PHOTO: Illustration: Shimahara

The 7th annual “Design For Dignity” Conference

Our 7th annual Design For Dignity conference will serve as an in-person forum to highlight best-practices and pay tribute to the architects, contractors, housing developers, clients, funders, and service providers that are working to deliver housing and supportive services to our communities.

For our July 22nd event, we are curating a series of ‘deep dives’ to showcase built projects and successfully implemented programs (and coalitions), from which we can learn more about what’s working well and identify specific areas where we need to improve processes, procedures, and outcomes. This year’s theme will be: “HOUSING SOLUTIONS: What’s working well and why?”

The 7th annual Design For Dignity conference will feature a series of panel discussions and presentations that highlight successful programs, initiatives, and design innovations that the A/E/C community can replicate, improve upon, and expand.  We’d like to emphasize housing solutions that can inspire the community and educate policy makers, planners, architects, designer, real estate professions, housing advocates, and civic leaders.

As we address the severity of our housing crisis, we’d like to make sure that we highlight what’s working well and instill within us all a sense of optimism (or at least brighten the light at the end of the tunnel to further guide us).

Let’s learn lessons from other places, as well as from our own neighborhoods. To make it safer to speak the truth, and as we navigate the complexity of competing priorities, we need to better understand the overarching cost of success — the overall costs to both the architecture community and to the communities in which we serve.

Let’s join together in a safe and transparent environment where we can speak openly and honestly about the true costs of providing dignity for our houseless friends, neighborhoods and families. Once we can paint a clearer picture of where we are, we can better navigate the complexity of competing needs and priorities, and pave a smoother, faster, more efficient and less costly road to success.



Friday, July 22, 2022 | 8:00A – 4:00P

Design for Dignity 2022 will be an in-person Conference held at the California Endowment Center in downtown LA.

6 LU/HSW per Day




AIA Member




Support a conference that advances our profession, increase visibility for your firm, and pick up tickets for your staff.

Design for Dignity Sponsorship

Sponsorship is now closed.


Please find the 2022 Design for Dignity Program HERE.

Email Will Wright, Hon. AIALA for presentation opportunities.

Kevin Daly, FAIA
Founder & Principal, kdA (kevin daly Architects)
Miguel A. Santana
President & CEO, Weingart Foundation
Brenda Wiewel
Program Development & Innovations Faculty, Keck School of Medicine of USC and Consultant, Brenda Wiewel Consulting
Sierra Atilano
President and Chief Executive Officer, Skid Row Housing Trust
Michael Anderson, AIA
Principal and Founder, Anderson Barker Architects
Tima Bell, Assoc. AIA
Founding Principal, Relativity Architects

Derek Leavitt
President, Small Homes Holdings
Brady Collins
Policy and Research Lead, Koreatown Immigrant Workers Alliance (KIWA)
Alejandra Guerrero
Director of Urban Planning and Policy, Office of: Office
Rayne Laborde Ruiz
Associate Director, cityLAB-UCLA
Jongmi Kagabo
Junior Planner, Gruen Associates
Teya Hisel
Founder of AdvocaSc, Student Organization, University of Southern California

Edgar Campos
Executive Director, Trust South LA
Shannon Uppal
USC Student Researcher, University of Southern California
Councilmember Nithya Raman
Councilmember, City of Los Angeles, District #4
Jenna Hornstock, Hon. AIA
Deputy Director of Planning, Land Use, SCAG
Melani Smith
Director of Regional Development, Gateway Cities Council of Governments
Jason King
Associate Director & Global Quantum Lead, IBI Group

Gio Aliano, AIA
Principal Architect, Abode Communities
Helmi A. Hisserich
Senior Principal, LeSar Development Consulting
Mahdi Manji
Public Policy Advocate, Inner City Law Center
Marina Quiñónez, AIA
Senior Architect, Bureau of Engineering, City of Los Angeles Department of Public Works
Paul Cho
CFO, LifeArk SPC
Charles Wee
Founder & CEO, LifeArk SPC

Amy Anderson
Senior Vice President, Social Impact Lead, Wells Fargo
James Gilliam
Manager of Homeless Prevention, Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA)
Aishatu Yusuf
Vice President of Innovation Programs, Impact Justice
Michel Martinez
Project Manager, Preventing and Ending Homelessness Project, Inner City Law Center
Ginna Claire Nguyen, Assoc. AIA
Associate Principal, Relativity Architects
Leslie Sydnor, AIA
VP/ President-Elect, AIA Los Angeles & Director of Public Project Management, Cumming

Woodrow Scott
Director of Strategic Growth & Public Affairs, The SEED Foundation
Elda Mendez-Lemus
Chief Real Estate Officer, LA Family Housing
David Grunwald
Managing Director, SDS Capital Group
Arianna Bankler-Jukes
Public Affairs Manager, SCANPH

Presenting Sponsor

Champion Sponsor

Student Scholarship Sponsor

Friends of Design for Dignity Sponsor