The Annual Home Tours and Our Community

kurtby Guest Writer Kurt Lavenson, AIA

Our chapter President, Jeremiah Tolbert, AIA has graciously offered me his newsletter space to elaborate upon the 2014 annual Home Tours that we just presented to the public. This is the fourth year of the program and I have been fortunate to work on the committee all four years, leading it for the past two. The tour was a huge success this year, selling out all of our tickets, including those held back for same day ‘walk-up’ buyers. We also received press coverage in Diablo Magazine, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Montclarion/Piedmonter Newspapers and on the Berkeleyside website. (see our own website for links to the featured houses and the press articles)

The AIAEB Home Tours have become an important tool for reaching out to the broader community, in order to promote the value of the design community. I am a strong believer in the power of architects to transform projects of all sizes and I think it is essential for us to spread the word and remind the public about the contribution of architects. So I wanted to use this opportunity to both announce the 2014 Home Tours success and to invite your participation, to propel it even further in 2015. Many of you supported the tour this year by volunteering and buying tickets. Thank you so much for that! I have learned that the more support and involvement we get from Chapter members, the more the public and press respond, which in turn drives more interest in us and in architecture. It is a positive, compounding cycle and it starts with each of us.

Of course, this is all a bit self-serving because we are essentially architects promoting architecture, but it is also a benefit to the larger community because good design leads to a healthier, more beautiful and long lasting built environment. And when I say beautiful, I mean the kind of essential beauty that results from efficient use of materials, elegant engineering, classic proportions, attention to nature and to the delights of human experience. There is room for us to be both things – humble agents serving positive change and successful, lauded artists. On the Home Tours Committee, we strive to promote that combined message.

Please join me in thanking the 2014 Committee and please consider increasing your involvement next year by submitting potential houses to us (we accept submissions all year long), taking a seat next to us on the committee or volunteering to docent in the houses. And, when the time comes, please don’t hesitate to buy tickets – for clients, potential clients, colleagues and friends. It will be a vote of support for your fellow chapter members who are investing themselves in promoting all of us. We cannot do this without you.

Thanks again,

Kurt Lavenson, AIA
Co-Chair, 2014 Home Tours Committee

With Committee members:
Chris Parlette, AIA, Co-Chair
Kerstin Hellmann, AIA
Sean Slater, AIA
Miya Muraki
David Auerbach
And…our wonderful Executive Director, Sidney Sweeney

Houses by
Stacy Eisenmann, AIA
Joanne Koch, AIA
John Quiter, AIA
David Wilson AIA & Chris Parlette, AIA
Regan Bice, AIA
Michelle Kaufmann, AIA


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