B1: Equity in Practice: Firm Strategies for Implementing Change.
Recognizing that the individuals who make up a firm are its most valuable asset, many of today’s top firms, large and small, have made strides towards building more equitable workplaces in order to sustain lasting and competitive businesses. Four professionals in the industry will discuss specific strategies related to flexibility, performance review and promotion, recruitment and retention, and mentorship/sponsorship and advocacy. They will examine successes and lessons learned, and how these strategies can be implemented in order to positively influence equity in the profession of architecture.
Associate at RSP Architects
Recently joining RSP Architects, Amy is a co-founder of the AIA MN Women in Architecture Committee and director of Women in Design- Twin Cities. As a leader in the movement to enhance women’s roles in the design community, she advances women’s leadership through advocacy, professional development and dialogue. Amy leads gatherings throughout the Twin Cities and nationally to raise awareness surrounding equity and develop initiatives specifically related to strengthening women’s leadership roles in the industry. Amy publishes her own blog, archimom.com, that explores the balance of career and family. Her dedication to the future of the field was recognized with a 2015 AIA MN Young Architect Award, the 2016 AIA National Young Architect Award, and the 2016 Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal 40 Under 40 Award. Amy is a healthcare architect and Senior Medical Planner working with healthcare organizations to plan and design facilities that allow them to deliver superior patient care.
Senior Designer, BAR Architects
Nicolette Mastrangelo, AIA, LEED BD+C, is a Senior Designer at BAR Architects in San Francisco collaborating on transit-oriented, mixed-use, urban projects. She has over nine years of experience in the Architecture and Planning industry at the globally recognized practices of Handel Architects, ARUP and Skidmore Owings & Merrill, as well as the strategic design/ideas firm, MKThink. She studied industrial design and obtained a BS in architecture at the University of Michigan in 2003 and a dual Masters of Architecture and City Planning from the University of California in 2010. In 2009, Nicolette travelled to 21 countries over twelve months as a Branner Fellow, researching the global phenomenon of dense, rapid development through The Untested City: unprecedented urbanism and the performance of new public space. She continues to pursue her research interests in the public realm, new cities and the practice of Architecture with her spouse, Asa Prentice in Oakland, California.
Marketing Manager, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP
Mariana Narvaez is the Marketing Manager of the San Francisco office of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP, where she is in charge of running the day-to-day operation of SOM’s West Coast Marketing and Communications department. She began her tenure with SOM in the firm’s New York office, where she was proud to serve as part of the Women’s Initiative in 2011. Upon relocating to San Francisco in 2013, she started the West Coast chapter of SOM's Women’s Initiative with a group of colleagues from all disciplines within the office. The SOMWI’s mission is to create an environment that is supportive of equitable practice, providing the necessary resources to encourage leadership, mentorship, and professional growth.
Prior to joining SOM Mariana served as the Marketing and Communications Director for Enrique Norten’s studio, TEN Arquitectos, in New York. She holds a professional degree in architecture from Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City, where she’s originally from.
Principal, Karin Payson architecture + design
Karin Payson is a licensed architect with 30 years experience in architecture and interior design. Since founding KPa+d in 1992, Ms. Payson has built a practice serving both private and public clients. Completed projects include three branch libraries in San Francisco and a new home for the San Francisco Holocaust Archive. Ms. Payson has also designed large-scale single-family homes throughout Northern California, Wyoming and New York. She has been a Lecturer, Associate Professor and Guest Critic at UC Berkeley, California College of the Arts, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (New York), Academy of Art College, UC Berkeley Extension, California Polytechnic San Luis Obispo, and NY Institute of Technology.
Before founding KPa+d, Ms. Payson was a Project Architect at Hardy Holzman Pfeiffer Associates (New York), where she worked on the planning, programming and design of large-scale commercial buildings. She holds an M.Arch from Columbia University and a B.A in architecture from UC Berkeley.
Joyce Polhamus leads the San Francisco office of SmithGroupJJR, one of the nation’s largest architecture and planning firms, garnering over 60 million dollars in revenue a year. She works to inspire innovation and advocate for policies to drive the cultural shift needed to create a workplace-of-choice environment. As one of six females on the SmithGroupJJR Board of Directors and a member of the firm-wide Women@SmithGroupJJR initiative, Joyce helps drive equity efforts across all 10 offices. In May 2015, Joyce was inducted into the AIA College of Fellows