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Newsletter | May/Jun 1989

Volume 17:3
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In this issue:
Money, Money, Money - Georgia Annwell

Paint Them Red and Yellow, Blue and Green

by Georgia Annwell    |    Share #872

The thesis of my editorial is that contemporary architecture in general is much too colorless. As such it does not appeal to us aesthetically and does not meet human needs for emotional expressiveness. The environmentally concerned designer would do well to consider how the built environment might be more satisfying. A cursory study of the brain suggests that brightly hued surroundings contribute significantly to our emotional well-being.
Fibers of the optic nerve carry visual information to our primitive brain, the mid-brain and brain stem, which respond symbolically. This part of the brain does not have the capability of interpreting red as either a certain pigment or wave length of light. But it does associate red symbolically with blood and fire and matters of the heart. The primitive brain responds to the highly saturated chroma of vivid color and ascribes to it symbalic meaning. (It-does not notice pale, faded, tinted. or grayed hues.) Enclosing the hypothalamus, it enables us to experience and to give expression to emotion. Because of the wealth of neuronal connections, all our responses, whether conscious or not, have emotional aspects. The way we feel is very related, not only to what we are thinking, but also to how we interpret elements in our environment.
The higher brain or cerebrum reacts more to subdued color, shades, and tints. Verbal and mathematical abilities are attributed to its left hemisphere. Abstractions, spatial and textural relationships, are formed by the right. It is the right hemisphere that fits elements of space and distance, texture and tone, together into a pattern or system and contributes largely to our aesthetic response. The right side perceives those colors outside the range of the primary and pure. It responds to the more "cerebral", subtle or so-called "sophisticated" hues. Great art art simultaneously evokes both cerebral and emotional responsiveness.When the aesthetic experience has a strong emotional component, it is both therapeutic and cathartic, fulfilling and beautiful.

Environmental constructions can stimulate both cerebral and primitive functions. But most urban development lacks those features which satisfy the need for emotional expression. Gray achromatic cities exemplify a culture which values matters of the cerebrum, a culture which is dominated by the achromatic male type. Contemporary architects, by and large, show little concern for the emotional aspects of design. The eccentrics and exceptions are encouraged to suppress. Emotional expression is considered vulgar by those who must fear and control it. Architectural colors are usually those of the cerebrum.

Not only do our finished products fall to delight and satisfy in full, but so do our production drawings. Black and white perspectives and plans, sections and elevations, are traditional methods of communicating architectural ideation. Even small scale models are constructed in black and white, gray and beige.

Color is left out during both visualization and planning. A hole exists for the color consultant to enter later, provided, of course, that there is room in the budget. Otherwise muralists and latter-day graffiti artists might
improve on things and paint them red and yellow, blue and green.

Cohousing: A Contemporary Approache to Housing Ourselves

by Vera Westerfaard    |    Share #880

The book Cohousing is written by Kathryn McCamant and Charles Durett, forwarded by Architect Charles W. Moore, published by Ten Speed Press.

Women design professionals know the problems and the dilemma of wanting both professional career and family. We know how hard it is to find and afford a home, an increasingly difficult task for more and more Americans. We know that more housing is needed. We feel the threat of homelessness in the background. But all we see as a solution to the housing crisis is more of the same, more suburbia and more "urban renewal". What we need is a new way to address the larger social issues, a new way to address the fact that we are experiencing radical changes in our family life and.patterns of work.

One shift in the pattern of American life is the increasing mobility and shrinking household size of the family. Life is becoming fragmented and many Americans are finding the lack of community to be an unfortunate by-product of this changing lifestyle. Kathryn McCamant and Charles Durett, in their new book Cohousing, begin with the premise that "traditional fonns of housing no longer address the needs of many people. Many are mis-housed, ill-housed or unhoused because of the lack of appropriate options". Their own search for appropriate housing brought them back to Denmark where they had studied earlier. They sought a balance between community and privacy. They were frustrated at the isolation offered by current housing options. They wanted a spontaneous social life that did not require making appointments with friends. They wanted more contact with people of different ages and needed a better and safer place to raise children.

The authors spent thirteen months living in and visiting forty-six cohousing communities. Their book tells the story of what they found and how cohousing works.

