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The AIA Housing and Community Development Knowledge Community (HCD) is a network of architects and allied stakeholders that promotes equity in housing, excellence in residential design, and sustainable, vibrant communities for all, through education, research, awards, and advocacy.

AIA Housing & Community Development KC Virtual Forum 2021

By Bruce Bland posted 01-14-2022 12:19 PM


AIA Housing & Community Development KC Virtual Forum 2021

The AIA Housing and Community Development Knowledge Community (HCD) is a network of architects and allied stakeholders that promotes equity in housing, excellence in residential design, and sustainable, vibrant communities for all, through education, research, awards, and advocacy. This symposium gave the participants the opportunity to engage in various subject matters related to the housing and community development knowledge community ongoing agenda. 

Recording-Session 1:  Housing Policy in the US today
Emily Roush Elliott, AIA, Social Impact Architect, Delta Design Build 
Kara Kempski, Director of Federal Relations at the American Institute of Architects (AIA) 
Karen Kubey, Urbanist Specializing in Housing and Health 
The Neighborhood Homes Investment Act and The Green New Deal for Public Housing are two policies that will help create cleaner, affordable communities. In this session, we'll hear from HCDKC members about the broad range of housing policies that advance these initiatives. 
Learning Objectives: 

Participants will learn to: 

  • Learn AIA’s federal housing campaign and how that has been part of our broader infrastructure work
  • Examine policies related to Green Building Retrofit of Section 8 public housing
  • Examine the Neighborhood Homes Investment Act new federal tax credit in rural areas.
  • Understand how policies help create cleaner, affordable communities.
Emily Roush-Elliott is a social impact architect and a recent alumna of the Enterprise Rose Architectural Fellowship during which she was hosted by the Greenwood-Leflore-Carroll Economic Development Foundation and the Carl Small Town Center, and managed the Baptist Town Neighborhood Reinvestment project. She is a registered architect in Mississippi and Ohio, and a LEED AP. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Design from Arizona State University and a Master of Architecture from the University of Cincinnati. Since 2010 she has worked with Village Life Outreach Project in Tanzania, contributing to the designs and leading construction of the Roche Health Center and Burere School projects during graduate school. Emily first became interested in socially impactful architecture during a study abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 2006. Her interest solidified into a career path while rebuilding homes destroyed by Hurricane Katrina with Hands on Gulf Coast and the Gulf Coast Community Design Studio in Biloxi, Mississippi. In 2021, she received the American Institute of Architecture's Citizen Architect award.

Kara Kempski is the Director of Federal Relations at the American Institute of Architects (AIA). She leads the organization’s federal policy analysis and lobbying efforts before Congress and the Administration. AIA focuses on issues important to the profession of architecture, including sustainability, resilience, affordable housing, tax, and education. Before joining AIA in 2018, Kara worked for almost five years on the federal policy team at the Council for a Strong America, a membership organization working on education and justice reform. She graduated from Gettysburg College with a B.A. in History, the University of Tennessee with a M.A in American History, and was thrilled to once spend the summer interning for the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

Karen Kubey is an urbanist specializing in housing and health. She is the editor of Housing as Intervention: Architecture towards Social Equity (Architectural Design, 2018) and served as the first executive director of the Institute for Public Architecture. Kubey co-founded and led the New Housing New York design competition, which resulted in the South Bronx housing project Via Verde. Holding degrees in architecture from the University of California, Berkeley and the Columbia University Graduate School for Architecture, Planning and Preservation (GSAPP), Kubey began her career as a designer of below-market housing. She has received support from the New York State Council on the Arts and MacDowell. Currently a Visiting Associate Professor at Pratt Institute, where she is a member of the Institute’s Desegregation Think-Tank, she was a 2019-20 Faculty Fellow in Design for Spatial Justice at the University of Oregon.

      Recording-Session 2: Housing Only Succeeds Through Partnerships

      Kathleen A. Dorgan, FAIA, LEED-AP principal of Dorgan Architecture and Planning of Storrs
      Denise Everson, Assoc. AIA, LEED-AP, ThinkBox
      Simon Ha, AIA, LEED-AP, Managing Partner for Los Angeles and Steinberg Hart 


      The welfare of 1.6 billion people with inadequate housing is not being ignored. All over the world, effective partnerships are building sustainable and inclusive communities using both local knowledge and cutting edge technology. This session will explore lessons from UN Habitat’s Tenth World Urban Forum: Cities of Opportunity: Connecting Culture and Innovation. Initiatives with the most vulnerable communities, such as Indigenous Peoples and Small Island Developing States, will be discussed. Participants will learn to access resources for case studies, goal setting, evaluation, and further education. 

