Mercedes Corbell, Principal and lead architect at Studio Saha, is stepping into a key role in the Small Firms Forum (SFF) leadership team at AIA East Bay in 2024. SFF has been around almost 40 years, after beginning as the Remodelers Roundtable, which was created and managed by Richard Morrison. Corbell expresses genuine excitement as she looks forward to contributing her expertise and vision to this esteemed organizing committee. “I’m truly honored and thrilled to be joining the Small Firms Forum leadership team at AIA East Bay. It’s an exciting opportunity to contribute to the vibrant architectural community, and I can’t wait to collaborate with fellow enthusiasts and bring fresh perspectives to the table,” says Corbell.
As part of a dynamic leadership team alongside Linda Randolph and T. Rachel Slonicki, Corbell envisions an exciting future for the SFF. The anticipation is heightened by the forthcoming retirement of Donald Wardlaw in 2025, a seasoned leader on the committee who has played a vital role in shaping the small firm community. From Wardlaw: “As I step back from my role on the Small Firms Forum leadership team, I’m filled with gratitude for the incredible journey and the chance to witness the growth of our community. I’m confident that Mercedes Corbell will bring a dynamic energy, and I look forward to seeing the forum flourish under her leadership.”
Corbell is eager to build upon Wardlaw’s legacy and bring fresh perspectives to the table. When asked about the transition, Linda Randolph says, “Change is a constant in our field, and it’s invigorating to welcome Mercedes into the Small Firms Forum fold. Her passion for architecture is contagious, and together with T. Rachel Slonicki, we’re ready to embrace new ideas and continue fostering a strong sense of community within AIA East Bay.”
About Mercedes Corbell and Studio Saha
Mercedes Corbell, a graduate of UC Berkeley’s College of Environmental Design, has a diverse professional journey spanning residential projects, hospitality, commercial work, and urban design. Originally from Los Angeles, she has made the San Francisco Bay area her home, infusing her work at Studio Saha with a multicultural perspective and a commitment to excellence.
Corbell’s global experience includes close to six years in the Arabian Gulf, where she contributed to design management for civic projects, sustainability reviews, and urban planning. Her involvement in the UNICEF program “Child Friendly Cities” and a significant planning exercise for the city of Jeddah showcased her dedication to meaningful architectural contributions.
As a LEED AP and licensed architect in California and Arizona, Corbell’s commitment to sustainable and innovative design practices aligns seamlessly with the ethos of AIA East Bay. Her collaborative approach and celebration of the inherent opportunities within a space promise to bring a valuable perspective to the Small Firms Forum as it enters this new chapter of leadership.