Cohousing is a new housing type which redefines the concept of neighborhood to fit contemporary life. The concept is pedestrian oriented. Cars are parked on the periphery of complexes so that children are safe from traffic. Individual homes are clustered around a common house. Shared facilities include dining, children's play and care areas, workshops, guestrooms and laundry facilities. In this way cohousing combines the economy of private dwellings with the advantage of cooperative living. Although individual private residences are designed to be self-sufficient with their own kitchens, the common facilities, particularly those for evening meals, are an important part of community life. They are supported for both social and practical reasons. These communities are unique in that they are organized, planned and managed by the residents themselves. Often they result in cross-generational neighborhoods of singles, families and elderly. Pioneered in Denmark twenty years ago, nearly one hundred cohousing communities have been built there. Other countries are following suit.

The book is written in a relaxed narrative way and divided into three sections. The first offers a thorough introduction to the cohousing concept. The second gives an inside look and eight unique cohousing communities. It shows how they work and how community developed. It includes conversations with residents and indicates how the concept Works for them. It shows the determination of the inhabitants to improve the quality of their lives through their built environment. The third and final part is called "Creating Cohousing". It is devoted to the evolution of cohousing and to the design and development considerations necessary to create successful cohousing. Throughout the book there is a lot of attention to detail in research, information. and layout. The text is enhanced by black and white and color photographs, diagrams and drawings.
As architects, designers and planners, we all have concerns for how our lives and work can have an impact, how we can positively effect change through the built environment. Here the book is powerful. It succeeds in giving a realistic contemporary alternative to the confused and dismal United States' housing situation. Somehow it all starts at home. Currently there are fifteen groups actively planning cohousing communities throughout the western states. Many more are to follow.

Kathryn McCamant and Charles Durett can be reached by writing to 48 Shattuck Square, Suite 15, Berkeley, Ca. 94704.

Larger developments can be subdivided into smaller clusters to retain a more intimate community atmosphere.

ArtMarin: A Pproposesd Ccontemporary Art Center, San Geronirno, CA.

by Georgia Annwell    |    Share #882

In the early sixties (fifties in N.Y.C.), working and living in so-called lofts became fashionable for painters, sculptors, dancers, and many other artists and craftspersons who needed large workspaces. Economic factors contributed to this. The migration of industry out of cities left large vacancies in warehouses and industrial buildings in N.Y.C., S.F., and elsewhere. Landpersons looked the other way when artists moved into spaces zoned only for commerce/industry. They needed tenants. This has changed. Vast urban renewal and renovation across the country, particularly south of Market St. in San Francisco, have produced a scarcity of nice cheap loft space. Several of the artist communes in San Francisco were evicted in-the lafe-se~verid&-s- an-d- early eighties to pave the way for new office buildings and new parking structures. Commercial space is no longer inexpensive. Its cost prohibits maintenance of a separate apartment by the artist. Certain few large loft projects were purchased by their artists and have survived. They are plagued with building inspections, notices of code violations and threats of condemnation. They have long waiting lists and very selective procedures for admission of new members.
In Marin County the situation is worse. There is a residential vacancy rate from 0.1 to 3%, according to community, and a commercial vacancy rate near to 5%. Both residential and commercial rentals are affordable only by moderate and high income level persons. It is difficult to find a decent apartment less than $1000 per month. And it is impossible to rent commercial space for living because of strict enforcement of zoning regulations against such practice. Also the warehouses today are steel, non-insulated, and without windows.
I called the Golden Gate National Recreational Headquarters, Marin Headlands at Fort Cronkite. A few artists live and work there near the beach. There are no vacancies. It is government property so the artists live under certain regulations. For example, they can hold no exhibitions and they can construct no outdoor sculpture.
I have been subscribing to the Sunday Marin Independent Journal for three years in order to determine the availability of artist living/working space. There is almost none. Two years ago one ad read: "Mill Valley loft studios for work/live situation in redwoods. $6007 1 visited right away. Four were available. 2_11 woman had just built a home for herself with four additional bedrooms. Each had a half bath and an exterior door to a shade deck. No kitchens existed. There was no ventilation unless one opened a door. They were perched on the side of a north facing cliff some seventy-five feet up. They were so small that if I rented one I would have to decide whether to move in my clothes or my drafting table. There have been no other such ads for live/work situations.
To test the market for artists needing workliving space I placed an ad for one Sunday only in the Marin paper. It read:
PROF. ARTISTS. Accepting comments, inquiries and applications for living working studios in contemporay art center proposed for 25 acre rural site, San Geronimo, Marin Co. Some preference to sculptors. 50 cents/sqft Write: ARTMARIA~, Box 4605, San Luis Obisbo, Ca.
Some time afterward the post office requested me to rent a larger box to accommodate the excessive mail I received. It poured in from Marin, all of California, and even from as far away as New York City. Data from these sources is used in programming and designing.
The central problem of this project is the development of a contemporary art center which will do the following: (1) meet artists needs for affordable studios; (2) feature a contemporary sculpture park; (3) enhance and promote both the appreciation and business of contemporary art; (4) interact with and preserve a beautiful environment in Marin County; and (5) be economically feasible.


