President’s Letter: Suzi Marzuola, AIA


Suzi Marzuola, AIA, 2016 Chapter President

In my “swan song” letter to the membership, I’d like to share a few thoughts on what I’ve come to appreciate about our community this past year.

I appreciate that design matters to us. You came out in great numbers for programs ABOUT:

■ Contextual Design in Downtown Oakland, Berkeley and other Bay Area cities

■ How to effectively communicate with clients about design and what good design means to clients, and

■ Delivery of good design using LEAN Construction method. Home Tours, our largest annual public outreach program, shows five or six homes to as many as 550 visitors, and requires 80-100 volunteers of largely chapter members. Logistical magic if I’ve ever seen it, possible only because of members and their commitment to sharing what they know with the interested public.

I’ve also come to appreciate that AIA East Bay is a reliable community of colleagues and friends. All too often we hang out long after the reception is over and the food is gone (to the point that staff has to remind us that we have day jobs as they nudge us out the door).

I also appreciate that as a group we like to try new venues. In addition to many architectural tours organized by 2017 President Winston Win, AIA this year we initiated:

■ An off-site, mid-year member appreciation gathering at Siegel & Strain Architects, and

■ An off-site Design Awards reception at Gensler Oakland.

I love that we are passionate about sustainable design excellence. This year:

■ Local experts shared their thoughts about the inseparability of design excellence from sustainable design, and

■ We are now among the few chapters that require sustainable design metrics with design award submittals, the review of which engaged many young architects and designers.

And lastly and most impressively, we care deeply about our diverse East Bay community, our finest hour being a couple weeks ago when, at a moment’s notice, a group past presidents, new members, and building code experts came together with keen focus to develop a safety guide for those living in or visiting alternative living spaces.

It has truly been a pleasure and an honor serving as Chapter President and more importantly, getting to know you all better as individuals and as a collective.

You are in great hands with Winston Win, AIA who embodies characteristics of a good architect and leader. Winston is thoughtful, resourceful and an innovative problem-solver. 2017 is going to be fun.

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