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The Committee on Architecture for Education (CAE) is a large and active group of architects and allied professionals concerned with the quality and design of all types of educational, cultural, and recreational facilities.

Public Space in the Time of Covid-19

  • 1.  Public Space in the Time of Covid-19

    Posted 05-09-2020 06:43 PM
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    Town Hall Webinar co-presented by AIA San Francisco and the AIASF Urban Design + Infrastructure Committee May 14, 2020 1pm PST

    What impact will Covid-19 have on the way we use public space in cities? Join us for a discussion to share what we are seeing now and what the pandemic means for the future of San Francisco. Our city and the nature of urban life are in sharp focus during the Covid-19 pandemic. All the attributes that make us gravitate towards cities – density, interaction, proximity, community – reexamined relative to their impacts on public health. As we emerge from isolation, the value of public space will likely become even more crucial – as a source of community and connection – and may be profoundly impacted.

    The speakers will structure their presentation around issues they feel are the most relevant while addressing three questions:

    • What are your observations about public space in San Francisco during this pandemic?
    • What are you seeing from other cities in the world that could be relevant here?
    • What are your predictions about how public space in San Francisco will change after COVID?


    About the Speakers

    • Urban Design + Infrastructure Committee Chair: Peter Kindel, AIA, Director, SOM
    • Moderator: Charles Montgomery, Author, Happy City


    Allison Arieff (Editorial Director, SPUR, Contributing Writer, The New York Times)

    Allison Arieff is Editorial Director of the Bay Area-based urban planning and policy think tank, SPUR. In 2018, she was the recipient of the AIGA Steven Heller Award for Cultural Commentary. She has been a contributing opinion writer for the New York Times since 2006. Allison writes about cities, design, and architecture for numerous publications including The MIT Technology Review, Wired, Dialogue, and City Lab and was previously Editor-at-Large for GOOD and Sunset magazines. From 2006-2008, she was Senior Content Lead for the global design and innovation firm, IDEO, where her focus was on the built environment. Arieff was Editor-in-Chief (and founding senior editor) of Dwell, which won the National Magazine Award for General Excellence in 2005 under her tenure. She is author of the books Prefab and Trailer Travel: A Visual History of Mobile America.

    James Rojas (Urban Planner, Community Activist & Artist, Place It!)

    James is an urban planner, community activist, educator, and artist who has developed Place It!, an hands-on community engagement practice that uses storytelling, objects, and play to help individuals reflect, and find their core human values based on their favorite childhood memory, sensory experiences, needs, and aspirations. He is an international expert in public engagement and has traveled around the US, Mexico, Canada, Europe, and South America, facilitating over 1,000 workshops, and building 200+ interactive models. Many of his clients are underserved communities: women, youth, people of color, non-native English speakers, and LGBTQ members. As such, he has collaborated with municipalities, non-profits, community groups, educational institutions, and museums, to engage, and educate participants on various land use issues.

    Georgia Sarkin (Architect + Urbanist, Principal, SmithGroup)

    Georgia Sarkin is an architect, urban planner and educator. She is a Principal and lead urban designer and planner at SmithGroup where she leads projects at the intersection of architecture and planning. She applies interdisciplinary thinking to her work to re-imagine connectivity, mobility, identity and equity in our cities. Georgia has steered public and private sector urban development projects around the globe including San Francisco, New York, Milan, Scottsdale, Richmond, Manila, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Johannesburg & KwaZulu Natal. Her work includes civic, mixed use, higher education, public infrastructure and open spaces systems. Most recently she has led a community engagement process to reimagine the Federal Plaza in the heart of San Francisco and a Civic Center Master Plan for the City of Santa Clara in Silicon Valley. Georgia has taught at Harvard Graduate School of Design as Design Critic in Urban Design & Columbia University, New York, as Associate Professor in Urban Planning. She received her Master of Architecture and Urban Design from Harvard University. Her planning and built work have received numerous design awards.

    Maia Small (Principal Architect + Urban Designer, City Design Group, San Francisco Planning Department)

    Maia Small is a Principal Architect and Urban Designer at the San Francisco Planning Department where she leads City Design, the Department's urban design team. As part of both current entitlement and long-range policy work, she maintains the team's agenda and portfolio of comprehensive urban design, design policy, public realm, and design review projects and processes. Prior to her leadership role, she was the co-author of the city's Urban Design Guidelines, lead urban designer for the Central SoMa Plan, and a primary design reviewer for projects ranging from houses to high-rises. For a decade prior to her time at SF Planning, she was based in Rhode Island where she co-founded and ran Thurlow Small Architecture, an office focused on commercial projects and downtown planning; was a member of local commissions and non-profit boards; and taught at local universities including Harvard, MIT, and RISD. She received her Master of Architecture from Columbia University and her Bachelor of Arts in Architecture from UC Berkeley and gained her work experience in architecture firms in San Francisco and New York. She is a licensed architect in California.

    Nathan Ogle AIA

    committee on architecture for education event design for energy oct. 21  2-3 pm ET 1 LU free