2017 CONFIRMED SPEAKERS
Shalini Agrawal, Center for Art and Public Life, California College of the Arts/Oakland
Ruth Fox, Prospect Silicon Valley
Kevin Mattingly, Columbia University / Riverdale Country School
Christopher Orsega, AIA, Bohlin Cywinski Jackson
Mark Radell, LEED AP BD+C, McCarthy Building Companies, Inc.
Ibrahim Almufti, SE, PE, is an Associate in the Advanced Technology + Research group in Arup’s San Francisco office with a background in structural and earthquake engineering. Ibbi has developed a resilience-based design approach which integrates enhanced design, operational preparedness, and risk assessment to help his clients achieve business continuity in the face of natural hazards. He is the America's Region Leader for the Arup Resilience Skills Network. Ibbi is a member of the LEED Resilience Working Group and is on the FEMA/USGS Project 17 Committee which helps determine seismic hazard and acceptable risk targets for future building codes.
Jake Albini, Sr. Manager,Real Estate Development, Jay Paul Company, brings a strong background in real estate development, commercial construction and project management. During his time at Jay Paul Company, Jake has managed the ground-up development of over 600,000 sf of Class A commercial office space in addition to 1.3 million sf of tenant improvements throughout Jay Paul Company’s Silicon Valley portfolio. Jake currently oversees the development activities for the 181 Fremont project. At over 800 ft., 181 Fremont will be the tallest mixed-use tower in San Francisco upon its completion in early 2018. 181 Fremont will comprise 67 of the most luxurious condominiums in San Francisco above 430,000 sf of Class A office space. Since Jay Paul Company’s acquisition of the 181 Fremont site in 2013, Jake has managed the numerous aspects of the development process including high rise construction, urban land use, entitlement procedures, commercial leasing and condominium sales. Jake has a Master of Business Administration and a Master of Science in Real Estate from the University of San Diego as well as a BS in Construction Management from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo.
John Andary, PE, LEED AP, Integral Group, leads the bioclimatic design practice at Integral Group, John has more than 25 years of engineering experience in education, healthcare, commercial and laboratory design. Throughout his career, his focus has been on green buildings and energy efficiency in the high tech industry. With an eye on the triple-bottom line (people, planet and profit), John focuses on opportunities that yield the greatest environmental and social results without affecting the economic bottom line.
Neil Bulger, PE, LEED AP, leads the building performance team at Integral Group Oakland, specializing in building simulation, analysis. With a background in mechanical engineering and graphic communication, Neil has worked on more than a dozen net zero energy projects, providing energy, comfort, and passive design analysis, helping to translate ideas into designs. Through his career, Neil has helped to connect the dots of developers, designers, policy makers, and the public to focus on a more sustainable, climate resilient future. He has organize two unique educational tours, across Europe and California, focused on sustainability and climate change to share real examples of working solutions.
Carrie Byles, FAIA, LEED, AP BD+C, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP, is a Partner based in SOM’s San Francisco office, has 30 years of diverse experience in design, technology, and management, with special emphasis on projects with complex programmatic and technological requirements. As part of the new generation of SOM leadership, Carrie is helping integrate technology into every facet of the firm’s practice and is transforming the practice of design itself. She is also focused on the design of high performance buildings and communities that advance social, economic and environmental issues. Examples of these advances can be seen in sustainable community designs for Treasure Island and Parkmerced in San Francisco and cutting edge multi-disciplinary, sustainable, research and learning facilities such as the UCSF Sandler Neurosciences Center and the Teaching and Learning Center for Health Sciences at UCLA, currently under construction.
