VOICES | Break Out
A1: Intersectionality & Intercultural Intelligence
11am - 12noon | Room TBD
This session will be about an evolving mindset of intersectionality and intercultural intelligence in advancing equitable practice. We will explore the theory of intersectionality and understand its importance in disrupting bias and the erasure of complex identities - (ie., mixed race, transgender/gender queer, etc). We will also learn about the theory of intercultural intelligence, which creates a framework for developing understanding, empathy and importance of understanding the complexity of culture in a context beyond race/ethnicity. We will shape the session around relevant storytelling of intersectional identities and then have a workshop Role/Play to directly explore how intersectionality and intercultural intelligence can inform equity activism, encourage dialogue, and promote inclusivity.
Thought Leader Profiles
Senior Facilities Planner, Stanford University
A global thinker and creative thought leader, Mani Ardalan Farhadi brings three decades of experience in architectural planning. In her current role as Senior Facilities Planner at Stanford University, in the Office of Facilities Planning and Management (OFPM) within the School of Medicine, Mani is combining her passion for education, with her extensive planning skills. Her prior experience includes 1 year at Taylor Design in San Francisco, 16 years at Steinberg Hart in San Jose, and 14 years at Sasaki Associates in Boston. Using analytical skills, she is integral to campus projects, collaborating on design and planning strategies with public and private educational clients throughout the US. Described as ‘the client in the room”, Mani’s keen ability to listen builds consensus within user group settings. Leveraging her expertise in strategic planning and programming, Mani enjoys leading workshops, stakeholder presentations, and conferences nationwide (SCUP, AIA, EQXD, CCFC, CCLC, A4LE).
Mani’s leadership extends into volunteer duties: former Board of Trustee member at Los Gatos Union School District, and Chair of the Bond Oversight Committee, for which she received the ‘Citizen Architect’ award. In addition, she is Outreach Coordinator and mentor for WIA (Women in Architecture) Silicon Valley, an advocate for pay equity, supplemented with mentoring professional Iranian women. A graduate of Wellesley College, Wellesley, MA with a B.A. in Architecture, she followed with a B.Arch from Boston Architectural College. A lifelong learner, her formal education has been supplemented with certificates from SCUP Planning Institute (Step III), Leadership Los Gatos, LEED AP, as well as training in MIG (Management in Governance) and Lean.
Architectural Designer, Solomonoff Architecture Studio
A.L. is a queer, non-binary person of color working as an architectural designer at Solomonoff Architecture Studio in New York City since 2017. They have worked on residential and institutional projects. Prior to joining SAS, they worked as a designer at Turnbull Griffin Haesloop Architects. A.L. holds a Bachelor of Arts in Architecture from UC Berkeley with a minor in Sustainable Design, and a Master of Architecture from Columbia University.
Their activism is at the intersection of architectural labor and gender equity, and manifests in written and visual media forms. Their research focuses on working with other people and communities to understand and rethink the architect's role in creating inclusive spaces. They are a member of as well as a conduit connecting many organizations, including The Architecture Lobby, QSPACE, ArchiteXX, and AIA New York. They have a Master of Architecture from Columbia University GSAPP, as well as a B.A. Architecture and minor in Sustainable Design from UC Berkeley. Website: a-l.hu ; Twitter: @a_l_hu
Director of Community Planning, Asian Neighborhood Design
Prescott Reavis is an Oakland based spatial activist, designer, planner and educator who has merged his 20 years of experiences in architecture, planning and education to plan, develop and construct inclusive communities internationally with a focus on cultural design and planning justice. Mr. Reavis is a Project Manager and Director of Community Planner for the nonprofit AND Architecture + Community Planning. Prescott earned his Bachelor of Architecture with a minor in Education from Howard University and is currently completing his Masters in Urban Planning from San Jose State University with a focus on youth education and engagement.
Principal, SmithGroup and AIASF President 2018
Rosa T. Sheng, FAIA is a Principal at SmithGroup and Director of Equity, Diversity, Inclusion. She is also AIASF President and Founding Chair of Equity by Design. As a licensed architect with 23 years of experience in architecture and design, Rosa has led a variety of award-winning and internationally acclaimed projects from the aesthetically minimal, highly technical development of the glass structures for Apple’s original high-profile retail stores, to the innovative and sustainable LEED NC Gold–certified Lorry I. Lokey Graduate School of Business at Mills College in Oakland, California.
Most notably Rosa has led a national movement for equitable practice in Architecture - catalyzed by ground-breaking research, engaging platforms and public speaking outreach nationally and abroad. National press coverage of Rosa’s work with Equity by Design include Architect Magazine, Architectural Record, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, TEDxPhiladelphia and KQED/NPR.