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OWA's annual holiday party

Newsletter | Nov/Dec 2012

Volume 40:6 | Search

If you would like to see corrections to this newsletter or to submit articles or suggestions for future newsletters please contact the Newsletter Editor at newsletter@owa-usa.org.

In this issue:

City College SF's Chinatown Campus is offering a Revit Class

by Eliza Hart, ed.    | Print | Email

Classes for the Spring Semester begin on Monday January 14, 2013. Currently only 8 people signed up for this Revit class and they need 25 for the class to be offered. It will be cancelled if the necessary 25 people are not enrolled. This is a great opportunity!

Here is the course information:

BIM 120 Revit Architecture I 3.0
ADVISE: ARCH 120
34117 J01 L/L M W 03:40-06:00PM 808 Kearny ST. room 1203
($46 per unit)

OWA's 40th Anniversary Symposium in 2013 update

by Carolyne Orazi    | Print | Email

OWA will be creating a power point presentation for the 40th Anniversary Symposium being held at Wurster Hall Auditorium at UC Berkeley Campus. Please submit three jpg images per company to Carolyne Orazi at ceorazi@gmail.com. Images must be received before March 1, 2013.  Be sure to clearly mark your images with company name, project name, your name and a contact email/phone number.  We would like members of all design disciplines to submit work for the presentation.  Should you have further questions, please feel free to contact Carolyne.

More info on the OWA 40th Anniversay Year is here

Houses that Work, Houses that Grow: Learning from Julia Morgan; a Sandhya Sood Lecture

by Eliza Hart    | Print | Email

In this issue, OWA member Sandhya Sood announces that she will be speaking at AIA San Francisco on December 18, 2012, the topic is Houses that Work, Houses that Grow: Learning from Julia Morgan. For information about the ongoing Julia Morgan Festival, please see the OWA September/October Newsletter. For the event details and link please click here.


In addition to her speaking engagement at AIA SF, Sandhya has also written Julia Morgan: Architecture for Sustainability. It is also available through the Landmarks California website.

Suzan Swabacker Offers to Coordinate Internships

by Suzan Swabacker    | Print | Email

OWA member Suzan Swabacker has worked for many years trying to find offices that would like to take interns, paid or not. Local design schools including the Academy of Art, UCB, SF State, San Jose State, and CCAC all have hot new students seeking part-time internships.  Foreign students cannot be paid, American students hope to be paid; all students need to learn what it is like to meet deadlines in a real office.  All offices need to train the next generation of designers.

At the Academy of Art there are both graduate and undergraduate students.  Their skill sets range from Hand Sketches, Revit, CAD, 3-D Max, Photoshop, SketchUp, to Model-making, graphics and photography.  Their personalities vary from the ultra-shy to the enthusiastic extrovert.  Their backgrounds include Canadian to Chinese to India to Indonesian and all parts in between.

Interns are expected to work a minimum of 2 days/week.  They expect to receive on-the-job training, exposure to design vocabulary, the design process, and vendors.   The design fields include architecture, interior design, and landscape architecture.  Some students have cars, many do not.  If students are not paid for their services they expect to get transportation allowances every week. 

DETAILS:  the more an office can describe the best personality type that fits with their office, the better the success rate.
Foreign students obtain a J-1 work VISA once they graduate; this allows them to work legally for 1 year in the U.S. and be paid.   Yes, we help graduates with a few years experience find a new position, as well.  Yes, some students will relocate to other parts of the U.S.

Please contact Suzan Swabacker, aurora_design@earthlink.net for more assistance.  Suzan has worked part-time at the Academy of Art in SF for > 14 years teaching design studios and basic drafting.  She has taught some students with amazing talent in those 14 years.

OWA Book Circle 6 Report

by Christina Townsend    | Print | Email

On November 5 2012, members of the OWA Book Circle met to discuss Enamored with Place: As Woman + As Architect, Wendy Bertrand, Eyeonplace Press. The book is available for “check-out” from Hamilton + Aitken Architects for all members, but we encourage you to support a fellow member and purchase a book direct from Wendy’s website. Please contact Susan Aitken for more information on checking out the book.

Wendy’s book “is the personal and professional memoir of an architect who tells how her identity and life as woman are inseparable from her adventures in the profession of architecture. She reflects in the epilogue about how what she knows now could influence the way our culture goes about the making of place.”

