A2: Being a Change Agent - Tools, Techniques and Scalability
How do the industry’s most influential change agents move from identifying a problem to making a lasting impact? Workshop participants will be invited to learn from the experiences of thought leaders who have shifted the status quo in their firms, academia, and the national architectural community. These leaders will guide participants through tools and techniques while offering them an opportunity to put those skills into practice in a hands-on workshop. Attendees will understand how to: frame a problem, engage others to find solutions and leverage ideas to implement change.
Professor, Associate Dean for Research and Engagement, University of Minnesota.
Renée Cheng is a nationally renowned Professor and Associate Dean at the University of Minnesota. Educated at Harvard College and Harvard Graduate School of Design, Cheng has been recognized for education excellence with numerous teaching awards at the school, state and national level. Most recently, Cheng was twice honored as one of the top 25 most admired design educators in the United States by Design Intelligence. She led a team of faculty from the University of Minnesota who won the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Education Honor Award for a transformative professional curriculum and developed a professional practice course, Building Stories, that won the first Practice Leadership Award from AIA and ACSA. Cheng served as 2009 President of AIA Minnesota and is a former member of AIA National Board advisory group on Integrated Practice (IPDiG) and the AIA National Board Knowledge Committee, AIA Center for Integrated Practice and currently AIA Culture Collective leading a group on Firm Culture.
Project Manager, Maryann Thompson Architects
Caroline James graduated with a Master in Architecture from Harvard GSD. She spearheaded the Petition to recognize Denise Scott Brown for her role in the 1991 Pritzker Prize. James creates panel discussions and talks about equity and inclusion in design at venues including the Guggenheim and School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She is also a community activist and founding member of the Cambridge branch of the Open Architecture Collaborative. She serves on the Board of Harvard GSD Women in Design.
Maryann Thompson Architects is an architecture firm specializing in resonating and contextual architecture from New York to New England. We do residential, commercial and small-scale institutional work including Brooklyn Bridge Park Pier 2, a 180,000 sqft athletic complex overlooking Manhattan's skyline, Walden Pond Visitor Center, and the Princeton University Childcare Center.
Communications Editor, Payette Associates
Karen leads the external engagement strategy at Payette and since joining the firm in 2012, developed staff on-boarding programs, a clear voice for the firm and strategies for success. With previous experience in both marketing and design roles, Karen plays a critical role in designing of the firm’s client-facing materials and award submissions, as well as leading the firm’s media presence. As an active member of the Boston Society of Architects, Karen leads the dialogue in the Boston design community about how architecture firms can implement social media as part of larger marketing and business development goals. Additionally, Karen is a member of the AIA COTE Communications Task Force and leads the BSA’s Equity Roundtable. With a background in literature and theatre, Karen infuses all of her work with storytelling. Karen received her Bachelor of Arts in English with a minor in Theater Arts from the University of Richmond.
Architect, HGA Architects
With 10 years in the workforce as Architect and Medical Planner, Neelanjana has a belief that the field of architecture grows stronger as it includes diverse ideas and adapts to changing times. A member of the winning team of EQxD hackers at the AIA convention in 2015, she continues to draw from her experience to identify root causes. With a mindset of “hacking” she seeks to discover and share techniques and tools to empower design professionals to shape their own careers. Her background in Physics, Visual Arts and Architecture informs her approach towards problem-solving. A graduate of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, she received the AIA Award from the Henry Adams Fund for Excellence in the Study of Architecture. Neelanjana is actively involved in the architecture industry at large, serving on the Health and Science committee and Equity by Design Committee with AIASF.