      Learning Objectives: 

      Participants will learn to:
      • Identify housing and housing-related challenges
      • Employ the UN Sustainable Development Goals
      • Access tools for establishing goals and evaluating progress
      • Plan for ongoing capacity building 
      Kathleen A. Dorgan, FAIA, LEED-AP principal of Dorgan Architecture and Planning of Storrs, CT specializes in resilient participatory community design and development for communities of choice and justice. Her work includes arts and place-based planning, design of high-performance housing, main street revitalization, structuring green initiatives and technical assistance to not-for-profit organizations and public agencies. Her projects have been exhibited in the National Building Museum and museums and galleries throughout the nation. She received a Harvard Loeb Fellowship and is a past chair of the AIA Housing Knowledge Community, the Association for Community Design and the AIA Housing and HUD Secretary’s Awards Juries. She is a past member of the Connecticut Housing Finance Authority Board and serves on the Financing Adaptation Work Group for the Governor’s Council on Climate Change. Ms. Dorgan an active volunteer and is a frequent international speaker, instructor and writer about resilient design and incremental community development.

      R. Denise Everson, Assoc. AIA, LEED-AP directs human capital projects at ThinkBox where she leads the Sustainable Communities Project®. Denise uplifts under-resourced communities to further entrepreneurship, amplify education, create realistic jobs, and promote wellness. Her passion for under-served communities was solidified as a graduate student at Georgetown. In 2008, she transitioned into community redevelopment at the DC Housing Authority (DCHA) where she worked directly with vulnerable residents to design sustainable affordable housing. After leaving DCHA in 2015, Denise worked for the Connecticut Green Bank and served as an adjunct professor at the University of the District of Columbia in workforce development. Denise is a recipient of the 2018 national Architects Foundation Pettigrew Memorial Scholarship and the 2016 American Institute of Architects’ Associates Award. She is an inductee to Hampton University’s inaugural Forty Under 40 Society and a Next City Forty Under 40 Vanguard. She served the AIA nationally as a past member of the Government Advocacy Committee and the Design and Health Leadership Group. She currently serves as a member of the AIA's Housing Knowledge Community.

      Simon Ha, AIA, LEED-AP is Managing Partner for Los Angeles and Steinberg Hart’s Urban Mixed-Use practice leader. As an architect with nearly 20 years of experience in large-scale redevelopment projects, he brings a unique set of skills to project teams, the city, and the community, drawing on his knowledge of the industry as it extends beyond traditional architecture. An engaged thought leader, Simon seeks to impact the challenges posed by affordability and population growth with thoughtful housing solutions. He speaks regularly on housing and homeless issues both globally and in Los Angeles. Simon is the Past Chair of the AIA Housing and Community Development KC and represented AIA HCD at the United Nations’ Habitat III Conference and World Urban Forum. Simon is also an engaged community leader in Downtown LA, having served as the chair and member of Planning and Land Use Committee for Downtown LA Neighborhood Council for thirteen years and a member of the board of Downtown Center Business Improvement District. He is active on the Zoning Advisory Committee for LA Department of City Planning and other city initiatives. He also serves as the Chairman of the Board for Skid Row Housing Trust whose mission is to end homelessness.

      Recording-Session 3:  AIA Strategic Council Housing and Infrastructure Area of Study (AOC) 

      • Mike McGlone, AIA
      • Victoria Carpenter, AIA, Cuppett Kilpatrick
      • Yanitza Brongers-Marrero, AIA, Principal of Moody Nolan                 

      Etty Padmodipoetro AIA, Principal of Urban Idea Lab, Boston, Immediate Past Chair, HCD  Knowledge Community 


      In 2020 the Affordable & Equitable Housing study group (within the AIA Strategic Council) initiated a deep dive into issues associated with the housing crisis. The study focused on key aspects of Housing including Climate Action, Equitable Housing, Housing policy, and Essential Infrastructure.  

       For any equitable housing to thrive it must be an integral part of a larger healthy community; the infrastructure for environmental, social, and economic context must be considered. Currently, the demand for affordable and equitable housing is rising at a faster rate than the design and construction industry can meet. 

       AIA can position itself to leverage its knowledge base to develop new tools that are outward-facing to support its members.  Consequently, this will position architects as a resource to community leaders and the public as thought leaders regarding the integration of equitable housing in support of community economic, social, health, and wellbeing. 

      Learning Objectives: 

      • Share recent initiatives by the HCDKC and explore areas of alignment and future collaboration with the Strategic Council. 
      • Discuss the relationship between a strong healthy community and equitable housing. 
      • Discuss the various tools to support architects’ efforts to affirm the right to equitable housing. 
      • Recommend actionable measures that can be undertaken at the National, State and local levels to address concerns regarding housing policy, sustainability, resiliency, and healthy community development. 
      Mike McGlone, AIA, Upon graduation from the University of Texas at Austin began his professional career working with Sinclair Black, FAIA in Austin before moving to New York to work with Hardy Holzman Pfeiffer Associates. While there he was involved on several prominent projects, including the Willard Hotel in Washington DC, Ohio Theater in Columbus, Ohio, WCCO TV headquarters in Minneapolis and restoration of Bryant Park and the master plan for additions to New York Public Library. He and partners Irby Hightower, Billy Lawrence and Mike Lanford founded Alamo Architects in 1984. Since that time, he has been involved in some of the firm’s most prominent projects, including the move and restoration of the Fairmount Hotel, the Papal Visit to San Antonio, the design of the firm’s So Flo Office Studios and most recently, the collaboration with Adjaye Associates in the design of Ruby City. He leads the firm’s Adaptive Reuse and Special Projects studio that is currently involved with the preservation and adaptive reuse the historic Hawn Hotel, Arcadia Theater and Sears Building in downtown Temple, the conversion of the St. Cecilia Convent and the rehabilitation of the Aurora Apartments into affordable housing for San Antonio seniors. Mike has served as AIA San Antonio Chapter President, Texas Society of Architects President and is currently one of three regional representatives from Texas on the AIA Strategic Council.