Mallory Cusenbery, AIA, is the design principal at RossDrulisCusenbery Architecture, Inc., an architectural firm specializing in community, youth, justice and public safety projects. Based in the San Francisco Bay Area, his firm's public sector design work is represented in cities throughout the western United States and in Canada; many of these projects are designed using collaborative and participatory design processes. Mr. Cusenbery also serves as a writer, editor, and curator in the realm of design, assembling interdisciplinary exhibits, and writing on a wide range of architectural and urban design topics. He has received numerous design awards from private, editorial and governmental organizations in the United States and Canada. In 2009 he was appointed as a National Peer Professional for the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) Design Excellence Program.
Paul De Freitas, LEED, AP, SF Public Works, is a licensed architect and a Bay Area native. His professional history and broad scope of projects have reflected his passion in developing, designing, and building high quality, innovative architecture that deftly combines functional efficiency, aesthetic beauty, and deep sustainability. His range of projects includelibraries, museums, office buildings and interiors, recreation centers, and transportation facilities. His hands-on experience in all phases of architectural project delivery and construction combined with his communication and leadership skills have allowed him to succeed in challenging roles on major projects as lead design architect, project manager and team leader.
Sam Dodge served as the Director of Mayor’s Office of Housing Opportunity, Partnerships and Engagement before he became the Deputy Director for Communications and Policy of the Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing. He played a primary role in opening San Francisco’s first Navigation Center. Sam served as the Tenderloin Housing Clinic’s Director of Organizing and Outreach and a member of New York City Department of Homeless Services Street Homelessness Solutions Unit. As the Program Support Analyst for San Francisco’s Department of Public Works, Sam implemented the Pit Stop program, providing clean and safe public toilets, sinks, used needle receptacles and dog waste stations.
Yes Duffy is an architect, fabricator, educator, and urban-interventionist. As an Associate at David Baker Architects, a locally based firm specializing in progressive urban infill design, Yes works to combine contemporary fabrication methods with traditional architectural wisdom to achieve collaborative, place-based innovations focusing on democratic design for everyday people. A Bay Area native, Yes earned Bachelors and Masters Degrees in both Architecture and City Planning from the University of California, Berkeley. Yes guides DBA’s modular housing design knowledge and practice.
Stephen Epstein, MBA, Strogoff Consulting, Inc.: Stephen's career spans 25 years with small, medium, and large firms providing strategic leadership; serving as mentor and coach to senior, intermediate, and emerging professionals; and providing training seminars related to attracting and retaining talent, leadership, financial accountability, project management, and risk management. With M’Arch and MBA degrees, Stephen combines his enthusiasm for design and the built environment with a natural disposition for leadership, strategic thinking, and organizational and behavioral management. Prior to joining Strogoff Consulting, Inc., Stephen was a Principal with award-winning firms Hardy Holzman Pfeiffer Associates and its successor firm Pfeiffer Partners Architects.
Ruth Fox, Prospect Silicon Valley
Jennifer Friedenbach is the Executive Director of the Coalition on Homelessness, San Francisco. She has worked for the Coalition for 22 years, and previously was Director of the Hunger and Homeless Action Coalition of San Mateo County. Ms. Friedenbach has a long history of community organizing, and has worked on a range of poverty-related issues. During her tenure, she has achieved significant victories alongside homeless people including the creation of thousands of exits off the streets and halting of displacement of more then a 1,000 households, and garnered public investments in life saving programs.
Lisa Iwamoto, Iwamoto Scott Architecture, received her Master of Architecture degree with Distinction from Harvard University, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Structural Engineering from the University of Colorado. She has previously worked as a Structural Engineer at Bechtel Corporation in San Francisco, and Architectural Designer at Schwartz Silver Architects and Thompson and Rose in Boston, and Architectural Intern at Morphosis in Santa Monica. She has taught previously at the University of Michigan where she was a Muschenheim Fellow, Harvard University, Cornell University, Sydney University and Southern California Institute of Architecture. She is currently Professor of Architecture at University of California Berkeley, where she was named the inaugural Doris and Clarence Malo Collegium Teaching Chair in Design, and where her design research concentrates on the perceptual performance of material and digital fabrication techniques.
