Newsletter | Sep/Oct 2008

Early Careers in Architecture: a Panel Presentation

by Mui Ho
Place: Hafele Showroom, San Francisco
Date: July, 29 2008
Moderator: Margaret Goglia
Panelists: Mara Baum, Jamie Brown, Mignon O'Young, Sandhya Sood, Stacy Webb

The panel discussion at our July monthly meeting was well attended with over 30 people. It reflected an overwhelming interest among members in sharing with each other our approaches and experiences in our professional life. The Steering Committee is responding to this enthusiasm by planning a similar panel discussion for our 2009 calendar.

We were very impressed by the well prepared presentations as well as the diverse career paths among these five presenters. We were especially intrigued by their compelling stories and experiences thatled them to their present job positions and career direction.


Mara Baum AIA, LEED AP, is a designer and researcher at Anshen+Allen Architects in San Francisco, where she focuses on the intersection between ecological issues and the creation of a healthy and healing built environment. She is currently working on a new building for Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, and a grant-funded research project, 'Eco-Effective Design and Evidence-Based Design: Removing Barriers to Integration.' She also teaches at California College of the Arts and online for the Boston Architectural College Sustainable Design Certificate Program.

Mara Baum was the US Green Building Council's 2006 Ginsberg Sustainability Fellow, for which she authored, 'Green Building Research Funding: An Assessment of Current Activity in the United States,' and, as a liaison to the USGBC Research Committee, was a contributing author to its National Green Building Research Agenda. She holds a Master of Architecture and Master of City Planning from University of California Berkeley and a Bachelor of Arts in Architecture Magna Cum Laude from Washington University.

Jamie Brown attended Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY, and spent a semester abroad studying at Tongji University in Shanghai, China. She graduated in 2003 with a Bachelor of Architecture and Bachelor of Science in Building Sciences. She moved to California shortly thereafter to pursue her career.

Currently, Jamie Brown is a Job Captain at Interactive Resources, in Point Richmond, where she has five years of experience in elementary school and community college design projects; she is also the Revit Coordinator at IR, leading the implementation of Building Information Modeling in new and existing projects. She has worked on investigative and forensic projects with the experts at IR, learning about the construction process and the consequences of construction defects and design errors. She is the current chairperson for the Women in Architecture Forum at the AIA East Bay, and an OWA member. Jamie Brown is pursuing her Architect's License in California and is currently taking the Architectural Registration Exams.

Mignon O'Young is a licensed architect who has more than 12 years of experience in design, and construction management/ administration. Currently she is the Senior Construction Manager for the Citizens Housing Corporation in San Francisco. Prior to joining CHC, she worked for Hisaka & Associates, Architects, and Kodama Diseno Architects and Planners.

A LEED v2 accredited professional, Mignon O'Young acts as the construction manager for all of Citizens Housing's projects. Her responsibilities include reviewing and consulting on project design, specifications and drawings throughout the design process, managing the architects, consultants and contractors, acting as an owner's representative during and after the construction process, and defining standard, green design and construction guidelines for the company. Mignon O'Young holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of California, Berkeley. She is a long time member of OWA and is currently on the Executive Committee of the Berkeley Environmental Alumni Network.

Sandhya Sood is a principal at Accent, a building, interior and exhibition design firm based in Berkeley and Palo Alto. She taught design studio as visiting faculty at the Chandigarh College of Architecture in India where she also practiced for several years before pursuing a Masters in Architecture at the University of California, Berkeley. The firm won accolades for its architecture and an open competition for a commercial project. Her undergraduate thesis, "The Changing Pattern of Housing in Chandigarh- a Critical Appraisal"  was exhibited at the World Habitat Day and excerpts published in a book celebrating the 50th anniversary of the city.

Her graduate thesis, "Intergenerational Housing- a Fabric of Courtyard Weaving" explored a new typology in contemporary residential design. She has presented papers at international conferences and has served as a juror on design review panels at the Universities of California, Berkeley and Washington, Seattle. After working as a Project Manager for an architectural firm, Fisher Friedman & Assoc. in San Francisco, Sandhya Sood established 'Accent'. Her research in housing formed the fundamentals of her 'flexibility' theory that she now applies to her design practice.

Stacy Webb is on the Steering Committee for the Organization of Women Architects and Designers and is  currently co-author for the OWA newsletter. Last year, she chaired the Women in Architecture Forum for the American Institute of Architects- East Bay Chapter, and  arranged monthly presentations for the group.   Stacy  now serves as the Associate Member on the Board of Directors for the AIA EB.   She enjoys volunteering as it is a way to network, reach out to others and get more involved in the architectural profession. This year Stacy Webb began working in HOK's downtown San Francisco office.  She is currently a Job Captain in the interiors department, which she sought out due to her continued interest  in materials and  their affect on how spaces are experienced.  Stacy Webb moved to Oakland ten years ago from Seattle, Washington soon after graduating with her  BA in Architecture in 1997 from the University of Washington.   She has begun studying for her Architectural Record Exams  but, in order to design healthier spaces, is taking a break in  from studying for the AREs  to  first  pursue becoming a LEED Accredited Professional.  


Margaret R. Goglia is a licensed architect and a member of the American Institute of Architects. She presently serves on the Moraga, CA Town Planning Commission and the Steering Committee of the Organization of Women Architects. She has served on the boards of the Western Council of Construction Consumers and the Association for Women in Architecture where she was elected to chair each organization. She is currently using her over thirty-five years of professional experience as an independent planning, design and construction consultant.

Margaret Goglia holds a BA from the University at Buffalo (SUNY) and a master's degree from Yale University. She has taught in the architecture programs at Catholic University, Woodbury University and Cal Poly, Pomona.

OWA Panel Discussion at the Hefele Showroom

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