The People

The Two Twelve team
The 212 team meeting in their Manhattan office space.

Our studio is defined by its true collaborative spirit. With origins ranging from Myanmar to Guyana, India to Hawai‘i, our distinctly global perspectives and individual talents bestow us with a wide diversity of thought, allowing us to solve problems, support one another, and deliver for our clients when it comes to innovative information design.

Quick break, full support – our designers taking a moment to cheer for touchdowns!
Game night at Two Twelve!
Our meetings are a blend of  lively discussions and seamless synergy.

Led by diverse executive leadership, our team is made up of 50% women and 75% who are Black, Indigenous, or people of color. Our work involves designing for all people: We continue to hire and support individuals from all walks of life to help us realize our mission to empower diverse communities and self-navigate to their intended destinations.

Ann Harakawa

Ann Harakawa

Managing Director, CEO

she / her / hers

Ann is the driving vision behind Two Twelve. Since 1994, she has helped build the practice into a multidisciplinary wayfinding agency with a reputation for simplifying complex, large-scale projects for clients across the arts, architecture, education, transportation, government, and sports.

Ann leads with the conviction that wayfinding democratizes information, and that good design is always inclusive. This ethos permeates the entire culture of Two Twelve, where she encourages the team to improve and iterate on their work to create better brand experiences through information design for clients including the NFL, JPMorgan Chase & Co., and LACMA.

Ann’s wayfinding strategies, masterplans, and environmental graphics have guided millions throughout New York City and the United States. Her work has touched iconic New York City landmarks and destinations like Citi Field, Grand Central Terminal, and the Empire State Building. She has developed large-scale communication and wayfinding master-plan initiatives for events such as the NYC2012 Olympic Bid and for entities including Bloomberg L.P., Goldman Sachs, and NYU Langone Medical Center.

Originally born on the island of O‘ahu, Ann expanded Two Twelve to Hawai‘i in 2017. Her personal connection has resulted in fruitful partnerships that bridge Hawai‘i’s history with modern communication, where the past is present in everyday design. She directed the development of wayfinding guidelines for the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation’s (HART) Honolulu Rail Transit Project, Howard Hughes’ Ward Village, The Queen’s Medical Center, and the standards for the University of Hawai‘i’s Hilo Campus.

A keen tennis player and surfer, most early mornings Ann can be found hitting on the courts in Brooklyn or surfing dawn patrol on O‘ahu’s South Shore looking for a long right.

education
  • Bachelor of Fine Arts in Sculpture/Glass, Rhode Island School of Design
  • Masters in Fine Arts, Yale University, Graphic Design
  • Fulbright Scholar, 1982-1984
Membership / Affiliation
  • WORTHLESSSTUDIO, NYC, Board member
  • Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles, Board of Governors
  • Sterling Network NYC, Fellow
  • Design Trust for Public Space, Former Board Member
  • Art Directors Club New York, Former Board Member
  • Japanese-American Delegation, Former Delegate (2006)
Awards
  • 2012 Asian Women in Business
Select Projects
  • Hawai‘i Pacific Health
  • LACMA
  • the NFL
  • University of Hawai‘i
  • Ward Village
“We’re founded on the motto: ‘Good design for the public good.’ That means information is for everyone. Since 1980, our wayfinding has provided accessible information for people of all ages, races, demographics, and physical abilities to improve their experiences in unfamiliar places.”
Ann Harakawa

Sooraya Pariag

Sooraya Pariag

Chief Operating Officer

she / her / hers

Sooraya keeps Two Twelve in motion. As COO, she connects creative, client services, finance, HR, and legal to ensure Two Twelve’s business operations and projects run methodically. 

Originally from Guyana, Sooraya is passionate about bringing diversity into the organization. She helps hire talent of all ethnicities, genders, capabilities, and skill sets with the understanding that having a wide variety of perspectives and experiences on the team ultimately enriches the work. By embracing this diversity in background and thinking, Two Twelve is able to make better informed and innovative decisions, which in turn drive greater success and forward momentum for the agency and its clients.

Sooraya joined Two Twelve as COO in 2017. Prior to that, she spent 15 years in the fashion world overseeing financial operations for major magazines. She spends her free time walking New York’s many public parks and teaching her daughter the tradition of cooking meals from scratch at home.

education
  • Associates Degree in Accounting, CUNY Borough of Manhattan Community College
  • Bachelors of Science in Accounting, CUNY Brooklyn College
Membership / Affiliation
  • Society for HR Management (SHRM)
  • Intuit Quickbooks
Awards
Select Projects
“My role is about connecting projects, people, and services to each other, which is a different kind of wayfinding. Much like our designers, I organize our internal systems to be clear and efficient to guide people to the right resources.”
Sooraya Pariag

Sharmi Patel

Sharmi Patel

Creative Director

she / her / hers

Sharmi designs better, less stressful human experiences. She believes design is about problem solving. And that navigating people through complicated places in a way that is both user-centric and captures the client’s brand is the ultimate problem-solving challenge. 