Garrett Jacobs, Open Architecture Collaborative: Garrett’s architectural journey began in post Katrina New Orleans. With a passion for social justice and connecting people, Garrett focuses his energy on organizing the allied design professions in reflective community work. He has over six years of organizing experience from community design build projects, to running an international network of volunteer chapters, and even a national network of municipal civic technologists. Garrett led the reorganization of the Architecture for Humanity Chapter Network and is currently the founding Executive Director of the Open Architecture Collaborative working to inspire, rally and support designers to challenge the status quo of design services.
Jason Kelly Johnson, California College of the Arts / Future Cities Lab, is a tenured Associate Professor at the California College of the Arts (CCA) in San Francisco. He teaches in the Architecture program and co-coordinates CCA's Digital Craft Lab. Jason is a founding design partner of Future Cities Lab, an experimental design and research office based in San Francisco, California and Athens, Greece. Working in collaboration with his partner Nataly Gattegno, Jason has produced a range of award-winning projects exploring the intersections of design with advanced fabrication technologies, robotics, responsive building systems and public space.
Patrick Kennedy is the owner of Panoramic Interests, a development firm that has been building housing, live-work space, and commercial property in the Bay Area since 1990. The firm has focused on dense, mixed-use, mixed-income, infill developments, typically financed with private funds. All of the multi-family housing projects include below-market-rate units. Since 1995, Panoramic Interests has built 689 units of housing in several mixed-use projects in and around downtown Berkeley and San Francisco. The firm’s projects incorporate the Smart Growth principles designed to discourage auto use, mitigate sprawl, encourage local business, and enhance the pedestrian streetscape.
Julia Laue, AIA, SF Public Works, has been working in San Francisco for the nearly 32 years. Her career experience ranges from small scale residential design to large scale mix-use projects such as Santana Row to healthcare projects to multi-million dollar projects such as large resort projects, such as Ritz-Carlton resorts and entire village community projects. 4 years ago, she left the private sector to join San Francisco Public Works, Building, Design & Construction (BDC) Department where she is the Principal Architect & Manager.
David Lehrer, LEED AP, CBE, UC Berkeley, serves as CBE's Communications Director and as a member of the research team. He is the primary liaison between our Industry Partners and the research staff and leads research on visualizing information in commercial buildings. David had acquired over 10 years of experience as a designer and architect, completing a variety of project types. David is also a specialist in resource efficient design, and has lectured and written on numerous related topics. David has been an adjunct faculty member at the California College of the Arts (CCA) where he has taught green building and interdisciplinary design courses. He served for several years as co-chair of the AIA San Francisco Chapter Committee on the Environment, and is currently a member of the Association of Computer Machinery (ACM).
Adam Marcus, AIA, California College of the Arts / Variable Projects, is an architect based in Oakland, California, where he directs Variable Projects, an award-winning independent practice that operates at the intersection of architecture, computation and fabrication. He is also a partner in Futures North, a Minneapolis-based public art collaborative dedicated to exploring the aesthetics of data. Adam is an Associate Professor of Architecture at California College of the Arts in San Francisco, where he teaches design studios in computational design and digital fabrication and leads the Buoyant Ecologies project at CCA’s Digital Craft Lab.
Kevin Mattingly, Professor, Teachers College, Columbia University & Director of Co-Curriculum, Riverdale Country School, has been a science teacher, administrator, coach and dorm head for 35 years in day and boarding schools. Most recently he was dean of faculty and then director of teaching, learning & educational partnerships at the Lawrenceville School in New Jersey. Over the years he has helped start a school (Milton Academy's Mountain School), been a consultant to systemic school reform initiatives and worked with over thirty schools on curriculum design, teaching strategies and professional development . He also has a background in experiential education and has led students and faculty on trips around the world. He holds a Ph.D. in zoology and a B.A. in biological sciences from Indiana University.
