2016 AIA San Francisco Equity by Design Symposium
Wanda Lau 2016 AIA San Francisco Equity by Design Symposium

The AIA San Francisco (AIASF) Equity by Design committee will be holding its fifth symposium, #EQxDV: Voices, Values, Vision, on Nov. 3, 2018, at the San Francisco Art Institute. The 250-person event, which has reliably sold out in past iterations, will feature speakers from across the country and abroad to “advance the movement of equitable practice in architecture,” according to the committee’s press release. “We are focused on studying the root causes of a broken professional culture, creating just access for all, and giving everyone a fair chance to thrive.”

At the symposium, speakers will disseminate the key findings from the organization's 2018 Equity in Architecture Survey, which garnered nearly 15,000 responses from architecture school graduates this past February and March, making it the largest known research study on equitable practice and talent retention in the field. The 2016 survey, for one, detailed common pinch points identified in career paths, the availability or inaccessibility to mentorship opportunities, salary discrepancies between genders, and reasons for attrition in the profession.

Average salary by firm size
Atelier Cho Thompson courtesy AIA San Francisco Equity by Design Committee Average salary by firm size, from the AIASF Equity by Design 2016 Equity in Architecture survey

According to the release, this year’s symposium theme of Voices, Values, and Vision highlights the committee’s commitment to “leveraging our platform to amplify all voices and create a safe space for everyone, regardless of position or identity, to speak up and be heard”; to “explore how [core values] guide us in choosing our collaborators, shaping our work culture, and cultivating our design leadership to make … lasting impact within our communities”; and to “look beyond our workplaces and envision how equity in practice can inform our design work, aiding us in creating equitable outcomes, inclusive experiences, and dignified spaces.”

Symposium speakers include Tiffany Brown, Assoc. AIA, co-founder of the Urban Arts Collective and founder of 400 Forward; Emily Grandstaff-Rice, FAIA, chair of the AIA Equity and Future of Architecture Committee and an at-large director of the AIA; Bryan Lee Jr., Assoc. AIA, co-founder of Colloqate Design; Ivenue Love-Stanley, FAIA, recipient of the AIA 2014 Whitney M. Young Jr. Award; and Rosa Sheng, FAIA, AIASF president and founder of the AIASF Equity by Design committee. A full list of speakers along with registration information is available at the AIASF Equity by Design event site.