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Austin Trautman

founder & macro-geek

Austin founded vali homes, llc development company and sustainability consultancy to provide Phoenix with affordable in-fill housing focused on contemporary design with high energy efficiency. Austin wants to live in a world where people flock to increasingly dynamic, comfortable and fulfilling urban centers.  As general instigator, he has been lauded by a wide variety of luminaries including Phoenix NPR affiliate, KJZZ; InhabitatResidential Architect; Arizona Horizon; American Institute of Architects; Builder Magazine, and the front page of the Arizona Republic

Austin believes the best solutions are a mix of relentless scientific discovery and improvement guided by what the natural world has already figured out.  He draws on widely varied experiences combined with specific knowledge to ensure his next collaboration is his best yet. 


Matthew Salenger

architect & sense maker

Matthew is an artist, architect, and construction fanatic. He was raised on the small island of Maui, finished his education in Britain, and has (mostly) lived in Arizona since 1993. Matthew studied figure painting and architecture for 10 years, and graduated with honors from the Architectural Association of London in 1999. Over the past 20 years he has created a number of complex and highly visible projects around the United States acquiring over 25 design awards. Deeply driven to find real-world and repeatable solutions for regenerative construction, Matthew studies Biomimicry, Biophilia, Integral Theory, and Sociology. In addition to pushing the boundaries of progressive construction, his volunteer work is dedicated to improving social and economic conditions, including his co-founding of the Urban Choices Group in 2012 and the Citizens for a Vibrant Apache Corridor group in 2014, both dedicated to improving thriving downtown areas in Arizona. Matthew is a member of the AIA, and member/ambassador of the ILFI.  .

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Eric Watson

Architect & system master

Eric is passionate about research, exploration, and testing of some the most important topics in architecture and construction—including, efficient construction methods, energy conservation strategies, and innovative use of materials. As an early adopter of building information modeling, environmental analysis tools, and virtual reality concepts, he strives to evolve the traditional role of the architect. Eric has worked in architecture for over 17 years and has over 500,000 square feet of award winning architecture design and construction experience. Eric received his Masters of Architecture Degree and Bachelor of Environmental Design from Montana State University in 2001, and is a licensed architect in the State of Arizona.  In his free time, Eric is an avid hiker and outdoorsman, as well as an active member of the AIA and USGBC.