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Native Plants

Newsletter | Mar/Apr 2017

Volume 45:2 | 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:

Note from the Editor

by Rebecca Friedberg    | Print | Email

Oh my, oh my! We have SO much goodness is this newsletter! Sneak-peep the September Member Retreat, read about the last couple events, invites to attend upcoming tours, beautiful sketches and updates from our members, and yes, also a reminder about the call for submissions for the OWA+DP logo competition! Read on...

OWA+DP Member Retreat | Save the Date!

by Rachel Slonicki    | Print | Email

Come to Westerbeke Ranch!

Save the dates: 29 September - 01 October 2017

Location: Westerbeke Ranch, Sonoma, CA
2300 Grove St, Sonoma, CA 95476
http://www.thewesterbekeranch.com

Join us at Westerbeke Ranch for the OWA+DP annual retreat! See below for a sneak peak at the weekend programming:

Workshop: The main program will be a workshop which will use techniques from Theatre of the Oppressed to explore the topic: Equity Resilience Power. Theatre of the Oppressed was developed by Brazilian Augusto Boal and is based on the work of Brazilian educator and theorist Paulo Freire. As a teaching technique, Theatre of the Oppressed trains the audience to take action and explore critical thinking analyzing current social issues.

Movement: Raffaella Falchi, ODC Dance Commons instructor, will be this year’s dance instructor who will teach us afro-Brazilian and samba dance styles. She began studying Brazilian dance in 1996 and has been teaching Brazilian inspired movement and dance in San Francisco for the last decade.

Art Project: As founder and artistic director for Sambaxe Dance Company, Raffaella Falchi will help us with the art project creating headpieces.

More Movement: Carol Kress, Feldenkrais Resources Training Center, will lead a movement awareness class based on Feldenkrais theory. Carol Kress is a Feldenkrais Practitioner of more than 20 years, and is a trainer in Berkeley, CA and San Rafael, CA.

Music: Gringa will be our band for dance night on Saturday night. Gringa is a five piece, band which is based here in San Francisco, CA. The band weaves rhythms from Brazil and the Americas in their performances and song writing.

We will be delighted to see you at the retreat!

If you have questions or wish to place an early reservation, please contact T. Rachel Slonicki at trs@littleelephantarchitecture.com or 510.704.0808.

OWA+DP Logo Competition | Call for Submissions

by Rebecca Friedberg    | Print | Email

Membership decided at the Visioning Retreat in 2016 that it's time to renew our efforts toward a redesigned logo, one that reflects the updated name of the organization to "Organization of Architects and Design Professionals." It will embody the mission of the OWA+DP, as well as increase our visibility and recognition in the wider community. The new logo will be carefully chosen to work well in a variety of media, including print, digital, projection, etc. Please see the call for submissions, below.

Call For Submissions PDF
Previous OWA logos are here
The OWA+DP history page is here

Building Tour : LightHouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired

by Carol Mancke    | Print | Email

LightHouse for the Blind & Visually Impaired, by Mark Cavagnero Associates

Building Tour: LightHouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired
Tuesday, May 9, 2017
6:30 pm

Join us to tour the new headquarters of LightHouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired, designed by Mark Cavagnero Associates. The tour will be led MCA's project manager for the LightHouse project, Katy Perrings Hawkin.

SPACE IS LIMITED SO PLEASE RSVP THROUGH EVENTBRITE OR EMAIL me! 

Location: LightHouse 1155 Market Street (near Civic Center BART)
Date and time: Tuesday May 9, 2017 6:30PM sharp!

Looking forward to seeing you there!
Carol (and the SC)

About the project:
One of the oldest social-services organizations in California, LightHouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired is on the forefront of technology and training for blind and low-vision individuals. Their old headquarters on Van Ness Avenue was a difficult-to-navigate, poorly-lit and uninspiring space. Their goal was to create a new headquarters that would be an uplifting, positive environment to demonstrate to individuals experiencing vision loss that the loss of vision is not an end but rather the beginning of a new way of life.

This tenant improvement project spans three floors of an existing building, comprising approximately 40,000 sf. A variety of programmatic spaces accommodate the wide range of services offered to LightHouse clients including: on-site optometry exam rooms; a retail store selling adaptive technology devices; training rooms for hands-on learning of Braille and other skills; a training kitchen for learning low-vision cooking techniques; a large multi-purpose room for LightHouse and community events; administrative offices; audio and video recording facilities and eleven dorm rooms where up to twenty-nine clients can stay on-site for immersive training and community-building.

