventh Five


AutoCAD 35 Under 35 List: Tyson Spiess and Kevin Root

Tyson Spiess, 30, co-founder and CEO of Tiny Heirloom, and star of HGTV’s Tiny Luxury (USA) & Kevin Root, 33, architectural designer at Tiny Heirloom (USA)

Even though tiny homes may be, well, tiny, there’s one thing Tyson Spiess doesn’t do small: design. First started six years ago, his company, Tiny Heirloom, designs and builds more than 40 luxury tiny homes per year from scratch and personalized to each individual client. Their impeccable work is also featured in the HGTV show Tiny Luxury where Tyson and his crew take you on a 30-minute journey into the world of ultimate tiny home design.

Last year, Tyson brought Kevin Root on board to help take sketches and bring them into AutoCAD for more robust drawings and visuals for construction and interior design. Kevin first started learning AutoCAD in high school and worked for a civil engineering firm for eight years before branching out as a freelancer, eventually landing at Tiny Heirloom. Tyson continues to grow the “tiny” business and the entire team pushes the boundaries of what space really means.

AutoCAD 35 Under 35 Young Designers List: Sara VenedigerSara Venediger, 23, spatial designer (New Zealand)

Sara’s focus in design is ecological sustainability, a passion born from the experience of growing up in the coastal city of Dunedin, New Zealand. She’s turned that into an award-winning creative style, having designed a universal modular system to address the problem of sea-level rise on coastal communities based on the principles of Design for Disassembly. Design is a lifelong passion for Sara, starting as a child with bedroom consultations using graph paper, to now, where she uses AutoCAD to turn hand-drawn concepts into immersive visualizations.

AutoCAD 35 Under 35 Young Designers: Jonathan HorvatJonathan Horvat, 30, CAD systems coordinator and pressure vessel designer at Veolia Water (USA)

Jonathan started using AutoCAD at such an early age that his college professor actually told him to drop the class — if only so he could have more time to tutor other students in it. Now, having served as lead designer for a number of projects (including the Consol Energy wastewater treatment plant and the Statoil ceramic membrane water treatment plant), he’s the go-to guy at the company for any and all “unusual” projects, like 3D printing a plant, creating an time-lapse visualization of one being assembled, or creating a VR experience of one of their designs.

AutoCAD 35 Under 35 Young Designers: Lauren Lever

Lauren Lever, 31, studio manager at NDYLIGHT (UK)

Heading up the London team for Australia-based NDYLIGHT, Lauren is a highly regarded lighting designer who’s led and worked on major hotel projects including Paradise City in Seoul, South Korea, the ACE Hotel in Shoreditch (London), and Beau-Rivage Palace in Lausanne, Switzerland. Throughout her career, she’s relied on AutoCAD to bring designs to life; she currently uses it to explain low- and high-level lighting concepts and schemes and even to coordinate other services. Looking to create innovative solutions that complement both the form and function of a building, she uses light as an artistic medium to create emotional responses and distill an innate appreciation of the design, art, and architecture of a space.


Inspired by their stories? Tell us how you’re using AutoCAD!

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Leah E. Friedman

Leah E. Friedman is the AutoCAD Content Marketing Manager here at Autodesk, and she truly loves being part of a company that makes software for fellow creatives. A Bay Area resident originally from Philadelphia, she justifies supporting the Warriors by constantly pointing out that they also started out in the City of Brotherly Love.