American Institute of Architects, San Francisco Chapter

Insight 2014

Join AIA San Francisco for two days of continuing education classes addressing leading issues on design, practice, and technology. This year's series, held December 4 - 5, will help you meet both your California and AIA continuing education requirements. Sign-up for one class or the whole series!

Thursday, December 4

6:00 - 8:00 pm (2 HSWs)

Market Street-Scapes: Transportation, Architecture, and City Planning

Join David Baker, FAIA, David Baker Architects; Paolo Cosulich-Schwartz, SF Bike Coalition; Ben Grant, SPUR; and Alison Sant, Studio for Urban Projects, for a panel discussion focusing on the major changes along the Market Street corridor. You will have a chance to hear from the city’s leading experts on transportation, architecture, and city planning and gain insight into how these industries are working together to create a better urban environment along one of San Francisco’s most important thoroughfares. Simon Bertrang, Project Manager for Better Market Street at SFDPW will moderate.


Speaker Bios:

David Baker, FAIA, LEED AP, founded San Francisco-based David Baker Architects in 1982. With a focus on affordable housing and sustainable urban solutions, the firm has come to be known for combining social concern with a signature design character. In 2012 David was selected as the AIA California Council’s Distinguished Practice, in recognition of a career of commitment to the built environment. He was recently honored by the Non-Profit Housing Association as a Visionary Leader in Design and by Livable City as a Livability Innovator in Architecture and Urbanism. His most recent projects are Zero Cottage—San Francisco’s first Net-Zero Passive House certified home—and StoreFrontLab, an interactive exploration of community, creativity, and industry.

Simon Bertrang is a Project Manager for San Francisco Public Works and leads the City and County of San Francisco’s Better Market Street project –a comprehensive reconstruction of the City’s premier cultural, civic and commercial center and the region’s most important transit corridor from Octavia Boulevard to the Embarcadero. The program will support the City’s planned growth and economic development by delivering a vibrant and inclusive destination where people want to live, work and visit and to make it easier and safer for them to get around.


Paolo Cosulich-Schwartz joined the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition in September 2013 as the Business and Community Program Manager and brings experience in planning and community development. Paolo directed the planning and outreach for an award-winning street and public space plan at the Yerba Buena Community Benefit District. He most recently worked for economic development nonprofit, Pacific Community Ventures, and before that spent a year with a rural development NGO in Ghana. Paolo is from Berkeley and graduated from Occidental College with honors in Urban and Environmental Policy. When he’s not riding through Golden Gate Park on separated bikeways, you can usually find Paolo riding waves at Ocean Beach.

Benjamin Grant is a city planner, urban designer, curator and lecturer in the San Francisco Bay Area. He currently heads SPUR's interagency Master Plan for Ocean Beach. He has developed exhibitions on a range of urban issues, including "Agents of Change," a historical survey of San Francisco urbanism for the opening of the SPUR Urban Center. He has been a lecturer and studio instructor in the graduate program in Urban and Regional Planning at San Jose State University and has taught at the San Francisco Art Institute.    


Alison Sant is a co-founder and partner in the Studio for Urban Projects, an interdisciplinary design collaborative that works at the intersection of architecture, urbanism, art, and social activism. The Studio’s research-based projects engage in the broad themes of ecology and urbanism and have taken the form of digital media, exhibitions, publications, audio tours, architectural installations and urban interventions. Their projects have been commissioned by Eyebeam Art & Technology Center, the Berkeley Art Museum, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Zero One San Jose, SPUR, the Seattle Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs and the Headlands Center for the Arts.



Friday, December 5

9:00 - 11:30 am (2.5 MCE/HSWs)

Accessibility: Design and Disconnects

Accessibility in California includes conflicting and overlapping Standards. Interpretation is probably the number one issue in accessibility, especially, consistency of interpretation. Another critical issue is establishing priorities for which barrier to remove. Is it possible to develop a rational interpretation and assessment protocol for accessibility issues that will help establish priorities?

This program looks at a number of disconnects discover during nearly 5 years of accessibility surveys in California. While blame maybe assigned to design professionals or to contractors, field studies suggests it is something more than that. A strategy for prioritizing and interpreting survey results will be presented. Universal design principles will be briefly reviewed towards developing a holistic approach to accessibility and integration into the design and construction process. An overview of accessibility issues and checklists for resolving field issues will be presented. Finally, a wide range of disconnects will be presented and discussed as to why they happened even though the drawings were correct.