Marsha Maytum, FAIA, LEED AP, is a founding Principal at Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects in San Francisco, where she has focused on community, cultural, and socially-responsible projects that promote sustainable design. The firm has received over 100 regional, national and international design awards and been recognized by organizations including the AIA, Urban Land Institute, National Trust for Historic Preservation, U.S. Department of Energy, USGBC, the 2014 ICC National Leadership in Sustainability Award and the 2017 National AIA Architecture Firm Award. Marsha is a frequently invited juror and critic and has lectured on the topics of sustainable design and adaptive reuse.
Erin McElroy is cofounder of the Anti-Eviction Mapping Project , a critical cartography, data analysis, and digital storytelling collective documenting the dispossession and resistance of Bay Area residents. Erin is also a doctoral candidate and teaching fellow in Feminist Studies at UC Santa Cruz, studying the technological materialities and imaginaries in post-Cold War Silicon Valley and postsocialist Romania. Erin’s work has been supported by the Creative Work Fund, the Kala Art Institute, the FLAS fellowship, and the Blum Center on Poverty, and the AEMP has been awarded by the American Studies Association, the American Geographers Association, the Harvey Milk Club, the East Bay Express, and the Bay Area Guardian, amongst others.
Angela McKee is the Director of Innovation and Strategy for San Francisco Unified School District’s (SFUSD) Future Dining Experience, an initiative of Student Nutrition Services focused on creating a student-centered, financially stable meal system that creatively engages students in eating great food. She has recently completed her tenure as a Civic Innovation Fellow at the Stanford University Hasso Plattner Institute of Design (d.school). Angela brings more than a decade of experience in the food industry and is passionate about building community through food. Angela was the Sales Strategy Manager at La Cocina, an incubator kitchen, where she focused on launching women-owned food businesses.
Ken Montgomery, Design Tech High School, is the co-founder and executive director of Design Tech High School, which will be located on the Oracle corporate campus in Redwood Shores, CA. Ken completed his PhD in administration and policy analysis at Stanford University. As a teacher Ken held a variety of positions and won several awards including being recognized as a member of the USA Today All-teacher team, and National Board Certified teacher. While at Stanford Ken published several pieces and developed a school leadership course.
Christopher Orsega, AIA, Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, is a project manager for a diverse group of award-winning projects and has led design teams in developing buildings which resonate with both their overall conceptual clarity and finely crafted detail. Through this and more recent collaborations on other Apple stores, he has had the opportunity to build upon his early training in structural engineering in the pursuit of new aesthetic and structural possibilities
Richard Pollack, FAIA, is Managing Principal of Pollack Consulting which he created after founding and leading award-winning Pollack Architecture for 30 years. Pollack Consulting assists firms’ growth and success through improved business development, winning presentation techniques, business coaching, recruiting top talent, and ownership transition implementation.
Mark Radell, LEED AP BD+C, Vice President, Integrated Design and Delivery, McCarthy Building Companies, Inc.
As Vice President, Integrated Design and Delivery, Mark has over 26 years of experience at McCarthy Building Companies and has worked on projects utilizing all forms of project delivery. Committed to excellence in Alternative Delivery Methods, Mark’s career has been focused on the effective implementation of Design Management and the use of Virtual Design and Construction (VDC) technologies from preconstruction to construction services. His most recent experience as a Project Executive on the design-build project, the California Health Care Facility in Stockton, California. He was instrumental in delivering the $530 million, over 1 million square foot design build project which was completed in 18-months. Mark oversees McCarthy’s Integrated Design and Delivery Group in Northern California. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Construction Management from California State University, Chico.
Cole Roberts, PE, LEED AP, WELL AP, leads the energy and sustainability business in Arup’s 300 person San Francisco office, specializing in design, planning, and innovation in the new and existing built environment. He is a co-author of the book “Two Degrees – Our Built Environment and the Changing Climate” and has been a keynote speaker at numerous conferences. He is a published contributor to many journals and is a frequent guest lecturer at Stanford University and the University of California at Berkeley. Most recently, Cole has led Arup’s WeatherShift initiative to generate future climate data for all cities in the world.
