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Posts from the ‘Women in Architecture’ Category

What’s a Forensic Architect? a talk by Kristina Raupach, AIA

an OWA talk

Saturday, March 25, 2017
Madsen, Kneppers & Associates, Inc., 100 Pringle Ave, Suite 340, Walnut Creek, CA 94596
Free and open to all
Click here to RSVP.

What’s a Forensic Architect?
. . is the typical response Kristina Raupach, AIA receives when she tells people what she does, so she has decided to give a talk about it. This will not be an advice session, rather it will cover the practice of forensic architecture within the larger context of construction consulting and expertise specialization. This includes not only litigation work, but investigation, testing, insurance property loss, and more.

However, it is a field dominated by men and Kristina’s professional mission this year is to encourage women to consider entering this field. She will provide some information on organizations, firms, and certifications for those interested in pursuing this aspect of the profession.

Join us for what should be a fascinating and informative talk!

2017 AIA East Bay/UC Berkeley Joint Lecture

Thirty-Third Annual AIA East Bay/UC Berkeley Joint Lecture:  Amale Andraos, WORKac, New York City; Dean, Columbia University GSAPP

Wednesday, March 8, 2017
Time: 7:30 pm
Location: Wurster Hall, UC Berkeley Campus
Cost: Free, open to all, seating is limited
1.5 CES/LUs

Reception and Dinner
Time: 5:00 pm
Location: The Bancroft Hotel, 2680 Bancroft Way, Berkeley
Contact: 510/464-3600
Cost: $200 for sponsorship/includes one dinner ticket; $55 for extra dinner tickets
All dinner attendees enjoy reserved lecture seating. Click here to register.

Amale Andraos is Dean of Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation (GSAPP) and co-founder of WORKac, a New-York based architectural and urban practice focused on re-imaging architecture at the intersection of the urban, the rural and the natural.

The practice has achieved international recognition for projects such as the Centre de Conferences in Libreville, Gabon and the Edible Schoolyard at PS216 in Brooklyn, NY. Current projects include the Miami Collage Garage and a residential conversion of a historic New York cast-iron building. WORKac was named the AIA New York State Firm of the Year in 2015.

Prior to Columbia, Andraos taught at universities including Princeton University School of Architecture, Harvard Graduate School of Design and the American University in Beirut. Her publications include Architecture and Representation: The Arab City co-edited with Nora Akawi as well as 49 Cities and Above the Pavement the Farm! co-authored with her partner Dan Wood, FAIA.



Lecture Dinner

Each year we ask East Bay firms to help underwrite the expense of bringing in a renowned architect to Cal. Through the firms’ generosity we are able to present international architects such as Andrea Leers, Fuhimiko Maki, Craig Dykers and Merrill Elam without charging for the lecture. One benefit of sponsorship is attendance at the lecture dinner. The traditional wine reception and dinner precedes Ms. Andrao’s lecture. Dinner guests have reserved seats at the lecture hall–a must for this popular lecture series!

Funds to underwrite the costs of this program are provided by the following 2017 sponsors:

Byrens Kim Design Works

Carol Shen, FAIA

Dahlin Group Architecture + Planning

Dealey, Renton & Associates

Devi Dutta Architecture

ELS Architecture & Urban Design

Fischer Architecture


Glass Associates, Inc.

Goring & Straja Architects

Graff Architects

Harriman Kinyon Architects

Haviland Associates Architects


JRDV Architects

Kava Massih Architects

Lowney Architecture

Madsen, Kneppers & Associates



Noll + Tam Architects and Planners

Powell & Partners Architects


Siegel & Strain Architects

Swatt Miers  Architects

Taylor Design

Tile and Stone Council of Northern California

Tolbert Design Architects

Urban Field Studio


Interested in sponsorship? Contact Sidney at

MIA: Mothers in Architecture

Wednesday, August 24 2016
Noon – 1pm
Free. All are welcome. Bring a lunch! Cookies will be provided.

Having a full-time career and raising children can be stressful. This new forum will connect architects and design professionals who are also working mothers. We will discuss how to balance a full-time career with raising children, where to find flexibility working as an architect and make time for a family, and strategies for improving ones quality of life.

Annual Show & Tell

a Small Firm Forum Program

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Free AIA members/$3 Guests; bring your lunch.

