Our Philosophy

As an art form, architecture blends creativity with a sensitivity to the environment. With that in mind, buildings are most successful when they inspire the larger community while helping their human occupants reach day-to-day goals with energy and enthusiasm.

“If you understand structure, there’s no limit to design possibilities.”

Our work ethic

We pride ourselves on the level of detail and innovation we bring to each project. We believe these qualities are necessary to create custom structures that can be built with maximum efficiency and exceed all end users expectations.

Innovation and attention to detail since 2005.

The application of rigorous design principles, combined with creative flexibility, sets the foundation for successful buildings in every category.

At Pathangay Architects, were problem solvers who take the time to feel and understand every space we attempt to transform. As artists, our goal is to take this understanding and create something truly unique, inviting, memorable, and functional.

Meet our expert design team

Navin Pathangay, AIA

Principal

While Navin was formally trained at the University of Florida and the University of Michigan, he knew he wanted to be an architect when he was just seven years old. Awestruck after walking through a new house in the Mauritius Island neighborhood where he grew up, Navin expressed his admiration for the work. The architect, a family friend who also owned the house, took Navin under his wing and the rest is history.

A world traveler, Navin is continually inspired by the colors, textures and materials of different cultures and localities. Throughout his career, Navin has worked on projects in Africa, Europe and the United States. Prior to starting his own company, Navin worked as a project designer for Kadhusin Associates in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and as a project architect/manager for DWL Architects and Planners in Phoenix, Arizona.

For six years, Navin taught design fundamentals at Arizona State University. He loves to share his knowledge and continues to inspire the next generation of architects by training recent graduates and judging student design competitions.

In his free time, Navin likes to experience the outdoors, travel and explore the world.

Don Carstens 

Director of Design

Don Carstens has been creating total environments for the hospitality industry nationally by satisfying a broad spectrum of custom functional and innovative needs. Carstens goes far beyond conventional design strategies by orchestrating the architecture, interiors, lighting, surface materials, and signage into a cohesive and harmonious sense of place unique to each client and project. Carstens background in fine art is apparent in all of his projects by his visibly incorporating the balance of space and light. Custom furnishings and fixtures, implementing modern interpretations on old classics, and a highly attuned sense of propriety in materials and design direction comprise Carstens design philosophy: a truly great restaurant design must support the chef and proprietors intentions, menu, and philosophy on entertaining.

Carstens renown comes from his innate sense of successful branding and taking clients to new levels and multiple units within the independent high-end dining and nightclub sector. Carstens has completed projects from Beverly Hills, California to Washington D.C. and in many cases named the projects as well as designed many logos that further instill the design and branding.

Ramón Ignacio Meza Gonzalez

Project Architect

Ramón grew up immersed in the architecture field. His father, who is also an architect and contractor, brought him along to construction sites from the time he was a toddler. 

Prior to joining Pathangay Architects, Ramón spent four years at Crea Arquitectos in Hermosillo, Mexico in various roles, from modeling coordinator and construction supervisor to software design instructor and architectural projects coordinator. While there, Ramón contributed to a wide range of remodeling and expansion projects at universities, wineries, and hospitals.

At Pathangay Architects, Ramón focuses on architectural design. He enjoys the variety of his job and contributing to the Pathangay team.

In his free time, Ramón likes to play the guitar, listen to music, take photographs, and travel. Fascinated by how things work, Ramón is a voracious reader of science and technology information. One day, he hopes to invent a new gadget that will make people’s lives easier.

Dajana Grbic

Project Manager

As an artist from a young age with a love of drawing and painting, Dajana pursued architecture as an equally creative career with a promising future. She obtained her Masters in Architecture from Roger Williams University in Bristol, Rhode Island, but has otherwise been local to Arizona since immigrating to the country as a child from Bosnia and Herzegovina. Her father and brother are both mechanical engineers, so the field allows her to be even closer with her family.

As a motivated, personable individual with a history of quickly adapting to new situations, Dajana loves the variety and fast-paced nature of her deadline-driven environment. In addition to her flexibility, Dajana prides herself on her ability to maintain a sense of humor under pressure. As an architectural designer, she does a little bit of everything, from programming and analysis, planning and design, to project development and documentation.

She spends most of her free time with her husband and three daughters. The whole family is into fitness and nutrition, and they put their home gym to good use.

Alex Sandoval

Architect

Alejandro was born in the city of Phoenix, Arizona, but grew up and lived in Mexico until 2018.

Because of the work of his father, he had the opportunity and experience of living in many cities of Mexico where he was able to travel. He visited many new places, and learning new things from the locals. This is one of the reasons why he chose to be an architect.

He studied at the University of Sonora, in Mexico from 2008 to 2013. Alejandro has 7 years of experience working as an architect. He started as an intern at a recognized architectural firm of Hermosillo, and shortly started receiving more responsibilities such as participating in the design of the projects and coordinating its constructions for the company.

In addition, Alejandro has experience with customer service, as well as with working as a team leader and member. He is someone who learns quickly and who likes to socialize.

Aside from architecture, he loves watching sports, football, soccer, basketball, baseball either on TV or going to sporting events. In his free time he enjoys playing soccer, as well as going for a run or a bike ride. He considers himself a very sociable person and loves meeting new people.

Jessika Malic

Administrative

Jessika was born in the Philippines and moved to Arizona with her family when she was very young, having her father in the United States Air Force. Growing up, she loved art and design and eventually developed the skills to sew and create garments. She received her associate’s degree in communications from Phoenix College, and then moved to Dubai to pursue a career as a flight attendant for 6 years. In that time, she traveled to well over 60 cities all over the world, admiring the culture, art, history and architecture of each place she visited.

She met and married her husband, from England, in Dubai. Feeling homesick, she returned to Phoenix hoping to pursue a career more suited to the ground. With interests in social media and marketing, as well as a growing interest in real estate, she joined Pathangay Architects in 2019 as office support.

Outside the office, she enjoys sewing and crafting, and often has various projects ongoing at once. Her and her husband spend time traveling around the state, off-roading in their Jeep, and hiking in cooler weather with their dog. In addition, Jessika enjoys yoga, video games, and trying new foods.

Austin Carstens

Architectural Intern I

Currently interning at Pathangay Architects, Austin is in the process of completing his degree in Architectural Technologies from Scottsdale Community College, where he previously completed an Associate of Arts. In this role, he often assists in completing projects 3D models and CAD files for existing plans. Prior to his position, he worked as a resource library clerk for DCA Design Firm.

Austin finds architecture to be the ultimate combination of creativity and functionality. Finding the perfect balance between the two is an art in itself. What interests him is creating something aesthetically magnificent while also being able to serve its function in the most efficient way possible.

In his free time, Austin enjoys painting, and also dabbles in the film industry, both onscreen as an actor and off-screen as a film maker.