Women In Architecture Silicon Valley
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The women in architecture

This is Us

WIA 

This committee is composed of women architects and allies in the Chapter for the purpose of increasing the incidence and visibility of women in architecture and in related design and construction industries.

We exist to bring awareness to the gender disparity that exists in the profession in order to achieve equality.

We exist to empower women by fostering growth, building leaders and role models, promoting the success of women architects, being a catalyst to equality and fair treatment, bringing about balance in the profession, and by redefining success.

The WIA Committee will commence as a group that supports equality and women’s issues. As our group gains momentum, grows and diversifies we welcome the notion of evolving into a Diversity Committee, of which the WIA committee and other similar minority committees would become subgroups as suggested by the AIASCV Board.

WIA GOALS

The goal of the WIA Committee is to stimulate women’s growth in the profession through sustained activities that provide mentorship and networking opportunities that enable women in architecture to reach their full potential. The WIA Committee will strive to support the natural progression, from student to registered architect, to leaders in the profession and community. The WIA will foster women leaders in the profession and allow all women architects the ability and opportunity to give back to the profession and the community.

Join Us!

We welcome you to join the group and get involved with us.

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WIA FOCUS


CULTURAL SHIFT

The success of women in architecture requires a cultural shift in which industry leadership works to ensure equitable practices that infiltrate all areas of the professional environment. We work to educate and develop those fair and equitable leaders. 


WOMEN IN FAIA

We pledge to mentor and promote fellowship to women architects in order to strengthen representation within this prestigious group. 


ADVOCACY & ALLIANCES

We are strong because our network is strong. Our mission is to partner with other groups, chapters, and policy makers in order to amplify our impact across multiple platforms.
 


WORK/LIFE BALANCE

The ability to balance personal life choices with the professional practice of architecture is one of the top reasons why women leave the industry. We encourage firm owners to offer flexible benefits as well as train women how to integrate a full work and life without compromise.


PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

In order to overcome career pinch points, we help encourage professional development for women in architecture, providing training workshops, management templates, and resources to further education.


MENTORSHIP

The emerging professionals are our future, so we must ensure that we train and encourage equitable practices from the start. We offer mentorship to young women in architecture to build confidence and strength in our future architects. 


2019 WIA COMMITTEE:

 
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2019 Chair

Annalee Groner, Assoc. AIA, LEED AP BD+C

Annalee currently holds a position as an Assistant Project Manager at Aedis Architects. Over the past few years she has gained a great deal of experience with educational projects, many in the public sector.  She has been involved in the design and construction of multiple building types, from single and multi-story classroom buildings to multi-use buildings, as well as campus master planning, and design of exterior spaces. Her past experience includes high-end residential, with some time spent working in multi-family development, historic preservation, and experience working abroad in Rome, Italy.

Annalee received her Bachelors of Architecture degree from California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo. Here, she explored the concept of biomimicry, and how this type of design-thinking could be implemented across architectural design in a holistic way through water collection systems, environmentally reactive facades, user-interactive, transformable program spaces and contextually specific buildings.

Annalee is very passionate about exploring new ways to incorporate sustainable thinking into the foundation of architectural design. To create a method of producing buildings and spaces that tie uniquely into the surrounding environment, while cultivating an impactful experiential connection with the user. Along with holding the position of WIA Chair for the 2019 year, Annalee is currently a Co-Chair for the Architectural Intelligence Conference, heading the Program efforts for 2019.

 

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AIA SV BOARD LIAISON & FORMER CHAIR (2018)

Angshupriya Pathak, AIA, LEED AP BD+C

Angshu thrives on collaborative problem solving, from the design process through construction. Nothing fuels her thirst for learning than new challenges, be it a complex site, uncharted BIM territories or finding the simplest solution to a design problem. Angshu received her Master’s in Architecture from the University of Oregon with a specialization in Sustainable Urban Housing. Angshu’s design-build experience in mixed-use multi-family urban infill projects boasts of an unwavering focus on constructability.

As Associate, Angshu is leading Anderson Brulé Architects’ Residential Market with a focus on equity and social justice. 

