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There has been much discussion raised about "Why are women leaving Architecture? and more broadly, Why is the profession losing key talent?"  Both women and men practitioners are disillusioned by the myth of work/life balance: Women are grappling with "have it all" expectations of juggling family time with the demands of full-time work.  Men are struggling to support their families solely on an architect's salary and fall back on asking spouses to maintain their jobs. The lack of affordable childcare and high cost of living only magnifies the challenges.  How did we end up in this modern family dilemma? What can we do to improve the situation?

EQxD "U" Wrkshp 1: "Satisfaction" 3/12 @AIASF (Meet the Panelists!)

Satisfaction: Workplace Innovations to Attract, Develop and Keep Talent.

March 12th, 2015 @AIASF 130 Sutter Street, San Francisco 6pm-8:30pm

Please join us to get "Satisfaction" in the 1st of 4 highly engaging EQxD workshops that explore workplace topics we experience but rarely discuss.  

We invited 4 Bay Area Principals of successful design firms that each have a unique story to tell about what it takes to attract and keep top talent and run an award winning design practice; From a practice that honors staff with biannual urban architectural retreats to a firm founded and largely owned by women with diverse and flexible work cultures. From a firm forging a design first ethos with meaningful work that respects employee needs to a successful small studio that has joined forces with a larger firm. 

What is the secret sauce for job satisfaction? How does this factor into talent retention in successful firms? Is it having a worker-centered culture or diversity in talent? Working on meaningful design projects ? Having a transparent promotion policy? Role models in leadership positions? High salary? Meaningful work?



MEET THE SATISFACTION PANELISTS! (and the amazing firms they lead)


Peter Larsen, AIA

Principal, Aidlin Darling Design

Peter Larsen has been a designer with Aidlin Darling Design since 1999, and became a Principal of the firm in 2012.  His design work ranges from large-scale multi-building projects on remote land parcels to handcrafted furniture and fixture design at the intimate scale of the human body. He has focused on developing sustainable building strategies, including LEED-platinum and Net Zero Energy projects, as well as taken on leadership roles in the management of the Aidlin Darling Design studio and team.

Aidlin Darling Design rigorously explores design across a wide range of scales, programs and disciplines with the goal of enabling poetic, sustainable and appropriate site- and client-specific solutions. The firm has been awarded over 100 regional, national and international design awards including an AIA/COTE Top Ten + Award, a National Design Award by the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, an international Civic Trust Award, a National AIA Honor Award, a National ASLA Honor Award for landscape architecture, two National IIDA Interior Design Awards, multiple American Architecture Awards from the Chicago Athenaeum, and a James Beard Award.



Melinda Rosenberg, Assoc. AIA, SHRM

Partner, Director of Human Resources, Office Manager,  WRNS Studio

Melinda has always been curious about understanding and shaping culture. She arrived at WRNS in 2005 and helped open their doors, ushering in the vibrant, creative, diverse and hard-working ethos that has helped WRNS become the nationally recognized design firm it is today. WRNS is truly its people, and Melinda has recruited and helped them retain the best. Since day one, they've attracted an incredibly talented group of designers and professionals who are committed to good design, social and environmental stewardship and critical discourse. With no shortage of parties and social outings, Melinda knows how to balance their culture of hard work with play.

WRNS Studio is a 75-person architecture firm with offices in San Francisco and Honolulu. Founded in 2005 with a design-first ethos, projects range in scale and typology from Adobe's new campus in Utah to small community centers here in San Francisco for the Trust for Public Land. Place, identity, context, technical innovation and resource conservation compel their every move. Recent clients include Airbnb, Dolby, UCSF, Stanford, the San Francisco Unified School District, and numerous private developers.

Janet Tam, AIA, LEED AP BD+C

Principal, Noll & Tam

Janet Tam, AIA, is a founding partner of Noll & Tam Architects in Berkeley, CA. She holds a Master’s degree in Architecture from UC Berkeley and is a member of The American Institute of Architects, Society of College and University Planners, and California Parks and Recreation Society. A LEED Accredited Professional (BD+C), Janet is noted for her ability to analyze complex programs and synthesize all components into aesthetically pleasing architectural design. She has special expertise in facilitating consensus among diverse interest groups, particularly as part of an organized community process.

Noll & Tam Architects’ work reflects a dedication to the particular people and places that make our projects unique. Christopher Noll and Janet Tam founded the firm in 1992 to establish a talented studio of architects that pursued the ideal of active community involvement and environmentally responsive design. Today, we have 30 creative and energetic staff members, including 16 LEED Accredited Professionals with 67% women in firm leadership.

Anne Torney, AIA, LEED AP

Principal, Mithun

Anne Torney is an architect who has made transit-oriented affordable housing, urban place-making and social equity the focus of her work for more than 20 years. She is a Board member at Mithun, and manager of the Mithun's San Francisco office. Prior to joining Mithun, Anne was Principal and Director of Housing at the multi-disciplinary San-Francisco-based architectural design firm Daniel Solomon Design Partners, where she has led award-winning projects in San Francisco, San Jose, Los Angeles, and Seattle, WA. She brings a deep commitment to community outreach and sustainable design to all her projects, which range from supportive communities for the formerly homeless, to the revitalization of isolated public housing sites into walkable, mixed-use and mixed-income communities. Her sensitivity to client and user objectives animates her leadership of complex projects with multi-layered client and consultant teams.

Mithun’s architects, interior designers, landscape architects, urban designers and planners are working to inspire a sustainable world through leadership, innovation and integrated design. A national leader in sustainable design and urbanism since 1949, we look for and find connections — the universal in the specific, and ways to balance the human and natural worlds. Our work is an innovative blend of design, technology and nature to create places that excel in beauty, spirit and performance. Our integrated teams understand global issues and help to drive the best return on investments — economically, socially, environmentally and artistically. Making these connections, we deliver enduring value that raises the quality of life for individuals and entire communities.


EQxD Event Sponsorship

We are seeking sponsors for our ambitious 2015 Equity by Design Initiatives. If you are interested in supporting our goals for achieving equitable practice in architecture, please contact us to learn more about the multiple benefits for your support. Among other benefits, Sponsors get designated tickets for each of the 4 workshops in 2015 based on your level of support. So make the most of your sponsorship by contacting us early! 

We would like to thank Mithun and HDR Architecture for being our 1st sponsors of 2015! Logo recognition coming shortly!