Stanley Saitowitz, Stanley Saitowitz / Natoma Architects, was born in Johannesburg, South Africa and received his Bachelor of Architecture at the University of Witwatersrand in 1974 and his Masters in Architecture at the University of California, Berkeley in 1977. He is an Emeritus Professor of Architecture at the University of California, Berkeley. He has taught at numerous schools, including the Elliot Noyes Professor, Harvard University GSD (1991-2), the Bruce Goff Professor, University of Norman, Oklahoma (1993), UCLA, Rice, SCIARC, Cornell, Syracuse, and University of Texas at Austin. He has given more than 200 public lectures in the United States and abroad. His first house was built in 1975, and together with Stanley Saitowitz/Natoma Architects Inc., has completed numerous buildings and projects. These have been residential, commercial and institutional. He has designed houses, housing, master plans, offices, museums, libraries, wineries, synagogues, churches, commercial and residential interiors, memorials, urban landscapes and promenades. Amongst many awards, the Transvaal House was declared a National Monument by the Monuments Council in South Africa in 1997, the New England Holocaust Memorial received the Henry Bacon Medal in 1998, and in 2006 he was a finalist for the Smithsonian Cooper Hewitt National Design Award given by Laura Bush at the White House.
Doron Serban, Emerging Technologies Coordinator, Academy of Art University School of Architecture/San Francisco, oversees the B.Arch digital curriculum, teaches a design studio focused on homelessness and social equity, and seminars in 2D/3D media and fabrication. His design & research practice integrates digital technologies as storytelling devices. Born in Tel Aviv, he received his graduate degree in architecture from Syracuse University’s School of Architecture and his undergraduate degree in music from the University of California, Riverside.
Jessica Elizabeth Sheehan, Transportation Public Health Link, is an architect and urban designer focused on forming uncommon collaborations and developing innovative solutions to address chronic, lifestyle diseases through the integration of regenerative and resilient systematic changes in our built environment. As a keen analytical thinker with a broad imagination complemented by years of design management experience, Jessica brings strong, creative skills to complex projects. Jessica serves as the Director of Urban Design for Transportation Public Health Link researching Maslow's Theory of Human Motivation as a conceptual framework to organize and prioritize urban planning strategies in order to create inclusive well-being.
Rosa Sheng, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, is a Senior Associate at Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, Founder of Equity by Design and President-Elect of AIA San Francisco. Leading the charge for more research on talent retention in the profession, Rosa led the 2014 and 2016 Equity in Architecture Survey projects, authored AIA National Resolution 15-1, and served on the Equity in Architecture Commission. She has presented keynotes nationally and abroad including Boston, New York, Lisbon, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Seattle and San Francisco. Equity by Design and the Equity in Architecture movement have been featured in Architect Magazine, Architectural Record, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, TEDxPhiladelphia and KQED/NPR.
David Shook, PE, LEED, is an Associate Director structural engineer with Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP, in San Francisco. His work has spanned structural topics as diverse as seismic design, integration of data and design, optimization algorithms, and sustainability. His design experience includes the design of several large scale iconic international towers as well as collaborations with students and artists. David is a frequent lecturer at universities and conferences on the topic of sustainability, concrete performance and parametric structural design around the United States.
Sameena Sitabkhan is an Architect and educator living in Oakland, California. She has designed and managed projects spanning a range of building typologies from public schools and animal shelters to public art and affordable housing. Her current practice and research looks at the intersection of architecture and conflict, and she has been an artist and curator in residence in Michoacan, Mexico and most recently with Decolonizing Architecture in the West Bank of Palestine. Formerly an Associate at David Baker Architects, Sameena is currently a Studio Professor and the B.Lab/Community Outreach Coordinator in the architecture program at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. She is focused on creating opportunities for student engagement in community based projects, including design build with an emphasis on advocacy.