Working with the LightHouse provided a unique opportunity for the design team to think about architecture and the design process in a new way. Our usual two-dimensional modes of graphic representation were useless for communicating design ideas to blind client representatives. The design team worked with LightHouse tactile graphics experts to develop tactile architectural drawings to aid in non-visual communication. Mark Cavagnero Associates worked closely with blind consulting architect Chris Downey, who is blind. Chris provided invaluable insight into design for blind users as well as adaptation of the design process for sighted architects working for blind clients.

About Katy:
Katy Perrings Hawkins has been working in architecture in the Bay Area for twelve years. After earning an undergraduate degree in engineering from the University of Illinois, she worked for four years in Chicago as a structural engineer before changing her career path and earning an MArch from the University of Michigan. She has been with Mark Cavagnero Associates for three years. She was the project manager for the LightHouse for the Blind project and is currently working on a new education building for the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

Bringing Back the Natives Garden Tour

by Susan Friedman    | Print | Email

Bringing Back the Natives Garden Tour
Sunday May 7, 2017
10am – 5pm

California native plants are naturally adapted to our local soils and climate, thrive without amendments, fertilizers, or pesticides, utilize very little irrigation, and offer incomparable habitat value to wildlife. Discover more about the possibilities California native plants offer at a variety of lovely gardens located throughout Alameda and Contra Costa Counties, open on Sunday, May 7, 2017 for the Bringing Back the Natives Garden Tour.

On Saturday and Sunday, May 6 and May 7, from 10:00 to 5:00, the Native Plant Sale Extravaganza will take place. During the Extravaganza a number of nurseries specializing in California natives, many not normally open to the public, will carry large quantities of hard-to-find California natives.

Registration is required. Registrants will receive a Garden Guide containing descriptions of each garden and directions. Early registration is suggested to ensure a place. Visit www.BringingBackTheNatives.net to register for the tour, view photos of the gardens, read garden descriptions, download plant lists for each garden, obtain contact information for landscapers that specialize in native plant gardens, and more.

This year Susan Friedman Landscape Architecture, a design firm based in San Ramon, has four gardens on the tour in one San Ramon neighborhood. Be sure to register online for the tour!

In addition, there will be informative garden talks throughout the day provided by SFLA staff and other garden experts, as well as a plant sale, “ask the experts” booth and delicious food from one of Oakland’s finest bakers.

Please stop by and introduce yourself as a OWADP member since Susan is a new member and can’t wait to meet others in the group. She will then be thrilled to give you a special insider’s tour of the properties!

1388-2017 flier.pdf

Sketches by Nayive Kalkach

by Rebecca Friedberg    | Print | Email

Final render of "La Gavia" interior by Nayive Kalkach

Nayive created these two hand-sketches and final rendering for "La Gavia," a residential design project in Mexico City. These were part of a process of warm & cold color palette exploration, and resulted in a beautiful final render. Enjoy!

Berkeley City Club | Ongoing Tours

by Barbara Westover    | Print | Email

Julia Morgan's Berkeley City Club Hotel Lobby

The Berkeley City Club!

Come and take a tour of the beautiful community clubhouse that was designed in 1930 for 12 women’s groups who, needing a place to meet, hired our state’s first licensed woman architect, Julia Morgan.

The building is a fantastic blend of many styles that has awed generations. Many of the cast-in-place features have their basis in the stone creations of European designs.

Julia’s Restaurant is open to the public for lunch and dinner and is highly regarded on Open Table. The historic hotel features 40 guest rooms, some with breathtaking views of our Bay and use of the indoor pool. Central Works Theatre performs there and the one-of-a-kind venues are available for rent.

Open for tours to the public on the 4th Sunday of every month at 1PM. Bring friends and get inspired by the loving thought and craft that still brings joy to so many every day.

Forensic Architecture Panel | Event Report

by Carol Mancke    | Print | Email

Participants at the Forensic Architecture Panel, photo by Wendy Bertrand

What’s a Forensic Architect?
March 25 2017

Kristina Raupach hosted a stimulating and informative panel discussion by five women who work as forensic architects and engineers. It took place in the conference room at Madsen, Kneppers & Associates, Inc. in Walnut Creek and was attended by about thirty-five OWADP members and guests. The panelists were Katherine Quach of Govan Associates, Annie Lo of Walker Restoration, Amber Antrocelli of Neumann Sloat Arnold Architectsm Taryn Williams, S.E. of Simpson Gumpertz and Heger, and Miriam Tupey of McGinnis Chen Associates.

Kristina opened the session with an introduction to her own career, particularly how she came to forensic architecture. She talked about the range of work that she does, which includes litigation work, investigation, testing, insurance property loss, and more. She then welcomed the panel and invited each member to talk about her trajectory into and within the field, something about the structure of the company she works for, and the kind of work her company does.

