AIASF Announces Session Details for Equity by Design Symposium

AIA San Francisco (AIASF) and the Equity by Design Committee have announced thought leaders and session details for the 5th AIASF Equity by Design Symposium, titled #EQxDV: VOICES, VALUES, VISION.

The symposium will take place on Saturday, Nov. 3, 2018, at the San Francisco Art Institute. The 250-person event is a gathering of committed champions and change agents from the U.S. and abroad to advance the movement of equitable practice in architecture. The gathering this year will feature key findings from the 2018 Equity in Architecture Survey, which garnered nearly 15,000 responses from architecture school graduates and is a research study on equitable practice and talent retention.

“We believe in creating a design culture grounded in empathy, dignity, and excellence,” says Rosa Sheng, FAIA, AIASF President 2018. “This is critical in practice and the work that we do in our communities and we are excited for a future that advances equitable frameworks and fosters design that is just, diverse, and inclusive in its outcomes for everyone.”

In light of challenges and uncertainty within architectural practice, our communities, and the world, Equity by Design remains committed to collective progress. Equity creates the framework for minimizing barriers to maximize our potential for success. We are focused on studying the root causes of a broken professional culture, creating just access for all, and giving everyone a chance to thrive. Working in collaboration with partners at all levels of practice, the group champions the difficult conversations and work that still needs to be undertaken to further advancements in equitable practice and design impact.


To attract and retain diverse talent we must hear from those in practice and beyond. The 2018 Equity in Architecture Survey is the testimony that allows us to build an understanding of where we are and of the work needed to move forward. This year we commit 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.


Within a broad diversity of identities and experiences, we come together to find the common ground in our core values. This year we will explore how they guide us in choosing our collaborators, shaping our work culture, and cultivating our design leadership to make a lasting impact within our communities. We uphold the values of equity, inclusion, dignity, and respect as an integrated approach in our design work that resonates for individuals, practices, clients, and our communities.


We continue to expand our focus and explore the future of a better world. As we begin to see equitable practice in action in practices of all sizes, we can build on that reality, exploring new types of services, relationships, new symbiotic models for work culture and life. This year we will also 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.

For a full program schedule, session descriptions, and details on participating thought leaders, visit the website. Tickets are on sale now at

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