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There has been much discussion raised about "Why are women leaving Architecture? and more broadly, Why is the profession losing key talent?"  Both women and men practitioners are disillusioned by the myth of work/life balance: Women are grappling with "have it all" expectations of juggling family time with the demands of full-time work.  Men are struggling to support their families solely on an architect's salary and fall back on asking spouses to maintain their jobs. The lack of affordable childcare and high cost of living only magnifies the challenges.  How did we end up in this modern family dilemma? What can we do to improve the situation?

EQxD "U" Workshop #2 - What's Flex got to do with Success? Meet the Panelists!

by Amber Evans

June 11th, 2015 @AIASF 130 Sutter Street, San Francisco 6pm-8:30pm

We are excited to bring you the 2nd of 4 EQxD "U" Workshops - What's Flex got to do with Success?  (Win-Win Strategies for Work/Life Flexibility)

We will explore the complexities of making work and life "work" together to fulfill your maximum potential while enjoying the journey along the way.

Work life flexibility emerged as a major theme of last year's Equity in Architecture survey. Flexibility was one of the most important ways that our survey respondents defined success in their careers. The survey also shows that inflexible schedules and long hours are a real burden on our field - a significant portion of respondents had turned down opportunities or promotions due to issues of flexibility, people are leaving the field due to long hours and low pay, and taxing work schedules are a major obstacle to licensure. 

Our panel will feature 4 design professionals from diverse backgrounds; different stages of life and professional practice. All 4 share their insights on the constant dance between practice, life and everything in between. Following a summary of key survey findings on work life flexibility and caregiving, we will engage the panelists in an interactive Q&A. The second half of the session will leverage break-out groups to dive deep and propose actionable solutions to the work life flexibility challenges discussed.

Workshop Agenda

  • Networking & Refreshments 6:00-6:15 pm
  • Introductions/ Welcome 6:15-6:25pm
  • Panel Discussion 6:25-7:15pm
  • Break/ Transition 7:15-7:20pm
  • Break-Out Groups/ Storytelling 7:20-8:10pm
  • Report Back on Break-out Groups/ Conclusions 8:10-8:30pm

MEET THE PANELISTS! (and the amazing firms they lead)

Jeffery Till, AIA, LEED AP

Design Principal, Perkins + Will

Jeffrey Till has is an architect and leader in sustainable development, with twenty five years of architectural and master planning experience in North America, Asia, and Europe. He leads design on a range of projects for clients with high level sustainability goals, with a focus on research driven, multidisciplinary process and performance strategies. He has taught sustainable architecture at Stanford University, advised on green planning strategies, and is served on the national AIA working group on energy modeling, helping architects bring advanced tools to everyday practice.

Perkins+Will is an interdisciplinary, research-based architecture and design firm established in 1935 and founded on the belief that design has the power to transform lives and enhance communities. Each of the firm’s 24 offices focuses on local, regional and global work in a variety of practice areas. With hundreds of award-winning projects annually, Perkins+Will is ranked as one of the top global design firms. Perkins+Will is recognized as one of the industry’s preeminent sustainable design firms due to its innovative research, design tools, and expertise. The firm's 1,700 professionals are thought leaders developing 21st century solutions to inspire the creation of spaces in which clients and their communities work, heal, live, and learn. Social responsibility is a fundamental aspect of Perkins+Will’s culture and every year the company donates 1% of its design services to pro bono initiatives. In 2015, Fast Company ranked Perkins+Will among “The World’s Top 10 Most Innovative Companies in Architecture.”  

Kirstin Weeks, LEED AP

Senior Energy and Building Ecology Specialist, Arup


Kirstin Weeks is a senior Energy and Building Ecology Specialist at Arup.  She champions the San Francisco office’s Net Positive Design initiative, and specializes in biophilic design and integration of ecological function in the built environment.  Kirstin works with interdisciplinary teams to create resilient built environments that work like ecosystems, eliminating waste as a concept and supporting wellness, biodiversity, regeneration and reliance on renewable resources.  Her project experience extends from sustainability leadership on large office, civic, academic and industrial projects to city-scale plan development, research and cost-benefit studies. Kirstin holds an A.B. in Environmental Studies from Dartmouth and an M.S. in Building Science from UC Berkeley. 

