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Intersectionality + Intercultural Intelligence 3.0 at ACSA

  • Huang Engineering (map)

The EQXD 2019 Workshop #1 - Intersectionality and Intercultural Intelligence Panel has been selected to present at Closing Plenary at the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture’s Fall Conference hosted at Stanford University.


About ACSA Conference 2019:

By bringing educators, administrators, practitioners, and students into a series of honest discussions, workshops, panels, presentations and experiences, LESS TALK/MORE ACTION will actively investigate the need for a broader, purpose-driven inquiry into architectural education – one focused on the import of an evolving pedagogy and curriculum that is responsive to the real-time needs of students, the profession, and society. We see the ACSA Fall Conference as the ideal platform for communal discussion and operational collaboration around what really matters in architectural education, what emerging practices are currently being implemented to great success, and how this can consciously shape the future of architecture.

Closing Plenary and Panel


Designers, planners and architects hold an invaluable key to creating just, equitable, diverse and inclusive (JEDI) outcomes in the built environment at all scales. Designing safe, dignified, equitable and beautiful spaces for all are not mutually exclusive and requires an intersectional approach to advance the #JEDIagenda in Architecture School curriculum. What does it take to cultivate the next generation of design professionals with skills for empathy, awareness and intercultural intelligence? This workshop session will engage participants to understand and practice concepts of intersectionality and intercultural intelligence in advancing equitable practice. We will explore the theory of intersectionality as it relates to identity and increased barriers for people in multiple at-risk categories. We will also learn about the theory of intercultural intelligence, which creates a framework for developing empathy and understanding of culture beyond the context of race/ethnicity. The AIASF 2018 Equity in Architecture Survey will highlight the current challenges for students who are historically underrepresented. - Rosa Sheng, Mani Farhadi, Helen Bronston, and Prescott Reavis will share personal stories that celebrate intersectional identities while navigating systems of barriers and bias. Additionally, the panel will lead a group exercise to explore intersectionality as it relates to student success and relevant design outcomes.

Panel Bios:

Rosa Sheng, FAIA, LEED AP BD+C

Principal, Director of Equity, Diversity, Inclusion

An accomplished architect, Rosa Sheng has led internationally acclaimed projects including the aesthetically minimal iconic Apple flagship stores, Pixar Animation Studios – Steve Jobs Building and several innovative projects at institutions of higher learning. Her most notable work champions design of just, equitable, and inclusive environments across disciplines. In 2019, Rosa was celebrated as a Metropolis GameChanger for her leadership as founder of Equity by Design (EQxD). The group’s advocacy is dedicated to minimizing barriers and providing just access to the resources that design professionals need to thrive – regardless of gender, socioeconomic, race/ethnic identity or physical ability. Rosa and the advocacy work of EQxD has received critical acclaim in the Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, ARCHITECT Magazine. She has presented at Harvard GSD, TEDxPhiladelphia, SxSW and the Cannes Lions Festival on Creativity

Helen Bronston, AIA

Associate, SmithGroup

Helen Bronston serves as the Architecture Discipline Lead for the San Francisco office of SmithGroup, where she is an associate. Raised in Wisconsin, she holds a BA in Anthropology from Yale, and an MArch from Harvard, where she was awarded the AIA Adams Medal. Over her 26-year career she has worked exclusively for non-profit educational, healthcare, and governmental organizations, for that is where she has felt she can do the most good for the greatest number of people. She is currently serving on the board of directors for Joan’s House, a newly-forming shelter for transgender women who have been incarcerated. Her experience transitioning gender as an architect was profiled in the San Francisco Business Times on 12 June 2015. Unable to leave school behind, Helen is also very slowly writing a PhD dissertation in History of Architecture at UC Berkeley

Mani Ardalain Farhadi, Associate AIA, LEED AP

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 Taylor Design in San Francisco, Steinberg Hart in San Jose, and 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, Mani enjoys leading workshops, stakeholder presentations, and conferences nationwide (SCUP, AIA, EQXD, CCFC, CCLC, A4LE, SPUR)

Prescott Reavis, NOMA, LEED AP, SEED

Founding Director of Anomili Design + Planning

Prescott Reavis is an Oakland based Spatial Activist, designer, planner and award-winning educator who has merged over 20 years of experiences in architecture, planning, and education to develop and construct inclusive communities internationally with a focus on equitable design and planning justice. Prescott leads, Anomili Design + Planning, providing community engagement, planning, design and youth design education for non-profits, small business, and community-based organizations, projects include Planning, Community Engagement and Design for The Oakland Black Cultural Zone, and Community Planning/education in collaboration with The Center for Cities + Schools at UC Berkeley, Y-PLAN program throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.

Mr. Reavis previously served as the Director of Community Planning and Project Manager for national renowned Public Interest Design Organization AND Architecture + Community Planning, an Associate at Anshen + Allen Architects. Prescott is accredited in Sustainable Design, certified in Social Economic Environmental Design, he 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 integrating youth in the planning and design processes.

Mani, Antonia, Helen, Prescott and Rosa

Mani, Antonia, Helen, Prescott and Rosa