 Share #883

Through June 10
2AES 340 Bryant St., S.F. 12-6pm Weds. - Sat. 12-8pm Thurs. "Hani Rashid and Liseanne Couture: Studio Asymptote. (415) 974-6762.

May 18 - June 18
Butterfield & Butterfield Warehouse 660 Third Ste., 4th fl., S.F. Bay Area artists, art galleries and museums join together in the fight against AIDS with a major fundraising exhibition.

Through June 20
Gensler & Associates/ Architects 550 Kearny, S.F. 11:30am-2:30pm, Mon.-Fri. "Animals and Architecture." Video sculpture, photography, models and slide presentation.

Through July 2
Low Bay, Great Hall, Oakland Museum
1000 Oak St., Oakland "Frank Lloyd Wright's Butterfly Wing Bridge, A Southern Crossing for San Francisco Bay."

Through Summer
The Cannery 2801 Leavenworth, S.F. 10am-5 pm, Tues. - Sun. "Entries in the Fantasy Doll House Competition of the San Francisco International Toy Museum."
(415) 44 1 -TOYS.

June 27 - August 27
National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA) 1250 New York Ave.. N.W. Washington, D.C. 20005-3920 (202) 783-5000 "Margaret Bourke-White: A Retrospective." 120 of the artist's most famous photograph ' s. The first of four shows on women photographers presented by NMWA to honor the 150th anniversary of the invention of the camera. The show will be at the Stanford University Museum of Art Dec. 1, to Feb. 7, 1990.

Museum of San Diego History Balboa Park, San Diego Original drawing & photographs documenting the work of Lilian Rice. Hazel Wood Waterman and Harriett Barnhart Wimmer, three women who made significant contributions to San Diego's designed environment.

San Diego "That Exceptional One: Women in American Architectural 1888 - 1988". American Architectural Foundation's traveling exhibit. Contact Theresa Frederich at (619)236-0251.

June 26 - July 2
Downtown Oakland Hyatt Regency "Strength Through Diversity: Women and Technology."' The Society of Women Engineers holds its annual convention. Open to all. Info and registration packets: National Headquarters (212) 705-7855 or 1989 Convention Committee, 1024 Neilson, Albany, CA. (415) 526-2915. June 27 - 28 Santa Clara Convention Center, Santa Clara, Ca. "Procurement Fair: Where Big Business & Small Business Meet." Sponsored by the Industry Council for Small Business Development. Awards for minority and women owned small businesses. Booth cost is $300. Non-exhibitor registration for all events is $15. Contact Gene Severance, General Electric, P.O. Box 530954, M/C, S-78, San Jose, Ca.95153.

June 5 - 11... June 25 - July 7... July 16 - 28
Contact Women Empowering Women (We Women), P.O. Box 6506, Albany, Ca. 94706, (415) 525-7645.

Tuesday, May 23 12 Noon (brown bag lunch)
AIA/SF Headquarters 130 Sutter St., Suite 600, S.F.
"SOMA, South of Market Rezoning Plan." Are Architects at the cutting edge of gentrification and higher rents in SOMA? AIA Seminar. Panelists: Dean Macris, Director of Planning; Susana Montana, Planner. Moderated by Charles F. Eley, Jr., AIA/SF President.

May 26 11:30 - 2 pm
Hotel Nikko Mason & O'Farrell, S.F. "Generations of Leadership."
The YWCA will hold its Fourth Annual Award Luncheon. Mistress of Ceremonies will be Belva Davis. Tickets $50. Call (415) 775-6502.

June 15 Gold Room Fairmont Hotel, S.F. "Women on the Move." Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith holds its annual awards luncheon. Mui Ho has been selected as one of 25 finalists for this prestigious award. Reservation: Caitlin Smith (415) 681-3884.

Mid-July The LEAADD Group (women lawyers, engineers, architects, accountants, doctors, and dentists) is planning its annual meeting. Info: Caitlin Smith.

