Women In Architecture Silicon Valley


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2019 WIA Events

The WIA (Women in Architecture) is a subcommittee of the AIA Silicon Valley. Founded in 2015, the committee’s focus is on expanding equity, equality, and diversity in the profession of architecture. The WIA offers programs which empower and support women as they establish their professional identities, develop their career paths, and find their leadership direction. Gender serves as a gateway topic to addressing experiences of diversity - allowing a flexible and expansive focus on topics. These are addressed through our events as the committee members and event guests navigate their intersectional identities and the challenges of living and working in a complex socio-historic context, a dynamic economic and technological region, and a turbulent political climate.

The WIA is pleased to announce the 2019 events theme: Advocacy. The events will address topics in advocacy scaling from self-advocacy to advocacy for others and advocacy for the community. As the year progresses, conversations will explore how articulating experience and goals can impact individuals both professionally and personally. The ultimate goal of this year’s events is to promote a more diverse and equitable field by enhancing communication and empathy.

Join us at the events listed below to explore more about advocacy! Both members and non-members are welcome.

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Upcoming Events:

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Making Change: Define, Advance, Enhance

  • HMC Architects 333 W San Carlos St Studio 750 San Jose, CA 95110 (map)

Are you an emerging architect or designer, or simply a pragmatic idealist who is looking to balance learning, working, and making an impact through architecture?

This event will explore methods for advancing public interest design both within the workplace and through independent work with external organizations. Amy Ress and Dasha Ortenberg will present influential projects and programs from their own experiences and beyond, and lead an interactive group workshop to help identify examples and opportunities to make social and environmental impact at different scales through design work.

6:00 - 7:00 PM - Socialize with Wine & Light Nibbles

 7:00 - 9:00 PM - Presentations & Workshop Breakouts

Learning Objectives

  • Discover opportunities for emerging professionals to make an impact through architecture.

  • Explore examples and methods for advancing public interest design and social impact within workplace practices.

  • Take away strategies and consider the roles for emerging professionals to become “Citizen Architects,” by leading with personal values and professional expertise to impact communities.

  • Identify examples and opportunities through an interactive group workshop to make social and environmental impact at different scales through design work.

Speaker Bios:

Amy Ress, Executive Director, AIA Silicon Valley


As the Executive Director of the AIA Silicon Valley, Amy Ress is at her best designing and implementing programs to empower and inspire environmental designers and allied professionals to expand the impact of their work in vulnerable communities. Most recently, she was the Program Director of Resilient by Design during the design challenge’s launch phase. She also served as the Director of the internationally recognized 1+ program at Public Architecture, a nonprofit that engages architects and designers, nonprofits, and manufacturers to commit to design for the public good. Amy advanced the reach and scale of this program to provide $56MM in pro bono design services annually for nonprofits that collectively serve millions of beneficiaries.


Dasha Ortenberg, Job Captain and Arts Integration Strategist, Anderson Brulé Architects


Dasha Ortenberg is a designer and artist based in the Bay Area. Her formal education in Art History, Linguistics, and Architecture  is supplemented by a varied and adventurous work experience. Most recently, she developed and lead social impact workshops in Casablanca through the ZERO1 American Arts Incubator. In her independent projects and  work for art and architectural practices she combines traditional and contemporary technologies to transform individual narratives into socially-impactful spatial experiences. In her current role as Arts Integration Strategist and Job Captain at Anderson Brulé Architects, she is exploring methods for increasing collaboration between architects and artists - from project design to implementation.