Angela Brooks, AIA, LEED AP, principal of Santa Monica, Calif.-based firm Pugh + Scarpa Architects, was recently named one of USA Network's2010 "Character Approved" honorees. The award recognizes innovators who are influencing opinions and style, changing perceptions of the world, and shaping culture through their inspiring work and individuality.

A leader and pioneer in sustainable architecture, Brooks' ability to meld sustainability, aesthetics, and affordability in projects—such as the 100 percent energy-neutral, LEED Gold-certified Colorado Court affordable housing development and the high-performance Step Up on 5th apartment for homeless adults—has earned her and her firm more than 50 design awards. Brooks also co-founded Livable Places, a nonprofit development company dedicated to counteracting suburban sprawl. As part of her recognition, Brooks has received a $10,000 prize, which she will donate to Global Green USA.

The other 2010 "Character Approved" honorees are: portrait painter Kehinde Wiley, industrial designer Yves Behar, fashion designer Narciso Rodriguez, filmmaker Kathryn Bigelow, chef Dan Barber, microfinance innovator Jessica Jackley, the members of rock band Green Day, game developers Alex Rigopulos and Eran Egozy, and journalist/screenwriter/director Nora Ephron. Read about all 10 honorees at

Beginning February 25, Brooks and the nine other honorees will be featured during USA programming over the course of six weeks in vignettes profiling their lives, work, and influences.

Pugh + Scarpa is the recipient of the 2010 Architecture Firm Award from The American Institute of Architects. Read ra's article on the AIA's annual award winners here. Also, read ra's August 2006 cover story on the firm.