Few Women Architectural Faculty at UCB

 Share #885

The Architects for a Diversified Faculty re: Faculty Hiring Practices in the Department of Architecture at the University of California, Berkeley, state "Many of us have long been appalled by the non-representative number of women faculty members in the departments of architecture, planning, and landscape design at UCB. One direct result is that female students do not have valuable opportunities for role models, mentors, and advocates."
Interest in confronting this issue came out of last summer's OWA Mid-Career Retreat at Westerbeke Ranch. Further interest was generated at the January conference of the California Project (an association of women architects from across the state including AWA of Los Angeles, OWA of San Francisco, and WIA of San Diego).
Goals generated are the achievement of a faculty of women and men in the Department of Architecture that reflects the proportion of women and men in the college and the achievement of a faculty that reflects the diversity of race among the students of the college.
1. Pressure the University to hire women
faculty, both tenured and tenure track.
2. Include the issue of minority representation
on the faculty.
3. Address any imbalance in the number of
female students admitted.
4. Assure that strong and effective women are proposed and elected for new positions.
5. Consider the implications of the new
Department of Architecture currently being formed at UCD.
Tasks planned include surveying faculty and students, profiling hiring practices, determining the experiences of women considered, investigating and identifying key members of the university hierarchy, documenting case histories of women who have taught in the department, surveying former faculty, examining how female students and faculty in the School of Law recently handled a similar problem, and identifying other persons and groups whose experience might contribute to the endeavor.

The Organization had its first meeting in April. Those interested in finding out more about working with this group may contact Nancy Florence, Mui Ho, or Christie Coffin, all listed in the Directory of OWA.
Mui Ho led discussion on Architects for a Diversified Faculty at the April OWA General Meeting. OWA voted to support them in their endeavors.

General Meeting Raises Questions

 Share #886

Many expressed their compliments and appreciation re the general format and program of the April OWA general meeting held at the Berkeley YWCA. Many thanks go to the speaker, Judy Rowe.

Ms. Judith Rowe spoke to us on the planning and programming aspects of her work on a variety of projects, including master planning for the Tracy, California, Civic Center. She also talked about the National Committee of Women in Architecture whose next meeting is in May. She brought to our attention that there are no women on the Board of the AIA. Her presentation generated lively and meaningful discussion and left us with certain questions. Are there any women willing to run for the board? AIA often supports things that OWA does not. Can women change the AIA through active membership?

Woman Working for Women Architects

 Share #887

Judith Rowe, AIA, Principal Associate of MWM Architects of Oakland Sacramento, has been honored with appointment as a Funded Member of the Women in Architecture Committee of the AIA. This committee is national and is composed of five funded and ten liaison members. Their goal is the development of policies and programs to insure full opportunities for women within the Institute and the profession as a whole. As past president of the East Bay Chapter of AIA and as Funded Member, Ms. Rowe continues working on increasing the membership, visibility, and role of women in the architectural profession. She is one of one hundred women architects whose work is highlighted in an AIA National Touring exhibit.
Thank you Judy!

Back by Popular Demand: OWA Mid-career Retreat

by Yvonne Hobbs    |    Share #888

Do not miss your chance to reserve space for the year's most stimulating workshop! There will be discussion of design goals, celebration of architectural achievements, gaining of perspective and understanding of ideal jobs. Any one of the twenty-five women who attended last year can readily attest to the great value of this workshop.
We will retreat from 3 pm on Friday. August 18, until 4 pm on Sunday. August 20. at the peaceful Westerbeke Ranch in Sonoma County. The registration fee of $185 includes a relaxing room, great food and of course. illuminating seminars. Non-members must pay an additional $50 to cover OWA dues.

Reserve your space now. Receipt of reservation is appreciated by Thursday, June 1. Space is limited. Contact Veronica Martin at 7779630 or Yvonne Hobbs at 881-4807 if you still need registration forms. If not, just send your $185 check and form to OWA. P.O. Box 26570, San Francisco, Ca. 94126.
See You There!

Money, Money, Money

by Georgia Annwell    |    Share #889

So far this year there are only eight-some paid members. This is fewer than the one hundred and sixty-eight of last year. Resultant are serious budget concerns. One emergency measure that may soon be instituted is the shortening of the newsletter from six to four pages. The cost of the newsletter has escalated over the past year. Costs per issue have been twice the amount budgeted. Georgia is exploring desktop publishing as an alternative to typesetting. Meanwhile Caitlin is contacting unpaid members by mail.
The steering committee realizes the need for major fundraising efforts. Proposed is the establishment of an Annual Women's Architectural Exhibition to feature OWA members' works. Those interested in working on this should contact me or other steering committee members.