It was fascinating to hear these women’s professional stories. It was clear that, although most of them had not set out to become forensic architects or engineers, they all love what they do and what they learn in doing it. One of the things that interested me the most was that although much of the work these women and their companies do relates to claims and the technical failures behind them, it is only partly about establishing fault or blame. A large part of their work is figuring out how to fix problems, and finding and testing alternative materials and details to make sure that the problem doesn’t happen again. It involves hands-on detective work, pulling things apart, research, testing materials and assemblies and design. In other words it is a very stimulating form of collaborative problem solving.

The session also made me reflect on my years of teaching. The architectural design and construction industry requires highly skilled people in an amazingly variety of areas, very few of which are taught or learned in architecture school. The emphasis in schools tends to be on design, and since everyone aiming to be an architect must go through the filter of education, the skill set and interests among architects is skewed toward design. I think that this might be a factor in the progressive narrowing of the role of the architect in the industry that I have observed over my career. It also means that many talented students, who are less focused on “Design” but would be excellent architects, chose other professions.

For me, an interesting part of the Q & A that followed the panel discussion was the panelists’ responses to a question about whether they had met discrimination in the course of their work. All of these women said they had not. Each in her own way, said that she was respected because of her expertise – because she ‘knew her stuff’. This was followed by an uplifting conversation about great strides that have been made to make the industry more equitable over the last forty years. Without denying this, there could be something else in play as well, that women may also fair better as specialists than as generalists – something to bear in mind when negotiating a career.

It was very refreshing to hear Kris and the group of remarkable women she gathered together for this session, speak with passion and confidence about a remarkable section of the profession.

A Conversation with Architect Wendy Bertrand

by Carol Mancke    | Print | Email

A Conversation with Architect Wendy Bertrand
February 28 2017

On the last Tuesday in February, Wendy Bertrand spoke to a group of twenty-three members and soon-to-be members of OWADP who gathered for wine, pizza and conversation in a cozy living room in Rockridge. Wendy spoke about her experience of the 12th annual Architectural Humanities Research Association (http://www.ahra-architecture) conference held at the KTH School of Architecture in Stockholm in November 2016. The AHRA is a UK based non-profit academic organization that provides a network for researchers in architectural humanities in the UK and overseas. Architecture & Feminisms: Ecologies, Economies, Technologies was attended by about 200 mostly women researchers and academics but also some practitioners and students. Twenty to twenty-five percent of the attendees were men. Further information can be found at http://architecturefeminisms.

Wendy first talked a little bit about three books that she read in advance and how they opened her mind to new ways of thinking about architecture, feminism and ecologies. These were Felix Guattari’s Three Ecologies: mental, social, and environmental; Relational Architectural Ecologies edited by Peg Rawes; and Behind the Straight Curtain: Towards A Queer Feminist Theory of Architecture by Katarina Bonnevier.

In addition to about forty of the usual conference events like keynote talks and parallel sessions, there were also a number of art installations distributed throughout the conference. One of the first things Wendy encountered was a workshop and ritual called Nuestras Madres (Our Mothers). She found herself sitting around a kitchen table with other women who, while embroidering their mothers’ names, each reflected aloud about what their mothers had taught them about survival. Later in the conference, she participated in a breakfast organized by the UK-based art and architecture collective, Taking Place. Participants were asked to prepare a question in advance. These were then listed as discussion points in the breakfast event program.

Wendy then shared some of the things she came away with. One was the KTH School of Architecture equity policy book Enough is Enough by program director Malin Åberg-Wennerholm. Professor Åberg -Wennerholm’s goal is to make a better world at the school of architecture by integrating gender issues into the undergraduate program. This gender equality guidebook urges not only that women be equally represented in the faculty, student body and invited reviewers etc., but also in the examples of buildings and practices presented as exemplars in classes! Hearing this, I was embarrassed to realize that in twelve years of teaching architecture I had never even thought of attempting this.

Wendy attended six panels and eight keynote and other types of events. One that she found particularly interesting was a panel discussion with Parlour (Karen Burns, Justine Clark, Naomi Stead and Gill Matthewson), chaired by Lori Brown of Syracuse University. Parlour: women, equity, architecture is an excellent website dedicated to ‘bringing together research, informed opinion and resources; generating debate and discussion; expanding the spaces for women in Australian architecture’ (http://archiparlour.org/).