1.5 CES LUs

For this year’s Annual Show and Tell, we are pleased to bring you three women in architecture to discuss their work and share their insight on the industry.

About the Presenters:

Alexandra Odabachian has practiced architecture in the Bay Area since 1997, and will present slides of her work and life. Her work-to-date has consisted of residential remodels, additions, new structure as well as light commercial work.  She strives to infuse each project with order and beauty and to create better connections between building and site.  Along with work images, she will show influential photos from her travels and childhood in Beirut.

Tasha Leverette and Ariella Granett, AIA are two representatives from the Oakland firm Gyroscope, Inc. Gyroscope’s mission is to design learning environments that provide value for children, families and communities. “We specialize in museums, libraries, learning gardens and other cultural institutions. As architects of learning environments, we encounter some unusual challenges like designing a giant, ADA accessible “Hawks Nest” amidst a small grove of towering live oaks, creating an art installation to activate an entry courtyard at a museum or designing a three-story erupting volcano that sits within a 8,400-gallon fresh water tank to be explored by ROV’s. Whatever the challenge, our approach to creative problem-solving, out-of-the-box thinking and a can-do attitude is what keeps our architecture-trained staff (as well as the structural and MEP consultants we work with) energized and engaged.”

Learning Objectives:

By the end of this presentation, attendees will…

  1.  Be able to identify a variety of service niches for small firms.
  1. State three ways small firms juggle design, client needs and business realities.
  1. Establish new creative strategies and methods for staying motivated.
  1.  List three ways one’s cultural and physical surroundings may inform our work for more creative solutions.


2015 Unselt Lecture: Julia Morgan, Her Life and Legacy

UC Botanical Garden 125th Anniversary Lecture

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Location: UC Botanical Garden, 200 Centennial Drive, Berkeley, CA
Free with Garden Admission
Register online, or by calling 510-664-9841, or by emailing

Event Contact:

In 1911 famed Bay Area architect, Julia Morgan, returned to her alma mater to design a social hall for senior women students. The result was a deceptively simple, brown-shingle affair in the Bay Tradition style. Behind this simplicity was a subtle feminist act to empower women students and redefine femininity in the early twentieth century

In this lecture Julia Morgan scholar, Dr. Karen McNeil, will speak on Julia Morgan’s life, UC Berkeley and the women’s movement, and the history of the Garden’s newest building.

Member Profile: Lindsay A. Moder, AIA


Lindsey A. Moder, AIA is a recently-licensed architect specializing L in the preservation and adaptation of historic and existing buildings.  During her undergraduate studies at the architecture school of the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, she participated in a one-year study abroad program at L’Ecoled’Architecture de Versailles.  She went on to attend Columbia University where she earned a Masters of Science in Historic Preservation.   She attests her interest in preservation to her belief that working with the existing built environment is sustainability at its best, her fascination with building construction and historic building practices, and her interest in juxtaposing the new with the old.

After graduating, Ms. Moder worked at Architectural Resources Group (ARG) where she gained experience in existing conditions surveying, learned Revit, became a LEED Accredited Professional and assisted with many large scale preservation projects, including the Ronald and Maxine Linde Center for Global and Environmental Studies at CalTech, the first lab in a historic building to receive LEED Platinum. In 2013, Lindsey began working at Siegel and Strain Architects as Project Manager for their preservation projects. She is currently overseeing the relocation and rehabilitation of Girton Hall, the only Julia Morgan designed building for the UC Berkeley Campus.  The building was moved to the UC Berkeley Botanical Gardens and is being renovated as an event hall.

Ms. Moder serves on a year-long committee to help plan and execute the LEAP Arts in Education annuals and castle competition in San Francisco.  She acted as a team captain and helped raise funds for the events for five years at ARG.  Additionally, Lindsey served as a mentor for the San Francisco AIA Chapter’s ARE Pact, an incentive-based study program that encourages and assists young professionals to get licensed. Outside of architecture, Lindsey loves the outdoors and is a certified yoga instructor.

Firm Profile: Larson Shores Architecture and Interiors

LarsonPhotography by Steve Babuljak, Mark Luthringer

Larson Shores Architecture and Interiors is an energetic design firm that has been working out of their Oakland office for over seven years. Principal architects and co-owners Carrie Shores and Joshua Larson lead the firm’s design approach with a commitment to thoughtful and elegant design. Their portfolio is focused on residential, commercial, aging-inplace, and full-scale interior design projects, all of which showcase their unique style and modernist approach.

