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IDENTITY Since 2015, The Young Architects Forum has helped lead the national conversation on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion initiatives in architecture. Review the progress that has been made, discover emerging leaders in EDI programs and practices, and explore where the profession goes from here.

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2019 CONNECTION EDITORIAL COMMITTEE Editor-In-Chief, Graphic Editor John J. Clark, AIA Senior Editor Andrea Hardy, AIA Senior Editor Beth Mosenthal, AIA Journalist Arash Alborzi Journalist Jennifer Hardy, AIA Journalist Katie Kangas, AIA Journalist Chukwemeka Ukaga International Correspondent Yu-Ngok Lo, AIA 2019 Q1 CONTRIBUTORS Contributing Journalist Contributing Journalist Contributing Journalist Contributing Journalist Contributing Journalist Contributing Journalist Contributing Journalist Contributing Journalist Contributing Journalist Contributing Journalist Contributing Journalist

Lillian Asperin, AIA Tiffany Brown, Assoc. AIA Leslie Forehand Jennifer Grosso, AIA Marissa Hebert, AIA Ali Menke Joiner, AIA Meghana Joshini, Assoc. AIA Jacob Kummer Julia Mandell, AIA Jason Pugh, AIA Mia Scharphie, MLA

2019 YAF ADVISORY COMMITTEE Chair Lora Teagarden, AIA Vice Chair Ryan McEnroe, AIA Past Chair Lawrence Fabbronni, AIA Advocacy Director Jennie West, AIA Communications Director John J. Clark, AIA Community Director Abigail Brown, AIA Knowledge Director Jessica O'Donnell, AIA Public Relations Director A.J. Sustaita, AIA AIA National Strategic Council Representative College of Fellows Representative AIA Staff Liaison

Laura Lesniewski, AIA Roger Schluntz, FAIA Milan Durham, Assoc. AIA

THE AMERICAN INSTITUTE OF ARCHITECTS 1735 New York Ave, NW Washington, DC 20006-5292

P: 800-AIA-3837 W: aia.org

CONNECTION is a the official quarterly publication of the Young Architects Forum of the AIA. This publication is created through the volunteer efforts of dedicated Young Architect Forum members. Copyright 2019 by The American Institute of Architects. All rights reserved. Views expressed in this publication are solely those of the authors and not those of the American Institute of Architects. Copyright © of individual articles belongs to the Author. All image permissions are obtained by or copyright of the Author.







Jennie West, AIA


2018 EQUITY BY DESIGN SYMPOSIUM Lilian Asperin & Julia Mandell



Meghana Joshi, Assoc. AIA




Katie Kangas, AIA


Matt Toddy, AIA, NCARB


Katie Kangas, AIA


Leslie Forehand


Jason Pugh, AIA, NOMA


An Interview with Oswaldo Ortega, AIA NOMA by Beth Mosenthal AIA


Ali Menke Joiner, AIA


Marissa Hebert, RA, LEED AP BD+C


Mia Scharphie, MLA


Jacob Matthias Kummer


An Interview with Martin Gold, FAIA, by Arash Alborzi


An Interview with NOMA President Kimberly Dowdell, by Yu-Ngok Lo


05 06 07 08 09 10 12 16 20 24 26 27 28 29 30 32 34 36 40 42 44 46 49 52



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John is an architect with RMKM Architecture in Albuquerque, NM. A graduate of the University of New Mexico, John has served on the AIA Albuquerque Board of Directors and is the 2019-20 Communications Director for the AIA YAF Advisory Committee.



Andrea holds a MArch from Arizona State University (2012) and a Bachelor of Science in Architectural Engineering Technology from Wentworth Institute of Technology (2007). She is a registered architect in the State of Arizona and works at Shepley Bulfinch's Phoenix office. Her recent publications include: Building Performance Evaluation: From Delivery Process to Life Cycle Phases (2018) and Adaptive Architecture: Changing Parameters and Practice (2017).



Beth is a Denver-based architect, writer, editor, and advocate for equitable and accessible design. As a Senior Editor for YAF Connection, she is interested in featuring stories that highlight voices and work that are creating meaningful change, posing questions, and leading to tangible advancements in both the profession and the nature of practice.

Arash is a PhD student at the University of Florida School of Architecture in Gainesville, Florida. Alborzi’s thesis focuses on urban agriculture, sustainable urbanism, and architecture. Prior to studying his PhD in architecture, he practiced and studied architecture in Tehran, Iran.



Jennifer is an architect at Payette in Boston, MA. Hardy is an active member at the Boston Society of Architects and serves on the membership committee, co-chairs the women in design and is the founding chair of the women in design emerging leaders group.

Katie is an architect at Kodet Architectural Group in Minneapolis, MN. As the North Central States Region YARD, Kangas connects emerging professionals with resources to position them for success.



Emeka is a Civil Engineer (EIT) and Architectural Designer with a strong background in sustainable design, sustainable development, and global studies. He is a recent graduate of the University of Pittsburgh where he studied civil engineering and architecture.

Yu-Ngok is the principal of YNL Architects, Inc. He is the past Communications Director of the Young Architects Forum National Advisory Committee and is a recipient of the 2016 AIA Young Architect Award.










We must ask ourselves what Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) mean to tomorrow’s architect. I have no doubt that, in the future, it will mean something different than it does today. Just as it has evolved since I chaired the AIA’s Minority Resource Committee in the early 1990’s, our understanding of the issues and of who is affected by unconscious bias have evolved and will continue to change over time. The one constant is that our profession will not be able to realize its full potential until it embraces equity. I’m convinced that the current efforts of the AIA to heighten its members’ awareness of our blind spots will be an investment in the future relevancy of our profession. The AIA has recently reinforced its code of ethics to stress the importance of EDI. We have published the first installment of a set of EDI guidelines to help firms and AIA components address conscious and unconscious bias in the workplace. Our advocacy around civic engagement of the architect is focused on design for justice addressing underserved segments of our cities and society. Our design services add more value if they are built on cultural relevancy. Our professional commitment to EDI must permeate every decision and aspect of our practices from our office culture, internal team selection and promotions. Externally these decisions should inform and determine the clients, communities and projects upon which we focus our design talents and energies. I believe that our practices will evolve in the future and the services that we offer will be driven by heretofore unmet needs in our cities and their changing infrastructure and demographics.

Our professional commitment to EDI must permeate every decision and aspect of our practices from our office culture, internal team selection and promotions. Externally these decisions should inform and determine the clients, communities and projects upon which we focus our design talents and energies."

From the first day of architecture school we have been taught to think carefully about every line we draw. We now must learn to erase the historic lines of privilege that prevent us from designing a more equitable, diverse and inclusive profession. ■

William Bates, AIA, NOMA Bates recently retired from Eat’n Park Hospitality Group, where as Vice President of Real Estate he was responsible for the restaurant growth division. His many leadership and volunteer positions demonstrate the importance of connecting the built environment, communities, and culture. He has led AIA chapters and the AIA Diversity Council, and founded NOMA's Pittsburgh chapter. YAFCONNECTION.COM

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The American Institute of Architects is the voice of our profession. And as architect leaders from across the country converge on Washington, D.C., in early March for Grassroots, we will use that voice to speak with our congressional leaders about issues that are important to architects and the built environment of our nation. Capital Hill Day is the one day of the year when AIA is most literally the voice of our profession. This is repeated throughout the country when members of AIA state components meet with their legislators to address issues that are closer to home, often shared but also specific to the demographics, politics, and issues of that state. I’ll never forget my first day on “the hill” in Jefferson City, Missouri with fellow architects raising our issues of the day; it is at the foundation of being a citizen architect. The Strategic Council will arrive at Grassroots one day early for our first in-person assembly of the year. Since the repositioning of AIA several years ago, the Strategic Council has worked on issues that consider the future of our profession. Our 50+ person group is charged to be the “think tank” for the Institute while the smaller 12-person Board of Directors focuses on governance. Councilors, who typically serve three-year terms, participate in issuefocused Council Work Groups, serve on Board Committees, and sometimes act as a liaison to other AIA groups. We also represent our respective regions and as such are charged to raise issues to the Institute that are most relevant to our profession and society. It is my honor this year to be the Council Liaison to the Young Architects Forum (YAF). After participating in the Joint Annual Meeting of the YAF and the National Associates Committee (NAC) in San Juan, Puerto Rico in early February, I am encouraged by the future of our profession. These two organizations are full of imaginative, hard-working, and thoughtful design leaders – current and future leaders of the AIA and our profession. The Council's current plan is to focus on three Work Groups this year: Transforming Architecture Education, Professional Development, and The Next Big Thing, which includes sub-groups covering XR technology, innovative business models, and more. Transforming Architecture Education is a group that was initiated at Grassroots in 2018. We spent the year developing and executing a prototype workshop that focused on a few key groups: students, faculty, emerging professionals, and experienced professionals that work with recent graduates. The dialogue is broadened to

The Council's current plan is to focus on three Work Groups this year: Transforming Architecture Education, Professional Development, and The Next Big Thing, which includes sub-groups covering XR technology, innovative business models, and more." consider the continuum of an architectural career, considering moments when an individual is most challenged or most encouraged and supported. The format provides an opportunity to share these moments in conversation with others, noting common themes and considering how an architect’s education (both during and after their formal education) might be improved at key points along the way. The format of the workshop is simple and can be taught to and implemented by anyone interested in the topic of how the education of our profession might reflect the changing world within which we work. When are we taught leadership, client communication, consultant coordination, community engagement? What’s currently working and where, and what’s not? The insight gained from these workshops are aimed to inform the upcoming the Architectural Review Forum late in the spring as part of NAAB’s regular five-year cycle, which will then shape the formal accredited architectural education in our country for the next five years. This is a brief peek into the Council right now and how we are working to be the “voice” of our profession, while the rest of this Connection issue is focused on the “face” of our profession, raising issues of equity and inclusion within the AIA and our profession at large. It is an encouraging conversation that is happening within local and state components across the country and in a key Board Committee – Equity and the Future of Architecture. It is long overdue and will take some time to implement real change, but it is an issue that is critical to our future. ■

Laura Lesniewski, AIA, LEED AP BD+C Laura is an architect and principal at BNIM in Kansas City, Missouri. She is the Senior Regional Representative from the Central States Region to the Strategic Council and is the Council's liason to the Young Architects Forum Advisory Committee. This year she is also serving on the Board Knowledge Committee at AIA National.








Almost a year ago, YAF’s 2018 Chair, Larry Fabbroni, and I penned a letter to AIA Leadership in the wake of the first #MeToo allegations in architecture. As volunteers tasked with providing you with resources, insights, and leadership opportunities, equity has been on our minds and in our efforts because we know these issues disproportionately affect young architects. Last year, we focused more intensively on the issues surrounding equity in the profession. We wanted to use this first Connection of the year to look back on this effort, but also to look forward and outward, highlighting some of our members doing the great and necessary work in creating an equitable profession. As a recap, our goals listed in the letter to AIA Leadership in March of 2018 were multifold:

caused many attendees to talk, both at conference and after when they had returned home, about their own working environments and ways in which we can and should improve as a whole. •

The National EQFA (Equity and Future of Architecture) Committee asked YAF to provide a liaison, joining them in brainstorming other ideas for improvements and in the review of the Code of Ethics wording for recommended change to the National Ethics Council. We also reviewed initial content of the Equitable Practice Guides, now out for reference and use for professionals and practices to help shape better workplaces (here). This joint work had the following domino effect including: •

an update to the Code of Ethics language (here); and

a checkbox of adherence to the Code of Ethics for those applying for national awards and those signing up for or renewing their annual membership

to condemn the actions of abuse, discrimination, harassment, and bullying in our profession;

to create spaces and provide resources for victims;

to create learning opportunities at different conferences and within our resources (like this magazine), and to provide frameworks for regions and local chapters to do the same;

This is a lot of stuff, right? 2018 was a busy year for the YAF and the profession as a whole, working to improve not only in the fun, technological ways, but also in the important, equitable ways.

to push to update the Code of Ethics; and,

Well, we’re not done.

to create accountability not only for award winners, but all members.

Thanks to the efforts of our volunteers and others within the AIA, we hit every goal in a timely manner. •

A letter was penned quickly by the AIA National President and distributed to members and to the public (here), as well as by YAF’s 2018 Chair, Larry, which was distributed via last year’s Connection volume focused on Equity (here).

The AIA National Board put out a “Where We Stand” article focused on harassment in the profession (here, and you can see a timeline of AIA National’s efforts here).

YAF created and moderated a panel session at A’18 that provided space for victims to share their stories, or hear stories from others, and for industry leaders to share tips on how to protect themselves, as employees or employers, and their peers in the workplace.

Also at A’18, YAF worked with AIA National staff to create an interactive wall where attendees could share the ways they commit to improving equity in the profession. The piece

We understand that there are so many pieces and parts in motion to improving equity and opportunities for all members in the profession and we are committed to helping. We will continue to work closely with EQFA on their initiatives — our new Advocacy Director, Jennie West, is the 2019 liaison to their committee — some of which we’re really excited about, but can’t yet share until the ideas and implementation are fully baked. We’re working on partnerships with NOMA as related to mentorship and the diversity pipeline. As we continue to work on what practice innovation looks like following our lab in 2017, we know that equity will play a big role in the formation of future practices. Look for more on this as we near A’19. Most of all, we’re 100% open to ideas, concerns, and efforts from you. We’re in this together. Join us in making 2019 a year of continued improvement in architecture. ■

@L2DesignLLC Lora Teagarden, AIA Lora is a project architect at RATIO in Indianapolis, IN, a published author, and business owner. She is a 2017 Young Architect Award winner and the 2019 Chair of the YAF. Her passion for the profession drives her to mentor young professionals and volunteer in her community.


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Was the year 2014 too late to begin large-scale, national conversations on equitable practice in architecture? Is there still a long road ahead to fully realize the progress that we desire in our firms, profession, and communities? One can answer yes to both questions, while still acknowledging that our profession, remarkably and noticeably slow to evolve, has made significant progress on numerous fronts related to equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) in this relatively short span of time, building momentum to carry these efforts forward. Consider that the first Equity in Architecture survey was launched by AIA San Francisco’s The Missing 32% Project less than five years ago in 2014. What began as an investigation into the discrepancy between the number of women who attended architecture schools and those who became licensed architects has evolved into an organization at the forefront of data and knowledge related to equitable practice. In 2015, Connection partnered with Rosa Sheng and Equity by Design (formerly The Missing 32% Project) to display the data collected from over 2,000 respondents to that 2014 survey. The resulting issue was one of the first platforms that helped to broaden the conversation around what were “perceived” pinchpoints, roadblocks, challenges, and inequities within the profession. With over 8,000 responses to their 2016 survey and over 14,000 participating in their most recent 2018 survey, the work of Equity by Design has helped to validate “perceptions” as realities and truths, increase the knowledge needed to retain a diverse body of talent in architecture, make the business case for equitable practice, and communicate the value and social impact of design to a broader audience. Our Connection team is excited to once again provide insight into their contributions with articles from several reflecting on the 2018 #EQxDV Symposium: Voices, Values, Vision. Armed with such data, we can take action to acknowledge inequities both inside the profession and externally among our neighborhoods and communities. Jennifer Hardy, AIA offers insight into the culture of Payette, recipient of the 2019 AIA Firm Award, as the firm cultivates equity and inclusion into its processes and built solutions by challenging traditional design behaviors. Additionally, AIA North Central States YARD, Katie Kangas, AIA, provides insight into launching a component EDI Committee while Leslie Forehand breaks down Iowa Women in Architecture’s Best Practice Recommendations for the Design Profession. Not personally knowing an architect until high school, I place utmost importance on the need for architects to be visible citizens, leaders, and change agents in our communities. This external face of profession has the potential to demonstrate the value of our skills and perspective to the public, cultivate the next generation of architects from unique and diverse backgrounds, and create a more equitable world through the built environment. Connection highlights the importance of this external outreach by sharing an interview with a recipient of the 2019 AIA Young Architects Award, Oswaldo Ortega, AIA, NOMA, to discuss his work in K-12 initiatives 08



through I-NOMA’s Project Pipeline. Also in this issue, Jacob Kummer shares how the AIA Academy of Architecture for Justice is focusing on design justice and multidisciplinary collaboration to address the mental health crisis within the criminal justice system. Additionally, Arash Alborzi interviews Martin Gold, FAIA to discuss his research that explores urban agriculture as a model that provides food equity and unique solutions to environmental challenges. Across all scales, from internal adjustments of firm culture to dedicated volunteer outreach within underserved communities, we must assume personal ownership of tackling EDI challenges and continue to take action if we expect to realize the progress that we desire for the future of the profession. While we can measure these changes and results through statistics based on demographics, identity groups, or salaries, I also encourage current and future leaders to not lose sight of the character, experiences, contributions, and value of each individual in our firms and our profession. Together as architects, we can contribute to the increasing momentum that is advancing and positively impacting our firms, profession, and built environment. Young Architects, those licensed within the last 10 years, make up about 12% of the 94,000 members of the AIA. With the Young Architects Forum serving as one of the many initial key drivers of the EDI conversation, it is evident that the perspectives of emerging professionals are highly valued within the Institute. As part of the voice of this group of leaders that continue to will shape the profession and the built environment, Connection welcomes you to contribute your individual voice to the collective conversation on this and other challenges facing the current and future states of architecture. Please note the current call for submissions in this issue and follow the Young Architects Forum on Twitter and Instagram for editorial opportunities. Finally, thank you to each of the insightful leaders that contributed to this issue, the 2019 Connection Editorial Team for their hard work toward the finished product, and the YAF Advisory Committee and leadership for inspired discussions over the past few months. I am excited to present this year’s first issue of Connection and look forward to continuing to share additional stories, perspectives, and concepts with you this coming year. ■

@clarkjohnj John J.Clark, AIA, NCARB John is an architect with RMKM Architecture in Albuquerque, NM. A graduate of the University of New Mexico, John has served on the AIA Albuquerque Board of Directors and is the 2019-20 Communications Director for the AIA YAF AdCom.




