In September 2018, the AIA|LA Board of Directors invited deans, directors, and educators representing schools of architecture and schools of design in the region to its first Academic Summit.

The objective was to discuss the continuity between training and practice by establishing a more formal relationship between authorities in academia and leaders of the profession.

The underlying conversation sought to answer:

+ How might academia better prepare students for the requirements of contemporary practice?
+ Are practices informed of the considerations of young designers and the lens through which
next generation architects view the profession they are entering?
+ In order to better serve academia, should next steps for the AIA|LA be to assemble a roundtable of
students to address the same issues with practitioners?

Keen on extending existing resources and support to current students of architecture and design programs, AIA|LA acknowledges:

+ Future academic summits should provide students a platform to inform firms of the issues and considerations that are currently taking place in their research and how their studies are forward-thinking in addressing “next generation” issues of the profession.
+ Academia is successful at instilling the value of critical thinking in students and a strong belief in architecture’s capabilities to address significant societal issues. Coupled with participation from Firm leadership, academia might also consider developing strategies that can more fully educate current student architects of the process of realizing work from design to completion.

AIA|LA recognizes the importance of establishing a strong collaborative partnership between academia and the profession. Participation of both entities signifies the commitment to ensuring students are fully prepared for practice at flourishing firms.



Milton S.F. Curry – Dean, USC School of Architecture
Brett Steele – Dean, UCLA School of the Arts and Architecture
Ingalill Wahlroos-Ritter, FAIA – Dean, School of Architecture, Woodbury University
Michael Woo, Hon AIA|LA – Dean, College of Environmental Design,
CalPoly Pomona
William M. Taylor, FAIA – Founding Director, Los Angeles Institute of Architecture and Design

Linda Pollari – Department Chair, Architecture/Landscape/Interiors, Otis College of Art and
Emil Mertzel – ArtCenter College of Design
Heather Barker – Interior Design Professor and UX Design Coordinator/Professor, CSULB
Michael Hamner – Architecture Chair, East Los Angeles College
Hernan Diaz Alonso – Director/ CEO, SCI-Arc
Jeffrey Daniels, FAIA – Program Director, UCLA Extension