Executive Director, Co-Founder
MLArch, MS Urban Policy, BA
Gigi Lau is currently working for a Manhattan-based, non-profit developer in real estate development on affordable housing. With over 10 years of experience in global design firms, non-profit and for-profit developers, general contractors, and policy think tanks in New York City and Hong Kong; Gigi Lau mixes a global perspective with the heart of a local into all of her work. Gigi combines her design skills and housing finance knowledge in developing more affordable housing to tackle issues affecting society’s most vulnerable.
For three generations Gigi's family has lived in Pound Lane, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong where she is a passionate advocate for the preservation of this historic district and its unique experience. In Hong Kong, she implemented urban design projects that were both technically challenging and politically controversial.
Gigi’s articles have been published in Singapore Architect Magazine and Hong Kong local newspapers. She has been invited to speak at “Walkable City, Living Streets” urban conference, and “Professionals in Social Movement” seminar.
Gigi holds a Master’s Degree in Landscape Architecture from The University of Hong Kong and a 2nd Master’s Degree in Urban Policy MS from Milano, The New School in New York City. She earned a Diploma in Graphic Design with Adobe Illustrator & Adobe Photoshop, and a Diploma in Computer-aided Design with Autodesk AutoCAD.
Michael Gilsinan's musical career has spanned throughout North America, Europe, Asia, Australia and Central America. Notable performances include the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Washington, D.C.; Sydney Opera House, Sydney, Australia; Teatro Nacional, Casco Viejo, Panama; Camerata Hall, Paju, South Korea; Caesars Palace, Las Vegas, Nevada; and The Cathedral of St. John the Divine, New York City.
Michael's educational initiatives led him to establish the Fort Lee School of Music where he teaches the fundamentals of music and provides a platform for musicians to build careers. Teaching an innovative open-source music theory course earned Michael a fellowship at the Open University of Catalonia in Barcelona, Spain. As a faculty member of the 13th annual New York Guitar Seminar at Mannes, Michael developed a workshop on building a career in the arts; giving young guitarist the resources needed to establish successful careers.
Michael and his wife Gigi Lau Gilsinan founded Common Grain, a platform to focus on Urban Research; Arts and Design; and advocating for neighborhoods with strong creative and economic activity.
Michael holds a Masters Degree and Bachelors Degree in classical guitar performance from Mannes School of Music at the New School in New York City.