Waterfront Conference 2023
Attending this event?
avatar for Dena Prastos, AIA

Dena Prastos, AIA

Indigo River
Founder & CEO
As founder and CEO of Indigo River, Dena Prastos, AIA, is the first "waterfront architect," trailblazing a new category in the industry. Indigo River is a women-owned (WBE) transdisciplinary design firm focused on progressive waterfront architecture, resiliency, and climate adaptation. A leading authority in New York Harbor and beyond, the firm specializes in climate adaptation through waterfront solutions that seamlessly transcend boundaries—guiding and executing projects from ideation through final construction and operations.

Dena is a licensed architect with a graduate degree in civil engineering. Born and raised in Anchorage, Alaska, she deeply appreciates nature and humankind's ability to design, build, and create infrastructure in some of the world's harshest conditions. Dena is an experienced leader of innovative leading projects around the world, directing infrastructure construction, marine engineering, and the design of waterfront architecture. This experience has given her the tools to navigate the firm's diverse client work with her unique vision and competency in construction, engineering, and waterfront architecture.

As a one-stop shop for solutions at the water’s edge, Indigo River works on notable projects around New York Harbor including East Side Coastal Resiliency in Manhattan, Robert De Niro's Wildflower Studios in Astoria, River Ring in Williamsburg, and the Harlem River Greenway in East Harlem.

Before starting Indigo River, Dena worked at DCAK MSA Architecture and Engineering as the director of project management and business development; McLaren Engineering Group as a senior project manager; and at the Conti Group. Dena earned her Bachelor of Architecture at New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT), where she subsequently completed a graduate degree in civil engineering. After gaining valuable experience in the industry, she went to Harvard Business School's "Leading Professional Service Firms" Executive Education program.

She serves on the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards’ Futures Collaborative. In 2021, she joined the AIA Resilience and Adaptation Advisory Group, and in 2022 she was asked to join AIA’s YAF Summit 30: Mission 2130, which seeks to respond to critical issues present in the profession—namely, to address challenges the architecture profession will face in the next century, focusing on architecture, society, and our planet. She also serves on her local planning board in historic Grand View-on-Hudson, New York.