The AIA Young Architects Forum (YAF) recently met for our annual meeting in San Juan, Puerto Rico. It was an inspiring location for us to think about resiliency, sustainability and truly the most fitting location for the emerging professionals to gather and focus on our 2019 goals. The YAF Advocacy Committee wants to be the committee discussing and advocating for “uncomfortable issues” pertinent to emerging professionals. The sticky, hard to discuss issues are what we want to me discussing. Many other industries are already tackling these challenging issues, so why are the architects “late to the party?" Looking inward at the profession we want to challenge AIA Emerging Professionals (EPs) to be at the forefront of the Equity and Future of Architecture (EQFA). This includes but is not limited to sexual harassment, family leave, re-entry for architects that have taken time off, pay equity and diversity in the workforce. In particular, family leave and balancing part-time work with fill-time

REDEFINING IDENTITY Jennie Cannon West, AIA Jennie is the Owner and Principal of Studio West Design & Architecture in New Orleans, Louisiana. She has been an active member at the AIA at the local, state and national levels. Jennie represented the Gulf States with the Young Architect Forum in 2017-2018 and is the 2019-2020 YAF Advocacy Director and member of the 2019 Equity and the Future of Architecture Committee.

expectations of clients is challenging. Emerging Professionals want to be able to have a family and a career. We are looking to develop tools to help architects and mployers have meaningful conversation around family and the workplace. Connecting with people outside the profession, we want to encourage and support AIA Emerging Professionals engaging in civic, cultural, and community activities. We want to focus on meaningful, impactful and an everyday approach to volunteering. This can include serving on your local neighborhood board, arts organization, school board, volunteering for to meeting with K-12 students, and list is never ending. Advocacy doesn’t require money or connections, just the willingness to volunteer. We are excited about the year ahead and look forward to making actionable items to chip away at the “uncomfortable issues” surrounding emerging professionals. ■




AIA’s Center for Emerging Professionals YAF's official website

Connection’s Editorial Committee is currently soliciting content. CONNECTION welcomes the submission of ARTICLES, PROJECTS, PHOTOGRAPHY and other design content. Submitted smaterials are subject to editorial review and selected for publication in eMagazine format based on relevance to the theme of a particular issue. If you are interested in contributing to CONNECTION, please contact the Editor In-Chief at johnclarknm@ gmail.com.

YAF KnowledgeNet A knowledge resource for awards, announcements, podcasts, blogs, YAF Connection and other valuable YAF legacy content.

CALL FOR VOLUNTEERS; CONTRIBUTING WRITERS/ INTERVIEWERS/DESIGN CRITICS Connection’s Editorial Committee is currently seeking architects interested in building their writing portfolio by working with the editorial team to pursue targeted article topics and interviews that will be shared amongst CONNECTION’s largely-circulated eMagazine format. Responsibilities include contributing 1 or more articles per publication cycle (frequency of magazine is typically 3-4x per year.) If you are interested in building your resume and contributing to CONNECTION, please contact the Editor In-Chief at johnclarknm@gmail.com.

AIA Trust A free-risk management resource for AIA members. AIA College of Fellows Check out the College of Fellow's reciprocal newsletter.






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Wednesday, June 5, 2019

WE111 8:00am – 12:00pm

3.75 LU

Mini MBA: Mastering the Business of Architecture for Emerging Professionals Las Vegas Convention Center





Check with the A’19 program guide. Session times and locations may change.

Be sure to check out YAF curated sessions...

Thursday, June 6, 2019

TH109 8:00 – 9:00am

Navigating Your Firm’s Culture Westgate

Friday, June 7, 2019

1 LU

FR106 2:00 -3:00pm

Saturday, June 8, 2019

1 LU

How to Get the Most Out of Your AIA Membership Westgate

SA104 10:00 – 11:00am

1 LU | HSW

Training & Mentoring: The Future of the Architectural Profession Westgate

EV210 8:00 – 11:00pm

EP Party

Paris - Las Vegas

FR209 9:30 – 11:00am

1 LU

2+2 Achieving Outstanding Design: College of Fellows & Young Architects Westgate

SA203 11:30am – 1:00pm

1.5 LU

Transformational Business Practice for Integration of Work & Life Westgate

SA403 3:00 – 4:30pm

1.5 LU

Starting Your Own Firm The Young Architects Perspective Westgate

SA111; 10-11am

1 LU

Practice Innovation Lab Part 1: Secrets from Venture Capital Investors for Design Entrepreneurs Las Vegas Convention Center SA216; 11:30am - 1:00pm

Part 2: Disrupt or Die

1.5 LU

Las Vegas Convention Center 1:30 - 3:00pm

Part 3: TBD TBD


Part 4: Shark Tank

Las Vegas Convention Center Q1 — 2019




People don’t change just because they’re educated and motivated; they change because the cultures that they are a part of begin to call them to new behaviors." — Howard Ross in “Reinventing Diversity”

Architects are motivated to change on several fronts; to strengthen our relevance with a more diverse and inclusive workforce and increase our ability to address great challenges, such as climate change. In support of this, the AIA recently released the “Guides for Equitable Practice,” one of the recommendations for action from the AIA’s Equity in Architecture Commission, which outlines actionable practices to build diversity and inclusion in our profession. If we think of this moment as a call to new behaviors, once engendered into the daily culture of practice, these behaviors can take root, flourish, and change the tide of a profession. Although I have only recently joined Payette, 2019 AIA Architecture Firm Award recipient, I already see evidence that we are leading the way on a number of fronts and elevating the standards by which we design. And while we are striving to make the profession more diverse at Payette, through our Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) task force, I am equally as interested in how the firm is cultivating equity, diversity, and inclusion into the design itself. At the core of our studio are project alcoves, which are living, evolving design incubators for each project. The alcoves are activated by pop-up style design forums, where a team may solicit critique to address a challenge or key decision at the crossroads of a project. The open invitation for participation gives voice to a wealth of perspectives while also creating opportunity to learn from the legacy and leadership within the firm. The alcoves also serve as a reminder of our focus on energy performance, with the pEUI of each project pinned up in the corner of each alcove. While seemingly small, this habit has led to greater energy literacy as we work toward excellence in both design and building performance.




Most recently, the Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Complex at Northeastern University received the 2018 Harleston Parker Medal, an honor recognizing the most beautiful building in Boston, while simultaneously achieving a 78% energy use reduction compared to the 2030 baseline. Jury comments stated that “The Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Complex (ISEC) incorporates many beautiful things—high design, sustainability, fostering community, and creating urban connections—and the architect and client believe the project can elevate each one of them. The building sits on the edge of Northeastern University’s campus, the catalytic first that will lead the development of the campus, linking it to neighboring Roxbury, attracting future students, and establishing Northeastern’s place in the realm of academic research. Its energy metrics are impressive. The decision to treat the labs with transparency is also laudable, offering a new way to think about designing for this type in the future. And, the façade—currently the most accessible component of the ISEC—is a standout, making an unexpected, unconventional design statement with organic shape and vertical fins that seems almost undoable in Boston.” A key driver of these behaviors at Payette is the feedback loop between our research and development engine and design integration. We invest in data-driven research and open-source tool creation, to enable designers to dynamically evaluate formal ideas and performance implications. Diverse user feedback, beyond our own firm, refines the tools and makes them more robust vehicles for integrated performance and design, while also empowering and elevating others in the profession with us, toward a more equitable and sustainable future.





MARCH Q1 —2017 2019



Fifth XiangYa Hospital used Skin Designer’s iterative panelization capabilities early in design, combined with Ladybug’s environmental analysis to create a feedback between program, performance and facade development of its’ patient room windows. The iterative tools enabled a tuned design of each window room frame, calibrated to optimize solar performance and natural ventilation. Beyond its’ environmental performance, the window bay, or family nest as it is called, brings a human scale to the hospital experience, providing comfort for the patient and family. The human experience was calibrated through a full-scale mock-up, constructed in our fabrication-research lab. The mock-up now lives in the office’s main gathering room for everyone to experience and learn from, feeding its’ research knowledge back into other project teams in the office. This integrated approach extends beyond our internal office culture to how we develop relationships with our clients. First, we continually evolve our process to become better at building trust with the communities we serve, because change works at the speed of trust. We plan time within project schedules to establish periods of open 14



dialogue, enabling a feedback loop between different user groups and our iterative design options. Building trust requires respect and acknowledgement that the community or user is an expert of their own environment. By learning from local experts and processing the different needs and feedback through our interpretive design lens, we leverage the multi-faceted expertise of the entire design, client, and user team to a more inclusive end result. This open dialogue demystifies the process of design and brings a sense of ownership to the many stakeholders involved in the collaborative outcome. It was critical to develop an inclusive design process for the Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance (DCAMM), Chelsea Soldiers Home - Community Living Center because it has so many stakeholders, including the Soldiers’ Home administrators, staff and residents, the state’s Department of Veterans Services, Department of Health and Human Services and Asset Management Board. A key inclusive design tool was the full-scale resident room mock-up, fabricated in-house by the design team. A recent


every detail and dimension is an opportunity to challenge old design habits and investigate new ones."

Metropolis Think-Tank, hosted by Payette, highlighted the integral role that full-scale mock-ups play in community engagement and particularly in the evolving design of healthcare. At the event, Cheryl Poppe, Superintendent of the Chelsea Soldiers Home and veteran, herself, praised the interactive design process, which included veterans and their families visiting the on-site mock-up and providing feedback about topics such as accessibility, comfort and privacy. Payette designers benefited from strategic planning required to fabricate and construct the mock-up, taking into consideration material dimensions, joinery, construction methods and transportation of pre-assembled pieces to the site to minimize interruption at the fully operational facility. The team built the mockup entirely of white cardboard, devoid of any indication of finishes, and then used augmented reality so users could view different finish options through a tablet. The mock-up was installed on site for one month during which the team gave user group tours, took surveys, documented sticky-note feedback, and tested different design options. This involved dialogue process between users and designers, ultimately led the team to pursue variances with the intention of enhancing the accessibility, specific to the veterans needs, based on in-depth user feedback. This is a call to all designers, no matter their level of experience, to adopt new behaviors to make our profession and the environments we build more equitable and inclusive, as every detail and dimension is an opportunity to challenge old design habits and investigate new ones. Whether the investigation occurs through a user mock-up, an energy model with iterative design options, or an open design discussion where our peers bring fresh perspective to tough design problems, we can approach design as an inclusive dialogue. Take advantage of the tools we are creating at Payette and making publicly available, such as the Glazing and Winter Comfort Tool, Skin Designer and Ladybug Plug In, because saving our environment, which especially effects marginalized communities, is a challenge we must solve together. And solutions can start with simple behaviors, like pinning up each project’s status towards a collective firm goal, which establishes a shift in the mindset of everyone. Anyone can call forth new behaviors through design, and in doing so, make our communities more dignified and humane places to live. ■

@JenHardyAIA Jennifer Hardy, AIA Jennifer is an architect at Payette in Boston, MA. Hardy is an active member at the Boston Society of Architects and serves on the membership committee, co-chairs the women in design and is the founding chair of the women in design emerging leaders group. YAFCONNECTION.COM






EQxDV: Voices, Values, Vision, the 5th biennial Equity by Design Symposium, gives attendees new data and new ideas, but it also gives a chance to make new friends, find mentors and sponsors, and build a network of like-minded allies who can be crucial to career success. - Equity by Design

Meaningful engagement in the topics of diversity and inclusion is made possible by communities and forums in which people feel supported and honored—spaces that allow for authentic and divergent perspectives to emerge and coalesce. On Saturday, November 3, 2018 at the San Francisco Art Institute, AIA San Francisco’s Equity by Design Committee hosted the #EQxDV Symposium, a greatly anticipated gathering of committed champions and change agents from all over the United States and abroad, with the goal to promote equitable practice in architecture and advance the profession.

WHAT IS EQUITY BY DESIGN? Equity by Design (EQxD) is a call to action to realize the goal of equitable practice for everyone, advance the profession and



communicate the value of architecture to society. Our mission is to understand the pinch points of career progression and promote the strategic execution of best practices in the recruitment, retention, and promotion of our profession's best talent at every level of architectural practice.

WHAT IS THE SYMPOSIUM? Our mission is to realize the goals of equitable practice, and our process is characterized by data, dialogue, and action. Over the past five years, the Equity by Design Core Team (Founding Chair Rosa Sheng, Co-Chairs Lilian Asperin and Julia Mandell, and Research Chair Annelise Pitts) has experimented with ways to experience a symbiotic cadence between practice (what is) and aspiration (what should be) at various scales, from personal to



Do the power pose! Women in architecture stand up for equity! Equity by Design Core Team members from left to right: Lilian Asperin, Co-Chair; Annelise Pitts, Research Chair; Rosa Sheng, Founding Chair; Julia Mandell, Co-Chair and Symposium Chair. - Equity by Design

Conversation can be crucial in understanding the concepts and strategies key to equitable practice and in inspiring each other to continue to advocate. Symposium attendees, including Emily Grandstaff-Rice, Wanda Lau, and Marilyn Moedinger, share thoughts between sessions. - Equity by Design

The #EQxDV Symposium is undoubtedly an exceptional event, but more so, it is a space of true dichotomy. It is a space where both pain and joy are unearthed. It is a space where both fact and feeling are examined. It is a space where both reality and the means for mobilizing a new reality convene. Above all, it is a space that architecture needs.” — Taylor Holloway, EQxDV Plus One Scholarship Recipient

group, and from team to industry. Every other year, these efforts culminate in a one day event: Equity by Design’s Symposium. The framework for the #EQxDV Symposium: VOICES, VALUES, VISION included: 1) presentation of the early findings of the 2018 Equity in Architecture Survey, and 2) active engagement in the form of panel discussions, breakout sessions, and networking opportunities.

The Plus One scholarship winners were able to attend the symposium in the company of a mentor/champion, a more experienced architectural professional with whom they can share observations, stories and resources. From left to right: Taylor Holloway, Jill Bergman, Olga Bracamontes, Frances Choun, Maggie Gaudio, Meghana Joshi, Mani Farhadi, Saskia Dennis van Dijl, and Itria Licitra. - Equity by Design

WHAT IS THE EQUITY IN ARCHITECTURE SURVEY? The 2018 Equity in Architecture Survey focused on the differential experiences of professionals based on gender, sexuality, race, and ethnicity. The resulting data set — the largest ever collected on equity within the profession — documents the experiences of 14,360 individuals representing all 50 states and nations on six continents. This unprecedented collection of professional voices is the testimony that allows all of us to build a deeper understanding of the strengths within the profession, and to gain insight into the critical work needed to provide each individual within our field with opportunities to thrive and to make lasting impacts within the communities we serve. The 2018 Equity in Architecture Survey data offers crucial insight into the experiences of architectural professionals today. What can we do to allow everyone to thrive? Key findings on display at the Symposium allowed attendees to explore the 2018 survey results and build on their experience of the day.For a complete report, see EQXDesign.com. - Equity by Design


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Intersectionality is the concept that every individual possesses multiple, interconnected identities that operate together within social systems. The Intersectionality & Intercultural Intelligence Breakout Session explored how this concept can be useful in working for just outcomes across gender, race, class, and sexuality. - Equity by Design


impact architecture school graduates: Voices, Values, and Vision.

In celebration of #EQxDV, our Five Year Founding Anniversary, we sought to pay it forward by launching our inaugural “Plus One” Scholarship initiative. Its goals were to promote access and participation from students and emerging professionals. Recipients would attend the Symposium and connect with five amazing EQxD mentor/champions to share insights on their careers in the built environment. Scholarship winners included Olga Bracamontes, Taylor Holloway, Maggie Gaudio, Meghana Joshi and Itria Licitra. Their mentors were Mani Farhadi, Jill Bergman, Patricia Ramallo, Frances Choun, and Saskia Dennis Van Dijl.


CALL FOR THOUGHT LEADERS The evolving conversation regarding equity, diversity, and inclusion has led, over the past five years, to the emergence of a broad set of voices, authors, and engaged participants committed to exploring a wide range of interpretations. In response, in early 2018 the committee published a “Call for Thought Leaders” who are content experts and passionate advocates interested in contributing to the design of the day’s experience. We received over 160 applications and selected 32 thought leaders to collaborate on the development of content for EQxDV’s panels and breakout sessions.

EQXDV SYMPOSIUM PROGRAM In alignment with this year’s Symposium theme, we presented three closely related frameworks for understanding how issues of equity

To attract and retain the most diverse talent, we must hear from those in practice and beyond. This year, we leveraged our platform to amplify all voices and create a safe space for everyone, regardless of position or identity, to speak up and be heard. STORYTELLERS Authenticity and vulnerability are values the EQxDCore Team holds dearly. We live by and respect this courage. This year, we were privileged to have four equity champions — Beau Frail, Damaris Hollingsworth, A.L. Hu, and Sandra Vivanco — share their stories of challenge and inspiration at the Symposium’s opening reception. Their honest, intimate accounts set the tone for the weekend, encouraging openness, building empathy, and making the political personal. VOICES: BREAKOUT SESSIONS Each professional journey is unique, encompassing the myriad of circumstances that make each of our lives what they are and contribute to our points of view. In a series of four breakout sessions, attendees explored intersectionality and its importance in understanding complex identities; learned about the legacy of activist architecture exhibitions while perusing the content of Now What?!; practiced storytelling; and gained insights from change agents working effectively to implement incremental grassroots

The Voices Storytellers inspired the audience with their perseverance, courage and insight. They shared stories that demonstrated how buildings can be inclusive, how a non-non-binary identity can be harnessed to combat bias and discrimination, and how our values are shaped by our struggles. From left to right: Julia Mandell, AL Hu, Beau Frail, Sandra Vivanco, Chris Kerr, and Damaris Hollingsworth.Equity by Design Voices Panelist Diane Jacobs was adamant that we must redefine our practice culture to create sustainable work-life conditions. From left to right: Kevin Holland, Diane Jacobs, moderator Julia Mandell, and AL Hu. - Equity by Design 18



REDEFINING IDENTITY The work of the Vision Panelists is characterized by a forward-looking approach to both equitable practice models and new kinds of project work that bring good design and design advocacy tools to those who are often overlooked. From left to right: Susan Chin, Deanna Van Buren, moderator Lilian Asperin, Arezoo Riahi, and Bryan Lee.- Equity by Design

action toward equitable practice. •

Intersectionality & Intercultural Intelligence - #EQxDVIntersectionality

Now What?! - #EQxDVNowWhat

The Power of Our Stories - #EQxDVPower

Building an Equitable Workplace from the Bottom Up - #EQxDVBottomUp

VALUES Our core team is constantly amazed by the diversity of identities and experiences demonstrated by Symposium attendees, and we are motivated to come together to find common ground in our core values. This year, the Symposium explored how those values guide us in choosing our collaborators, shaping our work culture, and cultivating our design leadership to make the most lasting impact within our communities. VALUES: BREAKOUT SESSIONS In four breakout sessions, we explored how we can “walk the talk” and communicate our worth as engaged citizens and as architects and leaders. We asked: How can we uphold the values of equity, inclusion, dignity, and respect as an integrated approach in our design work that deeply resonates for individuals, practices, clients, and our communities? •

Aligning Workplace Values and Project Outcomes - #EQxDVProjects

Tactical Implementation at the Firm Level - #EQxDVImplementation

Equity Climate - #EQxDVEquityClimate

Chart Your Path - #EQxDNavigate

VISION To close out this year’s Symposium, we were inspired by the idea of expanding our focus and exploring the future of a better world. As architecture begins to see equitable practice in action in practices of all sizes, we asked: How can we build on that reality while exploring new types of services, new relationships, and new symbiotic models for work culture and life?

