Michael Carlson

Michael Carlson

Michael Carlson


  • Principal Architect
  • Director of Design
  • Chief Financial Officer
  • Co-Founder
  • 45 years of experience
  • Member of the American Institute of Architects
  • Certified Construction Specifier
  • Recognized Educational Facility Planner

“The way a community views itself is very important.”

Michael has become known as one of Alaska’s most thoughtful designers. As one of the founders of MCG, he has played a pivotal role in many interesting projects over the years. He started work on his first project at the Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport in 1978 and has since completed multiple challenging projects at the facility, building a long and fond relationship with the airport.

Michael’s lifelong passion for design wasn’t so much a choice as it was a tangible way to utilize the passion for creativity and curiosity that have been the hallmarks of his career.

These days he’s looking ahead at the company’s trajectory, looking to build on the legacy that he has helped create as the company continues to grow. He says the most satisfying projects that MCG does are the ones that have a significant positive impact on the people who use and interact with them. His extensive school work is motivated by a desire to create enduring spaces that inspire students to a lifelong love of learning.

A proud Alaskan, Michael enjoys exploring the state on his bike. He is also active in the community, participating in school planning networks and municipal planning committees.

Michael’s Favorites

Front exterior of the Ted Stevens International Airport

Ted Stevens International Airport

Michael has been working on projects at the Ted Stevens  Anchorage International Airport for more than four decades. He’s proud to see how it’s evolved over the years.

Front exterior of the F-35 Flight Simulator Facility

Sense of Play

The sense of play Michael developed as a child has kept him excited and engaged for 67 years. He dropped out of college to ski for a bit and said that, after a while, architecture “just felt right.” He still loves it today.

Hearth Artisan Pizza bar

Forever Ambitious

New blood and fresh ideas are critical to a firm’s success. Michael is proud of the legacy and reputation he’s helped build at MCG Explore Design.