Angshu is passionate about working towards an equal, equitable and diverse practice in the profession through strategic mentorship. She serves on AIA Silicon Valley’s Board of Directors. Angshu also served as 2018 Chair of the Women in Architecture AIA Silicon Valley.

 

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Director of OUTREACH & STRATEGY

Dasha Ortenberg

Dasha is passionate about working with complexity. She enjoys finding the nuance in apparently simple arguments and reconciling apparently contradictory questions. In her work for herself and for others, she seeks to represent, integrate, and elucidate these discoveries through spatial, visual, and narrative studies. Ultimately, she hopes that her work can help support a society that recognizes, engages, and embraces its own complexity as it moves towards greater equality.

Having emigrated from the Soviet Union as a child, she is driven by a deep gratitude to the United States for having provided the opportunity to pursue her passions and understand her heritage, and she works to promote and propagate such opportunities for others.

Dasha holds degrees in Art History and Linguistics (UC Berkeley), and Architecture (Harvard Graduate School of Design). Her formal education is supplemented by a variegated work experience, which includes radio, dance, teaching, and archival conservation. She is currently a designer at Anderson Brulé Architects.

 

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SECRETARY & NEWSLETTER COORDINATOR

Srivarshini Balaji, Assoc. AIA, LEED Green Assoc.

Sri aims to tackle the problem of inadequate representation of women in architecture by contributing to a support network that mutually benefits her peers. She is currently employed by Aedis Architects and is licensed to practice architecture in India. She also holds a master’s degree in Architecture from the University of Oregon and is on track to achieving licensure in California.

 

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director of events

Erica Snyder, Assoc. AIA

Erica has always been passionate about supporting a strong, diverse work force. During her senior thesis at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, she focused on architecture’s ability to influence social change and promote movements towards a more equitable world. She graduated in 2018 with a Bachelor of Architecture and a minor in Psychology, and is currently employed as a Junior Designer at Anderson Brulé Architects.

As the 2019 Events Director, Erica aims to continue promoting equitable architectural practice and use this year’s events to further fulfill her role as a perpetual student, for there is always more to learn!

 

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EVENTS MANAGER

Amanda Stahler

Amanda currently works as a designer at Fergus Garber Young Architects in Palo Alto and is pursuing her license. She graduated in 2018 from California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo with a Bachelor of Architecture and minors in Sustainable Environments and Italian Studies. For Amanda’s senior thesis, she designed a Women’s Opportunity Center in Rwanda through Journeyman International for which she received an award from the AIA Central Coast, an award from Cal Poly Architecture Faculty, and was recognized as one of the “30 under 30 Most Influential Women at Cal Poly” from Cal Poly’s Women in Business, who also awarded her a scholarship. Additionally, Amanda received the AIA San Mateo Country Scholarship Award for two years in a row through showing other work completed at Cal Poly. Amanda has a passion for humanitarian design, welding, and traveling.

 

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Communications Director

Leah Alissa Bayer, AIA, LEED Green Assoc.

Leah is Founder and Studio Director of EVIA LLC, a research, design, and development firm specializing in contextual, story-rich, future-minded residential construction. Leah is dedicated to pushing the limits of the AEC industry by way of business leadership, volunteering, and  interdisciplinary design. She graduated with a Bachelor of Architecture, a minor in fine arts, and four years of Structural Engineering from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo in 2014. Leah is a Director of the AIA Silicon Valley Board of Directors, a member of NCARB’s Experience Advisory Committee, and was a founding Co-chair of the Architectural Intelligence Conference.

 

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GRAPHICS MANAGER

Amy Gecelter, Assoc. AIA, LEED GA

Amy graduated from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 2016  with a B.Arch degree. Originally from New York, Amy made her way across the country to experience what the west coast has to offer after graduating. Since then, Amy has been working at Aedis Architects as an Assistant Project Manager leading public school projects. Amy is an active AIA Silicon Valley Member; she first started volunteering for the COTE Committee and recently became involved with the WIA because their goals align with her passions. In addition, Amy was the founding graphic designer for the Architectural Intelligence Conference in 2018 and works with the Chapter on many different graphic design efforts for various events. Amy looks forward to applying her proven graphics skills in the WIA to excite and encourage the Chapter to attend the amazing upcoming WIA events.