Lilian Asperin, AIA, LEED AP BD+C

As one of WRNS Studio's Partners, Lilian helps lead the design process and build teams that deliver aspirational outcomes. A leader within the Society for College and University Planning (SCUP), she organized the first-ever Hackathon for MOOC’s as part of the Pacific Regional Conference and is the organization's 2018-2021 Pacific Regional Chair. YAFCONNECTION.COM

VISION: PANEL Our panelists are at the forefront of pushing equity in practice, working at various scales and all across the country. Knowing that early adopters, by definition, have limited precedents, panelists Susan Chin (Executive Director, Design Trust for Public Space), Arezoo Riahi (Diversity & Inclusion Strategic Business Partner, Autodesk), Bryan C. Lee Jr. (Director of Design, Colloqate Design), and Deanna Van Buren (Founder, Designing Justice, Designing Spaces) provided candid looks into their daily lives. The work of innovative leaders makes evident how design can transform lives and communities through building inclusive practices, forging new relationships among industry partners, and challenging clients to bear greater responsibility for meaningful impact. This work is both relevant and, admittedly, hard. But it’s what excites and motivates us to remain in our profession – to bring 100% of our best and unique selves. CALL TO ACTION & NEXT STEPS The Symposium closed by inviting each participant to commit to one goal that furthers the effort toward obtaining equitable practice. In the coming year, Equity by Design will host workshops that allow participants to experience the most popular break-out sessions from the Symposium and invite leaders to become storytellers on our website. The Equity by Design Committee is led by a core team including: Rosa Sheng (Founding Chair), Lilian Asperin (Co-Chair), Julia Mandell (Co-Chair and Symposium Chair), and Annelise Pitts (Research Chair). The work done by the Equity by Design Committee continues to be covered widely by national media, such as Architectural Record, Architect Magazine, Metropolis and the New York Times. ■

Julia Mandell, AIA, LEED AP

Currently practicing with Wilson Associates, a design/build/development firm in Oakland, CA, Julia's work includes the design of spaces for living, working, eating and making, with a focus on adaptive reuse. Previously, Julia worked for four years with SWA Group on large-scale urban design and landscape work. Q1 — 2019




Prescott Reavis Prescott Reavis is an Oakland based spatial activist, designer, planner and award-winning educator who has merged 20 years of experiences in architecture, planning, and education to develop and construct inclusive communities internationally with a focus on equitable design and planning justice. He earned his Bachelor of Architecture with a minor in Education from Howard University and is currently completing his Masters in Urban Planning from San Jose State University Mr. Reavis currently is a consultant providing community engagement, planning, design and advocacy for non-profits, small businesses, communitybased organizations, government and companies in the AEC industries.

Throughout history, architecture has experienced change through evolution rather than holistic transformation. The process of architecture becoming a more equitable, diverse, and inclusive profession has followed-suit, with small victories occurring at sporadic milestones. The late Dame Zaha Hadid was the first woman architect to win the Pritzker Prize in 2004, 25 years after the award’s inception (Denise Scott Brown was not recognized when her partner, Robert Venturi, was awarded the prize in 1991). Julia Morgan, a prolific architect in California, was the first woman to win the AIA Gold Medal in 2014, 57 years after her passing. It has only been in the last decade or so that a movement in the architectural profession aimed at encouraging equitable practice has catalyzed more rapid and seemingly meaningful conversations. Marked by the advent of the Equity in Architecture Survey, the Equity x Design movement, the national #MeToo movement, as well as the AIA’s recent initiative to create “Guides for Equitable Practice” (currently under limited release to AIA members for review and comment), a groundswell of grassroots efforts continue to challenge current paradigms in favor of a broader vision of the profession’s future. This still nascent quality of the concept of equity in architecture, marked by a continued imbalance in women and minority representation, provides the profession with an opportunity to approach the problem with a vast toolset of resources already adopted in other realms. For example, the nature of professional spheres such as urban planning and public-sector work often require meaningful engagement and consensus-building across culturally-diverse communities. A recent panel discussion at the AIASF Equity x Design symposium this past November regarding Intersectionality (described by YW Boston as “a framework for conceptualizing a person, group of people, or social problem as affected by a number of discriminations and disadvantages, taking into account people’s overlapping



identities and experiences in order to understand the complexity of prejudices they face”) and Intercultural Intelligence (a process and mindset geared towards bridging cultural divides) provided a thought-provoking lens to help the architecture community eliminate bias in favor of adapting to the complexities of cultural diversity, therefore encouraging and promoting inclusivity. A novice to both the syntax and strategies behind intersectionality and intercultural intelligence, I spoke with panelist Prescott Reavis, an Oakland based spatial activist, designer, planner, and educator. The following excerpts from our conversation provide both a framework for the panel discussion as well as salient examples of how Reavis’s 20 years of professional experience in equitable design and planning justice might place a renewed emphasis on inclusivity and equity in the cultivation of a new generation of architects as well as more thoughtful, context-responsive planning and architectural projects. Beth Mosenthal: For those not familiar with the concept of intersectionality, can you provide an explanation? Prescott Reavis: “The thing that’s important to know is that the topic itself [intersectionality] is something we have always been dealing with and talking about – how does each person’s history, legacy, and culture play into shaping how they relate with other people and in different situations? Intersectionality is a term most people don’t know. The word has been around for 30 years. In the context of history, 30 years within a language is still an infant. To say that I’ve never heard of it means it’s not something widely discussed in any circumstance. If you move the term into the architectural profession, it’s even less likely that people will know about it, as architecture historically is not predominantly focused on the broad ranges of culture. If you look at race and gender in our profession – we’ve been battling intersectionality for almost 100 years.



Reavis participating in an AMP Community Engagement session. - Courtesy Prescott Reavis

Reavis and a young student participating in SFNOMA’s Project Pipeline programming. - Courtesy Prescott Reavis

These topics are just now reaching a point where people are talking about them on a consistent basis. It’s not expected that people will understand intersectionality, which is why this was a topic for discussion at the Equity x Design symposium. The hope was to advance the topics of race, gender, sexuality, and religion, and to provide a broader sense of why [these various, often overlapping modes of self-identification] are important. Broadening the discussion (this terminology was new to everyone on the panel), we were all familiar with the realities of intersectionality; from experiencing [bias] ourselves at the firms and professional capacities we’ve worked in. Providing a term helps center things for people; it forces us to ask and understand, what does it actually mean? Intersectionality is understanding someone’s make-up, inclusive of race, class, gender, sexuality--it’s our lived experiences that we are not always able to talk about in the workplace.

in how your community is shaped,who is shaping it, and how even as a youth you need to be part of the process. and understand one moves through the world.

BM: What is your background, academically, and professionally? In your experience in the architectural profession, how has intersectionality and intercultural intelligence manifested itself? PR: I received my Bachelors of Architecture from Howard University, where I minored in Education. I am currently finishing up a Master’s Degree in Urban Planning at San Jose State University. Throughout my career, I have taught design and planning to various grade levels, including elementary, middle, high-school, and college. The main reason why I went back to school to study Urban Planning was to understand how can we create more inclusive planning processes where we center history, culture, and the resident’s knowledge at the forefront and deal with intersectionality.I wanted to understand, ‘how does it work? How do you engage communities in their own spaces?’ in a way that I could explain to young people and have them understand why planning is such an important process. Important not only professionally, but


In my personal experience, when I attended community meetings, running or participating in them, I’ve always found it interesting that architects and planners approach community meetings completely differently. Architects talk about precedents of buildings. Planners dive deep into the cultural history, environment, the unrecorded stories, and documentation that has led a community to where it is now. The holistic approach planners take helps engage users differently. Doing a deeper dive in talking to the people you’re working with, setting up a framework for the outreach process, and asking questions such as, ‘do you think this process would work to engage your community?’ yields better results. I have taught elementary to college students and, in the process, facilitated many opportunities to work across a huge spectrum of people and students. What I’ve learned from going back to getting a MUP is that the goal is to understand the benefits and importance of engaging people within their own space, but more importantly, in a way that honors and acknowledges their history. Understanding a group’s history,including the good, the bad, and the extremely ugly as a point of reference for what we shouldn’t do and the things we should do, helps ensure outcomes in which resident groups have been honored, with the intent of [developing design solutions] that will move their history forward while acknowledging that things have changed. Trying to figure out and overlap a lot of those things is difficult. What helps at the onset is having a mindset of intersectionality and intercultural intelligence—being able to take in other people’s perspectives first and then reflect on how I can help or hinder this process.

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Reavis leading a discussion at the Restorative Youth Justice Design Summit. - Courtesy Prescott Reavis

Reavis participating in an AMP Community Engagement session. - Courtesy Prescott Reavis

Developing intercultural intelligence is a practice—it’s well-known as a bar or continuum in which a person might first approach cultural differences with denial, then defensiveness, minimization, followed by acceptance (recognizing differences and values) and finally, adaptation. Through adaptation a person comes to understand and become an advocate for getting people to recognize and acknowledge different viewpoints and ideas with the goal of integration. It’s only at this point, when we reach an integration of culture, viewpoints, race, sexuality, class, etc., that we can start to look at the full picture, define the problem, and come to a solution that recognizes the real issues.

I’ve also seen more opportunities to work with clients that are open to different ideas—for example, a design team asking for scope to do a deep dive on culture or to investigate a community’s history. The [architecture] firms that are making the shift towards diversity and inclusion—I see this as being driven by clients in both the private and public sector. Community-based clients are coming to understand how design has both harmed and improved their communities and want to ensure whatever they are building is additive and equitable.

At the Equity x Design conference, we talked about how the process of intercultural intelligence is familiar to the architectural profession. Talking about how these things overlap at the scale of an individual and an entire community is where a whole new level of complexity that we’re not fully aware of [is introduced.] Questions we asked included, ‘how do we start to use [intersectionality] as a framework for a discussion to address the individual, professional, and community?’ This is not a fast-moving process. I’ve always been interested in understanding not only who the client is, but also, ‘who is the community?’ In my early architectural career, it seemed solutions were oriented toward the client’s requests. It’s really only been within the last 4-6 years that a shift seems to have occurred in the sense that (1) the profession itself has become more intelligent about understanding the bias of individuals and how design teams engage with communities; and (2) clients are realizing they are spending a lot of money on the design of a project, and are demonstrating an increased interest in making sure they have [design] teams that are reflective of the communities in which they are building.



One example of this shift recently occurred in Oakland. In 2015, the city started working on the Downtown Specific Plan. The former planning director, not focusing on equity and inclusivity, hired a planning firm out of Florida. While going through the first rounds of community meetings, the community felt the plan was promoting erasure of the existing culture and economics of ethnic communities. The city had to put the plan on hold in order to develop a lens for looking and talking about race and equity while moving through the planning process. After a year of outreach with various constituents, by a completely separate group of consultants, there is now a Department of Race and Equity which will oversee the newly developed social equity lens. This lens is now an integrated component meant to bridge the before, during, and after steps of the planning and design process. It acts as a continuum of tracking metrics and a means of ensuring continuity in understanding the impacts of the new plan on the downtown’s existing culture and community. It’s important for the architecture profession to understand intersectionality and intercultural relationships. We have to understand our communities, not only to avoid the re-doing of work, but in order to have conversations that will ultimately help reshape


REDEFINING IDENTITY Reavis and a student participating in a design critique as part of SFNOMA’s Project Pipeline programming. Courtesy Prescott Reavis

Community-based clients are coming to understand how design has both harmed and improved their communities and want to ensure whatever they are building is additive and equitable."

what a project is, letting it become what it should be. Architecture is a service industry and we need to ensure our clients get the best product. If the community is happy with [the final product], that, in many ways is the ultimate goal. Beyond design or planning awards, a project needs to help serve a purpose to uplift the majority of community.

the Arts, UC Berkeley and Academy of Arts University. On the academic side, there are not a lot of professors that are sharing messages of [intersectionality, intercultural intelligence, equity, and diversity]. This is one reason why I am being asked to support studio classes and to share this lens [with our next generation of architects].

BM: What have been some of your approaches and takeaways from teaching architectural design and planning with an equitable lens to students ranging from elementary to college level?

During my time at Anshen + Allen (now Stantec), I realized I was one of the only black technical architects when I first started. To help increase the number of black technical staff, I was asked to spearhead their student internship program. Through the program, my goal was to help showcase the talent and spectrum of minority students. I spent a lot of time visiting universities throughout the country mentoring,helping with resume and portfolio building, and establishing relationships with the school leadership, and most importantly, with the students themselves. We were able to increase the diversity in our office through the internship program by 33% during my tenure with very minimal resources. Firms need to dedicate specific funding and leadership to support and nurture the shift of the profession. We need highly diverse designers, planners and architects who fully understand intersectionality and are skilled at implementing Intercultural Intelligence, for our profession to remain relevant to communities and for the next generation of architects to succeed. ■

PR: During my time working with Y-PLAN, a program through UC Berkeley Center for Cites + Schools focused on engaging youth on planning projects, I’ve found that younger students are naturally more inclusive. Bias has not been introduced to them. Elementary students are the most thoughtful about who is missing in the process. When asked to think about their community, they first think about seniors—their grandparents and older people in the community —then their parents, siblings, etc. As a founder and current director of NOMA San Francisco’s Project Pipeline camp, I have led our middle school students on a realworld, one-week architecture and community planning project. [We tried to underscore] the importance of having the students engage with the site and the users of the existing site to try to understand 'who is the existing population?’ I encourage the students to talk with people in the neighborhood walking down the street, the people that are in and around our project space every day. This is often a much richer and rewarding resource than doing research online. I’ve also spent time conducting workshops at California College of

Beth Mosenthal, AIA, LEED AP

Beth Mosenthal is a Denver-based architect, writer, editor, and advocate for equitable and accessible design. As a Senior Editor for YAF Connection, she is interested in featuring stories that highlight voices and work that are creating meaningful change, posing questions, and leading to tangible advancements in both the profession and the nature of practice. YAFCONNECTION.COM

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December, 2014 — Barely coming out of the recession, I was working on commercial and light industrial projects as an independent architectural consultant while balancing raising my two daughters, ages fourteen and eight at the time. Although architecture as a profession was clawing its way up from the Great Housing Depression, not everyone was employed to maximize their abilities. Being an immigrant woman of color, a mother, and a recent transplant from Pasadena to Irvine, I did not have the network and resources I needed to connect with companies that aligned with my interests. At that point, I was not a member of AIA Orange County yet. One day, while surfing the internet for current and relevant articles on architecture, I came across Rosa Sheng, and the initiative originally known as “The Missing 32% Project.” That was the straw I was looking to grasp, and since then, I haven’t looked back. This year, I was selected to participate in the “Plus One” scholarship program for 2018 Equity by Design Symposium. In celebration of the #EQxDV 5 year founding anniversary, Equity by Design paid it forward with five “Plus One” scholarships for students and emerging professionals to attend the symposium, and connect with five EQxD Mentors/Champions to share insights on their careers in the built environment. My fellow “Plus One” cohorts were Olga Bracamontes, Taylor Holloway, Maggie Gaudio, and Itria Licitra. We were each paired with a mentor; mine was Mani Ardalan Farhadi. Mani and I have known each other virtually for the past year, bonding over topics related to archimoms (mothers in the profession of architecture) and an equitable future in the profession. She is a Senior Facilities Planner at Stanford School of Medicine, “Thought Leader” within Equity by Design, “Citizen Architect” formerly on the Los Gatos Union School District Board, Publicist at AIA Silicon Valley’s Women in Architecture Committee, and former blog editor at the Iranian American Women Foundation. It was a perfect mentormentee pair, with similar (and several!) work and life integration/ challenge parallels. Here is a quick recap of personal highlights from the Symposium: As a volunteer for the EQxD survey preparation and an AIA member taking the survey, the presentation of the data was a surreal moment where I was part of the past, present and future of an equitable profession. "Leadership gap between white men and women narrows, but gap between white men and colored people widens.” (-EQxD Survey)

Reality in the shape of graphs stared at me, and I wondered, why the denial? More data followed, showing how a colored woman with a master’s degree in architecture will earn significantly less than a white male with a bachelor’s degree in architecture. I attended a break out session titled “Building an Equitable Workplace from the Bottom Up”, and listened to Natalie Tse share her story of juggling caregiving and a career as a structural engineer, while also being the cofounder of the “SE3 Project” (geared towards an equitable future in Structural Engineering). Natalie’s story of an Asian upbringing and the need for self-care resonated with me. As a mother of two, with a full-time job, the Chair of Women in Architecture Committee for AIA Orange County, as well as an ARE TOP: Leaning in, with family to lean on. BELOW: With my Plus One Mentor/ Champion Mani Farhadi.





test-taker, I admit that self-care is on the bottom of my list. Post symposium, I am rethinking self-care, and have made a promise to myself to never let my sleep or health suffer. During a lunch break, the courtyard at the San Francisco Art Institute was filled with the energy and voices of women in architecture, who were ready to transform the future of the profession. We networked, exchanged contact information, shared our stories, and wished each other success on our chosen paths. We picked up our lunches and broke out into smaller groups. Mani and I shared our backgrounds and stories. Within minutes into the conversation, Mani shared tips on how to handle performance reviews and negotiate for promotions/ pay raises. She explained how to prepare a folder with printed material and communication showcasing my accomplishments throughout the year, document over-time hours, and all examples that demonstrate going above and beyond in my job’s various duties. She advised me to do market research, be assertive, and acknowledge what I deserved without hesitation. Unfortunately, I had just finished my review before the symposium, but there is always next year! I am so grateful for this unique experience. Mani is everything I would like to be as an archimom in the future I appreciate her willingness to share her struggles, her triumphs, and her journey. Later in the afternoon, I attended the breakout session “Chart Your Path” with Lilian Asperin and Jill Bergman. This session integrated work, life, and everything that requires strategic mapping of professional development. Lilian shared her story (I Unsubscribed), and her visual mapping method using analogue tools (post-its!) to find patterns that guide your decision making. Jill shared how you can add more to who you are with a strategic growth plan. I worked on Jill’s method, and realized that I have a short term goal, a long term goal, but not a vision! This was my biggest take-away from the symposium. Seemingly simple, yet complicated when you sit down with a pen and paper. The path is never linear but the plan is, with the ability to meander and course-correct. Rosa Sheng’s inspirational keynote at the end of the symposium brought almost everyone to tears, as she shared the story of her archimom dinner invitation with Steve Jobs. It was very sentimental, touching, and inspiring at the same time. Networking in the courtyard followed, with attendees sharing their takeaways and influences from the symposium. I made new friends, met my social media friends and influencers, and connected with more likeminded people.