Speaker Bio:

Architect, specifier, programmer, facilitator, marketer, and educator, Michael Chambers FAIA FCSI CCS has experience in education, health care, government, housing, hospitality, and sports architecture. Using his broad experience in working closely with clients in pre-design, materials selection, program analysis, post occupancy evaluation, and marketing strategies, Michael offers a diverse perspective on critical design and construction issues both as a technical architect and as an educator. Michael spent 5 years surveying California hospitals and medical office buildings for accessability issues and has reviewed numerous project documents for accessibility compliance. Michael is an architectural graduate of the University of Southern California, registered architect in California and a Certified Construction Specifier. Michael is Senior Specification Writer at SmithGroupJJR, San Francisco.


12:00 - 1:30 pm (1.5 HSWs)

Technology for Storytelling: How to reach new clients and engage a global community

For architects and other design professionals, technology tools extend far beyond space planning and drafting. Today, technology is used to communicate more effectively with clients, tell engaging stories about you and your portfolio of work and market your business with scale and efficiency, in the office or on the go. During this session, discover how you can harness Houzz and integrated technologies to do just this - improve business efficiency, reach new prospective clients and streamline communications.


Speaker Bios:

Lindsey Thudin is part of the Community Team at Houzz, an innovative residential design platform and community. She is a public relations and branding strategist whose career has spanned many industries from education, to entertainment, and technology. She is particularly passionate about helping small businesses increase revenue through internet marketing strategies and new media. Ms. Thudin obtained a B.A. in Journalism and Public Relations from the University of St. Thomas and is currently pursuing a M.A. in Multimedia Communications from the Academy of Art University.

Mark English, AIA CEPE, is principal at Mark English Architects in San Francisco,California. A Bay Area native, he offers a designer's sense of artistry supported by practical knowledge gained from years of direct hands-on building experience. After earning a bachelor of architecture degree at California Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo, and a master of architecture degree at the Syracuse University campus in Florence, Italy, he founded Mark English Architects in 1992. The firm has designed numerous residential and entertainment spaces throughout California, Texas and Mexico. The firm has a special interest in building in the urban context, with half of its work occurring in San Francisco.


1:45pm - 2:45pm (1 HSW)

Project Frog: The New Emerging Market of Component Construction

Project Frog is on a mission to revolutionize the way buildings are created by applying technology to overcome the inefficiencies of traditional construction. The company provides component buildings that assemble easily onsite, giving architects and builders a fast and cost effective way to create beautiful and energy-efficient buildings.

This exciting panel will be led by two senior leaders from Project Frog – Marijke Smit and Karen Vegas. Ms. Smit will talk about the firm history and the company goal of eradicating portable trailers on public school campuses. Ms. Vegas will introduce the healthcare offering which is focused on speed and reveal a new emerging market.

Speaker Bios:

Marijke Smit, Vice President, Education
Marijke is responsible for defining, expanding, and shepherding Project Frog's component building solutions in the education sector both nationally and in the Bay Area. Marijke has focused her career around the nexus between people and place, working with leading K-12, university, and civic organizations to help optimize the potential of their built environments. Trained in history and urban planning at Columbia University and Columbia’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, Marijke’s career has been influenced by a complex array of assignments, both large and small, in the U.S. and Asia.

Karen Vegas, Vice President, Enterprise Development
Karen is a licensed architect with nearly twenty years of experience in the healthcare, high-tech, and biopharmaceutical industries. Karen came to Project Frog from Stanford Children’s Health | Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford, where she was the Director of Capital Improvement. She and her team managed the design and construction of approximately $50 Million annually. Prior to her time at the children’s hospital, Karen was the Director of Construction for St. Joseph Health at the Queen of the Valley Medical Center in Napa. During her tenure in Napa, Karen oversaw the annual capital improvement program, and the design and construction of five major projects, totaling $250 million.


3:15pm - 4:45pm (1.5 HSWs)

Tour of 1400 Mission Street

Join Steve Perry, AIA (Perry Architects), Bert Ayers, AIA (Perry Architects), and Shervey Kong, Project Engineer (Swinerton Builders) for a tour of 1400 Misison Street. This project is a mixed-use residential high-rise structure of Type IA construction with a concrete structural frame. The building is 15 stories with 190 residential dwelling units and serves as the off-site inclusionary requirement for a separate project. An outdoor terrace is located on the second & eleventh floor. The ground floor contains a residential lobby with access from Mission Street, a parking garage with access from Jessie Street, and retail space along its Mission and 10th Street frontages.

This is a construction tour so please bring a hardhat and safety googles. The construction team does not have enough equipment to outfit everyone. Also, please remember to wear sturdy, closed-toed shoes. Space is limited.

The tour will meet outside of the Swinerton project office at 128 10th Street in front of San Francisco Advertiser.