Whether designing a new building from the ground up or renovating an interior, it is Carrie and Josh’s goal to create projects that build on the relationships between site, space, and detail in order to produce inspired and sustainable environments. Stemming from the belief that inspired environments are immersive and are to be experienced over time, their design approach is holistic: it places as much emphasis on small-scale detail work as on large-scale site development, and carefully considers everything in between. New materials and methods are then investigated and utilized to construct energy-efficient and environmentally responsible buildings, while fundamental design basics are always incorporated to create beautiful, light-filled spaces.

Josh and Carrie’s personable approach, working closely with clients and professional consultants, creates a collaborative working environment that produces buildings that marry traditional ways of building with contemporary design solutions. They aim to base their work on a shared passion for creating places of inspiration— humane environments that both accommodate their client’s needs and express their aspirations. They believe that producing significant work is a result of team-work, disciplined communication, and responsive problem solving.

Both Carrie and Josh hold Masters of Architecture degrees from The University of California, Berkeley. Carrie obtained a Bachelor of Environmental Design from the University of Florida. In addition, she is LEED AP certified and an aging-in-place specialist. Josh holds a Bachelor of Environmental Design from Texas A&M University, College Station. He is also a Certified Green Building Professional and an aging-in-place specialist.

Recently, Larson Shores Architects has been in an exciting period of growth in terms of projects and staff. The firm now numbers six, including the principals, associate architects, designers and administrative support staff. In addition, building on the demand for their interior design work, Larson Shores will be offering an array of high-end finish, window covering, and cabinet products to a wider range of clients through the newly minted LS Marketplace website.

Panel Discussion: Thorsen Restoration Project Course at UC Berkeley

Co-sponsored by AIA East Bay

Thursday, June 26th, 2014
Location: AIASF, 130 Sutter Street
AIA and Students Free, $10 General Admission Register Here

1.5 CES LUs

This panel is comprised of the leaders of the student-facilitated Thorsen Restoration Project course at UC Berkeley. As featured in the San Francisco Chronicle, The Thorsen House, built in 1909, is the last Greene and Greene arts and crafts style “ultimate bungalow” and the only one in Northern California. It is currently owned and maintained by the Sigma Phi Society and was added to the National Registry of Historic Places in 1978. The course aims to connect the architecture department with the residents of the Thorsen House and associated organizations to facilitate research, collaboration, and construction regarding preservation and restoration. Currently, the students are navigating through a project that restores a historic fence and adds a gate and ramp that would make the house ADA accessible for the first time.

Please bring a brown bag lunch.

About the Presenters:

Bilquis Ayar is a recent grad with a B.A. in Architecture from UC Berkeley. She has spent the past year working with students, professionals, and advisors planning and teaching the Thorsen Restoration Class, through UC Berkeley’s democratic education program. While continuing to work on the class, she is currently a Contractor Assistant aiding with visual inspections and implementing new marketing strategies. Her interests include traveling and living in different parts of the world while finding a place to swim at every stop. She was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Lauren Aguilar is a senior at UC Berkeley originally from Murrieta, CA studying Architecture and American Studies.When she isn’t in class, she interns at McCall Design Group in San Francisco. Alongside other students, professionals, and advisors she has spent the past year planning and teaching a class that conducts restoration on the Thorsen House, through UC Berkeley’s democratic education program. She plans to continue facilitating the course and finish the proposed project in the 2015 school year.

George Syrop is pursuing a degree in political science at UC Berkeley and works part-time at Berkeley’s newspaper, The Daily Californian, as its Managing Publisher. George joined the Sigma Phi Society, which resides in the Thorsen House, during his sophomore year and is the outgoing President. Brothers of the Sigma Phi Society are required to learn the architectural history and details of the Thorsen House as part of the pledge process, and work each week to maintain and restore the national historic place to its former glory.

Learning Objectives

  1. Address solutions that address and reconcile the historic construction methods with new technologies, standards, and uses while maintaining historic integrity
  2. Explore different ways to communicate and build relationships with your team and the broad audience that accompanies a project with historic merit
  3. Discuss the process and pedagogy behind the class and on preservation projects as a whole
  4. Explore Greene & Greene architecture, discuss materials used, and the process by which the house was built and then maintained.