The EQxDV Symposium was inspiring and energizing, and there is a renewed fire within my soul to do more, to be more. Two weeks after the symposium, I am taking my plans and goals more seriously than ever. A lot of thought has gone into the direction I want my career to take. The vision board is still a work in progress,and I know there will be challenges in the years to come as I transition from an actively involved parent to an empty nester, to primary care-giving. But, to create a vision that is uniquely my own--not my employer’s or my mentors will help me become my authentic self while giving my heart and soul to a path that I truly believe in. When I drove to the symposium, I knew I was joining the Board of Directors for AIA Orange County, but I did not have a two-year plan. Post symposium, I know what I want to work towards… I am the Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion - aligning with the Strategic Plan developed by AIA Orange County. In that role, I will be the champion of change and an advocate for equity, or a JEDI (Justice, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion) Master, as Rosa Sheng puts it. "Their goal wasn't to stand out because of their differences; it was to fit in because of their talents.” - Margot Lee Shetterly, Hidden Figures The aforementioned quote sums up what women, people of color, and LGBTQIA+ aspire to achieve through an equitable framework for a better future. In an ideal world, only work, ethics, and talents should matter. Unfortunately, we need equitable frameworks, knowledge and intercultural intelligence (ICQ) to help dismantle the systemic barriers that prevent advancement. Architecture is a profession that can benefit from diverse experiences to shape our built communities. No one should feel stifled because of their gender, color or race. I hope my lessons from the symposium might empower others to seek out champions and pay it forward by mentoring the next generation. ■

@meghanaira Meghana Joshi, Assoc. AIA

An Associate at WHA, Meghana has worked on diverse commercial and residential projects throughout California. She is the recipient of AIA California Council’s AEP “Associate” Award and Presidential Citation for 2018. She is the founder/chair of AIA Orange County's Women in Architecture Committee and Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion. YAFCONNECTION.COM

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BOTTOM LEFT: EQxDV Voices Panel - Kevin Holland, Diana Jacobs, Julia V. Mandell, Tiffany Brown, and A.L. Hu.

Because of my work in advocacy and activism in architecture, I am often contacted to provide my point of view on equity, diversity, and inclusion and to share my personal experiences in the profession. As a result of a personal calling, I launched an initiative called 400 Forward, a program which aims to seek out and support the next 400 licensed women architects with an underlying focus on African American girls through exposure, mentorship, and financial assistance. Alarmingly, there are just over 400 African American women who are currently licensed in the profession. I was invited to participate on a panel titled “Voices, Vision, and Values” at EQxDV at the San Francisco Art Institute this past fall by my SmithGroup colleague and Founding Chair of EQxD, Rosa Sheng. This panel was a discussion lead by champions and change agents to advance the movement of equitable practice and the future of architecture. The 2018 EQxDV survey findings that resonated with me most were the fact black women are being paid far less than our male counterparts, and are less likely to be promoted to leadership positions. These findings confirmed something that many of us already knew: a male who does not have a master’s degree would be paid more and promoted higher than a black woman who does have a master’s degree. I was asked to discuss my initial reaction to seeing these numbers, graphs, and charts put together by a data scientist, and how that information made me feel. I felt insulted. I felt discouraged. With the audience including one of my firm’s Managing Partners and an office Vice President who are both very supportive of my journey, my response was this: I am an African American woman, who happens to have two master’s degrees and I have every intention of being in a firm as a partner one day. Although I am determined and very capable of the same leadership positions, I have surely seen less experienced male peers who do not hold a master’s degree climb ladders and be promoted much faster than I know I would ever be. I suddenly realized I was in a whirlwind of emotions and I asked myself why I should be ushering in the next generation of girls into a profession that would not only pay them unfairly, but not allow them to excel to be partners and principals although they have the experience and credentials necessary. One of my co-panelists, who also happens to be a good friend and mentor, Kevin Holland, pointed out how programs like 400 Forward are the very things

that would change this situation for the next generation of minority women architects coming down the line. He reminded me of the importance of advocacy and representation, and how they must be used to rectify this problem. The results of the EQxDV survey demonstrate the reasons why organizations like 400 Forward are necessary. There are many programs in place today that aim to change the face of architecture, so that it reflects the diversity of our communities. In 1968 when civil rights leader Whitney Young gave his historic address challenging the members of the American Institute of Architects to take action to create a more inclusive and ethical profession, he referred to the disservice they would be doing as a whole to communities and generations to come. All of his statements still apply today, and had more intentional steps been taken back then, I am certain the current statistics wouldn’t be what they are now: "As a profession, you ought to be taking stands on these kinds of things. If you don’t as architects speak out for some kind of scholarship program that will enable you to consciously and deliberately seek to bring in minority people who have been discriminated against in many cases, either kept out because of your indifference or couldn’t make it — it takes seven to ten years to become an architect — then you will have done a disservice to the memory of John Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Bob Kennedy and most of all, to yourselves." This quote is surely one of the most profound statements of his speech and disturbingly still applies today, over 50 years later. I am often called upon to speak on how an unjust built environment affected me, being a product of an environment created by the Robert Moses era. I am a person in those upcoming generations Mr. Young spoke of, who happened to become a designer of the built environment. The answer to this problem is for the entire profession to continue to be transparent with experiences, salaries, desires, and fears. The latest survey returned nearly 15,000 responses, which is the highest number of survey responses in our field thus far. We can continue to work together and bring attention to the issues our profession faces as a whole. We are responsible to future generations for the environments we create, and must act now to avoid being in the same position, again, 50 years from now. ■ To learn more, visit 400forward.com

@TiffanyB_313 Tiffany Brown, Assoc. AIA, NOMA Tiffany is a Project Manager at SmithGroup in Detroit, MI. As Founder of 400 Forward, Brown is also a pioneer for diversity and inclusion in the profession of architecture and urban planning, raising awareness on how representation in design makes a significant social impact on firm practice, culture, and education. 26







BELOW: 'Activism' Panel at Harvard GSD's WiD Symposium - A Convergence.

Early in November 2018, I had the great privilege of participating in the GSD’s Women in Design (WiD) symposium entitled A Convergence: At the Confluence of Identity, Power and Design. The student-run organization spearheaded a two-day symposium that brought together a collection of individuals and groups working within the varied landscapes of equity in academia, research, history, and practice. The incredible effort and organization of the WiD was a profound act of advocacy in its own right with programming including a keynote from Jha D of MAS Context, a series of panel discussions, workshops, and a quickfire pechakucha presentation of active student organizations. The broad swath of voices heard over the day is reminder that difference is an asset, no movement is a monolith, and when taken together many voices will move us all forward. How does one address a responsibility and need to have direct conversations about equity within architecture? The “Power” panel addressed this question among others, calling for the room to reframe how control and leadership are assessed. The group emphasized the efficacy required to enact real change and many championed mutually supportive and collaborative models of practice. On “Pedagogy,” the discussion touched upon the importance of teaching the histories of the designers we study, and the responsibility we each must take on as active participants within its existing power dynamics, both inside our own institutions as well as the communities in which we produce our work. On “Activism” the last panel of the day discussed allies and targets, the legacies of activism, and how one might mobilize to affect change. From calls to push up the ceiling with scholarship, to the recognition of the effectiveness of our institutional and professional bodies to raise the floor, our panelists laid out a plurality of approaches for Convergence attendees to contemplate. I spent the trip home reflecting on the panel with my colleagues. I was concerned that my comments had been too much, or that I had been too much, or too hard, or too ambitious. So naturally, we discussed core drills for some perspective. A little error 4 inches around, can cost $100 per inch to correct. Compounded over a slab’s depth, by stacks of floors in a tower, across all the new towers in a city, and on and on, do we have any idea how much capital is spent poking little holes though cast concrete within our industry? Here I am wondering if I am too much, when everything that Architexx has done, and perhaps will ever do, amounts to about the capital equivalent of moving a single pipe. Perhaps we can aim at a bit bigger an adjustment of the discipline. To the YAF reader, I ask “what if?” Beyond the singular occurrence in a room like A Convergence, what if we all engaged in discussions on equity in architecture as openly as we might the detail of a façade or concrete penetration? What if equity was part of the dominant discourse in today’s architectural practice? I can see it now. Project managers would hash it out with scholars in coordination meetings to strategize engagement with the Architectural Lobby on an upcoming job. Students would engage historians to discuss trends they seeing in the industry, and the differences in the use of the term “switch” in Jennifer Bloomer’s reading and Keller Easterling writing. Consultants like Joel Sanders would be hired and regularly looped into RFI responses YAFCONNECTION.COM

on the implications of a project’s restroom configuration. New firm partners would be elevated for spearheading the office’s dive into new markets, for engaging the Kimberly Dowdells and Karen Abrams of the emerging class of equitable developers and capital partners. An architectural discourse on equity wouldn’t just be in the classroom or the firm, but it would be on Twitter and Instagram, with critics @-ing each other on their misreading of Elizabeth Grosz, or protesting the demolition of Union Carbide or debating the terms Power, Pedagogy, and Activism. Conversations on equity would pervade the way we communicate to each other. We would exist in a cultural ecology of design and architectural discourse, enabling not only a wider discussion across the many vectors of equity in our discipline, but a more dynamic, open, and effective architectural process. Equity in architecture wouldn’t just be for a small room of its champions, but a conversation taken up by all. This clearly this isn’t the dominant design culture we live in, nor will it ever be. Conversations on identity and power in design are often hard to broach and at the periphery of the profession. What we can do as AIA leaders, mentors, and peers is be open and engage. We can each bring our differences, our enthusiasms, and ourselves to our work. I’m in the discipline to create inspiring and effective places, and I’d like to do more than move a couple pipes. ■

Jen Grosso, AIA Jen is a Senior Project Manager at Alloy Development in Brooklyn NY. Grosso is also a board member at Architexx, a women in architecture advocacy group, on the ULI YLG programming steering committee, and holds a B.Arch from Cornell University.

Q1 — 2019





In November of 2018, AIA released three chapters of the first edition of the Guides for Equitable Practice, a publication designed to shape the conversation around diversity for individuals, firms, and the profession of architecture. I sat down with Andrea Johnson, it’s primary author and researcher, to discuss the value of diversity, the challenges facing those willing to pursue change, and how emerging professionals can utilize the guides to initiate change. Johnson recommended printing the pdf, laying it out, then diving into different relevant points. Each chapter serves as an independent guide to be read sequentially or rearranged to suit your inquiry. Synchronous efforts between AIA, individuals, and focus groups, like Equity by Design, have brought diversity to the forefront of progressive architectural practice. Diversity is innately relevant in today’s society, as the value of individuals includes their unique knowledge and experiences. The Introduction to the Guides describes the moral, business, ethical, professional, and societal cases for diversity. As architects, we need to consider these factors when deciding whether or not to position ourselves as leaders in equitable practice. The Guides for Equitable Practice address the perceived challenges related to discussing differences and addressing diversity. Overcoming personal discomfort may be our first step toward a more equitable practice. Emerging professionals, like myself, should feel empowered to initiate conversations on diversity. We can ask questions and listen. Don’t wait for managers to ‘assign’ diversity. Reach out and connect with fellow architects and building professionals (engineers, interior designers, landscape architects, etc.). Build relationships with fellow employees by finding out where they are from, and discovering their strengths and weaknesses. Such questions can signal that we value them as individuals and are interested in their personal development. Reaching out to others creates an inclusive environment that fosters creativity and excellence. We can work through existing AIA committees. Our AIA community can provide a platform for addressing diversity. Many of us have likely read articles in Harvard Business Review and Gallup that make a business case for diversity. Professional Practice, Women in Architecture, and Advocacy Committees bring together architects willing to have conversations on new topics such as equitable practice. Discussions on diversity don’t have to

be in an exclusive committee. Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) are relevant in many settings and impact everyone. We can create discussion groups in our offices. Whether or not we participate in AIA, we can initiate conversations with people in our own offices. Informal meetings over lunch are one way to start talking about equity. The Guides for Equitable Practice include personal stories to consider followed by discussion questions. We can also make our discussions more personal by asking individuals to share their experience and thoughts on diversity. We can form a task force. Our efforts in Minnesota started with a small group of passionate individuals. The task force can work towards a short-term goal. In Minnesota, the Diversity Task Force assessed the state of affairs and listed recommendations for reaching diversity goals. We can organize EDI Committees. A long standing committee can be the key to maintaining EDI discussions. In Minnesota, the EDI Committee organizes continuing education sessions, leadership programs, conference panels, and just launched a website for EDI content and conversation called Drafting Progress. We can give out scholarships. Part of the disparity related to diversity stems from the high cost of entry into the profession of architecture. Scholarships for school or professional development can remove one of the major barriers for individuals from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds. We can mentor. Within our firms, schools, and communities, we can reach out to the next generation, or the generation below that. Our efforts in Minnesota are largely channeled through the Architecture in Schools (AIS) Committee who introduces architecture to young people. The AIS Committee does this through STEM days, school career days, talking in high school classrooms, and providing simple models to build at the State Fair and local farmers’ markets. If the Guides for Equitable Practice seem too simple, then nothing should be standing in our way. Every little action we take impacts relationships within our circle of influence and beyond. Equity is about having a heart to reach out to people to help them perform at their potential. Learning more about the value of diversity improves our profession for every current and potential architect. ■


"you shouldn’t have to be the victim to feel for other people” — Whitney M. Young, Jr., Keynote Address at the 1968 AIA Convention in Portland, Oregon




Katie Kangas, AIA, NCARB Katie Is an architect at Kodet Architectural Group in Minneapolis, MN. As the North Central States Region YARD, Kangas connects emerging professionals with resources to position them for success.




Every year, the AIA College of Fellows sponsors a grant program for emerging professionals. The College of Fellows Component Grants for Emerging Professionals, as it is formally known, seeks to fund programming focused on enhancing the emerging professional experience and increasing the vitality of Young Architect and Associate communities across the nation. According to the 2018 program guide, grant requests should “address at least one of the following: advancement of the profession, career advancement, the value of design, leadership, starting one’s own firm, economy and change, or the value of licensure.” One of the proposals awarded a 2018 grant was AIA Columbus’ ARCHway Mentorship Program, which aimed to connect young architects with firm leaders in the Columbus architectural community. As a pilot program, ARCHway sought a comprehensive approach to mentorship that focused on developing networking skills for both emerging talent and seasoned professionals. The program structured multiple modes of active interaction through six sessions over a period of approximately 5 months. ARCHway formed mentorship groups consisting of Advisees and Advisors, who after being paired through an intensive “speed mentoring” exercise, engaged in discussion throughout the program in both organized gatherings and informal meetings. Advisees included young architects and AIA associate members, and Advisors included AIA Fellows and experienced practitioners. Six months after the completion of the program, ARCHway alumni continue to meet and impact the Columbus architectural community. Several program alumni have stepped into leadership roles in the local chapter, while others have been approached for state and regional leadership positions.



The program was financially feasible because of the Component Grants for Emerging Professionals program, and AIA Columbus looks forward to developing “ARCHway 2.0” and advancing the next generation of young architect and associate leaders. ■ • • • • • • • • • • • • •

AIA Washington DC for “AIA DC Thesis Showcase” AIA Hong Kong for “Winning A.R.E. 5.0” AIA Buffalo for “Construction Detailing” AIA Dallas for “A.R.E. 5.0 Success Team Program” AIA New York City for “AIANY Civic Leadership Program” AIA Detroit for “Christopher Kelly Leadership Development Program” AIA Columbus for “ARCHway Mentorship Program” AIA Gulf States for “EXPAND Symposium” AIA Hampton for “[yaf]CON” AIA Arizona for “Practice Innovation Lab” AIA Illinois for “Illinois EP Network” AIA Brooklyn for “SPEAK Lecture Series” AIA New York State for “Overcoming Communication Challenges"


TOP: 2018 ARCHway Class w/ Keynote Speaker Pascale Sablan, AIA - Courtesy AIA Columbus BELOW: ARCHway Panel Discussion “Stories of Architects” - Courtesy AIA Columbus

Matt Toddy, AIA, NCARB

As a graduate of the Knowlton School of Architecture at The Ohio State University and architect at Columbus, Ohio’s Design Collective, Matt specializes in the hospitality and corporate interiors markets. He is entering his third year on the Board of Directors of the AIA Columbus component his second year as the Young Architect Regional Director for the Ohio Valley Region. Q1 — 2019





Minnesota is whirling with equity, diversity, and inclusion efforts. It all started in 2014 when the AIA Minnesota Board of Directors committed to addressing diversity. That year, they hired MaryMargaret Zindren as CEO of AIA MN. Zindren was interested in joining an organization that took EDI seriously. Her leadership has placed Minnesota’s EDI efforts on the fast track, setting many programs in motion in four short years. Significant achievements include the Diversity Task Force Report, the Women in Architecture Committee, the charter for the MN EDI Committee, and many continuing education programs. Zindren and past AIA MN president, Tom Hysell, offered their insight into Minnesota’s initial Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion efforts.

