AIA San Francisco meeting Friday to discuss women and architecture

After I posted about Architect Barbie, AIA of San Francisco emailed me about a local, upcoming discussion on women and architecture. Director of Communications, Helen Wong, writes:

This event grew out of the desire by our AIA San Francisco Communications Committee to explore and share the experiences of women in the profession. The association to Barbie has definitely created some interesting dialogue and we’re hoping to continue to engage more people in the conversation.  The committee hopes to develop a forum that can serve as an additional resource for women architects.

It looks like a great event, if you’re able to attend, here’s the info:

Ladies (and Gents) Who Lunch with Architect Barbie
October 21, 2011   Noon – 12:30 PM: Networking | 12:30 – 1:30 PM: Presentation
AIA San Francisco, 130 Sutter Street, Suite 600, San Francisco
Representing different paths in the design profession, architects Cathy Simon, FAIA (Perkins + Will), Ila Berman (California College of the Arts), EB Min (Min|Day) and Anne M. Torney (Daniel Solomon Design Partners) will discuss their careers and share their perspectives on women in the profession.

The group will explore the following topics:
·  What is the current state of women’s participation in the profession?
·  How does “Architect Barbie” influence roles, including stereotypes for women in the profession?
·  What does it take to become successful in architecture?
·  How can women shape the future of the profession?

The seminar format will include audience participation, allowing the architects, designers, and marketing professionals to be fully engaged in the conversation. Designer Jessica Lane, founder and editor in chief of Calx, a design magazine and author of the blog post, “The Audacity of Architect Barbie,” will moderate the presentation.


Ila Berman, director of Architecture at California College of the Arts and principal of Studio Matrixx, is an architect and architectural theorist who holds a doctorate from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design. Dr. Berman is the recipient of many awards and honors including, among others the J. P. Herndon Traveling Fellowship where she conducted research on contemporary urban and architectural landscapes. In 2005 she was the recipient of the President’s Award at Tulane University, where she was a Favrot Professor and the Associate Dean of the School of Architecture until December 2007. Her design work, which ranges in scale from objects to cities, has been published in GAM Zero Landscape, the Cornell Architecture Journal, Cityscape, c3Korea, JAE, and Appendx among others.

EB Min, AIA is the San Francisco based principal of Min | Day. An honors graduate of Brown University with dual concentrations in Art History and Studio Art, she began her architectural studies as a cross-registered student at Rhode Island School of Design. She received her Master of Architecture from the University of California at Berkeley in 1993. E.B.’s experience in the landscape architecture office of Delaney and Cochran nurtured her interest in the integration of landscapes and buildings. E.B. has taught at U.C. Berkeley and is an Adjunct Professor in the Masters of Architecture Program at California College of the Arts in San Francisco and serves on the Board of Directors of the AIA San Francisco.

Cathy Simon, FAIA, LEED AP is a design principal at Perkins + Will. Her focus on transformative design is evident at all scales. Larger-scale work is best exemplified by San Francisco’s Ferry Building, a once-disused relic reborn as a public marketplace and the site of the nation’s most highly-regarded farmer’s market, as well as a place of vibrant community. Notable smaller projects include numerous independent K-12 projects including the Urban School, a private high school whose identity and relationship to its neighborhood were revolutionized as a result of its new facility. Cathy’s design philosophy and expertise have made her a natural spokesperson for the burgeoning revitalization of post-industrial waterfronts worldwide. She frequently speaks and teaches on issues of urbanization, revitalization and the ways and means of creating these vibrant places that nurture the growth of community.

Anne M. Torney, AIA LEED AP is an architect who has made affordable multi-family housing and transit-oriented urban infill the focus of her work for over 20 years. As a Principal and Director of Housing at the multi-disciplinary San-Francisco-based architectural design firm Daniel Solomon Design Partners, she has led award winning projects in San Francisco, San Jose, Los Angeles, and Seattle, WA. She brings a commitment to community outreach and sustainable design to all her projects, which range in scale from 47 units of supportive housing for formerly homeless seniors, to the master planning and architectural design for the redevelopment of distressed public housing into vibrant new mixed-income and mixed use communities. Anne earned her BA at Princeton University and studied for her Masters Degree at the University of California, Berkeley.

$15 students with valid ID; $25 AIA SF and SMPS members; and $40 nonmembers. Fee includes 1.0 LUs and lunch. Space is limited. Pre-registration is required
Contact:  AIA San Francisco

4 thoughts on “AIA San Francisco meeting Friday to discuss women and architecture

  1. The AIASF chose to discuss the status of women in the profession with only women who practice with men – no female sole practitioners are represented on the panel. Ila is a great woman, but is primarily an academic, working at the perimeter of conventional practice. The AIA has sent a message to the SF community that Architect Barbie doesn’t exist by herself, without Architect Ken. Despite the achievements of these women, it’s a sad message to everyone else.

  2. I recently purchased Architect Barbie for my 2 year old daughter. This is her first Barbie and she loves her. My husband and I are both architects and while we won’t be swaying her one way or another to be an architect when she grows up, we want her to have an appreciation of architecture throughout life and to grow up a strong confident woman. We have a few architectural books for her – Iggy Peck, Architect & Roberto the Insect Architect. To her, right now, when we ask her, ‘who is an architect?’, She usually names Barbie first, then Mommy, Daddy, ‘Roberto’ or ‘Iggy Peck’ . I love that she associates Barbie as an architect and I hope that her generation of women never feels that this profession is out of their reach. I’ve never felt that way – I wanted to be an architect since 7th grade and everyone supported me in that dream. Sure, the majority of architects are still men but that’s ok. It is what it is, I guess. Maybe Architect Barbie can help change that? 🙂

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