Firm History

Cynthia Mabus founded an architecture practice in 2010 that focuses on small projects and emphasizes design team collaboration. A significant amount of professional satisfaction comes from the opportunity to follow each project through to completion and to develop continuing relationships with clients and the design team. In 2016 the firm moved from sole proprietorship to incorporation. Cynthia Mabus Architect, Inc. (CMA) intends to remain a small business.


Cynthia Mabus has focused on architecture and interior design projects from the beginning of her professional career. She views architectural design as a reflection of a community’s values. Her interest in workplace, educational and healthcare environments stem from a belief that these project types profoundly impact a community’s quality of life. Her professional goal continues to be the development of these environments through design, enhancing the way people use and live in their spaces, crafting each space to the unique goals and budget of the client. The intentional creation of a bespoke architecture ultimately leads to an enrichment of everyone’s life.


The design process is a collaborative effort bringing together client goals and requirements with an architect and an engineering team. Each project represents a unique creative challenge. It is an exciting process that begins with the client’s future vision and results in a new environment reflecting the client’s requirements. Architectural design is a phased process with milestones developed based upon the specific project’s requirements, with checks and balances. It is an exciting and wonderful challenge for all participants.

Pre-Design Services: Feasibility and Cost Estimating

Project feasibility studies generally include project programming, regulatory agency research, and budget development. CMA works with the client’s representatives to develop a program that establishes project goals and scope, defines functions required and distills those functions into spatial requirements. A completed program allows CMA to develop concept drawings depicting project requirements. With concept drawings developed, and the client’s consensus that the direction of the project is established, an outside cost estimating consultant is contracted to independently confirm a budget.

Design Services: Schematic, Design Development and Construction Documents

The schematic design process begins with the program and conceptual ideal of the project and synthesizes these requirements into a 2-D representation of the project. Floor plans, site plans, elevations, and sections are drawn and reviewed by stake holders. Key materials are selected.Possibly a 3-d sketch or rendering is created to help the team and client visualize the intended final project. Out of this process comes a drawing project that is reflects the program and the stake holder’s reviews. The schematic package is reviewed and approved by the client. After approval the project moves into phase 2, design development.


CMA prepares computer drafted highly detailed plansthat become the foundation of the project during the design development phase. These drawings work out aesthetic and technical issues that are approved as a part of the schematic design. The team continues with the additional design detail, looking at different views of the space, appropriate materials and how all of the elements will come together. The client also reviews and approves these design development documents. The budget is checked by a cost estimator at client request. If all is looking good, the team is authorized by the client to complete the construction documents.


The third phase in the design process is the development of construction documents. CMA develops documents that communicate detailed information to a contractor so that the project can be built. The detailed drawings are required to obtain permits and allow contractors to bid the project. Completed documents are submitted for review and permitting by jurisdictional authorities. Corrections are made as required and permits issued. The design team supports the client through the bidding process.

Construction Administration + Record Drawings

Our design team is well versed in dealing with RFI’s, submittals and other related requests to help guide the construction process to completion. Record drawings are developed from the RFI and CO process and/or information from contractor/sub-contractor field mark-ups. As-builts are delivered to the client.


Licensed Architect



American Institute of Architects
AIA California Council
AIA Orange County Chapter
U.S. Green Building Council



Bachelor of Architecture
California Polytechnic State University
San Luis Obispo