Katie Kangas: Was there a single catalyst that served as an impetus for the Diversity Task Force? Tom Hysell: [It] was clear, within and outside of the AIA, that efforts were needed to promote diversity in architecture. We formed the Diversity Task Group to study and develop a draft policy for AIA Minnesota. The Task Force took eighteen months with policy [to] be approved in the summer of 2015. Coincidently, the Women in Architecture Committee was forming at the same time – not as a direct result of Task Group efforts, but as a sign of what was being identified as a need. I also thought that it was important to have a broad definition of diversity developed as part of the mandate, so we did that early on and helped to set the stage for the study. On one hand what we were doing was reflecting the changes in our shifting political and cultural landscape. We all can agree that it should have started years ago.

KK: What is the greatest accomplishment of the EDI Committee since being established? Mary-Margaret Zindren: Our EDI Committee has ensured that there is continual attention being paid to these issues. From regular programming on bias in the profession and equity in design, to the new website they’ve launched – draftingprogress.org – where they have compiled articles, videos, reports and resources focused on EDI issues. The committee also serves as a resource to the AIA MN staff as we develop and implement other EDI-related efforts, such as the new Intercultural Leadership Program and training sessions on interrupting bias. KK: What barriers may other AIA state components encounter if they initiate task forces or committees on diversity? MMZ: State or local components need to recognize that individual volunteer leaders come to EDI efforts with various perspectives and interests and it can be hard to coalesce a group. In past organizations I’ve worked with, EDI committees have simply become a forum for admiring the problem where individuals are happy to talk about the issues, and to have their name on the committee list, but aren’t willing to do the personal development work or roll up their sleeves and get to work. You need champions within the staff team and among volunteer leaders who are truly committed to the effort. Champions need to recognize the complexity of these issues, the continuously evolving research and promising practices, and the long-term nature of what true change will require. They should not be daunted and be able to bring energy and urgency to this work, while also not becoming righteous. Approaching EDI efforts with humility and a learner’s mind is essential.

MN Diversity Task Force Report

AIA National “Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion Commission Executive Summary”

AIA ‘15 National Conference approved Resolution 15-1 “Equity in Architecture”

MN EDI Committee Chartered

AIA MN’15 Conf. Establishing the Business Case for Women in Architecture

AIA MN’17 Conf. Diversity & Inclusion Track with four sessions



AIA MN Board states Diversity Commitment starting the Diversity Task Force & Women in Architecture Committee

2017 2016

EDI annual Continuing Education: Unconscious Bias & Interrupting Bias/ Bystander Training


AIA MN’16 Conf. Attract, Engage, Retain, Promote: Tools for Equitable Practice Tools & Strategies for Impletmeting Equity & Diversity in Practice





AIA MN to host 2019 Women’s Leadership Summit AIA MN documentary featuring MN-Based FAIA women



“Guides for Equitable Practice” EDI Committee website Drafting Progress AIA MN’18 Conf. seven sessions on Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion



Find Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion (EDI) Efforts Near You Committee on EDI

Diversity Round Table AIA Seattle

AIA Minnesota



Committee on EDI AIA Portland

Diversity and Inclusion AIA Iowa



Equity by Design [EQxD] Diversity & Inclusion Committee

AIA San Francisco

AIA New York



Equity, Diversity, & Inclusiveness Committee

Women & Diversity

AIA Colorado

AIA New Jersey



Equity in Architecture

Equity Committee AIA South Carolina

Member Community, AIA Arizona



Equity in Architecture [EQiA]

Equity in Architecture [EIA]

AIA Georgia

AIA Kansas City



Cities & States with Committees

EDI Websites & Blogs

The diversity committees and websites in this graphic were found through AIA state component websites and Googling “AIA [state] diversity”

KK: What lesson would you like to share from the early years of Minnesota's EDI efforts? MMZ: The key lesson we’ve learned is that there’s a hunger within the membership for forums to discuss and learn about how EDI relates to client service and design, in addition to a great desire to transform the profession to retain women and to recruit and retain people of color and other underrepresented populations. The design and engagement issues, and the issues of the profession are integrally related; addressing both simultaneously is important to driving change, and to engaging a wide array of members. KK: How do you see diversity, equity, and inclusion impacting the future professional practice of architecture? MMZ: The way I think about it, the work of architects is to design spaces that solve problems for people, and to inspire feeling in people. This work involves successful engagement of increasingly diverse clients and user groups; understanding of context, including cultural context; and having enough people to actually do the work. The demographics of the United States today and in the future, and the global nature of the projects many firms now work on, demand that the demographics of the profession reflect the people architecture is designed to serve. I see firms focusing more on growing the self-awareness and intercultural competence of their employees (their ability to recognize and adapt to any differences that make a difference). I see firms adopting and pushing for more inclusive ways of conducting public engagement. I see firms putting greater value on knowledge of context that is obtained through lived experience, not just “book learning.” I believe pay equity will become a touted competitive advantage among leading firms that will begin to establish this as the norm. Clients are increasingly demanding diverse teams and that their projects be designed to foster EDI for the users they serve – we already see this in YAFCONNECTION.COM

higher education and government projects, and I think this will increasingly be true for private sector clients as well. The people recruited, the skills valued, the aspects of performance rewarded, will all be increasingly fueled by EDI-related concerns. Since 2014, Minnesota’s efforts towards equity, diversity, and inclusion have snowballed into committees, events, and leadership programs. Minnesota’s efforts continue into 2W019 and beyond with the Intercultural Leadership Program continuing into the new year. AIA MN will present a series of short documentary films focused on Minnesota-based FAIA women. In addition, Minnesota will also be hosting the 2019 AIA National Women’s Leadership Summit in collaboration with the north central states. The discussion around diversity is not exclusive to Minnesota. Approximately 12 of the 50 AIA State Components across the country host Diversity Task Forces, Round Tables on Equity, or Diversity Committees. For the remaining local and state components in need of a forum for discussing diversity and inclusion, Minnesota’s experience should alleviate concerns about some of the perceived barriers. ■

@ArchKatie Katie Kangas, AIA, NCARB Katie is an architect at Kodet Architectural Group in Minneapolis, MN. As the North Central States Region YARD, Kangas connects emerging professionals with resources to position them for success.

Q1 — 2019




As a young professional entering the job market, how do you negotiate for fair wage? What about benefits, like maternity leave and insurance, or career development? What is fair to ask for? In 2012, a non-profit organization, Iowa Women in Architecture (iaWia), was also reflecting on these questions. In response they developed the Best Practice Recommendations for the Design Profession (BPR) document. This collection of best practice recommendations aims to help both employees and employers enact policies and grow cultures that support healthy work-life integration and sound business practices, and was the 2018 AIA Diversity Award Recipient. For employees, this list of recommendations provides an outline of possible practices and policies. For employers, firm leaders, and owners, this document summarizes a minimum standard for support of work-life balance and provides tools to aid them in developing policies, practices, and organizational cultures that align with their firm’s values. This article will introduce you to the human resource problems faced in practices today, and how both employees and employers can utilize the BPR documents for an inclusive and healthy work environment.

The Problem Innovative human resource policies are an essential part of addressing one of architecture’s greatest challenges today – women are leaving the profession of architecture at high rates. This can be seen across many professions, including science and technology sectors. While women earn architecture degrees at rates nearly equal to men, only 18 percent of American Institute of Architects (AIA) members are women. The percentage of women who become licensed architects and AIA members has slowly increased over the last two decades but continues to lag behind the numbers of women who graduate with accredited degrees in architecture. It is important to note that this barrier is not just for women, worklife balance issues have increasingly become a concern of fathers as well. A 2013 article in Bloomberg BusinessWeek cited a Pew Research study that found twice as many fathers as mothers said they had “too little time with kids.”. Men are more likely to use this as a motivator to leave a company, preferring quitting over addressing the conditions due to a perceived “stigma associated with expressing a desire to better integrate career and life.” Worklife balance affects all employees.

The Best Practice Recommendations The BPR document, which was published in 2016, contains five key recommendation foci: •

Career Development

Work Options


Discrimination & Inclusion


The document starts first with the all best practice recommendations, along with questions associated with each best practice to help users evaluate existing or proposed approaches to the issues. Each topic section of best practice information is divided into three sections, organized according to level of detail. Within each topic area, there are four to seven bulleted best practice recommendations, each with two or three guiding questions. You can use this as a summary, overview, or checklist, or as an index to the more detailed descriptions of each best practice recommendation. More in depth narratives follow this overview, providing context, definitions, and other supporting information. At the end of each section is an appendix for additional reference material and supplemental information. For example, the first topic ‘Career Development’ outlines five bullet issues, encouraging firms to (1) facilitate a development program that provides lattice career path opportunities;, (2) sponsor leadership development;, (3) develop clear professional goals with employees;, (4) organize and facilitate a mentorship program;

TOP RIGHT: The Iowa Women in Architecture (iaWia) logo graphically depicts the discrepancy of women in the US population to AIA members – while 51% of the US population is female (US Census Bureau 2010), only 41% of architecture students identify as female (NAAB 2010 Accreditation Report) and only 18% of AIA members are female AIA website, Facts and Figures 2012).




REDEFINING IDENTITY TOP LEFT: A mind-map studying work-life balance during an iaWia event in 2013. These events invited community members to discuss human resource issues and serve as the basis for the Best Practice Recommendations document. TOP RIGHT: The cover of the Best Practice Recommendations for the Design Profession (BPR) document. BOTTOM RIGHT: Fig. 4: An example of a recommendation from the BPR document.

and’ (5) advocate for employee involvement in volunteering with supportive policies. Each bullet is unpacked, addressing very specific types of policies and support materials that may be useful as employees develop conversations with their supervisors and firm owners. For employees, this list of recommendations provides an outline of possible practices and policies. Employees may use this to evaluate potential employers and to ask questions during a job search process, and those already working within an organization may use this to focus on specific issues relevant to their life stage or circumstances. Ultimately, this document will evolve as firms do. Several of the recommendations bolster engagement and motivation, thus retaining talent and knowledge within organizations and within our profession. This is a first step in re-considering a culture of design practice that allows for a broader group of practitioners to grow, contribute, and thrive. As such, it represents a vital step in the ongoing health of our disciplines and all of those engaged in their practice. ■ For more information, as well as the full BPR Document, visit iawomenarch.org


Create a travel-for-work policy and provide options for personal life.

Traveling for work can affect an employee’s mental, emotional, and physical health. It often negatively impacts work performance as well as personal and family life. While traveling for work is often unavoidable, steps can be taken by the employer to ease the disconnect between business travel and family time. These steps can increase both morale and productivity, whether they are in-home solutions or options utilized while away for work.


Company-supported childcare (e.g. on-site childcare, hospitality childcare) A trusted “nanny pool” to choose from, provided all or in-part by the company Family-sized hotel room with option of in-room childcare during meetings Family “check-in” services for employees with older children After school activities Lactation options: bring child along (and possibly spouse or other caretaker); lactation facilities while out of town; breast milk shipping services (see links below) Provide a cleaning service for employees traveling for work Provide option for meal delivery service Company-supported elder care (e.g. day care similar to child care, transportation to/from senior centers) Options for pet care (e.g. pet-friendly hotel options, in-home check-ins, boarding)


How does the firm effectively set and communicate travel expectations that allow employees to make necessary home-life arrangements? What policies are in place to consider family needs when an employee must travel for work? What minimum trip duration and/or frequency are required to obtain benefits?

Leslie Forehand Forehand is a licensed architect and the David Lingle Faculty Fellow and Lecturer of Architecture at Iowa State University and has previously taught and conducted research at the Center for Research at Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar. She has lectured, exhibited, published and taught internationally. YAFCONNECTION.COM


Clearly communicate work travel requirements and expectations during the hiring process and regularly thereafter. Establish reasonable expectations for advance notice of work travel to allow employees to make appropriate arrangements.

Topic: Work Options

Iowa Women in Architecture 2016

Version 02 | p.54

Q1 — 2019




JASON PUGH, AIA, LEED AP, NOMA Design Justice Summit, 2018 Class

Last year I had the honor and pleasure of serving on a small handpicked planning committee for the first ever Design Justice Summit held in New Orleans. The core mission of this unique summit, in collaborative partnership with the AIA, focused on increasing the awareness of the systemic structural inequalities that exist today and are manifest throughout the standard design practice, policies, and institutions that deeply impact our communities. The intense three day summit gathered twenty-four amazing social impact leaders, architects, urban planners, landscape architects, and designers from across the country with the explicit intention of sharing knowledge, perspectives, resources, and past lessons learned, in hopes to codify and grow a diverse community of public interest design leaders with the capacity to shape the future of the profession towards equity. By the end of the weekend, our concluding goal was to inspire and challenge these leaders to take the knowledge learned throughout the summit and return to their respective communities to innovate and implement. In this respect alone, the Design Justice Summit was a huge success!




The initial concept and creation of the summit was ignited from the tireless efforts and passionate work of Bryan Lee, an inspiring architect and activist in New Orleans, who I’ve grown close to over the years and I’m honored to call a friend. Bryan and I first met over a decade ago at an annual national conference for the National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA), and quickly bonded over our mutual passions for amplifying industry efforts on diversity and inclusion within the field of architecture and design, and mentoring the next generation of young architects, activists, and urban designers. I’ve always been moved by Bryan’s focused drive and body of challenging work by his own firm Colloqate, a multidisciplinary nonprofit Design Justice practice focused on expanding community access to social, civic, and cultural spaces. So when he first approached me in late 2017 to gauge my interest in serving on his planning committee, I immediately accepted without hesitation or restraint. Once I saw the final make up of the full planning committee — a collection of young leaders and allstar architects which included Pascale Sablan, Venesa Alicea, and


Angela King, all of whom are close friends and extended kin within my NOMA family circle —I knew this would be a special event. Over the course of the following four to six months our small team worked in tandem with the AIA to develop the final program schedule, workshop curriculum, weekend itinerary, and general applicant requirements for the twenty-four open Design Justice Advocate slots. We quickly identified an inspirational cast of amazing industry thought leaders to serve as ‘Subject Matter Experts’ during the summit, all of whom boast impressive resumes with extensive expertise and history of work focused on condemning identified sources of injustice within the built environment, and in support of the national dialog towards resolving unjust policies and practices plaguing communities of color throughout the world. Rosa Sheng (San Francisco), Kofi Boone (North Carolina), Katherine Darnstadt (Chicago), Theresa Hwang (Los Angeles), and Justin Moore (New York City) rounded out this impressive expert panel team. Once the program and open application were made public, our team quickly received a surge of amazing applicants from all across the country and abroad, as the full planning committee and expert panel team worked closely to select the final twenty-four Design Justice Advocates. Finally in late September, the first Design Justice Summit was underway in the Crescent City. The culmination of Bryan Lee’s initial vision paired with the planning committee’s dedicated efforts came together cohesively for what was surely one of the most impactful three days I’ve ever experienced as a young professional. Although the full planning team and I were serving as curators and hosts for the weekend, each of us are passionate agents of change within our own right, as evident within our respective practice, volunteer efforts and Design Justice work, so being in the same room with this powerful collection of community activists, designers, status quo disruptors, and leaders from across the country was infectious yet exhilarating at the same time. The burgeoning synergy across the room was electric with each new introduction and side conversation, as we all found comfort and encouragement while sharing formidable challenges and fatigue in conjunction with optimistic victories and accomplishments in our shared mission towards a just and equitable future. At the end of the weekend, all Design Justice Summit attendees—both advocates and experts— walked away from the event fully recharged and empowered to leverage our new cohort of JEDI (Justice, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion) masters as we combat systemic sources of injustice in the built environment. ■

TOP RIGHT: Design Justice Summit creator and director Bryan Lee, AIA, NOMA MIDDLE RIGHT: Design Justice Summit Planning Committee: (from left to right) Vanesa Alicea, Angela King, Bryan Lee, Pascale Sablan and Jason Pugh

Jason Pugh, AIA, LEED AP, NOMA

Jason is a licensed architect and urban designer with the Gensler Chicago office. With over 13+ years of project experience oscillating between the macro and micro scales, Jason also has a passion for developing underserved and under resourced communities, volunteering his time to serve various organizations focused on education, mentorship, diversity, and community service. YAFCONNECTION.COM

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Oswaldo Ortega, AIA, NOMA Oswaldo Ortega is a licensed architect currently working for Gensler’s Chicago office. He is also I-NOMA’s Past President and a member of the AIA Chicago and the Erie Neighborhood House board. Ortega was recently honored with the 2019 AIA Young Architect Award.

Speaking with architect and social impact advocate Oswaldo Ortega is both inspiring and energizing: He is a model of how dynamic and meaningful an architectural education and career can be when used as a source of constant curiosity and the opportunity to engage with diverse communities. Read ahead to learn about Ortega’s career path, participation in creating meaningful programming to engage youth in design education, and how he is able to strike a balance between work and extracurricular activities. Beth Mosenthal: Throughout your academic and professional career, you have been a proponent for multiculturalism and inclusiveness, first with forming the Society of Multicultural Architects and Designers at Syracuse University, and later by participating in an urban project in graduate school that required grassroots community engagement. Can you talk about your background and various advocacy efforts, and how they led you to where you are now? Oswaldo Ortega: That’s a loaded question. I’m a son of two Dominican immigrants. They moved to the U.S. and had me and three other siblings. We grew up with very little but had great parents. My dad worked really hard, and my mom worked even harder. My first taste of architecture was working with my dad, a superintendent in New York City. I got into Brooklyn Tech, a specialized high school in NYC with a major’s system. I majored in architecture because I had an interest in it. Turned out, I would make an entire career out of this early interest. After high school, I went to Syracuse University for architecture school where a lot of pieces came together. Looking back, the school influenced me in one profound way — it was an incredible institution with a history of empowering people of color. During my time at Syracuse, I was inspired to create my own group within the School of Architecture, called SMAD, the Society of Multicultural Architects and Designers.