Project Profile

Photo by Mark Luthringer


Ranft Residence, Crockett, CA
Stacy Eisenmann Architecture 

A Crockett-living couple approached me with a dilemma. Their house contained a staircase that divided the floors uncomfortably, leaving narrow access on both levels. Progression through the house was lacking as each floor organized towards bare functionality. The clients hoped to uncover potential in their home, but could it be accomplished within the existing envelope or would an addition be necessary?

Photo by Mark Luthringer

A kitchen remodel became the catalyst to find the answer. We set out to recreate the circulation from the first floor entry to the second floor kitchen, reorganizing the spaces between. Preliminary design studies found that the addition, while adding desirable square footage, was not essential or cost effective. The stair was paired down to its leanest form and located to best serve the program.

Through careful study we discovered the underlying character of the house. Moments were found that could be embraced, such as the gentle point on one wall we nicknamed the prow. The clients struggled to locate furniture there and had initially thought to flatten the wall surface. The prow became an asset to the space by exposing the column at its point and weaving it into a continuous line of millwork.

The clients, both employed at a creatively saturated animation studio, focused on differing aspects of the design. The sculptor husband was drawn to a spatial steel stair concept, and the home-chef wife focused on kitchen pragmatics. Our challenge became to meet their individual needs while developing a material palette responding to their creative natures.

Rustic elements found throughout the existing home were pushed further and blended with an updated minimal language for contrast. With interior walls removed, the size of the open space allowed for the wide variation found in hickory flooring. To minimize glare from the abundant amount of light and contribute to the overall palette, lower sheetrock ceilings were replaced with vaulted white-washed cedar decking. Walnut millwork & railings pull forward darker tones within the hickory floor while avocado green cabinetry brings in the necessary punch of color to offset the wood tones. Copper and cold-rolled steel add complementary finishing elements.

Photo by Mark Luthringer Photo by Mark Luthringer Photo by Mark Luthringer

Photographer: Mark Luthringer

General Contractor: Lewis Custom Building

Small Firm Forum January: I Am An Architect.

SFF Presentation–Annual Show and Tell

Thursday, January 9, 2014
12 noon to 1:30pm
1.5 CES LUs

Free AIA members/$3 non-members. Bring your your lunch, drinks provided. All are welcome!

SFF Host:  Donald Wardlaw, AIA

This month three of our own will share their work with us.

Alex Bergtraun, AIA
Studio Bergtraun, AIA, Architects

I am an architect because…. 

I love the problem solving aspect of this art.

Getting the opportunity to create space for families to grow together in, cohabitating with the natural environment is the ultimate that I could hope for in a profession.  I attended CalPoly SLO at a time when The Sea Ranch and its Bay Area indoor-outdoor blend of architecture was at the forefront of California’s designed community approach and the architectural ideas it represents are at the core of what has inspired and motivated me.

Heidi Y. Granke, AIA
Heritage Architecture & Planning Group

I am an historical architect because…. 

The first spark was as a small child when I wondered why an ugly new building was being built next to a beautiful old abandoned building. My first year in college, I was discouraged about architecture and almost quit. I could only think of two other things that I might like – history and interior design. I thought that a degree in history would mean working as a college professor, which I was pretty sure was totally boring. I decided that I could always do interior design as an architect, but not the other way around, so I stayed in architecture. The more I got into architecture, the more I loved it. I now have a master’s degree in historic preservation and am a certified interior designer in Minnesota. So, I have now combined all of my interests – architecture, history and interior design.
Jerri Holan, FAIA

I am an architect because…. 

I care about my environment.  And environment means not just at the local scale of a building, or even the regional scale of a city, I care about my environment as a spatial concept that encompasses everything from the air that we breathe to the stars in the sky.  So, for me, as a human being, taking care of my world was important and somehow [at South Broward High School] this translated to taking care of buildings and I became an architect.  I also wanted to be an astrophysicist, but that’s another story. . .

Learning Objectives
At the end of this program, attendees will be able to:

1.  State three varieties of service niches that allow small firms to diversify.

2.  State three methods for balancing design, client needs and business realities.

3.  Define the relationship between inner drive and rewarding work.

4.  Give examples of three challenges to small firms and state multiple ways to solve those challenges.