Fund Raising OWA LOGO $15

Jane Tanfield Memorial Scholarship

 Share #890

Jane Tanfield was an architect and prominent member of OWA. Ms. Tanfield was born in Great Britain and completed architectural studies at the University College, London, in the late sixties. In the United States she taught design at Kansas University and worked for Baden, Arrigonii and Ross in San Francisco. She died in the Northwest Airlines crash on August 16, 1987, in Detroit.The Jane Tanfield Scholarship Fund of $500 is to be given to a notable woman architecture student at Kansas University, Laurence, Kansas 66045, through their endowment association. This year we thank Corazon Meterparel, Cameron White, and David Alpert for their generous contributions.of $200 or more.

IAWA Seeking Women's Manuscripts

by Laura H. Katz    |    Share #891

The International Archive of Women Architecture (IAWA) was established in 1985 as a joint venture by the University Libraries and the College of Architecture and Urban Studies at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. Its purpose is the documentation of the history of women's involvement in architecture.
IAWA seeks women architects' papers, including drawings, photographs, publications, correspondence and art works. It also seeks resumes from all women in the profession. The scope is international.
For more information contact Laura H. Katz, Archivist, IAWA, University Libraries Special Collections Department, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, Va. 24061, (707) 961-6308.

June Meeting: "Project Management and Business Development"

by Marlene Berkoff, AIA    |    Share #892


Ms. Berkoff will talk to us about project management and business development and their relationship to career advancement. She plans to focus especially on the position of women in large architectural firms.
Marlene Berkoff is a registered architect who has planned and designed health care and institutional facilities for seventeen years. As a former Managing Associate and Director of Health Care Architecture for the NBBJ Group, Palo Alto, and a former Senior Project Manager and Project Architect for large mid west design firms, she has managed a wide variety of complex projects. Past work ranges from the $80 million Stanford University Hospital addition and the Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City to a wide range of community general hospitals, ambulatory care facilities, medical office buildings, and some non-health care projects.
Since co-founding Drever/Berkoff in 1987, she has concentrated on architectural consulting and "front end" planning for health care and institutional facilities. Projects have focused on master planning, feasibility studies, and space and functional programming. Current clients are consulting firms, such as Ernst and Whinney, and other architects who wish to supplement their services with specific health facility planning expertise.
During the last eight to ten years, Ms. Berkoffs role has focused on project management and business development, both within large architectural firms and now in her own firm. She is a member of the AIA and the National Committee on Architecture for Health, which she chaired in 1982. She is also a member of several hospital related organizations and chaired the Architects' Section of The Healthcare Forum (formerly the Association of Western Hospitals) in 1985. She has written a number of articles on ambulatory care planning and design and has served as a guest lecturer and faculty member of the American Hospital Association, the Association of Western Hospitals, the University of Michigan, the University of Wisconsin Extension, and the University of California at Berkeley.
Ms.Berkoff is a registered architect in California, Wisconsin, and Minnesota. She is certified by the NCARB and holds a B.A. in Economics from Barnard College in New York and B. Arch and M. Arch degrees with highest distinction from the University of Michigan.
Monday June 19, 1989, 6pm Le D�jeuner, 7pm Le Programme in the Fireside Room of the Unitarian Church, Corner of Geary and Francklin, SF.

OWA Summer Picnic

 Share #893

A pot luck party and picnic is being considered for. Sunday, August 27. We are looking for a warm place in the sunny part of Marin. Georgia Annwell (359-9364) and Kathleen Cruise (221-7698) need assistance organizing this social event of the year. Place? Games? Entertainment?

Steering committee

 Share #894

Georgia Annwell Editor

Newsletter this issue Georgia Annwell
Education:Georgia Annwell, Kathleen Cruise
Employment: Moonyeen Alameida, Vera Westergaard
Finance: Merle Easton
Visibility: Corazon Meterparel, Caitlin Smith
Health Plan: Janet Crane

(Phone numbers on original, Archived here by Wendy Bertrand)

Caitlin, Corazon, Georgia, Kathleen, Merle. Moonyeen, and Vera are desperately seeking someone to serve on finance and someone to edit the newsletter. Call any one of us anytime. We are good listeners.

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