Wendy welcomed members of the circle to express our thoughts and criticisms of her book. Since Inga Horton is the only other author and member of OWA whose work the book circle has read, it was interesting and possibly a bit intimidating to give feedback directly to the author. The book is written as a series of snapshots of Wendy’s life. Her memoir follows her life chronologically through her childhood, travels, romances, schooling, struggles and achievements as a woman architect.

The book reveals much about Wendy and her growth over time. We discussed her honesty and revelation of countless personal tales and struggles. We appreciated her stories and were reminded that “it’s ok if you don’t always have an exact plan as long as you continue to pursue your passions”. It is easy to relate to her stories told in explicit detail, and her travels are a reminder to us all the joys we find in new experiences. We recounted our favorites parts of the book and in turn themes that surface as women assume more prominent roles in architecture. We discussed hardships in the workplace, things we have given up, and roles and expectations of women in the workplace.

Inga Horton, wrote a thoughtful review of the book in the September/October newsletter, which highlighted one section of the book the Epilogue as the most important part of the book. Please take a look if you missed her article last month.

The book circle is looking into different media for the next meeting in January and will read various articles highlighting women in architecture. Since there are a limited number of spaces available in the circle, please feel free to look into these articles even if they are of interest. Educating ourselves and finding opportunities to support fellow women in the field is the mission of OWA, and these articles may give great insight into perceptions of the industry and changes we will face in the near future.

The Incredible True Adventures of Architectress in American by Gabrielle Esperdy
Why Architects need Feminism by Despina Stratigakos
What I learned from Architect Barbie by Despina Stratigakos
Architecture is too important to be left to men alone by Jermey Till
Judgement Pending by Shelly Penn
Who wants to be a Woman Architect? by Karen Burns
Needed – a more profound commitment to behavioural change by Shane Thompson
Double Whammy Would there be more women in architecture if there were more women in development? by Amanda Kolson Hurley

Alfa Freysdóttir Shares her Thesis

by Alfa Freysdottir    | Print | Email

OWA member Alfa Freysdóttir graduated from Academy of Art University this month with a master of fine arts. Congratulations Alfa! She has sent this thesis statement and images for us to share:

Deciding on my thesis project was a quick and easy process for me. It was important to me to take on a project that would be beneficial for the community using it, which made me think of the place I grew up in. The town has struggled financially. To keep people from moving away it needs a boost in its economy. Deciding on the town, I immediately thought of the building, standing empty in a stunning location. Talking about the project with my family, the mayor of the town, and townspeople made me more certain of this project, as everyone encouraged me to take on this challenge.

Aegisdjup Cultural Center is a center for history, culture, art and nature. The past, present, and future meet in the center which symbolizes the transformation our society has undertaken from the first settlers until today. The center seeks to promote a cultural awareness in this unique environment by presenting nature, history, culture, and art all in one place.

Aegisdjup is located in Merry Bay in the town of area around Djupivogur, in South East Iceland. The town's hallmark has been to rebuild and preserve old buildings great emphasis on the beauty and uniqueness of the town's setting. The town owns an extensive collection of natural objects, such as birds stones, historic objects, and art. It is in desperate need of a place to display these items for people to enjoy and learn from. What better place to do than in an empty fish rendering factory Baeoslan in beautiful Merry Bay?

The new name I have chosen for the center, Aegisdjup, comes from the waters that the Vikings sailed through to settle in Iceland. The name is compound from the name of the god of the ocean in Norse mythology Aegir, and djup, which means "deep". The word "djup" also makes up half of the name of the town, Djupivogur, "deep bay:'

The concept for the project is how past, present, and future can all meet in one place. Aegisdjup Cultural Center will display the entire history of the area around Djupivogur, its nature in stones, birds and other natural object. It will also display old art by locals and new art will be created in the center for future people to enjoy. Additionally, the center will serve as an educative venue for the future. Past, present, and future will be reflected in the design of the building, both exterior and interior so the building itself will be a part of the journey through time. Local materials, shapes and forms from the surrounding nature will create a contemporary building inspired by traditional materials, methods, shapes, and patterns.

Through an extensive cultural program with exhibitions, performing arts, local food, and education the visitor will experience the entire cultural background of Djupivogur all in one place.

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