SMAD helped me foster the next generation of young architects while also creating an umbrella for people of color. The SMAD group became a fully accessible place for each class to come together and support one another. I am so proud to see SMAD still thriving and growing on campus. And, now that they’re with NOMAS — the undergraduate NOMA chapter — the presence and recognition of SMAD has grown. While I was not aware of NOMA (the National Organization of Minority Architects) until after my time at Syracuse, it was SMAD that truly propelled my interest in social activism through the power of design. After Syracuse, I went to Columbia for graduate school. Then I moved from New York City to Washington, D.C., to work for the architecture firm HOK. During my time at HOK, I became an ACE mentor, which served as my avenue for giving back. As part of the ACE Mentoring Program in D.C., you were expected to travel to the actual school. I was able to go into the community and be hands-on, which led me to become an ACE mentor for a few years. During this time in my career, I was learning a lot of what it meant to be an architect. Giving back via ACE allowed me to synthesize what I was learning in order to teach it. This was a pivotal moment in my career as I honed in on my passion to “give and grow.” At this point, I was also interested in taking my understanding into the business of the industry and how to lead from the front. That led me to Johns Hopkins University where I earned a certificate in their Leadership Development Program for Minority Managers (LDP). The program was inspiring, and I loved the content, but I realized I wanted to become an architect and needed to get licensed. I put my energy into the architecture licensing exams. A year after the LDP program I was licensed and looking for a new design challenge. I knew I wanted to live and work in a city with an urban edge —



BOTTOM LEFT: Hosting Design Exercises at I-NOMA’s Project Pipeline Architectural Summer Camp - Courtesy Oswaldo Ortega BOTTOM RIGHT: Conducting the students final presentations at I-NOMA’s Project Pipeline Architectural Summer Camp - Courtesy Oswaldo Ortega

not quite NYC, but still large -— Chicago was, and remains, that perfect fit. And, further, I found the creative and forward-thinking design I craved at Gensler. When I got to Chicago, I was a ball full of energy. I was excited to be at Gensler and found a good work-life balance at a firm with a strong culture for giving back. With exams out of the way, I was able to have fun diving into programs and trying to make an impact. When I first arrived, a colleague of mine was involved in Chicago’s I-NOMA chapter. Knowing my passion for education and design, I was encouraged to get involved. And, now, here we are. I just celebrated five years at Gensler, was promoted to Associate in 2015, and I’ve had the pleasure of working with some of the best clients around the firm. I am grateful for the project work Gensler provides someone like me to work on and for their unwavering support in my passion to give back to my community both locally and globally. BRM: You are currently the new President of the Illinois chapter of NOMA. What does this position entail? Can you talk specifically about the NOMA Project Pipeline you’ve been involved in? OO: Several years ago, I became involved in I-NOMA’s Project Pipeline Architectural Summer Camp, a camp designed to introduce students to a career in architecture. When I first started, Chicago’s I-NOMA Project Pipeline was a 1-day camp aimed at teaching architectural fundamentals to a small group of students. It became clear we needed to redesign the program to really make the right impact for a city as large as Chicago. Without any prior camp management experience, I surrounded myself with people who could help me focus less on making a camp and more on designing an impactful student experience. The goal goes back to all my core passions, and as architects, designing experiences is what we know how to do. Like any project, once you have your goals and vision, the next


item on the agenda is to put together a rock-star team. I was fortunate enough to know some amazing young designers and engineers who were passionate about giving back through ACE. In the first year, we revamped the Project Pipeline Camp, culminating in serving 70 students through a 4-day program with 40 volunteers while fundraising $12,800. Since then, we continued to grow the program each year. In 2017, we raised over $125,000, which enabled us to expand the program from a four-day camp to year-round programming. A large part of that donation came from EQ Office, who donated $100,000 to our programming via a relationship that Gensler helped to foster through our project work in Chicago. Our expansion of Project Pipeline added programs and initiatives to educate, inspire, and mentor students from the age of 10 through their architectural registration exams. The programming starts with “Intro to Architecture” workshops for students from ages 10 to 14. These were held bi-weekly in various parts of Chicago and were meant to introduce students to the program and the potential for using design as a means for social change. Our camp serves middle school students and expanded to host 150 students, 100 volunteers, keynote speakers, and field trips. We launched our Architectural Field Trip series and a 16-week designbuild program for high school students. For college students (our NOMAS chapters), we developed our Next-Gen Series, which prepared them for professional practice via portfolio and résumé workshops, mock interviews, networking events, and seminars. And, for our young professionals, we provided ARE resources and incentive-based programs for them to pass their exams, such as our 3-Exam Challenge — if you pass three exams in six months, you are rewarded with a $500 stipend. Implementing architectural field trips, while the most expensiveper-hour endeavor, has been amazing in illustrating the intent of the program to kids and their parents. What we’re hoping to do is to give a young person their first visceral reaction to an amazing architectural piece—to get them excited, and to have their parents

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watch them get excited, and, in turn, have their parents become an advocate in the futures of the children within our industry and practice. Throughout the process, an organic mentoring process also occurs. Just last week, a Project Pipeline student from three years ago met me at the Gensler Chicago office. He’s in high school now, doing a capstone project. For his project, he’s designing a boat. I helped him learn how to use an architectural scale over lunch. These informal mentoring relationships are the ideal for both the profession and for me personally. Architecture and design have always relied on an apprenticeship model for mentoring and coaching. In the work with Gensler and NOMA, leaders are always building organic mentoring, where the student/young person feels like the industry is for them and that it will welcome them with open arms. It’s not just a profession for those that have money. Architecture is accessible for anyone – because design influences everyone. In 2017, when we received additional funding for Project Pipeline, we noticed a big gap in our Project Pipeline programming, specifically for early high school students. This inspired us to develop a 16-week design/build program tailored towards high school students. In collaboration with large and small design firms in Chicago, we helped guide them through the design and


renovation of a space for a local non-profit organization that also services children. The goal was to have the students get hands-on experience with a client and in the field designing and renovating spaces that empower them, their peers, and, most importantly, their communities. In our first year, we took on a 2000 SF gut rehab at the Y.O.U. (Youth Options Unlimited) suite within the Erie Neighborhood House. The Erie Neighborhood House offers services for Chicago’s immigrant population (at this particular location, they mainly serve Chicago’s Latino population). The Y.O.U Suite specifically serves high schools. Our team consisted of six dedicated volunteer leaders, 20 high school students and about 25 additional I-NOMA volunteers during build days. We also had help from specialty contractors, who donated their services for some of our more ambitious parts of the project, such as Berglund Construction, Superior Flooring, BKE Designs, D5 Metals and Fabrication, and Block Electric to name a few. In some cases, these specialty contractors took the time to teach the students how to execute the work as they assisted. One of the most notable volunteer subcontractors was Brian K. Ellison from BKE Designs, who opened his wood workshop to the students and led a working session where the students sanded and stained the wood cabinets and wall panels they designed for the space. The net result of our impact was a renovation of four spaces which included a high school multi-function lounge, a



Y.O.U. Suite Design-Build, existing conditions. Courtesy Oswaldo Ortega

computer lab, a five-person counselor office, and one private office valued at approximately $130,000. This past year, we focused on programming and design excellence. Giving the value of 2017’s project, we issued an RFP for the opportunity and awarded it to CCCS (Chicago Child Care Society) — a phenomenal organization serving young parents and children in Chicago’s underserved neighborhoods. We reorganized our team structure and together we led the renovation of four spaces at CCCS geared towards maximizing their impact in our communities. Throughout the program, we tried to focus on high-level design thinking and give students experiences such as presenting in front of a client and implementing design ideas. We aimed to create experiences that were impactful, engaging, and realistic. The goal of the program was to inspire students to want to pursue design, and we know students are stronger designers when they have hands-on experience.

Y.O.U. Suite Design-Build, after renovation. Courtesy Oswaldo Ortega

has always supported asks to host meetings in our space and recognized that community work is part of my overall workload, so that I still get to go home for dinner with my family. Another one of our guiding culture principles is to “have a life after 6 p.m.” – and the efficiency the firm allows on my time has made the biggest impact in success. For the young people trying to be active and do something meaningful, I would recommend testing the waters, first. Join a handful of organizations that are accessible to you. See which one you’re really interested in. There are some amazing non-profits out there. Second, I would volunteer for small things until you gain an understanding of what’s happening. Third, when you’re confident enough there’s something you really want to do, talk to your office leadership. Let them know you’re passionate about a particular cause or organization. Then, if you need support, it helps that you’ve brought them along with you from the beginning.

BRM: With your success in NOMA, you were recently asked to also join the AIA Chicago Board. As someone involved in many different leadership positions and a full-time role as an architect, what is your advice for young professionals that are just entering the profession and looking to get involved in architectural advocacy?

I’d also recommend learning to compartmentalize your time. I use a separate email address for my out-of-work activities. I use my breaks wisely—to address those emails and to be productive with my time. Yes, there are times you have to sacrifice some work time, but for the most part, I run our major programming on weekends and evenings, which also helps.

OO: Gensler’s culture and guiding principles are founded on equity, diversity, and inclusiveness. My passion is a natural fit at a place like Gensler because of these principles and culture. It has also provided an easy platform to get involved and elevate the profession. Gensler has been instrumental in funding Project Pipeline through donations — both monetary and time — as well as the ability to leverage our industry-leading work in community service to help set a standard that other firms want to follow. When you’re setting that standard for advocacy, competitive barriers are erased, and other firms are able to bring in their resources to initiatives, too.

Lastly, remember to build your support system. Nothing gets done alone. Find a firm that enables their staff to “give and grow.” It’s been an amazing journey so far and I can’t wait to see what the next generation of passionate students and young architects and designers bring to the world. I know I feel proud that, thus far, I am leaving a positive mark on the people I work with, work for, and the communities and cities at large. We can change the world, one step at time. ■

Specifically, I am grateful for the local leadership in our office who

Beth Mosenthal, AIA, LEED AP

OPPOSITE: Project Pipeline Architectural Field Trip at S.R. Crown Hall, IIT College of Architecture. - Courtesy Oswaldo Ortega YAFCONNECTION.COM

Beth is a Denver-based architect, writer, editor, and advocate for equitable and accessible design. As a Senior Editor for YAF Connection, she is interested in featuring stories that highlight voices and work that are creating meaningful change, posing questions, and leading to tangible advancements in both the profession and the nature of practice.

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Practicing architecture is hard. We go through rigorous studio sessions in college to achieve a degree and then continue to prove our value creatively and technically at work every day for the rest of our careers. Architecture school graduation and employment rates are finally at an all-time nearing of equality between genders, women are present in our schools and our firms, yet we continue to lack equal representation at the top of the profession and across leadership roles in our field. Our careers are born of passion that we shouldn’t have to give up or set aside. Yet women are not excelling at the same rate as men and are leaving the profession, so we must ask the question: why? Surrounded primarily by male leaders,we allow the industry to use the label “female architect” as a descriptor which automatically positions us as outsiders from the norm. When in truth, we are the norm. We do belong. And we should absolutely be designing the spaces of our future generations. EXPECTATIONS AND OPPORTUNITIES Social scripts run rampant in many aspects of our society. They create biased expectations of behavior, opinions and decisions, putting additional pressure on people to act a particular way. I believe social influences are holding women back in their careers, creating expectations at work and at home that we didn’t write for ourselves. I find this topic particularly hard to have a conversation about because women and men can easily become defensive due to our personal experiences. My intent here is to outline the general problem that I see, while understanding there is a range of occurrences for each of us. One career damaging assumption is that a woman focused on her career will not be a good candidate to be a spouse or mother. History tells us that we should have only one priority in life. Thus, if we choose to have a family, our leading identity is chosen for us: a working mother. Work is a compromise to mothering. Ask yourself: Have I heard a colleague being described as a “working father?” For men, their identity at work is their occupation. These titles are social constructs that influence how we see each other in the workplace. Secondly, women are so eager to participate and prove their value that we take on more than the job description includes, and we start with low-hanging fruit. Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University and University of Pittsburgh discovered that women tend to take on more “low promotability” tasks at work,¹ like planning a social event or serving on a committee. Usually these office tasks are essential for an organization’s cultural success, yet they don’t reflect capabilities as architects or add value to our professional




skills, thus slowing women down on the road to success. While the decision to volunteer might seem minor, in the time spent doing the office housekeeping, someone else is meeting with the boss or a client producing work. To reach the pinnacle of this profession, we need to focus on the work itself. Breaking down traditional gender roles benefits men and women. Each of us can’t keep "doing it all" and succeed in all aspects of our life. We need to be disciplined about our priorities and goals, find balance with our partners at home and at work, and learn when to say no, both inside and outside of the office. AUTHENTICITY OVER EXPECTATION So often, women hear advice like “don’t be emotional at work,” or they read articles about “thinking like a man,” which are typically directed toward women who want to succeed in a room full of men. Those strategies don’t hold an ounce of sustainability. They are statements that mute individuality for the sake of conformity or the refusal to adjust. Women do think differently; not better, not worse, differently. We were raised with different expectations and experiences. The best way to highlight our capabilities is to own the differences. We need to be our whole, honest selves. We need to establish connections and supportive relationships with our partners, in and out of the office. I’ve accepted that the way I see the world is intimately aware, emotionally responsive, and critically analyzed through a lens that is unique to my experiences and interpretation. I believe a specific viewpoint can be an advantage for certain projects and clients. Everyone should feel encouraged to identify their unique strengths and develop a network of people who have complimentary skills to yours. Build a dream team around you at every level of your career. Teamwork, and an ability to make progress with people, moves the needle. GET IN THE RING All women lose if any one of us expects an opportunity short of earning it. Future leaders need to embody enduring confidence, have an ability to take risks, and be strong in powerful "rooms." Strength cannot exist without vulnerability. It has been proven that women fear consequences more greatly than men do,² and nowhere is that more evident than in a creative dialogue. It requires vulnerability to sit at the table for the first time, to take on more responsibility, or speak up with design direction, but it allows others to see who you are, and it is then that your potential becomes visible to your teammates.


Women do think differently; not better, not worse, differently. The best way to highlight our capabilities is to own the differences." One challenge is for women to better communicate their value and strengths in a way that is understood by teammates and clients. Psychologist Adam Galinsky writes that what we perceive to be a gender bias, or double bind, is a power differential.³ Leadership positions in our society are predominantly filled by Caucasian men, meaning that women or any minority, when speaking up for their needs, are coming from a subordinate or inferior position. The less power anyone has, the less range they have to speak up and share their perspective freely. An idea or agenda can easily be rejected by those who have more power. Galinsky's research goes further to discover that the number one thing that makes somone feel comfortable speaking up or being vulnerable is having allies in your audience. Forming relationships, creating allies, is critical in our workplaces today. We need those in power positions to actively listen to their staff, and for staff to proactively share their creative ideas and challenge the norms as they exist within the walls of our companies. Informing change takes practice and no one can do it alone. It requires forming trusting relationships with our colleagues who will take time to listen and banter, understand and disagree. It is not easy, but it is how we learn and improve. POWER OF MENTORSHIP The most valuable mentorships are those that challenge the person on both ends of the relationship, that allow for constructive conversations to occur, and that push each person to do their best work. The #MeToo movement has spurred awareness and conversation around a critical construct of our society. In addition to the positive impact and call for change that #MeToo hopes to achieve, there is a negative result that sometimes surfaces in both men and women’s hesitation to engage with one another. We should not fear working together. Architecture is historically an apprentice profession, and young architects need continued mentorship, from all directions, for us to learn, grow, be inspired and contribute. We cannot afford to miss the opportunity to grow through this kind of one-on-one coaching. Social connection, trust and feedback are critical to understanding firm culture, direction and opportunity. They happen in small groups in spontaneous conversations. Women need to be at the table with men.4

people will continue to breed the non-diverse leadership populace we have today. Reach for growth that will complement and transform your practice, your projects, and yourself. PRACTICE It is imperative that we are actively implementing equity, inclusivity and diversity on our teams within our daily practice and realizing its benefits. CEO and businesswoman Margaret Heffernan’s research on creative team dynamics concludes that “Social Capital,” or pro-social behaviors on teams, makes them more productive and innovative. In a study at MIT, where multiple teams were evaluated on their results and demographics, three key factors resulted in more innovative teams. First, teammates gave each other equal time to talk and contribute. Second, successful teams had robust social sensitivity, meaning team members were more in tune to subtle shifts in mood and demeanor. And third, the successful teams had more women.5 She notes that having more women on successful teams could be statistically tied to women traditionally having more empathy. It's an important point. Growing up, most women were encouraged to embrace behaviors of fairness and empathy. Because of this social difference, women today have huge potential to be our most powerful teammates and leaders. My challenge to our industry is to resist emphasizing the need for equality based on demographic statistics or in an effort to simply win a commision. Policies, rules, or guidelines push people further away from one another. In my opinion, the solution to creating a more diverse workplace that practices inclusion lies in understanding the problem and implementing change through cultural and social accountability, berthed from practiced implementation by each of us. Leaders should be more in tune with their staffs’ opinions and experiences so that they understand a variety of points of view. The most imperative step forward is practicing inclusiveness within the passionate work we are already doing. Practicing architecture within more diverse and socially aware teams will result in more innovative project solutions and better service to our clients. ■

It is important to acknowledge the current roster of male leaders and their critical ability to positively advance women’s careers. Typically, mentoring relationships are developed when a leader sees themselves in someone younger than them. Guidance is fluid because strengths, skills, style, and tendencies are the same, but our leaders need to reach further. Mentorship between similar

1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Tarr, T. (2018, April 18) Why Saying No to “Thankless Tasks” Can Close The Gender Gap. “Risk: Males vs Females”, Science In Our World, Penn State University (Fall 2015). Galinsky, A. (2016, September) How to speak up for yourself. “What Most People Get Wrong About Men and Women” Harvard Business Review (May-June 2018). Heffernan, M. (2015 May 5) The secret ingredient that makes some teams better than others


Ali Menke Joiner, AIA Ali is an Associate at Shears Adkins Rockmore (SA+R) Architects in Denver, Colorado with experience in the planning and design of residential, educational, and mixed-use projects. She is also a volunteer with the AIA Colorado Chapter's Equity, Diversity, & Inclusiveness Committee.

