Newsletter | Nov/Dec 2017

Melvin Sokolsky's "On the Seine, Paris, 1963"

Note from the editor

by Rebecca Friedberg
Happy New Year to our dear OWA+DP family!

This is my final issue as your newsletter editor. I have so enjoyed receiving all your contributions, thoughts, photos and sketches over the last year. Please stay tuned for so much more to come in 2018.

Keep your eyes peeled for an announcement about OWA+DP's next event, gathering at HKIT in Oakland prior to the Women's March on January 20th!
Time: TBD.

We are the ones we've been waiting for!

❤️ Read on...

Happy New Year + Holiday Party

Gilda Puente-Peters, our beautiful host, welcoming OWA+DP to her home

Happy New Year to all!

Thank you all for coming to our wonderful Annual Holiday Party! Special thanks to Gilda Puente-Peters, our beautiful host! Everyone enjoyed the amazing food, people, and view to the Golden Gate Bridge!

Thank you also to those who donated to the North Bay fire relief organization and brought toys for Hamilton Families, a non-profit organization providing housing solutions for Bay Area homeless, which we have supported for several years!

Helen Vasquez, OWA+DP Steering Committee, Membership Chair

ACE Mentoring Update

by Cameron White

Students completing ACE Mentoring

The ACE Mentoring program in Oakland will begin on January 24, kicked off by a mentor meeting on January 10. ACE stands for Architecture, Construction and Engineering, and is a program designed to introduce high school students to the industry, with an emphasis on diversity and students that might otherwise not be exposed to the field. Several OWA-DP members are participating this year: Rebecca Friedberg, Rachel Slonicki, Mui Ho and myself. The program will be held at Laney College.

In the 2017 season, OWA-DP generously provided a $1,000 scholarship to a young woman graduate who was interested in going into the field of architecture. The winner was Akshata Atre of Cupertino High School. Another young woman who was on the Oakland team also won a $1,000 scholarship: Karen Gonzalez. One of the students from a past year, Samantha Huang, has gone on to college and is now a mechanical engineer, and is going to be a mentor herself this year!

What is the commitment to be an ACE Mentor? Generally, it’s being available most every Wednesday afternoon from 4:30-6:45, from January 24 through May 9, 2018 to help the students with their projects and teach them about skills in architecture, construction and engineering. Another way to participate is as a judge of the final projects at the end of the season, or as a guest speaker or leader of a hands on activity.

I have found mentoring with ACE to be a rewarding experience. It’s fun to meet the students, get to know them better, and help them in deciding about careers.

If you’re interested in mentoring this coming year on the Oakland team, please let me know at There are ACE programs starting up in many other parts of the Bay Area, too. More information is available at

Students completing ACE Mentoring

** OWA+DP Library **

by Rebecca Friedberg

Did you know OWA+DP has a LIBRARY??? We do!

The OWA+DP Library has books that were read in the OWA Book Circle under programs facilitated by Wendy Bertrand. The Library is at Hamilton + Aitken Architects: 525 Brannan Street, San Francisco 415 974-5030

The library includes books on architecture and feminism, some written by our very own members. Reach out to Susan Aitken at the number above to set up borrowing from the OWA+DP Library.

The available titles include the following:

    Early Women Architects of the San Francisco Bay Area by OWA's Inge Horton

    Discrimination by Design: A Feminist Critique of the Man-Made Environment, by Leslie Kanes Weisman

    Women and the Making of the Modern House by Alice Friedman

    Architecture: A Woman's Profession edited by Tanja Kullack

    Women and the Everyday City: Public Space in San Francisco, 1890-1915 by Jessica Ellen Sewell

    Enamored with Place: As Woman + As Architect by OWA's Wendy Bertrand

    Various Articles on Gender and Architectural Discourse

    Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg

    Women in Green: Voices of Sustainability by Kira Gould & Lance Hosey

    Feminism and Architecture video by Susana Torre

    Gender Intelligence by Annis & Keith Merron (HarperCollins Publishers, 2014)

See Book Circle link under programs for more discussion.

Van Alen Institute Bookstore, Feminist Practices Panel, Lori Brown

Member Spotlight : Nastaran Mousavi

by Nastaran Mousavi

A few months ago I came across OWA and I am so pleased to announce that I am officially a member of this organization! I have recently become a licensed architect in California and came a long way to be a practicing architect and a founder of my own architectural firm in San Francisco.

I was born and raised in Sari, Iran and made my way to the United States to continue my education in Architecture. All my life, I had hopes to become an influential individual and contribute something to the world that will last long and make a change. Having the platform of my own company is allowing me to think more freely about opportunities to advance the architecture industry for a safer and more sustainable world we live in.

I am proud that with my husband, we were able to contribute to our community by working on a range of small projects on a pro bono basis for non-profit organizations in the Bay Area and have been making more conscious design decisions towards a more efficient and sustainable built environment.

I am sharing a few sketches that I have done through design process of some of our recent projects:

Competition entry to design a Civic Center for city of Sadra in South-West Iran. We were selected among 10 best design proposals.

Sketch of a leasing office addition for a multi-family residential in Walnut Creek, CA

Sketch for a facade of a mexican restaurant in Oakland, CA

Recent and Upcoming Events

by Rebecca Friedberg

On November 14th, 2017, OWA+DP hosted a panel discussion on ADUs and their rise to prominence in the Bay Area. Please see pdfs below for summary info for ADU permitting in Berkeley and Oakland.


1388-Oakland ADU Regs.pdf

On December 10th, 2017, Gilda Puente-Peters hosted the OWA+DP Holiday Party in her home. It was a beautiful, festive afternoon, and OWA+DP raised money for North Bay fire victims and donated toys to Hamilton Families.


January 20th, 2018: Women's March
Stay tuned for more info on gathering at HKIT offices in Oakland prior to the Women's March.

Allied Event (not organized by OWA+DP)

An Evening with Julia Morgan
A Portrayal by Betty Marvin

Saturday, 13 January @5:00-6:30pm

Join us for an evening with Julia Morgan, as portrayed by historian Betty Marvin. Hear about Julia Morgan’s work, local buildings, life, travels, relationships and even her impact upon Rockridge, specifically through the building of College Avenue Presbyterian Church in 1917.

Appropriate for all Ages
Free event/donations accepted
Followed by a Reception

This is part of our year-long centennial celebration!

5951 College Avenue (in Rockridge)
Oakland CA 94618

Women In Architecture and Design | Online Wanderings

by Rebecca Friedberg
In this last year of editing the newsletter, I've often searched online for inspiration and content. Before I sign off, here are a few of the resources and sites of interest I've come across:

50 Inspirational Women in Architecture and Design

Places Journal Articles on Women in Architecture

In the Company of Women: Wisdom and Advice on the Creative Life from Beloved Women Artists, Makers, and Entrepreneurs

Business Tips for Architects from BIG and Zaha Hadid

Abstract on Netflix

Abstract: The Art of Design. 2017 Step inside the minds of the most innovative designers in a variety of disciplines and learn how design impacts every aspect of life. Episodes 3, 6 and 8 focus respectively on Es Devlin, stage designer; Paula Scher, graphic designer; and Else Crawford, interior designer.

Grand Designs on Netflix

In Grand Designs, host Kevin McCloud presents people who take self-building houses to a new level, following every step of their ambitious plans from beginning to end.

Welcome New Members!

by Rebecca Friedberg
OWA+DP warmly welcomes the following new members! We can't wait to get to know you better!

Maryam Moayery Nia
Carina Felix
Michelle Huber
Daisy Simpson
Liesel Haldane
Juan Cerda
Lauren Desouza
Therone Richardson

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