Richard Stacy, FAIA, Leddy, Maytum, Stacy Architects, Richard Stacy, FAIA, Principal at Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects, the 2017 AIA Architecture Firm Award winner, has over 35 years of experience designing and facilitating construction of many distinctive building in the San Francisco Bay Area. His award-winning designs include institutional, commercial, and residential projects in both new construction and adaptive reuse of historic structures. Richard's design work has received local, national, and international recognition throughout numerous awards, exhibitions, and publications. He has been a lecturer and critic at several universities and served as an AIA awards juror. Richard's most recent work includes the Rene Cazenave Apartments in San Francisco, which provides housing for the formerly homeless, and Family House in San Francisco, free temporary housing for families whose children are being treated for life-threatening illnesses at UCSF.
Michael Strogoff, FAIA, Strogoff Consulting, Inc.: As a managing principal of an architecture firm, a frequent speaker on practice management issues, Advisory Group Chair of AIA's Practice Management Knowledge Community, and advisor to design professionals nationwide, Michael Strogoff, FAIA, brings an in‐depth understanding of the architecture industry. He has advised many of the nation's most successful architecture firms; managed complex projects over a 35-year career; and guided firms nationwide in strategic planning, financial management, leadership and strategic retreats, and ownership transitions. Michael has been awarded Presidential Citations from the AIA California Council was elevated to the AIA's’ College of Fellows for his contributions to the practice.
Ming Thompson, AIA, is principal of Atelier Cho Thompson, a San Francisco-based design and concept firm specializing in architecture, interiors, and graphics. Her expertise and passions transcend the conventional boundaries between these disciplines, resulting in a richness borne of the cross-pollination of ideas and strategies from across this spectrum of design. Ming's firm's current projects include university spaces, non-profit offices, school cafeterias, and toolkits for educational transformations. Outside of work, she teaches at the California College of the Arts and serves on the board of Yale-China. Ming attended Yale University and the Harvard Graduate School of Design.
Douglas Tom, FAIA, TEF Architecture and Interior Design, is the founding principal of Tom Eliot Fisch. With a career spanning 40 years, he has provided principal and management leadership to a wide range of projects, including academic facilities, public works/infrastructure, multi-family housing, historic building renovations, recreational facilities, and workplace design solutions. As managing partner, Doug is responsible for advancing practice initiatives while overseeing operational and quality objectives office-wide. He has provided executive principal leadership to projects including the award-winning Don Fisher Boys & Girls Clubhouse, the Center for Youth Wellness, and the Bayview Opera House.
V. Fei Tsen, is the President and CEO of Windflower Properties, which develops and invests in mixed-use, transit-oriented multifamily housing. Currently completing construction, her 243-unit project The Union Flats, designed by David Baker Architects, is the largest housing development in the Bay Area using modular technology. Ms. Tsen has more than 30 years of experience in real estate finance and development in the private and public sectors. She is currently the President of the Treasure Island Development Authority (TIDA), the public agency that oversees the redevelopment of Treasure Island and Yerba Buena Island in the San Francisco Bay, and Chairperson of the San Francisco SPUR Board of Directors.
Deanna Van Buren, Designing Justice Designing Spaces, is the co-founder of Designing Justice Designing Spaces, a nonprofit harnessing the power of design and development to transform people and communities. After starting her first company in 2011 she became a national leader in formulating and advocating for restorative justice centers, a radical transformation of justice architecture. Her passion for exploring the intersection of design and culture has been fueled by her work as a design lead on urban design, institutional and education projects in the bay area, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Recent projects with DJDS include the Syracuse Peacemaking Center in New York and Restore, a multi-use hub for restorative justice and work force development in east Oakland. Deanna is currently conducting the first design studios with incarcerated students, and is a recent awardee of the Rauschenberg Artist as Activist grant to develop a prototype mobile resource village. Deanna received her BS in Architecture from the University of Virginia, M. Arch from Columbia University and is an alumnus of the Loeb Fellowship at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design.