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A lot has been written, discussed and presented about femalemale equality in the profession of architecture. Our profession and society at-large continue to grapple with this important and nuanced issue, sometimes in a less than nuanced way. We have heard of across the board mandates, such as California’s Senate Bill No. 826 mandating all publicly traded companies have at least one female board member.1 We have heard about equal pay initiatives such as the one championed by Jeanne Gang at her own firm late last year,2 accompanied by a demonstration at the Venice Biennale. While these are all valid and altruistic attempts to solve the problem, I believe they treat only the symptoms and not the cause. They are a one-size fits all solution to a varied and disparate industry, and they do nothing to change the underlying system of expectations surrounding both genders in the studio and in the field. I believe they do not place women in a better position; they merely breed resentment among co-workers who may see these attempts as a shortcut for women (no matter how well deserved or how fair) precisely because these measures do not change ingrained expectations. These measures also end up treating both genders as a statistic, not an individual. It is my opinion that real change can only come if it makes economic sense to the vast majority of architecture and construction firms; I suggest that economic sense can only come if we as a society change our career expectations for both men and women. We must work to champion, monetize, and leverage the skills of the individual, not the gender. In a profession that is already prone to celebrating individual expression of creativity, surely we can also support an individualized expression of success. To take an economic approach to gender parity, we must change how we measure success. I propose measuring the number of

"In a profession that is already prone to celebrating individual expression of creativity, surely we can also support an individualized expression of success."




men and women reaching self-actualization, fulfilling their goals, making great architecture, and experiencing personal growth rather than measuring statistics such as the number of leadership positions gained. This should be the measure of how well our system is working for the people it serves. If we were to realign our expectations with these metrics in mind, opportunities for both men and women would be a natural and native part of our system. Employees would more easily find happiness and fulfillment in their work, creating a devoted workforce. Women should not have to “lean in” to grasp at growth, nor should they just be handed opportunities en masse. They should grow and work and gain experience to pursue their goals just as working men have for generations, and they should work within a system that expects and encourages this from them. Realignment means abandoning gender stereotypes or gendered expectations and embracing who we are today. Sheryl Sandberg asserts in her somewhat controversial book, Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead,3 "Everyone needs to get more comfortable with female leaders, including female leaders themselves.” I would suggest instead that everyone needs to get more comfortable with females in the workplace in general and embrace them for who they are and what they want to be. I feel current expectations use the male example as a metric. Women are measured in how much we are like men, how assertive we are, how strong. That metric isn’t even fair when applied to men, and it’s certainly a tightrope for women. Women must want to attain the same goals that the hierarchy expects while showing no weakness and yet also exhibiting all the female traits society has come to demand. Therefore, we cannot acknowledge the reality of their own experiences nor use them to our advantage. We should embrace women not just because they are leaders, but because


they are individuals with their own strengths to bring to the table. These strengths and weaknesses may well be seen as “female”, but they should be assessed for their advantages rather than be mired down in gendered expectation. I feel working women of my generation were sold this leadership story about our careers that is unachievable for most. We were taught, go to school, get a degree, have a career, “Girl Power!” That did not leave any room for alternate or additional identities. I struggled after the birth of my first child with the question, "should I be working?" This question was not founded in any outside expectation for my role, but rather on a biological and emotional need to be with my child and worries about my child's development away from his most important support system, his parents. I was wholly caught off guard by this inner turmoil, yet, I also yearned to work. I craved the identity and fulfillment it brought to me, and I desperately searched for an option that would fulfill both of these yearnings.

for parents of both genders. This would allow parents flexibility in both schedule and expectations, creating a more equally shared burden between parents while still nurturing their outside goals. Another way would be to increase mentorship among women whether formally or informally, to create an intergenerational collaborative community for all rather than a competitive one. To me, feminism is not about holding the same identity, title, or descriptor as your male counterpart. It's about creating your own identity, your own mark in an industry that accommodates you in the same way it accommodated your male counterpart when they were forging their own paths. One that works for us and collaborates with the existing structures, but one that accommodates us as individuals. ■

Our current system may have been based off the idea that men work and women stay home and care for children, however, up until about 150 years ago, women were expected to earn money for their families. This was possible because extended families stayed together to help raise children while women worked.4 A system was in place to allow women to gain an identity outside of the home, to contribute creative and valuable work to our society while still allowing them to be mothers. Not to say this system was perfect, but it’s foundational assumptions were aligned with the expectations for both women and men of the day. I believe we should realign once again to account for the radical gains in the education and enfranchisement of women in our society. One way to get to this more balanced system may be to increase support

1. 2. 3. 4.

Wamsley, Laura. “California Become 1st State to Require Women On Corporate Boards” NPR, NPR, 1 October 2018. Gang, Jeanne. “Architecture’s Great Injustice, According to Jeanne Gang” Fast Company, Mansueto Ventures, LLC, 3 July, 2018. Sandberg, Sheryl. Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead. Knopf, 2013. Print. Coontz, Stephanie. The Way We Never Were: American Families and the Nostalgia Trap. Basic Books, 2016. Print.

Marissa Hebert, RA, LEED AP BD+C

Marissa is a Staff Architect at RMKM Architecture, P.C. in Albuquerque. Her passion for architecture stems from creating spaces that enhance the work and lives of clients. She values the sometimes difficult but always illuminating personal growth that results from this challenging career. She and her husband (also in architecture) have two young sons, Shepherd, 4, and Cormac, 1. YAFCONNECTION.COM

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Mia Scharphie began challenging norms and shaking up systems long before her entrepreneurial days. She explains how early awareness of things like systematic inequality and lack of diverse representation led her to found the two thriving, socially-conscious businesses she runs today.

I don’t really believe in the idea of design as a ‘flash of inspiration.’ Often, when we look back, ideas and breakthroughs that happened all at once were actually in the works for weeks, months — even years. I was arguing about patriarchy in religious classes at 12, and in high school, struggling with the lack of female role models in my youth group, I did an independent study with the school nurse on gender. But like many of us, I was also a consummate creative. My other independent study in high school? I enlisted the ceramics teacher, made a line of clothing and hosted a school-wide fashion show. (My history teacher modeled one of the pieces. She was awesome!) In college, that double life — creative and activist — continued. I studied urban studies and geology—a choice that would ultimately lead me to get my masters in landscape architecture. I also took, and later facilitated, ‘The Female Sexuality Workshop’—an extracurricular workshop that had been imported to Brown University by a UC Berkeley grad and today has spread throughout the country and even the world.

As part of the workshop, our work for the semester was framed as “me-search, not research.” Students were pushed and encouraged to look at really tough, personal issues. We did it on our own but in the context of a group of women (and a few men) who were on the same journey. I saw women struggle–and I believe sometimes we need to struggle to grow—but we didn’t struggle alone. Architecture graduate school didn’t leave a lot of time for activism (it’s hard to do anything when a 12-hour day is on the relaxing end of the spectrum) but that little activist in me was still there.So, when I found myself at a ladies night with most of the women in my class, and heard them talk yearningly of firms they would love to work at — but would never get hired at — I got pissed. “Don’t reject yourself before Kathryn Gustafson’s office has a chance to even consider you!” These were the women whose work I envied. These were the women whose drawings were so much better than mine, and whose projects were always so much better than mine. Whaaaat? So I issued a challenge: I told my classmates that they were going to write cover letters to their dream jobs and leave them on my desk. I threatened withholding my friendship. It wasn’t a nice thing to do. But I wasn’t nice. I was a tough-love cheerleader. But sometimes even cheerleaders mope in the locker room. My moment came later in the semester. I was working on an application for a prestigious fellowship. My idea came together at the last minute. I was convinced my ideas were terrible,

Sometimes, progress isn’t just about following a welltrodden path. In a college course Mia experienced a different approach to growth, framed as “me-search, not research.” She and her classmates explored personal issues related to big cultural norms, and leaned on one another for support with the work. This model shaped the way Mia runs her business coaching programs for women looking to make lasting changes in their careers.




REDEFINING IDENTITY Mia Scharphie touts herself as a “tough love cheerleader”. Her mission is to empower women to advocate for themselves, to support other women in their network, and to bring the ideas of brilliant women into the professional realm in a big way.

underdeveloped and the selection committee would know how bad it was and how underprepared I had been. I came into school that day ostensibly to print my materials, but really looking for someone to let me off the hook for applying. I spoke to the wrong person. Caroline James, one of my studiomates looked at me when I oh-so-casually mentioned just not submitting after all and exclaimed, “You’ve got to submit it.” Maybe you’ll get it, but you’ll never know if you don’t, and you never know who might see it and what might come out of it.”

And so the basic format for Build Yourself, my empowerment coaching and training company for women in design, was born. And because I was trying to take my own lessons seriously and I was trying to up my tolerance for risk-taking and asking, I decided I would turn it into a workshop and pitch it to the dean of students at Harvard, who hired me for my first Build Yourself workshop.

It was a call to action, but I was also secretly ashamed. Here I was, telling talented people mired in self-doubt to go for it, and I was looking for an excuse to give into that same self-doubt myself.

Today I run all my programs, from my one-on-one coaching, to my workshops on goal setting for creatives, and raising your profile online. I teach creative leadership teams how to redesign their culture and personal leadership to reduce unconscious bias and be more equitable.

Inspired by our conversation, Caroline went on to restart the Women in Design group at Harvard, and along with Arielle Assouline-Lichten, launched the petition to retroactively grant the 1990 Pritzker Prize to Denise Scott Brown along with her collaborator Robert Venturi who had been recognized solo.

But I coach as a designer. In coaching sessions, I diagram out career advancement plans with Adobe Illustrator and give my clients creative profile building assignments. My unconscious bias workshops use a design thinking method. We use visual analysis tools I learned in design school.

I attended a Women in Design meeting after the petition went viral. I proposed the creation of a group that would meet to talk about our own personal experiences regarding issues of equitable practice and work through them. It didn’t land. Most people just wanted to talk about campaigns and publications.

This business — this career I’ve built — came together like a one of those perfect design projects. Those ones in which opposing forces, conflicting programs, and odd pairings somehow come together into that perfect synthesis. It was activism. It was design. Now it’s both.

And that’s when it all came together for me.

Massive breakthroughs are just the very visible tail end of a slow and sometimes silent process of collecting the pieces. ■

We needed to do “me-search” on these issues, not research.

We needed personal challenges — active steps we could take that might scare us but would get us at the edge of our potential.

We needed a tough-love cheerleader. We would struggle to do this work, because personal change and confronting our inner resistance is really hard — but we would struggle together.

@MiaScharphie Mia Scharphie, MLA Mia is the founder of Build Yourself Workshop, a career empowerment company providing coaching and training for women in design, in Brooklyn, New York. Scharphie is also a founding member of the Equity Roundtable at the Boston Society of Architects and one of Impact Design Hub’s Social Impact Design 40 under 40.


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The Academy of Architecture for Justice (AAJ) is a Knowledge Community of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) that promotes excellence in the design of justice facilities. The annual fall conference brings together industry professionals to explore the themes of social justice, challenging the status-quo, sharing best practices and forging trans-disciplinary collaborations among the justice architecture community (Farling, 2018). This year the AAJ gathered in Jersey City to tackle the number one issue currently facing the justice system - the mental health crisis. An estimated 64% of jail inmates in the U.S. have a serious mental illness (James & Glaze, 2006): the majority of which will pass through at least one (if not multiple) justice facilities in their lifetime. Although the role of architecture within the criminal justice system may seem small, its impact can be significant. Whilst for some these facilities act as transitory environments, for others they form more permanent homes. Architects have the ability to help solve larger systematic issues, but in order to do so effectively, it’s important to understand their responsibility both inside and outside of the profession. This can be achieved by taking transdisciplinary approaches to the design and working with a diverse group of stakeholders throughout the entire procurement process of a facility. An understanding of the broader context will better inform the design and help establish the role of the building in the larger judicial process and within the community. The Red Hook Community Justice Center is an example of how a modest architectural intervention can have a significant impact on a ruptured community. It is the nation's first multi-jurisdictional community court and is the result of a collaborative effort of Brooklyn’s District Attorney’s Office, the Center for Court Innovation, and the Office of Court Administration. The experimental, problemsolving court, takes a restorative approach to justice using sanctions and services to address the needs of victims, the community and offenders. During its 18 years of operation the center has helped significantly reduce recidivism within the community and enhance public confidence in the government. Red Hook - The Nation’s Former Busiest Port Red Hook was once home to one of the busiest and most important industrial ports in the United States. New York City was connected to the Great Lakes via the Erie Canal, and the construction of the Atlantic & Erie Basins increased the capacity of the harbor and helped establish the predominance of the Brooklyn waterfront in shipping (Besart, 2015). Industries had moved in such as the New York Dock Company occupying large warehouses and properties

TOP: Approaching the Red Hook Ferry Terminal in the Atlantic Basin. - Courtesy J.Kummer BOTTOM: The main entrance to the Red Hook Community Justice Center. - Courtesy J.Kummer OPPOSITE: Mural and classroom. - Courtesy J.Kummer





along the waterfront. During the Civil War the port was the center for ship repair and grain storage. Thousands of immigrant workers descended upon the neighborhood in search of work in the waterfront factories and storehouses (Besart, 2015). Prior to becoming a part of New York City in 1898, Brooklyn became the fourth largest city in the United States.

Red Hook - The Forerunner of Community Justice

Red Hook - Decline and Isolation

The Red Hook Community Justice Center operates out of a 90year old Catholic school in the heart of the neighborhood that was renovated by local New York City architect Alta Indelman. The building houses one courtroom, a youth court, and various on-site support functions and service providers (Center for Court Innovation, 2005).

During the 20th century Red Hook suffered from a receding wave of industrial activity within the Port. The New York Dock Company had pulled out of Red Hook (Besart, 2015), the shipping industry was changing from bulk shipping to containerization, and almost all port activity moved to the Port of Newark (Red Hook History n.d). Much of the land, warehouses, and waterfront properties were left abandoned and undesirable. The economy of the neighborhood underwent a rapid decline and unemployment levels increased rapidly. Furthermore, the neighborhood faced geographical isolation after the opening of the Gowanus Expressway and the Brooklyn Battery tunnel, segregating the neighborhood from the rest of the borough (Red Hook History n.d). By the 1970s Red Hook had become known as a crime-ridden, desolate neighborhood. The urban fabric was deteriorating and drug use and violence were skyrocketing. In 1992 Life magazine named it one of the 10 worst neighborhoods in the U.S. and dubbed Red Hook the “crack capital of America”. A well-publicized shooting of the beloved school principal Patrick Daly brought a high level of police and criminal justice attention to the neighborhood (About Red Hook n.d). It was at this time the idea to establish a community court to serve the neighborhood first began circulating.


Despite being located only 1-mile from the southern tip of Battery Park, Red Hook feels worlds away from the bustling streets of Manhattan. Accessible by ferry from the Wall St terminal, Red Hook is one of the last stops on the South Brooklyn ferry route.

The problems faced within the neighborhood often do not conform with the jurisdictional boundaries of the court system. Red Hook offers a multi-jurisdictional court in which all low-level Criminal, Civil, and Family cases are heard in the same courtroom by a single Judge. This expedites the process and leads to a more efficient and coordinated judicial response (Center for Court Innovation, 2005). Judge Calabrese is the presiding judge at the Justice Center. He wants every court user to feel they have been treated fairly and his approach ensures that procedural fairness is met throughout the entire process. The Judge tries to determine the underlying problem that led to the defendant’s criminal behavior by using the tools at his disposal including community restoration projects, short-term psycho-educational groups, and long-term treatment (Center for Court Innovation, 2005). Typical sentences often include mandatory drug treatment programs, job training, community service or a combination.

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Therefore, justice is made more visible to local residents and defendants acknowledge the harm that crime does to their neighborhood (Center for Court Innovation, 2005). Compliance to sanctions and treatment are rigorously monitored and litigants are required to frequently report back in front of the Judge (Center for Court Innovation, n.d). Defendants are linked to service providers on site which allows the court to address problems effectively before conflicts escalate. These services can range from drug treatment services, medical examinations, mental health counseling, and housing resources. These services are available to anyone in the community, not only those using the court (Center for Court Innovation, 2005). Red Hook is also engaged in community outreach programs which seek to resolve local problems before they are involved in the court. One of these programs is The Red Hook Youth Court which uses positive peer pressure to ensure that low-level youth offenders understand how their behavior impacts their community. The court consists of local teenagers who are trained to be the judge and jury and sanctions can range from community service to writing a letter of apology (Center for Court Innovation, 2005). Red Hook has proven that by justice having a presence within the community, recidivism can be significantly reduced and communities can work together to collectively reduce crime and thrive. The Justice Center will continue to be a forerunner and serve as a leading model community prosecution for jurisdictions worldwide. ■

For more information on the Center for Court Innovations programs, please visit: courtinnovation.org/ TOP: Client waiting area. - Courtesy J.Kummer BOTTOM: Red Hook Youth Court. - Courtesy J.Kummer

• • • • • • •

Center for Court Innovation 2015. Alex Calabrese, Judge, Red Hook Community Justice Center. Hynes, Charles 2008. Red Hook's Justice Center serves as a model to world. NY Daily News Besart, 2015. History. Center for Court Innovation n.d. Red Hook Community Justice Center. Atlantic and Erie Basins n.d. Places Matter. Red Hook History n.d. Waterfront Museum. About Red Hook n.d. Red Hook Justice.

For more information on the Architect of the Red Hook Community Justice Center, please visit: altaindelmanarchitect.com/

Jacob Matthias Kummer

Jacob is a Toronto-based architectural designer specializing in the planning and design of justice facilities and civic buildings. As part of the justice studio at NORR he is involved in all phases of courthouse design, including specialty court areas such as mental health, indigenous persons and youth. Jacob also serves on the Executive Committee of the Canadian Academy of Architecture for Justice (CAAJ). 48






Martin Gold, FAIA Martin Gold, FAIA is an associate professor of architecture at the University of Florida College of Design, Construction, and Planning and Director of Martin Gold Architects in Gainesville, Florida. He served as the Director of Architecture School at University of Florida from 2008 to 2014. Gold’s research interests seek design opportunities for sustainable living in coastal communities underpinned by the critical need for integrating resiliency, mobility, and sustainability toward emergent urban forms.

Based on the “Global Report on Food Crises 2018,” severe hunger in the world affects an estimated 124 million people in 51 countries. The report enumerates conflict, climate change and natural disasters, and inflation as the primary factors in food crises. Although food crisis mostly affects poor countries, it is an alarming issue for developing and even developed countries because of the growing number of people who are living in or near poverty and are vulnerable to the food insecurity. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), 10 percent of North America’s population is moderately or severely food insecure. Another emerging destructive result of the food crisis, obesity is prevalent and has been on the increase in the U.S. since the 1980s. Foods that are higher in calories (fats and sugars) yet lower in nutritional value are the staple diet for many in the US. The most recent data from “The State of Obesity 2018: Better Policies for a Healthier America” report, from 2015 to 2016, indicates that adult obesity rates are approaching 40 percent and are mostly related to too many calories in the form of highly processed foods. Lack of exercise is also a contributor and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has correlated obesity to time spent in an automobile. Both of the food issues mentioned – food insecurity and obesity – are social and economic problems and are issues challenging governments, decision makers, and social activists to find meaningful strategies to improve health through nutrition. Therefore, a model is proposed that: •

comprehensively responds to food insecurity and obesity as a public health problem;

provides equity and healthy food for everyone;

reduces expensive treatments for nutrition-related diseases; and

offers an opportunity for a more humane society to advance in the 21st century.