Founded in 1985 as the first office in the Americas, the San Francisco Arup office is one of the largest in the region, delivering smart holistic solutions for their clients, with a focus on diversity and maintaining strong connections with our local community. The staff are well versed in smart land use, optimizing transit solutions, sustainable design, healthy buildings, and material choices. Resilience is at the forefront of their design solutions, due to the seismic concerns posed by nearby major earthquake faults and the issues raised by climate change. The San Francisco office has a strong portfolio in the design of buildings and infrastructure. These are supported by our offerings in specialized consulting services including acoustics, transportation planning, and transaction advice. Key projects in these sectors include the LEED Platinum San Francisco Public Utilities Commission Headquarters, the Project, Concord, and the Transbay. They are also highly versed in healthcare, arts and culture, and campus design projects, including both educational and corporate campus projects. Recent work includes the UCSF Medical Center at Mission BaySan Francisco General HospitalSan Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

Annette Jannotta, Architect, IIDA, LEED AP ID&C

Interior Architect, Flad Architects

Annette Jannotta is an interior architect with Flad Architects San Francisco.  Since childhood, she has been fascinated by creating stories and characters that inspire her to make spaces (hello Barbie’s Condo!).  She found her way to studying architecture at the University of Florida and realized that through design she could share her passion with others. Originally from South Florida, Annette left the warm Atlantic waters to design interiors for award-winning firms in Los Angeles, Singapore and San Francisco.  Many of her current and former clients are leaders in their industries and are always passionate about what they do.  They include Warner Bros., Stanford University, Rhino Records, Genentech, Singapore Changi Airport, and even the beloved late Bay Area Feng Shui master, Liu Ming. Always in pursuit of creative expression, Annette strives to balance and integrate her passion for design, photography, art installation, writing and travel, with enjoying time with her husband, extended family and two very spoiled cats.

Flad Architects is an award-winning design firm delivering high performance environments that enable our clients to elevate their potential and advance their mission. Recognized as a leader in academic, life sciences, technology and workplace design, the firm has been honored with over 90 design awards (74 AIA, 12 IIDA and 8 Lab of the Year).  By leveraging specialized expertise across eight locations including San Francisco, Seattle and New York, Flad delivers transformational design solutions as a single organism. We have earned a reputation for outstanding client service, fiscal responsibility, and design excellence over our 85-year history. Flad’s commitment to sustainable design has driven the completion of more than 50 LEED certified buildings—including the first Platinum process science facility.

Douglas Speckhard, AIA, LEED AP

Associate, Bohlin Cywinski Jackson

Douglas Speckhard joined Bohlin Cywinski Jackson in 1998, working in the Pittsburgh office and contributing to a variety of projects, including the Rensselaer Biotechnology Center, Yale University's Chemistry Research Building, and the Natural Sciences Building at the University of California, San Diego. Since relocating to the San Francisco office in 2003, Doug has participated in a number of projects, including the Macromedia Headquarters (now Adobe), and has worked on both corporate and academic facilities in the master planning and design phases. Doug’s most recent experience has been on a creative campus project for a large entertainment company in the Los Angeles area. Doug served as Project Architect during the master planning and conceptual design of the Core Shell phases, which developed naturally into a role as Project Manager for the Interior Fit out, working closely with the client, users and an interdisciplinary team to develop a cutting edge, collaborative workplace for a demanding internet, gaming and mobile device business unit of a large entertainment company.

Bohlin Cywinski Jackson is noted for elegant and humane design, ranging from modest houses to large academic, civic, cultural, commercial and corporate buildings. The principals and staff are deeply committed to active collaboration with our clients, emphasizing thorough research and analysis of each situation's particular human, technical and economic circumstances. The result is exceptional architecture that resonates within its place. Since 1965, Bohlin Cywinski Jackson has received more than 625 regional, national and international design awards, including three AIA Committee on the Environment (COTE) Top Ten Green Projects. Bohlin Cywinski Jackson are the recipients of the American Institute of Architects Architecture Firm Award, the most prestigious honor bestowed upon an architectural practice by the Institute. The founding principal, Peter Bohlin, was awarded the Gold Medal by the American Institute of Architects, the highest honor an individual American architect can receive.

Work Life Flexibility in the News: (must reads before the event!)

Harvard Business Review: 

Millennials Say They’ll Relocate for Work-Life Flexibility

Why some men pretend to work 80 hours a week

New York Times: 

The Unspoken Stigma of Workplace Flexibility

How Some Men Fake an 80-Hour Workweek, and Why It Matters

Huffington Post: 

Forget Balance: 5 Things You Can Do to Lead the Life You Want




EQxD Event Sponsorship

We are seeking sponsors for our ambitious 2015 Equity by Design Initiatives. If you are interested in supporting our goals for achieving equitable practice in architecture, please contact us to learn more about the multiple benefits for your support. Among other benefits, Sponsors get designated tickets for each of the workshops in 2015 based on your level of support. So make the most of your sponsorship by contacting us early!