A4: Disrupting Implicit Bias in Design and Practice
Everyone has implicit bias. We develop our biases through our environment, the people we engage with, and the culture we grow up in. These interactions shape the expectations we have for ourselves, colleagues, and even potential clients. Thus, bias can have a major impact on the design process and desired outcomes in our profession. Additionally, reflecting on our own “Bias Blind Spot” is critical to building empathy and foster a culture of open communication. We will explore implicit bias in design and practice through research and storytelling. We will examine our “Bias Blind Spots” in small groups, and share resources to increase our awareness of bias in our workplace and foster strategies for tangible change.
Senior Associate, Bohlin Cywinski Jackson
Rosa is an architect with over 22 years experience, that has led a variety of award-winning and internationally acclaimed projects, from the aesthetically minimal, highly technical development of the glass structures for Apple’s original high-profile retail stores, to the innovative and sustainable LEED NC Gold–certified Lorry I. Lokey Graduate School of Business at Mills College in Oakland, California. As founding chair of Equity by Design and Treasurer of AIA San Francisco, Rosa has led Equity in Architecture Survey 2014, 2016, authored AIA National Resolution 15-1, and served on the Equity in Architecture Commission. She has presented nationally and abroad including Boston, New York, Lisbon, Atlanta, Philadelphia, and Seattle. Equity by Design has been featured in Architect Magazine, Architectural Record, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, TEDxPhiladelphia and KQED/NPR.
Senior Associate, Ratcliff Architects
Ms. Alarcón graduated with an M.Arch from the University of California, Berkeley in 1994 and has practiced in the Bay Area ever since. Her experience ranges from multi-family affordable housing to commercial projects. For the past decade she has focused on public higher education projects and has gained a deep appreciation for the challenges, complexities and opportunities that come with such work. Patricia is dedicated to creating academic environments that positively engage users and inspire curiosity and learning. At Ratcliff she plays an active role as a leader in the Academic Practice and as a mentor to younger staff.
Ms. Alarcon lives in Oakland with her husband Pat and their children Lucia (12) and Marco (9). She has served on the Board of Directors of the Architectural Foundation and is currently on the Board of Trustees at Park Day School in Oakland.
Architect, DLR Group
Damaris grew up in Sao Paulo, Brazil and earned my architectural education and degree from the Faculdade de Arquitetura e Urbanismo, Universidade de Sao Paulo. In 2005, during her sixth year, she received a scholarship to attend the Spring semester at Arizona State University. Damaris finished that semester and ended up receiving an extension for the Summer to work at her studio professors’ workshop. After that experience she was certain that she wanted to move to the US after completing her thesis and become an architect. Damaris became a licensed architect in 2012, strategically right before she became a mom to Abby. She is very involved with the professional organization, AIA MN as the 2016-2017 co-chair for the Women in Architecture Committee, a member of the Strategic Resource Team, and a member of the Diversity Task Force.
Project Architect, DeForest Architects
Freya Johnson is an accomplished Residential Architect and an outspoken advocate for LGBTQ rights. Her diverse projects have been published in Architectural Digest, Luxe Magazine, Fine Homebuilding and the Seattle Times. Her career fulfills her passion for people by providing the opportunity to delve into people’s lives, learn their habits and ultimately design around their specific needs and uniquely individual personalities.
Six years into her career Freya came out as transgender and began the long process of transition. The experience of practicing architecture in two genders has provided a unique perspective on the role gender plays in life, business and on the job site. Freya approaches her newfound perspective with an analytical mind, avid curiosity, dauntless perseverance, and passion for creative problem solving.