      Yanitza Brongers- Marrero, AIA, NOMA, LEED BD+C and LEED for Homes, is a Principal and Director of Housing at Moody Nolan. At Moody Nolan, she oversees the housing practice which includes 12 regional offices in the United States. Yanitza was born in San Juan Puerto Rico and has practiced architecture for the last 25 years. Yanitza’s s experience as an architect includes civic, educational, and corporate projects but for the last 10 years of her career, she has solely focused on multi-family housing and community development projects. As Director of Moody Nolan’s Housing Studio, Yanitza leads a focused studio to grow the firm’s housing portfolio. Yanitza is responsible for leadership, management, business development, design quality and talent development. In her role, she has developed a rapidly growing practice that includes affordable and market-rate residential, student housing, independent senior living, and large-scale mixed-use developments. Yanitza holds a bachelor’s degree from the Universidad de Puerto Rico and a master’s from The Ohio State University. Yanitza is a member of the Housing and Community Development Knowledge Committee and a member of the AIA Strategic Council.

      Recording-Session 4:  AIA National Housing Awards  
      Katherine Williams, AIA, Registered Architect, Fifth Generation Holdings 
      Christina Bollo, Assistant Professor, School of Architecture, University of Illinois 
      Ceara O’Leary, Co-Executive Director, Detroit Collaborative Design Center, 2021 Jury Chair 
      Etty Padmodipoetro, AIA, Principal of Urban Idea Lab, Boston - 2022 Jury Chair 

      Melissa Daniel, Assoc. AIA, Architectural Designer, AIA HCD KC, Secretary  


      The HCDKC and partners at AIA, CRAN, and HUD have been celebrating excellence in housing design at a variety of scales for over two decades. Projects showcase leaders in high-performing well-designed homes for single families and multifamily alike, celebrating affordable, universal, and specialized housing while setting a bar for the field. This session will shed light on the awards process over the years, including takeaways from a recent related research study, share highlights from 2021 winners, and discuss this year's application process. 

      Learning Objectives: 

      • Apply lessons in affordable and universal housing design to their work, including approaches to multi-family housing design strategies and accessible living. 
      • Interpret and integrate best practices in sustainable and resilient housing design including climate, energy, and water considerations as well as other efficiencies.  
      • Gain tools in the consideration of design for specialized housing, including dorms, senior housing, veterans housing, universal design, and more. 
      • Understand the lessons to be applied in practice, with particular attention to context-appropriate housing design, effective collaboration, and working toward equitable communities. 

        Christina Bollo is an assistant professor in the School of Architecture at the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign and a licensed architect in Illinois and Washington. As an architect, she designed affordable housing for non-profits clients in Oakland and Seattle with Pyatok Architects and SMR Architects. Now, as a housing researcher, she focuses on the manifestation of housing policy in design and the health and wellbeing ramifications of housing design on the people who live there. Her research has been funded by the American Institute of Architects Housing and Community Development Knowledge Community and a recent webinar can be found here: https://go.illinois.edu/BolloAIAHCD01

        Ceara O’Leary, AIA, is a Co-Executive Director at the Detroit Collaborative Design Center (DCDC), where she leads collaborative community design and planning projects citywide alongside neighborhood partners. She is also a Professor of Practice at the University of Detroit Mercy School of Architecture and Community Development, teaching public interest design and community development courses. Ceara’s professional work, teaching, research and speaking focus on inclusive design of community spaces, ranging from building renovations and open space design to neighborhood plans and citywide infrastructure strategy. Ceara joined the DCDC in 2012 as an Enterprise Rose Architectural Fellow. She is a past Chair of the AIA Housing and Community Development Knowledge Community Advisory Group, was named a “Top Urban Innovator” by Next City Vanguard in 2015, and completed a fellowship with the ULI Larsen Center for Leadership. Previously, Ceara worked with bcWORKSHOP in the Lower Rio Grade Valley and the Gulf Coast Community Design Studio in Biloxi, Mississippi. Ceara graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with Masters degrees in Architecture and City & Regional Planning and she earned her undergraduate degree from Brown University.

        Recording-Session 5: HCD webinars

        A discussion on HCD webinars 


        Bryant Lui is currently a Job Captain and Architectural Designer at Group 4 Architecture Research + Planning in South San Francisco. Bryant focuses on the design of civic spaces and  is rooted around sustainable architectural design solutions that combat and reverse the effects of climate change.