Jack Verdon, AIA, is the Principal of Verdon Architects, an award-winning architecture and design firm in San Francisco specializing in ground-floor retail and residential projects. Prior to founding his firm in 2012 Jack worked with Michael Harris Architecture, Miller | Hull in Seattle,WA , and Barkow Leibinger Architekten in Berlin, Germany. Jack is the current chair of the San Francisco AIA Small Firms Committee, as well as a guest design critic at the Academy of Art.
Matthew Vitti, AIA, LEED AP, TCA Architects, is currently one of the only “VR Architects” in the US, fusing his knowledge of architecture with his unique passion for Virtual Reality (VR.) As a licensed architect, Vitti leads TCA’s Virtual Reality (VR) Studio. The VR Studio allows the user to fully experience the built environment while a project is still in design. These experiences also allow the design team to identify potential issues and provide resolution before the project even breaks ground. These early changes can save time and money by reducing the amount of change orders and RFI’s during the construction process.
Vanna Whitney, AIA, is a Senior Associate at Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects, the 2017 AIA Architecture Firm Award winner. For more than 18 years, Vanna has focused her career on underserved communities and environmental and social sustainability. Her work has included four projects in the San Francisco Bay Area that provide varying amounts of permanent supportive housing for people experiencing homelessness, as well as many more projects serving low-income families. Vanna's projects have received local and national design awards and been recognized by local and national organizations including the American Institute of Architects, the Urban Land Institute, Terner Prize, San Francisco Business Times, the U.S. Green Building Council, and Builder Magazine. One of Vanna's projects, the Rene Cazenave Apartments which provides housing for the formerly homeless in San Francisco, was selected as an AIA COTE Top Ten Green Project in the U.S. for 2016.
John Cary is a connector, writer, speaker, and curator focused on social change, with an emphasis on design for the public good.
Almost nothing influences the quality of our lives more than the design of our homes, our schools, our workplaces, and our public spaces. Environmental psychologists have long described this influence as “place identity”—essentially that the foremost building blocks of our sense of self are actually the spaces in which we live, work, and play. It highlights the unique ability of design to dignify or reflect back to people that their lives have value. Despite all this, design is often taken for granted; most people don’t realize that they deserve better, or that better is even possible. Drawing on examples from the Bay Area and around the world, author John Cary's keynote will showcase buildings that dignify, brought to life by the voices and stories of their actual inhabitants and users.
• Expand understanding of what it means to design for the public good today;
• Foster new awareness of the benefits, challenges, and strategies associated with such work;
• Cultivate deeper understanding of place identity and dignity as building blocks for all design; and
• Remind attendees why they went into this line of work in the first place—to make the world a better place.
John is a strategist for the $1,000,000 TED Prize, a session co-host for the annual TEDWomen conference, and a frequent coach for TED speakers. John is also an advisor to Aspen Global Health & Development, a member of the IDEO.org Advisory Board, a global advisory board member of Possible Health in rural Nepal, and a member of the venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB)‘s Design Council. In Fall 2014, John and partners Courtney Martin and Vanessa Valenti co-founded FRESH Speakers, Inc., a next generation speakers bureau, focused on diversifying thought leadership.
John is currently completing his second book, Design for Good: A New Era of Architecture for Everyone, focused on the dignifying power of design, due to be published in Fall 2017 by Island Press with a foreword by Melinda Gates. His first book, The Power of Pro Bono: 40 Stories about Design for the Public Good by Architects and Their Clients, was designed by Paula Scher of Pentagram and published in 2010. John was also the founding editor of PublicInterestDesign.org (acquired by Autodesk in July 2013, which he lead the effort to rebrand as the Impact Design Hub) and his writing has appeared in an array of publications as diverse as The New York Times, CNN.com, and Fast Company.