September 6, 2018
PHOTO: Photo: Will Wright

From the desk of Will Wright, Hon. AIA|LA
Director of Government & Public Affairs

Save the Date = Thursday, November 15, 2018


Connecting Architects & Designers with Civic Leadership

Historically, AIA|LA’s premier annual advocacy event has been our annual Legislative Day at City Hall, which began in 1999 when Michael Lehrer, FAIA was President-elect of AIA Los Angeles. With greater emphasis going towards promoting initiatives that highlight best-practices and underscore AIA|LA’s core values of inclusion, mobility, social equity, housing affordability and resilience, and as a direct result of our recent strategic planning process, we are revitalizing this important day at City Hall to make it as inclusive as possible for all AIA members to participate.

The primary objective of AIA|LA Legislative Day at City Hall is to highlight the leadership of the architecture & design profession, as well as, to help advance planning and land-use goals, zoning and building code innovations, urban design guidelines and other regulatory concerns that impact the built and natural environment of the Los Angeles region, including ensuring that we are able to build more housing opportunities for all Angelenos while preventing further displacement.

AIA|LA Legislative Day at City Hall will also serve as a way to celebrate programs and strategies that are working well to ensure that neighborhoods are complete communities with a well-balanced housing-to-jobs ratio and integrated with a diversity of incomes and cultures.

Strategic objectives include:

A.  To change the nature of the architecture profession and inspire architects to become more civically engaged, i.e., to be a designer and a citizen are one and the same.
B.  To change the culture of our City and our civic leadership:  architects and system-wide design-thinking needs to become a more integral aspect of their mental landscape.

We aim to achieve this by creating:

1. An open and inclusive initiative that is strategically programmed with relevant and progressive action-items and policy platforms, which will further connect the shared values of of a multi-disciplinary group of architects, urban designer, city planners and policymakers to help make a healthier, more beautiful and more highly functional Los Angeles region.

2. A committed group of task-force member volunteers (Political Outreach Committee) comprised of architects that establish an annual slate of issue briefs and policy recommendations.

3. Targeted meetings with council members, deputy mayors, general managers and commissioners. We aim to schedule the critical mass of these meetings on one day (November 15, 2018) at Los Angeles City Hall. However, additional meetings will be coordinated on an ongoing basis with more public agencies throughout the region, such as METRO, Los Angeles County, LAUSD and the cities of Culver City, West Hollywood, Santa Monica, Inglewood, Beverly Hills, etc.

Will you join us?

To be successful, AIA|LA Legislative Day at City Hall will rely on a committed group of AIA members to serve as a critical leadership resource. If you’re interested in getting more involved, please contact Will Wright directly with your area of expertise and your level of commitment. We will organize a roundtable discussion on October 16 (5pm) in Downtown LA to share our annual advocacy platform and bring everyone up to speed on how to best prepare for our annual Legislative Day at City Hall.

POC Leadership
2018 Chair:  Douglas Hanson, AIA, ASID – President, Hanson LA

Past-Chair:  D. Rocky Rockefeller, AIA – Senior Partner, Rockefeller Partners Architects

Vice-Chair/ Chair-elect:  (Open to 2018/ 2019 AIA Members….)

If you’d like to join us on November 15, 2018 for our annual Legislative Day at City Hall, then please RSVP to as soon as possible.



From AIA California Council:

2019-2020 AIACC Nominees for Office

The following members have been nominated for 2019 – 2020 AIACC and AIA offices. As the nomination deadline was September 4. Any additional nominations for office must be made from the floor at the AIACC Board of Directors Meeting held November 3.

The elections will take place during the AIACC Annual Board of Directors Meeting November 2, at the Newport Beach Civic Center in Newport Beach. Please direct any questions to Debbie Salindo at (916) 642-1711 or

  • 1st Vice President/President Elect
    • Debra Gerod, FAIA
  • Vice President of Communications/Public Affairs
    • Mandy Freeland, AIA
    • Yu-Ngok Lo, AIA
    • Ian Merker, AIA
  • Vice President of Government Relations
    • Rona G. Rothenberg, FAIA
  • Vice President of Education and Professional Development
    • Donald W. Caskey, FAIA
  • AIACC Young Architects Regional Director (YARD), North
    • Arielle Mascarinas, Assoc. AIA
  • AIACC Associated Director, South
    • (vacant?)
  • AIACC Student Director, South
    • Liam Hanlon, AIAS
  • AIA Strategic Councilor
    • Mary Follenweider, AIA
    • Brian A. Sehnert, AIA

From AIA National:  

BOTTOM-UP SOCIAL CHANGE: Materials | Buildings | Community
June 6-8, 2019 | Las Vegas, NV

Co-Chairs: Elizabeth Golden, University of Washington
Joshua Vermillion, University of Nevada, Las Vegas

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) and the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA) are pleased to announce a partnership dedicated to the INTERSECTION of Education, Research and Practice. Through a series of educational sessions at the 2019 AIA Conference in Las Vegas, we will feature exemplary research projects which address issues related to our Symposium theme: BOTTOM-UP SOCIAL CHANGE: Materials | Buildings | Community.

Abstract Submission Deadline: September 26, 2018
New peer-review submission site opening soon – Please check back!

We are currently witnessing the largest wave of urban growth in human history. The nature and scope of this shift varies across the globe, but economic development and consumption are altering the quality of life for city dwellers and rural communities, bringing disproportional prosperity to some, while increasing inequality for many.

This symposium will explore the strengths and weaknesses of bottom-up social drivers as catalysts for development, growth, and transformation of our built environments in ways that are equitable, inclusive, affordable, and sustainable. To facilitate this discussion around Bottom-up Social Change,we seek examples of architectural research and practice that address any of the following questions:

How does bottom-up social change inform the sorts of spaces that we create and how we occupy them? How is architecture and public space informed by social engagement and grass-roots activism? How are materials deployed in these spaces to encourage (or discourage) safe and inclusive social interactions?

How does bottom-up social change inform or transform the way we practice and/or conduct research? Are there novel decision-making models (during the planning, design, or constructions processes) that are local, democratic, and participatory? What are the goals of such models and how is success measured? Are there other disciplines that we can learn from or should be engaged to facilitate these inclusive and participatory models?

How does bottom-up social change scale up? What larger trends or phenomena emerge from a series of small, bottom-up interventions? Can systems thinking help us understand these scalar cause and effect relationships?

We invite submissions that address one or more of these topics for affecting social change at the material scale, at the building scale, or at the community scale.

Educators, Practitioners, Researchers and Students are all encouraged to submit. If you are already an ACSA member, please log into the website to submit your abstract. If you are not an ACSA member or do not have ACSA credentials, please send an email to Eric Ellis,, to request access to the submission portal.

Please submit a 300-500 words abstract of your research and up to 3 images, along with…

How your project/research is innovative and relevant to AIA conference attendees
A list of learning objectives/outcomes


  • July 2018:  Call for Abstracts
  • August 8, 2018:  Abstract Submission Site Opens
  • Sept. 26, 2018: Abstract Submission Deadline
  • Nov. 2018: Abstract Notifications
  • June 6-8, 2019: Intersection Symposium @ AIA Conference on Architecture 2019, Las Vegas

For questions please contact:

Nissa Dahlin-Brown, EdD, Assoc. AIA

Director of Academic Engagement, AIA National



Will Wright, Hon. AIA|LA
Director, Government & Public Affairs
American Institute of Architects- Los Angeles Chapter

3780 Wilshire Blvd, Suite 701
Los Angeles, CA 90010

(o) (213) 639-0764