Source: UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)

As a responsive model to the emerging economic, social, and environmental challenges worldwide, the concept of sustainability was presented as a global agreement by the “Brundtland Commission” in 1987. According to the commission, the accepted sustainability targets include recognizing sustainability challenges globally, improving public knowledge about them, and suggesting the implementation of viable solutions. Sustainability is divided into three main aspects: economic, social, and environmental. In terms of social sustainability, a society could be called sustainable when there is equity in the social infrastructure, including urban form, educational availability, housing, and access to healthy food. Food equity – equal and healthy food provision for all of society's strata – is vital and fundamental to social sustainability and can work like a responsive model to the current food crisis. In this model, the different socioeconomic layers such as high, middle, and lower classes must be considered independently in terms of food equity factors to evaluate and ensure all society layers have an equal and healthy food supply. Globalization, corporate centralization of farming, increased

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transportation costs, and the effects of climate change suggest the need for a comprehensive reconsideration of food policy in order to achieve food equity. One strategic model for food production and a potential strategy for global food shortages – and corresponding to the three dimensions of sustainability – is urban agriculture. Urban agriculture utilizes components such as parks, medians, rooftops, parking lots, and yards for the cultivation of food in or around a city. In this interview, Professor Martin Gold, FAIA, who has researched sustainability and urban agriculture through multidisciplinary design studios and practical projects in Florida, was asked some questions regarding the potential of urban agriculture and the ways it might improve food equity.

Arash Alborzi: In your opinion, how serious or challenging is the worldwide food crisis for the U.S. and other developed and developing countries? Martin Gold: For developing countries, food is a pivotal concern as it is both necessary for a healthy, educated, and productive population, but it is also one of the primary economic drivers. Developing countries must compete economically to bring financial resources to their economies and agriculture has traditionally – and likely will continue to – offer the possibility of economic prosperity. The U.S., on the other hand, has different difficulties that need to be addressed, such as the low nutritional quality of food primarily available to low-income individuals and the lack of education regarding the importance of nutrition in public education. The rates of obesity, cardiovascular disease (No. 1 cause of death in the U.S.), and Type 2 diabetes (affecting almost 10% of Americans and the No. 7 leading cause of death in the U.S.) indicate that perhaps we eat,or have available, too much food that is not healthy. AA: Through your recent research and academic design studios, you have been exploring urban agriculture as a model of sustainability which responds to current economic, social, and environmental challenges. How responsive is urban agriculture in terms of food equity? How does urban agriculture work as a healthy food generator and a just food distributor? MG: In terms of food equity, we have found that there is typically much underutilized land in urban and suburban areas dominated by low-income and at-risk populations. Likely, it is not economically viable to develop those lands in the same fashion as demographic areas that show expendable income – an indicator



many development groups base their land investments on. So the opportunity exists for those areas to invest in agricultural enterprises as they have relatively low upfront costs, require minimal resources (sun, water, and perhaps organic forms of fertilization) in order to achieve food production. In that model, those closest to the food project would have first access, perhaps as a local trade economy, while the bulk of foods could be sold to restaurants and farmers markets reducing transportation costs. With some collaboration, niche foods could be developed year round to serve the expanding expectation for boutique foods. Where this needs "nudging" is from municipal governments in terms of education, flexible land-use policies, investment loans or grants, and perhaps tax incentives for productive landscapes. Encouragingly, the farmers’ market model has been growing about 2% in the early 2000s as an indicator that these grassroots models are expanding rather than contracting. So, in terms of food equity, this model puts those who are at risk closest to the source of production, giving them access at the point of lowest cost – before it is packaged and transported. AA: According to your latest book, “Agri-Urbanism”, it seems that the agriculture aspect of Ebenezer Howard’s “Garden City Movement” has not been considered thoroughly and satisfactorily by US planners. Although the planners have had the chance to use the Garden City as an urban agricultural model with public green areas and medium to high density residential downtowns, rather than sprawling large scale single family housing properties, why don’t we see more examples of the Garden City in the US? MG: Great Question. The most likely cause is the limitations set forth in the land-use regulations of the early 20th century generally referred to as zoning. Although necessary at that time, there were many unintended consequences. Most notably, urban sprawl has been well identified and characterized as an unintended consequence of zoning by author James Howard Kunstler in his book Home from Nowhere: Remaking Our Everyday World for the 21st Century. I would add that much of the focus on ‘urban renewal’ (a mid- to late 20th century failure at revitalizing cities) approached these complex issues with a mindset that went something like: If we just ask the right questions, we will get the right ‘solution’ to the problem. Unfortunately, those questions focused on what urban form, how much housing density, and how much green space was needed per household. This approach was based on a scientific evaluation of the distribution of urban space and functionally rational solutions. We now clearly understand that people are not rational agents, they have desires, and need diversity in their



in terms of food equity, this model puts those who are at risk closest to the source of production, giving them access at the point of lowest cost – before it is packaged and transported." lives and the places they live. New Urbanism has capitalized on recognizing the need for humanity in urbanism by reproducing the urban morphology of the past (pre-1950) and challenging some of the fundamental tenets of zoning. The work of Andrés Duany and Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk has led to an explosion of mixed-use development and the rewriting of municipal land development codes around the nation. I believe that we can now reconsider mixing agriculture uses (much like we have reconsidered mixing commercial and housing uses) in addition to being stricter about urban growth boundaries to keep farming land close to the city. In this case, the best ongoing U.S. example is Davis, California and an emergent model is Serenbe, Georgia. Hopefully, many will reconsider the Garden City model and adapt those excellent and frankly common sense ideas that demonstrate the need for good proximity between urbanism and agriculture. AA: Let me ask about your state. Based on the demographic statistics, Florida is facing an additive population growth which needs to be seriously considered regarding food equity; housing development is increasing, cities are expanding, and agriculture lands are shrinking. How will Urban Agriculture work as a responsive model to this challenge in Florida? MG: Florida has a long history of both agriculture and land development as economic drivers. Generally, the coast has been ideal for development, with the beach being an enigmatic attraction for millions of people to relocate — seasonally and permanently. In the last 30 years, there has been a substantial increase in developing former agricultural lands, and in most cases, those lands transform into single-family homes with densities of about 3.5 homes per acre. The area around Orlando, Fla., along Florida’s turnpike is a stark visual example of literally miles of orange groves that have been replaced with miles of single-family homes. Florida just surpassed New York as the third-most-populous state in the U.S., and growth continues to be expected. There are significant trends of migration to the northern-central part of the state to avoid storms, and due to the high cost of land near the coast, and perhaps concern from sea level rise. With this rapid and dynamic change, Florida offers a great opportunity for agri-urban models at a variety of scales, perhaps directly utilizing the Garden City Model or advancing adaptations and new emergent models. The climate is perfect — ample rainfall, a reliable aquifer, plenty of sunshine, a horizontal landscape that is easy to cultivate, and rich deposits of natural-occurring phosphate that can be recycled as fertilizer. The changes in zoning and land-use noted above have not fully permeated the 67 Florida counties, so there is still much work to be done to make land-use regulations more flexible. Also, developers

need to see some incentive for alternative development forms that would better support nested agriculture. Typical single-family homes break up the land into small areas that are difficult to utilize. On the other hand, there is a lawn-maintenance industry that could be incentivized to offer agricultural production services rather than just mowing and edging. There are so many possibilities for Florida. AA: In one of your interviews, “Accepting Impermanence” with AIA Voices, you were discussing “Florida Lineage”, you mentioned: “We build, the storms come in, and then we rebuild.” Could this concept operate like a resilient model? If so, could we utilize urban agriculture as an application of that resilient model in Florida shorelines where most of the population is located and most of Florida’s storms usually happen? MG: Historically, coastal communities built simple structures and expected to evacuate and rebuild after severe storms. Barrier islands have also been rendered infertile due to sea water salting the soils, and in those cases, the land was largely abandoned. Pioneering Floridians accepted the impermanence of living in the coastal ecology. This is an idea we might resurrect, yet reframe to consider our cultural investments in infrastructure that allow us high-quality living on the coast — roads, power, water, sewer, and communications. One perspective is that we should continue to build to get the optimal return from those investments — more people utilizing the infrastructure that has already been “paid for” before building new infrastructure other places. However, we should consider building in a manner that is fundamentally less permanent. Most single-family homes are built to be replaced piece by piece in about 10 to 15 years — interior finishes to be replaced every five to eight years; roof, every 12 years; HVAC, 15 years; kitchen, 15 years; bathroom, 15 years; and siding, every 12 years. What if we thought of the single-family homes more like our automobiles, that we would use them for 10 years and then recycle them? With that in mind, we could occupy the coastal infrastructure and ecology for as long as possible and then when the time comes relocate while minimizing economic losses. This notion needs much more study but is premised on the concepts that we should (1) not abandon existing infrastructure any sooner than necessary; (2) that we should continue to build in coastal areas to get the value out of that infrastructure; and (3) that we should build new structures in a way that accepts and perhaps even capitalizes on the circumstance of their impermanence. ■

Arash Alborzi Alborzi is a PhD student at the University of Florida School of Architecture in Gainesville, Florida. Alborzi’s thesis focuses on urban agriculture, sustainable urbanism, and architecture. Prior to studying his PhD in architecture, he practiced and studied architecture in Tehran, Iran.


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Kimberly Dowdell, AIA, NOMA Kimberly Dowdell is a licensed architect and a real estate developer in Detroit. Kimberly is a Partner with Century Partners and serves as a lecturer at the Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning at the University of Michigan. She studied architecture at Cornell University’s College of Architecture, Art and Planning and public administration at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. Kimberly is the 2019-2020 National President of the National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA). She has been a member of the AIA since 2007.

Prior to becoming the Editor-In-Chief of CONNECTION, I served on the NOMA magazine as the Editor-In-Chief for two years. NOMA, the National Organization of Minority Architects, represents architects and emerging professionals of different ethnic backgrounds. Its mission is to champion diversity within the design professions. During my tenure as editor, we had numerous conversations with different community leaders and shared their stories through the lens of a minority. Our CONNECTION team took this opportunity and spent some time with Kimberly Dowdell, 2019-2020 president of NOMA to chat about the things that NOMA would like to achieve in the near future.

Yu-Ngok Lo: What are some of the most pressing issues the architecture profession face in the near future, say 5 to 10 years? And what about in the long run? KD: Architecture as a profession must work more effectively towards increasing billings relative to the tremendous value that we provide to the real estate industry. We must also play a larger role in protecting the environment, preparing for heightened density in our cities, and ensuring that firm leadership represents diverse perspectives and backgrounds to reflect the makeup of the public. YNL: As the president of NOMA, what is THE most critical issue to you and what is the organization’s long term plan to tackle this? KD: Economic opportunity is the biggest issue that we need to confront as a profession. This issue permeates everything else. My platform for NOMA over the next two years of my presidency is as follows:



ALL in for NOMA 2020 Access: I am challenging our board as well as our membership to be hyper-focused on helping to provide greater access to our profession for students of color in particular. From K-12, college and graduate school, and the licensure process, more minority students need exposure to the building professions in general, but also mentorship support and funding to help meet the financial requirements of higher education and licensure in architecture. Leadership: Once licensed, I believe that more of our members — and minorities in general — should be groomed for positions of leadership within the profession. Leadership can take many forms, but I think there is a major opportunity for firms to cultivate more diverse talent at the top of their org charts. Having more diverse architects serving in leadership roles in the public sector as well as in non-traditional positions in the private sector are also very valuable, particularly serving in client roles. It is just as important to promote more diverse leadership within organizations such as AIA, NCARB, NAAB, ACSA, etc. I am thrilled that AIA President Bill Bates is leading the organization while I'm NOMA President, especially since he is a long-standing NOMA member and is keenly aware of minority concerns as an African-American. It sends a powerful signal to the profession to have Bill Bates, FAIA, at the helm of the organization, not because of his race, but because of his tremendous career and dedication to the profession over decades of service to AIA. He happens to be African-American, and that means that the next Bill Bates may be making his/her way in a firm right now, looking for an opportunity to be developed into a future leader, inspired by what he/she sees at AIA. President Bates is a strong example of what is possible, particularly for minorities in the profession. Legacy: Once our members begin approaching retirement, I would like to encourage them to critically think about what their



legacies will be, not only for the profession, but for themselves personally. As such, I invite all members to consider their retirement planning as early as possible, and for those who are firm owners, I encourage consideration of business risk management and succession planning. Further, it is my hope that all members are playing an important role in mentoring the next generation of architects and leaders in the profession, helping to provide access and facilitate leadership. All three of the aforementioned categories require financial considerations and I firmly believe that if economic opportunity was more equitable, the difficulties encountered by minorities would not be quite as pronounced as they are. Economics underpin why more students of color do not choose to study architecture and why it proves difficult for many minorities to thrive in the profession. This is where I would like for NOMA's leadership to dedicate bandwidth and energy towards helping — making the profession more economically viable for all, despite the adverse impact of the racial wealth gap. YNL: How can NOMA strengthen the relationship with AIA in resolving some of the issues you mentioned moving forward?

compensated to do good work so that when we want to devote time to less profitable endeavors, we are not sacrificing our livelihoods. That's one of the big challenges in the profession, wanting to help where the needs are greatest, while balancing that with the realities of limited funding. It would be very helpful to have the philanthropic sector provide support to enable talented designers to solve the most pressing problems within our communities. YNL: Paint us a picture of how you envision the future of our profession will be. KD: I envision the future of architecture doing a better job of leveraging technology to be more efficient and heighten profitability, which makes the profession more attractive to a diverse pool of talent. This talent would be drawn from every corner of the world and would be specially equipped to meet the needs of their communities and other locales near or far. The education of the architect will expose them to a more interdisciplinary curriculum and help professionals emerge into the workforce with a more wellrounded approach to the work of making high-quality places and spaces for all people. â–

KD: NOMA has a very good relationship with AIA, and we're very much looking forward to building upon our existing collaborations to ensure that the future of the profession is more reflective of the broader public that we all serve as architects. YNL: How can architects continue to be civic leaders of our communities in the 21st century (especially in underserved, marginalized communities)? KD: Architects can play a wide range of roles due to the type of training we engage in school, and I encourage all students and professionals to consider how their unique talents and interests will best serve the greater good. Using myself as an example, I've worked for firms, a real estate project management company, city government, and most recently as a real estate entrepreneur. My mission has remained the same throughout my career: To improve the quality of life for people living in cities. I am especially interested in deploying my skills in my hometown, Detroit. There is a lot of work to do here, and I am encouraged that so many architects are joining us in this ambitious endeavor. It is refreshing that Detroit's mayor appointed an acclaimed architect, Maurice Cox, to serve as Director of Planning and Development. Under-served communities need our time, energy and talents more than anywhere else, which is why it is very important that we ensure that architects are adequately

Yu-Ngok Lo, AIA Yu-Ngok is the principal of YNL Architects, Inc. He is the past Communications Director of the Young Architects Forum National Advisory Committee and is a recipient of the 2016 AIA Young Architect Award.


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2019 EDITORIAL CALENDAR CONNECTION welcomes the submission of ARTICLES, PROJECTS, PHOTOGRAPHY and other design content. Submitted materials are subject to editorial review and selected for publication in eMagazine format based on relevance to the theme of a particular issue. CONNECTION content will also appear on AIA.org and submissions will be considered on a rolling basis. If you are interested in contributing to CONNECTION, please contact the Editor-In-Chief at johnclarknm@gmail.com







Since 2015, The Young Architects Forum has helped lead the national conversation on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion initiatives in architecture. Review the progress that has been made, discover emerging leaders in EDI programs and practices, and explore where the profession goes from here.

This issue focuses on architects in civic, community, and political leadership roles, demonstrating the value of architects as problem solvers and change agents in unique ways.





An update to the Young Architect's Forum practice innovation goals and initiatives, this issue will highlight the 2019 Practice Innovation Labs, alternative practice models, and emerging technologies impacting the profession.



With a lot in store for 2019, this issue will highlight the Young Architects Forum's work connecting emerging professional communities, sharing knowledge that promotes progress within the profession, and advocating for isssues of relevance to recently licensed architects.

WHAT IS THE YOUNG ARCHITECTS FORUM? The Young Architects Forum is the voice of architects in the early stages of their career and the catalyst for change within the profession and our communities. Working closely with the AIA College of Fellows and the American Institute of Architects as a whole, the YAF is leading the future of the profession with a focus on architects licensed less than 10 years. The national YAF Advisory Committee is charged with encouraging the development of national and regional programs of interest to young architects and supporting the creation of YAF groups within local chapters. Approximately 10,000 AIA members are represented by the YAF. YAF programs, activities, and resources serve young architects by providing information and leadership; promoting excellence through fellowship with other professionals; and encouraging mentoring to enhance individual, community, and professional development. GOALS OF THE YOUNG ARCHITECTS FORUM •

To encourage professional growth and leadership development among recently licensed architects through interaction and collaboration within the AIA and allied groups.

To build a national network and serve as a collective voice for young architects by working to ensure that issues of particular relevance to young architects are appropriately addressed by the Institute.

To make AIA membership valuable to young architects and to develop the future leadership of the profession.

A vibrant community AIA is a vibrant community of architecture and industry professionals that are transforming our profession. Members enjoy access to industry-best benefits, products and services that support practice and professional development. Visit aia.org to learn more about how you can leverage all that we have to offer and become a member.

Join us.






Profile for AIA Young Architects Forum

AIA YAF CONNECTION 17.01 - Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in Architecture  

Since 2015, The Young Architects Forum has helped lead the national conversation on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion initiatives in architect...

AIA YAF CONNECTION 17.01 - Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in Architecture  

Since 2015, The Young Architects Forum has helped lead the national conversation on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion initiatives in architect...