 

MEDIA RELATIONS

Mani Ardalan Farhadi, Assoc. AIA, LEED AP

A global thinker and creative thought leader, Mani Ardalan Farhadi’s experience spans three decades of architectural planning. As Senior Facilities Planner, Stanford University, OFPM (Office of Facilities Planning and Management), School of Medicine, Mani combines her passion for education, with her extensive planning skills. Prior working experience includes Taylor Design (Project Director), Steinberg Hart (Senior Associate), and Sasaki Associates (Associate). Using analytical skills, she is integral to campus projects, having collaborated with public and private institutions. Described as ‘the client in the room', Mani’s keen ability to listen builds consensus with user groups. 

Mani’s leadership extends into volunteer duties: former Board of Trustee (Los Gatos Union School District), and Chair of Bond Oversight Committee, receiving ‘Citizen Architect’ award. She volunteers for WIA (Women in Architecture) Silicon Valley. Her professional degree was obtained from Boston Architectural College (B.Arch), following her degree from Wellesley College (B.A. Architecture). Her formal education was supplemented with SCUP Planning Institute (Step III), Leadership Los Gatos, and LEED AP. Her speaking engagements include presentations at SCUP, EQXD, AIA, CCFC, CCLC, A4LE, SF Design Week and SPUR. 

 

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MEDIA RELATIONS

Sepideh Aminranjbar, Assoc. AIA, LEED Green Assoc.

Sepideh is a home designer who graduated with a masters degree of Architecture from Tehran Central Branch University. In Iran, she was an Architect with 10 years of in-the-field experience. Sepideh has a comprehensive background in multiple building types, with expertise in environmental architecture, particularly architectural design practices based on energy efficiency. Additionally, Sepideh has a background in education, with over 10 years teaching at Tehran Central Branch University and 2 years at West Valley College.

 

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treasurer

Paula Shaviv, AIA, LEEP AP

Paula is the principal and founder of PS Studios and has a M.A. in psychology from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and an M.Arch from the University of Michigan, bringing rich and multi-dimensional experience to her work. She has worked nationally and internationally, leaving her mark in places as diverse as Chicago, Israel and the Bay Area.  In her 30+ year career, she has managed projects involving a broad range of building types including civic, educational, residential, commercial, non-profit, and institutional facilities, through all phases of development, from programming through construction administration. A consistent thread throughout her career is her personal commitment to the success of each project. 

 

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AIA SMC Liason

Juliet Hsu, AIA, LEED AP

Juliet Hsu, AIA, LEED AP is a licensed architect in California and Massachusetts with more than a dozen years of architectural design experience.  From large-scale architecture, to interior design and furniture, to small scale 3D printing and jewelry design, the breadth of her interests is expansive. Upon graduating from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and University of California, Berkeley, Juliet started her own residential practice. Her design of the first rammed earth residence in Mountain View, California demonstrates Juliet’s passion for mixing sustainability, technology, and architecture. In addition to rammed earth, she has worked with PISE, Watershed Block, structural insulating panels, and other prefabrication methods. 

In 2015, Juliet joined Field Architecture, an award-winning practice in Palo Alto as Associate Architect and Project Manager / Project Architect. She’s an energetic leader and collaborates with builders, consultants, and staff designers on both mixed-use commercial and custom residential projects in Northern California.

 As the 2019 President of AIA San Mateo County, Juliet is excited to build on the momentum of the past years in strengthening the emerging professionals mentorship program as well as promoting design-focused events to AIA SMC members and the greater SF Bay Area community.

 

aia FELLOW LIAISON

Pam Anderson-Brulé, FAIA

Pamela Anderson-Brulé is a founder and the president of Anderson Brulé Architects, Inc. Her career has been dedicated to creating an architectural design process that considers the holistic approach to achieving all of her clients’ vision for how they live, work, play, and thrive. She believes that truly exceptional architecture balances the human, social, economic and environmental needs of individuals and sustains the community in which it is created. Pamela’s postgraduate studies in business management have augmented her strong belief and emphasis in team building and expectation development. She is a careful communicator that believes in an inclusive and meaningful process whether for a large community project or an individual home.