Listening to Wendy talk about what she took away from the conference, the most important thing seemed to me to be a conviction that our system does not work – that Capitalism itself has systemic problems that create the need for feminisms. In her handout she listed seven ‘big takeaway concepts’:

· ecology is not just about the physical, but encompasses mental and social elements
·  diversity need not argue any specific contribution
·  belonging and/or transgression have enormous impact
·  social factors are undervalued in Capitalism as are relationships and culture
· paying attention is important, we should not just rely on experts
·  teaching equality, ethics, criticism and activism is essential in architecture
· feminism in architecture is expanding

Wendy requested that each person reflect aloud about what they had heard and this nurtured a lively discussion. I include some of the comments that caught my attention here. Galen Cranz spoke about a growing split between designers and researchers among the faculty at Berkeley. The faculty has shrunk from 46 to 26 full time academics over the 40 years that she has taught there even though student numbers have not declined. This has resulted in pressure for everyone who teaches to be a designer and to the decimation of the social research that once made Berkeley such an excellent school. There is resistance in the institution to see the social side of ecological problems.

Quite a few people talked about the fact that so many women drop out of the profession. We need to understand the kinds of structures needed to give women the ability to speak; the diversity of the problem; and where the people who drop out go – men go to ‘bigger and better’, what about the women. One person described returning after maternity leave to find that her team had shifted out of balance, no longer worked together well. This reflects the importance of each person in a team – how teams can go off kilter when someone leaves. And, there was a comment that every human being always feels that she is ‘other’. Each of us needs to understand this and stand up and show ourselves.

There was a discussion about feminism and how it is growing and has changed because of Judith Butler’s work. There was mention of the importance of celebrating both women and men in everything we do and that feminism is an intersection in a bigger picture that includes race, age and gender etc. Regulations are helpful and important in changing the situation – women athlete quotas are an example.

Other comments included that it will be interesting to see what happens in the El Cerrito Planning Commission, where the politicians are women and the design review board is all men; and that in France there is work being done at the community level to balance the amounts of money spent on women’s and men’s activities.

A few books were mentioned: The Favored Circle: the Social Foundations of Architectural Distinctions by Gary Stevens; Cheryl Sanberg’s Lean In; Vandana Shiva’s Eco FeminismThinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman; and Wendy’s book, Enamored with Place.

I found the session thought-provoking, informational and convivial. It was great to have such a dynamic group of women of all ages in one room together for a couple of hours in a casual, relaxed setting.

** Membership **

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Member Updates

Hourig Ayanyan

A little birdie told us that OWA member Hourig Ayanyan recently became a licensed architect! She took her exams while working full time, being a wife and mother of a 4 year old boy. Nice work and congratulations!

Galen Cranz

Professional activity for the year 2016-17

I am writing from a workshop at Harvard on Anthropological Design April 3-4, 2017, where I presented my 44 years of teaching ethnography to architecture students. OWA members have already heard about this approach when I presented to OWA last April 2016 in connection with the recent publication of Ethnography for Designers (Routledge, 2016). June 2016 was super busy: I was a keynote speaker in Lisbon, Portugal for the European Association of Architecture Educators on the theme of "Naturalizing the City;" I spoke about the hazards of sitting on chairs to the conference of "Architecture, Culture, and Spirituality" in New Harmony, Indiana; and I presented a thesis about taste in urban design at the University of Florence conference on Urbanism. Next, In October 2016 I taught research design to PhD students at NCSU. In January 2017 I was invited to Florida International University in Miami to contribute to a design charrette on creating a new park with body conscious amenities under their elevated Metroline. In March 2017 Sedentary Behavior and Health: Concepts, Assessments, and Interventions, Zhu and Owen, Eds (Human Kinetics) was published based on the first conference on sedentary behavior oat the University of Illinois in October 2015 including my chapter 4 "Rethinking the Chair and Sitting."


Welcome New Members!

Jeanne Alnot
Charlotte Hofstetter
John R. Miller
Matt Staublin


Time to Renew

Remember, it’s a new year! Please renew your membership if you have not already done so, at http://owa-usa.org/payment.php


Perks of Membership

- Enriching year-round programs & tours
- Networking and mentorship opportunities
- Annual retreat in heavenly Sonoma, CA
- Access to industry compensation data
- Online portfolio hosting
- Career opportunities and job listings
- Long-lasting friendships and support
- Access to collective wisdom of your peers
- Bi-monthly newsletter online or by email

Official Business

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Steering Committee Meeting Summary

At our last steering committee, conducted on March 5th, the main topic of discussion was the process to which we would administer the logo competition within the organization. In the past, we had attempted to hire a professional to create a logo. However, our current understanding is that members felt the logos proposed at that time did not properly reflect the spirit of the organization. Aligning with the goals outlined in our visioning retreat, we hope that a new logo will contribute to our visual identity and help the organization become more visible within the architecture community. At the meeting, we finalized a timeline, specifications, and prize money for the competition. If you would like to participate in the competition, please view our logo competition flyer attached in the Call for Submissions article, above.

Upcoming Events

Sunday, May 7th, 4pm: Steering Committee Meeting
Tuesday, May 9th, 6:30pm: Building Tour, LightHouse for the Blind (see article above)



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