In her three decade career, she has consistently pushed herself and her teams to deliver outstanding work that expands the possibilities of wayfinding design. Her clients respect and value her partnership-first approach: she employs deep listening to understand their vision and pain points, guiding them from point A (idea) to point B (reality) in an easy, collaborative manner. 

Sharmi works with many industries including medicine, the arts, culture, and development. She has led projects for institutions like Drexel School of Medicine, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, The Studio Museum in Harlem, Downtown Brooklyn Cultural Alliance, Howard Hughes, Hawaii Health Systems Kaua‘i, and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. 

Sharmi joined Two Twelve in 2009, advancing from Senior Designer to Associate Creative Director in 2016 and Creative Director in 2019. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling abroad and making her way through foreign places.

education
  • Bachelor of Science in Graphic Design, 
Drexel University
Membership / Affiliation
  • Society for Experiential Graphic Design (SEGD)

  • Associate Professor of Graphic Design, Drexel (2005 - 2009)
Awards
Select Projects
  • Alice L. Walton, School of Medicine
  • Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art
  • Hawai'i Health System
  • U.S. Department of Homeland Security
  • Ward Village
“Wayfinding makes complicated places easier to navigate. When the signage is in the right place, carrying the right messaging, and suits its environment, the entire system works so the user isn’t even aware they’re being guided.”
Sharmi Patel

Andy Ng

Andy Ng

Creative Director

he / him / his

Andy believes in designing for the greater good. His personal philosophy aligns with wayfinding’s principles since everyone needs to navigate their daily lives — and doing so with less stress, frustration, and confusion is a universal need.

As a leader, Andy values collaboration and dialogue to create more human-centric outcomes. He instills a sense of ownership in his team so each member is personally invested throughout the design process. With his clients, he’s adept at managing the complexities of large-scale projects. He works with robust teams, disciplinary experts, and multiple stakeholders to deliver wayfinding strategies that synthesize their individual visions into a cohesive and easy-to-implement system. 

His industry-agnostic projects include Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, SUNY Cobleskill, New York City Ballet, The Santa Fe Opera, Rhode Island School of Design, Jefferson Health, SUNY Downstate Medical Center, Dubai Mall Parking Garage, Princeton University, University of Connecticut. 

Andy joined Two Twelve in 2006, advancing from Designer to Senior Designer in 2012, Associate Creative Director in 2019, and Creative Director in 2022. A big time foodie, Andy often seeks out the latest pastry shops in search of the best viennoiserie and enjoys exploring the architecture of Brooklyn neighborhoods on bike.

education

Bachelor of Graphic Design (BGD), 
Rhode Island School of Design

Membership / Affiliation
  • American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA)

  • Society for Experiential Graphic Design (SEGD)
Awards
Select Projects
  • 550 Madison
  • Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
  • City of Richmond
  • Princeton University
  • Santa Fe Opera
“Wayfinding enables places to become more transparent so that people can understand and navigate them in an easy manner. By augmenting the user’s relationship to their physical context, we can create a more enjoyable interaction overall.”
Andy Ng

Ben Whitehouse

Ben Whitehouse

Creative Director

he / him / his

Ben designs for all people. He creates with an inclusivity-first point of view that considers people’s emotional, mental, and physical needs to make places and information more accessible to everyone. 

His focus on accessibility is inspired by his father, Roger Whitehouse, an accomplished environmental designer with a colorblind disability who championed inclusivity in design in the 1990s. In honor of his family legacy, Ben helped author the latest SEGD whitepaper on the ADA in 2012. 

Ben’s multi-perspective thinking makes him a flexible, collaborative partner for clients. He adopts a beginner’s mindset to absorb and understand the project’s needs and encourages his team to try new things and speak up because “good ideas come from every direction.”

Ben’s projects reflect his voracious curiosity about various industries and include the NFL, the YMCA of Greater New York, Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, Mass General Brigham, Partners Health, Amtrak, Delta, Cincinnati Museum Center, New York University, Newark Liberty International Airport, John F. Kennedy International Airport, Manhattan Neighborhood Network, and Worthless Studios.  

Ben joined Two Twelve as Associate Creative Director in 2016, becoming Creative Director in 2021. He loves tinkering with new technologies, being a jack of all trades, and indulging his two daughters in exploring their creative interests.

education

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Visual Arts / 
Graphic Design, SUNY Purchase

Membership / Affiliation
  • AIGA

  • International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences

  • Adjunct Professor of Foundational and Spatial Design, Fashion Institute of Technology (2014-2016)
Awards
Select Projects
  • Alexander Court
  • Cincinnati Museum Center
  • NFL
  • UCONN
  • YMCA of Greater New York
“Wayfinding is the democratization of spaces. It provides orientation and direction to people when the path forward may be unclear. I came to the discipline wanting to be as inclusive as possible to everyone.”
Ben Whitehouse