 

AIA Silicon valley BOARD PRESIDENT

Sharon Refvem, FAIA, LEED Fellow

Sharon Refvem, FAIA, LEED Fellow is a Senior Associate and Director of the Sustainability Resource Group at Hawley Peterson Snyder (HPS), as well as President of AIA Silicon Valley (AIASVC), a member of the AIA California Board of Directors, and AIA California COTE. She has served as Project Architect and/or Sustainability Lead on a number of award winning projects for the Packard, Hewlett, and Moore Foundations, UC Santa Cruz, Google, and Kaiser Permanente. She is a founding member and past President of U.S. Green Building Council Northern California. Prior to joining HPS, she practiced architecture in Switzerland and taught at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich.

 

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2017 CHAIR

Megan Blaine, AIA

Megan Blaine is Principle Architect at BLAINE architects, a multidisciplinary practice that strives to deliver timeless and honest designs.  Before starting her own practice, Megan’s diverse architectural background includes large scale commercial projects at Foster + Partners, hospitality design at WATG in London, and high end residential projects. Megan Chaired the WIA from 2016-2017 and continues to be an active member.

 

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MEMBER

Neela Shukla, Assoc. AIA

Neela is a creative and conscious designer; she strives to design residential spaces which represent the inhabitants’ culture and identity and transcend the human experience.  Due to her diverse background, her projects vary in scales from product design such as jewelry, sculpture etc. to bathrooms, kitchens, restaurants and single family residences to environmental guidelines and ordinances.  Neela is a principal at Neela Design. She collaborates with other architects for large and complex projects.

Neela Shukla has Bachelors and Masters in Architecture, City Planning from India and has studied Urban Design from University of Pennsylvania.  She is interested in arts and environment.  She has been involved with a committee of Environmental Design and Protection in Los Altos Hills for last 12 years.

 

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Member

Mariana Alvarez Parga, AIA, LEED AP

Mariana Alvarez Parga is the Director of Architecture + Sustainability at MADI Group Inc. as well as an Architect, achiever, learner, strategist, dreamer, friend, mentor, mother of two, and wife of patient husband.
She commands over 18 years of experience in Argentina and the U.S. on a variety of projects, ranging from educational and community/civic to hospitality, commercial and mixed-use structures. Mariana was a presenter at DSA “7x7x7 Design Energy Water” series and is very passionate about her work.

 

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Member

Stephanie Silkwood, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, WELL AP

Stephanie is an Associate at RMW architecture & interiors in San Jose, CA.  She combines a deep interest in design and sustainability with a remarkable ability to advocate for her clients through rigorous project management. Stephanie is also an advocate for the advancement of the architecture profession and has been repeatedly recognized for leadership excellence by the AIA.  In 2016, Stephanie was a recipient of the AIA National’s Young Architect Award. 

 
 

MEMBER

Katia McClain, AIA, DBIA, LEED AP BD+C

Over the past two decades, Katia has been involved in the design, management and construction of complex architectural programs for both public and private educational and commercial clients. In addition to her experience studying and working in the cultural capitals of Latin America and Europe, here in the United States, Katia has developed an expertise in leading large educational projects. She encourages an atmosphere of intellectual curiosity and collaboration in order to create spaces that have a positive effect on human outcomes.

 

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MEMBER

Lee Salin, AIA

Lee Salin is the managing principal of Anderson Brulé Architects. Throughout his career, Lee has focused on advancing the human experience through design. He enjoys working with clients and project teams to “design the process” to design the project, to enable all stakeholders to participate, be heard, and contribute to the direction of the project.

Lee has also volunteered much time as an advocate for the design industry, our communities, and the environment, through his work with the American Institute of Architects, serving as president of AIA California in 2015 and president of the AIA Silicon Valley in 2004.


 

And:

Michelle Ney

Donna Musselman

Julia Grinkrug

Mary Morris