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Structuring Practice on a Foundation of Leadership

January 11, 2022 @ 9:00 am - 10:00 am PST

$15.00 – $65.00


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Structuring Practice on a Foundation of Leadership

This is a virtual event. Zoom log-in information will be emailed to registrants 24 hours in advance from events@aialosangeles.org. If you do not receive a confirmation 24 hours prior to the event, please email events@aialosangeles.org.

CES Learning Units: 1LU

Architectural firms are generally founded on the design reputation of an individual or small group of design collaborators that have developed client appreciation and loyalty. Sound practice and project management, and regulatory/code and technical prowess skills often follow, and consequently with less cultural value within the firm. Rarely are these skill sets given as much respect as they deserve, and as the process requires. Often unintended liabilities and consequences result as inevitable outcomes in the absence of advocates for these parallel elements of practice. How does one balance the Vitruvian triangle of Firmness (solid firm administration and project management), Commodity (code search, weaving of engineering services, permitting, and construction), and Delight (master planning, urban design, archtiectural design, interior archtiecture, design consultants, and communications – marketing, business development, and public relations) to achieve optimal design, risk protection, and profit?

Series Summary:

How do you build a legacy architectural firm from the ground up? One practitioner who had worked for two AIA Gold Medalists and interned in both small and large firms, ultimately set out on his own with a personal vision for a global practice. Enlisting colleagues with collaborative competencies and creating a unique practice molecule, they entered the international arena in only seven years. Architect, author, educator, profession and industry leader, Ronald Altoon, FAIA, LEED AP will suggest paths that may guide you through the maze.

Having founded Altoon + Porter Architects in 1984, he divested after 30-years leaving the firm in solid leadership hands. Through Altoon Strategic he now consults at the C-Suite level to investment and development groups to optimize architects’ services through enhanced communication and understanding. In this four-part series, he will address structuring practice on a solid foundation based on the 1st century Vitruvian model, organizing a project delivery protocol employing a fundamental business school quality assurance model, identifying hidden client landmines to avoid, organizing to take your practice overseas, and understanding that the ethics of architecture are sometimes contextually challenging.

Through these four interactive sessions, punctuated by project examples, you will learn how to focus on the issues that better assure a successful practice outcome. And, in the process, you will learn the benefits of giving back to the profession, education, industry, community, and to civic and cultural organizations in need.

Part 1: Structuring Practice on a Foundation of Leadership
Date: January 11, 2022
Building a Balanced Foundation for Practice

Part 2: 50 Ways to Lose Your Project | 50 Ways to Build It
Date: February 8, 2022
Recognizing real life examples of projects lost may serve you well and enable you to collect well earned fees.

Part 3: Global Vision | Local Roots
Date: March 8, 2022
Small firms with big ideas and strategic thinking can compete globally.

Part 4: The Ethics of Architecture | The Architecture of Ethics
Date: April 12, 2022
What should inform the design process at the crossroads?


Ronald Altoon, FAIA, LEED AP – Altoon Strategic, LLC.
Ronald Altoon, FAIA consults thought-leader to thought-leader with owners of investment and development companies to define and optimize their vision. Through a QBS process and he helps select optimal design teams. And, with enhanced owner/architect communications, he helps eliminate misunderstandings of intent between the players. Altoon served as AIA National President in 1998, having led AIA’s pro bono Armenian Earthquake Urban Design intervention following the 6.8 Richter Spitak event which killed 50,000. He has served in leadership positions as President of AIA | LA, at ULI, in industry, education, not-for-profits, and community organizations, and has authored eight books to date. He holds a Master of Architecture degree from the University of Pennsylvania, and a Bachelor of Architecture from USC.

Learning Objectives:
+ Participants will learn about fundamental qualities leaders share, the responsibility of leadership, and the leadership role architects play in their firms, the design and construction process, the profession, and the greater community served.
+ Participants will learn how design/communications issues, regulatory/technical issues, and administrative/management issues all benefit from a leader-advocate with “last word” authority, and how to create an organizational strategy whereby a solid foundation is built to optimize design outcomes and minimize professional liabilities.
+ Participants will observe how structuring a project delivery system with cross-pollination of leader authority roles produces consistency across the firm’s projects, efficiency, and desired profit.
+ Participants will learn how practice culture embedded in the firm’s organizational and project delivery systems translates internally from office to office, continent to continent, and externally culture to culture with respect, equity, and inevitable outcomes.



January 11, 2022
9:00 am - 10:00 am PST
$15.00 – $65.00
Event Category: