AIA|LA presents…
The 5th annual “Design For Dignity” Conference

In light of the severe social injustices revealed by our ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we are convening a three-day virtual forum to address how architects, designers, urban planners, and civic leaders can better work together to solve our urgent housing and homelessness challenge.

New affordable homes, permanent supportive housing facilities, and rapid shelter responses are being designed and realized, but we still have a long way to go to ensure healthy and complete communities for all people. It’s time to re-frame the narrative and ensure more inclusive outcomes.

During this three-day forum, we will also examine innovative solutions, fundamental best-practices, and the opportunities to expand the effectiveness of our collective response with smarter, more streamlined information-sharing.

Scroll down for information on the programs on each of the three days. Single-day and three-day passes are available.

The AIA|LA thanks Egan Simon Architecture, KFA Architecture, Shimahara Visual and David Baker Architects for supporting the intent of Design for Dignity as presenting sponsors.

To join them, click: sponsor this program.


CES Learning Units: 6 HSW LU

Thursday, July 23, 2020
Friday, July 24, 2020
Tuesday, July 28, 2020
All sessions run from: 8:00am – 10:30am PST on Zoom




Three-day Pass:
$60 for AIA Members
$90 for non-members
(purchase on ticketing page for July 23)

One-day Pass:
$40 for AIA Members
$60 for non-members


Thursday, July 23, 2020  – Catharsis from Crisis to Transformation: Shifting Ground

moderated by Michael B. Lehrer, FAIA– Founding Partner & President, Lehrer Architects LA

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Michael B. Lehrer, FAIA –Founding Partner & President, Lehrer Architects LA (moderator)
Tom De Simone – President & CEO, Genesis LA
Natasha Hicks – Government Performance Lab — Detroit Innovation Fellow, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government
Monique King-Viehland – Director, State and Local Housing Policy, Urban Institute
Heidi Marston, MPA – Executive Director, Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA)
Molly Rysman – Housing and Homelessness Deputy, Office of Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, County of Los Angeles & Stanton Fellow, The Durfee Foundation
Sean Spear – Assistant General Manager, Housing Development, Los Angeles Housing + Community Investment Department
Pete White – Founder & Executive Director, Los Angeles Community Action Network

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Day One Overview:

Day One looks at the larger context of today’s housing and humanitarian crisis, and considers the impact of a once in a century pandemic and a four-hundred-years-in-the-making reckoning with racial injustice. The latter reminds us, again, that inequality has led to an unequal percentage of Black Americans without shelter. What can we can we take during this time of shifting ground to activate and install meaningful change, rapidly.

Join a panel composed of national, statewide, and local figures who are deeply committed to supporting those without shelter as they address means to engage, mollify, or overcome NIMBYism, transform perspectives, and provide for everyone’s needs for security, shelter, and respect.


Friday, July 24 – New Types of Housing Solutions

moderated by Wade Killefer, FAIA – Partner, KFA Architecture & Vice-President/ President-elect, AIA Los Angeles

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Wade Killefer, FAIA – Partner, KFA Architecture & Vice-President/ President-elect, AIA Los Angeles (moderator)
Dafna Kaplan – Founder & CEO, Cassette
John E. Molloy – CEO, Flexible PSH Solutions, Inc.
Roger Sherman, FAIA – Design Director, Gensler
Theadora Trindle – Planning & Development Manager, Office of Mayor Eric Garcetti
Prophet Walker – Co-Founder & CEO, Treehouse Co-Living

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Thousands of apartment units are in planning and construction. Additionally, other typologies of housing are being considered for delivery. This session will discuss prefabricated metal buildings, modular construction, co-living and bridge housing.




Tuesday, July 28, 2020 – Homelessness in LA: Understand it Today, Change it Tomorrow
moderated byAlice Kimm, FAIA – Principal, John Friedman Alice Kimm Architects and Member, Open Source Homelessness Initiative (OSHI)

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Alice Kimm, FAIA – Principal, John Friedman Alice Kimm Architects and Member, Open Source Homelessness Initiative (OSHI) (moderator)
Amy N. Anderson – Chief Housing Officer, Office of Mayor Garcetti, City of Los Angeles
Kelli Bernard – EVP & National Cities Leader, AECOM & Chair, Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority Commission
Simon Ha AIA, LEED AP – Partner, Steinberg Hart & Chair, Skid Row Housing Trust
William Huang – Director of Housing, City of Pasadena
Hayk Makhmuryan Art Worker, Community Organizer, Los Angeles, CA
Mitch O’Farrell – Councilmember, District #13, City of Los Angeles & Chair, Homelessness and Poverty Committee
Ivy Pochoda – Author of Wonder Valley, The Art of Disappearing, Visitation Street, and These Women & Teacher, Studio 526 Skid Row
Doug Smith – Senior Writer, Los Angeles Times

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Time, in addition to cost, is critical to support those experiencing homelessness in LA. How can we quantify and learn from current or completed projects in order to innovate faster and less costly solutions? We’ll discuss this with our panelists, and then join the other moderators to review lessons learned from this 3-day 5th annual Design for Dignity conference.


The AIA|LA thanks those who are supporting discourse and action on homelessness and housing affordability as D4D’s Sponsors.

To support Design for Dignity, with visibility and tickets for your firm, click HERE.

Presenting Sponsors



Emerging Sponsor