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Think-Time Tuesdays: The Art of Collaboration and Getting Things Done

December 14, 2021 @ 8:30 am - 9:30 am PST

$15.00 – $20.00


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Think-Time Tuesdays: The Art of Collaboration and Getting Things Done [4rd Quarter: DESIGN]
[Inside the A+D Studio]

This is a virtual series.  Zoom information will be emailed directly to registrants 24 hours before each event.

Learning Units: 1 LU per session (applying)

Scheduled to wrap up the year on a creative, and inspiring note, this special AIALA series offers learning units and the foundations of practices rooted in design that changes lives.

Who does the work and how? What does collaboration really mean? This session focuses on how A+D founders and leaders create their own culture with impactful design, and how this is nurtured by design teams, leadership styles, new ways of working, and even, ownership transitions.

Join Think-Time Tuesdays host, and SO|arch founder Elisabeth Sporer, AIA CIC for the fourth quarter event of the Think-Time Tuesdays series—a presentation on design culture that energizes the business of design. Elisabeth will provide an overview of the influencing factors of an office culture from the founder’s values and its impact on client and project selection to the way staff is hired, trained and mentored and how projects are executed in a hybrid work environment.

Then Elisabeth will be joined in conversation by Los Angeles-based A+D firm leaders Karin Liljegren [Omgvining], Georgina Huljich [P-A-T-T-T-E-R-N-S], Stephanie Ragle [office42], and Monika Haefelfinger [XTEN], who will share stories that other founders and leaders of small studios and midsized firms in particular will find useful, on these topics:

+ Applied values: Design culture manifested in client selection and project work
+ Design teams: Growing the firm
+ New ways of working: Collaboration in hybrid mode
+ Leadership: Training, mentoring, and ownership transitions


Elisabeth Sporer, AIA, LEED AP, CIC; A+D Business Strategist and SO|arch Founder [Bay Area]
Elisabeth Sporer works with CEOs, founders and leadership teams to build successful A+D firms through an integral approach that combines business strategy consulting with leadership coaching. Based in Berkeley, she has presented at major AIA chapters in California, including AIA Los Angles, AIA SF, AIA East Bay and AIA Central Valley, on topics such as international practice, mentorship, entrepreneurship and business strategy. She holds a Master of Science in Advanced Architecture Design from Columbia University in The City of New York, and a MArch and a BArch, both from TU Berlin.

TTT4 Guest Presenters:

Stephanie Ragle, AIA – Co-Founder and Partner at office42 [Los Angeles]
Stephanie founded office42 with her husband, Benjamin Ragle in 2007 on this premise: Good design should be available to all. She co-leads Office42 in designing modern homes and creative additions, creating elegant new restaurants and innovative commercial offices, helping non-profits expand, and working with city agencies to end homelessness. Monica is active in the community through her involvement with the Girls Scouts of Greater Los Angeles, and Would Works, an economic empowerment retail operation. She holds a MArch from SciArc in LA and a BArch from Cal Poly SLO.


Georgina Huljich, AIA –  Partner and Managing Director at P-A-T-T-E-R-N-S [Los Angeles]
An architect and educator, Georgina Huljich joined P-A-T-T-E-R-N-S as partner in 2006, and impacting the firm’s design and scale of work. She previously worked at the Guggenheim Museum and Dean/Wolf Architects in New York City, and at Morphosis Architects in Los Angeles. She teaches at the Department of Architecture at UCLA and has been a Visiting Professor at the Universities of Yale, Pennsylvania, Syracuse, Berkeley, USC and TIT in Tokyo. Georgina holds a Professional Degree from the National University of Rosario, Argentina and a MArch from UCLA.


Karin Liljegren; FAIA, Founder of Omgivning Architecture [Los Angeles]
Karin has dedicated her career to community building, sustainability and advocacy by embracing adaptive reuse as a powerful means to revitalize our cities. She became a Fellow of the AIA in 2020, (add comma) based on her drive to elevate the architect’s role in urban revitalization by creating a nationally applicable model for the practice of adaptive reuse. Karin founded Omgivning in 2009, and since then, the firm has built a reputation for uncovering potential in underutilized buildings by transforming them into hotels, multifamily housing, offices, restaurants, and bars. Karin holds a MArch from UCLA.


Monika Haefelfinger; SIA –  Co-Founder and President of XTEN Architecture [Los Angeles]
Shaped by an apprenticeship at her father’s architecture firm in Switzerland, Monika moved to Los Angeles, then New York City for her studies. She moved back to Switzerland to work for Herzog and de Meuron, playing a key role in several award-winning projects. Then she returned to the US to work for DMJM/Keating on notable high-rise projects in Asia, before establishing XTEN Architecture in 2000 with her late husband, Austin Kelly. Monika holds a MS in Advanced Architectural Design form Columbia University in NYC and a BArch from USC.

Learning Objectives:
+ Participants will discern how an office structure influences design culture.
+ Participants will gain an understanding of the importance of job descriptions.
+ Participants will add to their knowledge of best practices for office design and quality standards.
+ Participants will be able to adapt best practices for their own business.

Series Overview:
What makes a successful A+D practice? Find out by taking a break from your daily grind and getting into active thinking mode with business strategy consultant, architect and SO|arch founder, Elisabeth Sporer, AIA, CIC.

Elisabeth works with A+D firms — from emerging studios to established practices and legacy firms — to create business plans based on the “Four Pillars” of brand, finance, operations and design. Holistic in approach, viable and succinct, these business plans address a variety of goals — from long-terms ones like overall growth, market sector expansion, succession planning or ownership change, to short-term ones like strengthening leadership teams, improving financial performance, establishing efficient operational processes, or even getting a business loan.

Through interactive, quarterly sessions — rooted in case studies, best practices and the lessons of entrepreneurship — you will learn how to strengthen, and synergize, the “Four Pillars” of your business. By giving yourself time to actively, and deliberately, think on all aspects of your business, and your firm’s unique DNA, you can realize an A+D practice where purpose, portfolio and profit meaningfully converge.

1st Quarter: Story-selling & The Freestyle Practice; February 23, 2021 | (Watch Recording Here)
Who gets the work, and how? The first session [of four] focuses on the elements of a strategic plan with a focus on brand, BD (business development) and marketing.

2nd Quarter: Leadership & Where the Buck Stops; May 25, 2021 | (Watch Recording Here)
Who builds, manages, and supports the team and how? This session focuses on business strategy, culture and firm management.

3rd Quarter: Profit Motive & The Business of Design; November 16, 2021 | (Watch Recording Here)
Who deals with the money, and how? This session focuses on finance, metrics and performance.

4th Quarter: The Art of Collaboration & Getting Things Done; December 14, 2021 | 8:30-9:30AM PST
Who does the work and how? This session focuses on design teams, leadership styles and new ways of working.


December 14, 2021
8:30 am - 9:30 am PST
$15.00 – $20.00
Event Category: