2020 AIASF Housing Symposium: Cracking the Code

2-day Virtual Symposium: How can San Franciscans reapproach our zoning inheritance to permit more housing?

Since WWII, San Francisco’s current zoning has been “down-sized” squeezing out opportunities for much-needed growth. Co-presented by AIASF and Center for Architecture + Design in collaboration with the AIASF Housing Committee, this 2-day virtual Housing Symposium will feature experts from government, development, architecture and academia to address a variety of compelling perspectives.

Single Day Registration: AIA Member: $25 | General Admission: $35 | Student: $10
Two-Day Registration: AIA Member: $40 | General Admission: $60 | Student: $15

Day 1: Thursday, June 25 | 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM

How did we get here? Originally enacted for health and safety, zoning laws in San Francisco have been repeatedly used to to limit housing access, even in contradiction of Constitutional law. Local control of land use, exercised to resist government-supported private interests, and compounded by the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), has transformed our codes into tools that make housing development in much of the City as difficult as possible.

Judson True, Director of Housing Delivery, Office of San Francisco Mayor London Breed

Jennifer Wolch, Dean Emerita, Professor of City & Regional Planning, College of Environmental Design,
UC Berkeley

Steven Falk, Lecturer, UC Berkeley Goldman School of Public Policy
Laura Foote, Executive Director, YIMBY Action
Darrell Owens, Policy Analyst / Data Analyst, California YIMBY

Day 2: Friday, June 26 | 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM

How do we get out of here? As public concerns over inequality continue at a crescendo, this segment aims to unpack exclusionary land use regulations and explore ways within the City’s political structure that might enable more inclusionary development. We’ll discuss how to create incentives for right-sized housing density in San Francisco that can synthesize public concerns with private interests and enable a lively and urbane cultural center for as many as possible.

Ben Metcalf, Managing Director, Terner Center for Housing Innovation

Rudabeh Pakravan, Principal, Sidell Pakravan

June Grant, RA, NOMA, Design Principal, blink!Lab Architecture
Amanda Loper, AIA LEED AP, Principal, David Baker Architects
Bora Ozturk, General Partner, March Capital Management, LLC
Sarah Willmer, Owner, Studio Sarah Willmer, Architecture

2020 AIASF Housing Committee

Paul Adamson, FAIA, TCA Architects (Chair)
Michael Cresanti, AIA, MBA, CPHC, House & Home Group
Lise de Vito, Henrybuilt
John Lum, John Lum Architecture
Rudabeh Pakravan, Principal, Sidell Pakravan
Sarah Willmer, Owner, Studio Sarah Willmer, Architecture

Copper Sponsor

Pyatok | architecture + design

Community Partners

AIA East Bay Chapter

AIA San Mateo County

AIA Silicon Valley

Marin Builders Association

San Francisco Chapter of the National Organization of Minority Architects (SFNOMA)

Image: Seven Sisters Triangles | by Rafael Ramirez


June 25, 2020 - June 26, 2020


10:00 am - 12:00 pm


AIASF Event,
Center for Architecture + Design




  • Amanda Loper
    Amanda Loper
    AIA, LEED AP, Principal, David Baker Architects

    Amanda established and leads DBA_BHM, the David Baker Architects’ southeastern office in Birmingham, Alabama. Amanda joined the firm in 2006 and was made Principal in 2014. Her diverse projects with DBA include affordable housing, market-rate housing, commercial buildings,
    and policy studies. Amanda focuses on the big-picture potential of sites as well as overseeing details that create unique built environments. She presents and writes frequently on aspects of urban design, working to bring social awareness to issues of housing and density within the urban setting.

  • Ben Metcalf
    Ben Metcalf
    (Keynote - Day 2) Managing Director, Terner Center for Housing Innovation

    Ben Metcalf leads the expansion and deepening of Terner Center’s work solving housing affordability challenges through policy, practice, and innovation. He is also founder and principal of Stronger Foundations LLC, a consulting and strategic advisory services firm. Previously, Ben served as director of the State of California’s Department of Housing and Community Development and as deputy assistant secretary overseeing the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Office of Multifamily Housing Programs. He has also developed mixed-income and mixed-use communities with California-based BRIDGE Housing Corporation.

  • Bora Ozturk
    Bora Ozturk
    Founder + General Partner, March Capital Management
  • Darrell Owens
    Darrell Owens
    Policy Analyst/Data Analyst, California YIMBY

    Darrell is a 4th generation Bay Area native and a strong advocate of bigger, safer communities. Having seen the effects of displacement up close and the legacy of segregation in California, he works to promote fair housing policies and to build and preserve diverse communities in our urban core. Growing up among community advocates in the East Bay flats, Darrell fights however he can on city commissions, with local nonprofits, neighborhoods, and now as a policy analyst with California YIMBY to undo the housing shortage so essential to California’s inequity. He usually can be found walking around Berkeley and Oakland, or riding BART.

  • Jennifer Wolch
    Jennifer Wolch
    (Moderator - Day 1) Dean Emerita, Professor of City & Regional Planning, College of Environmental Design, UC Berkeley

    Jennifer Wolch is a scholar of urban analysis and planning. Her past work focused on urban homelessness and the delivery of affordable housing and human services for poor people. She has also studied urban sprawl and alternative approaches to city-building such as smart growth and new urbanism. An early investigator of animal-society relations in cities, she has proposed strategies for human-animal co-existence in an urbanizing world. Her most recent work analyzes connections between city form, physical activity, and public health, and develops strategies to address environmental justice issues by improving access to urban parks and recreational resources.

  • Judson True
    Judson True
    Director of Housing Delivery, Office of San Francisco Mayor London Breed

    (Keynote/Closing – Day 1) Judson True serves as the Director of Housing Delivery, a position created by Mayor Breed in 2018 to ensure that new housing projects are not held up in San Francisco’s complicated approval and permitting system. True manages a Housing Delivery Team to move housing projects forward faster and tasked with implementing necessary administrative changes to streamline the permitting process. True has served since 2014 as Chief of Staff for Assemblymember David Chiu, who chairs the Assembly Housing and Community Development Committee. He previously served as a Legislative Aide for then-Board of Supervisors President Chiu and as a communications and government affairs manager for the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA).

  • June Grant
    June Grant
    RA, NOMA, Founder + Design Principal, BLINK!LAB Architecture

    June A. Grant, RA, NOMA, is Founder and Design Principal at blink!LAB architecture, a boutique research-based architecture and urban design practice. Blink!LAB has 20 years experience in architecture, design and urban regeneration of cities and communities. June’s approach rests on an avid belief in cultural empathy, data research and new technologies as integral to design futures and design solutions. blink!LAB has three mandates: A commitment to Design Exploration, Advocacy for Holistic Solutions and the Integration of Technology as a central component for a regenerative society.

    The past two years, blink!LAB has focused on a research project with the working title “From Asset Rich/Income Poor to Asset Rich/Income Secure” — a design endeavor focused on small-footprint approaches which strengthen individual housing stability, generational wealth and African American community conservation.

  • Laura Foote
    Laura Foote
    Executive Director, YIMBY Action

    Laura is a pro-housing community organizer, focused on the chronic housing shortage driving up prices and pushing out longtime residents. She is the founder and Executive Director of YIMBY Action, a network of pro-housing activists fighting for more inclusive housing policies. With over 2500 members, YIMBY Action drives policy change to increase the supply of housing at all levels and bring down the cost of living in opportunity-rich cities and towns. As a nationally recognized leader in the YIMBY movement, Laura helped grow the fledgling pro-housing movement into a political force, successfully passing legislation at the state and local levels and helping to elect housing champions. YIMBY fights for an integrated society where every person has access to a safe, affordable home near jobs, services, and opportunity.

  • R. Pakravan
    R. Pakravan
    (Moderator - Day 2) Rudabeh Pakravan, Principal, Sidell Pakravan Architects

    Sidell Pakravan is a design intensive architecture studio. The two principals, Kristen Sidell and Rudabeh Pakravan, met during their graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania. Following graduation, they headed to locations as diverse as Paris, Denver, and Los Angeles where they worked on civic, commercial, and residential architecture. When they found themselves both back in the Bay Area and working in academia, they were excited to found a design oriented firm focused on critical thinking intrinsic to academia and real world building. Since 2014, Sidell Pakravan has continued to explore critical ideas in architecture through speculative projects and test these ideas in buildings across Northern California.

  • Sarah Willmer
    Sarah Willmer
    Founder + Principal, Studio Sarah Willmer, Architecture

    Sarah Willmer holds a Master in Architecture from Yale University and a Bachelor of Architecture from Syracuse University. Following 14 years with several prominent firms, including the internationally recognized Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, Polshek Partnership Architects and Anshen + Allen, she founded Studio Sarah Willmer Architecture. Driven by the desire to stay intimately involved with the design process from concept to construction, Sarah brings her diverse background and team-leading experience to the firm’s commercial and residential projects.

    Sarah is active in the community and a broad range of design projects. She participated in an artist-in-residency program at the Netherlands’ European Ceramic Works Center to develop a ceramic panel for modern architecture. This work, “Ceramic Skins, Transforming Light and Space” was exhibited in 2009 in Eindhoven at Dutch Design Week. She has led numerous architectural design studios. She is presently a Senior Adjunct Professor at San Francisco’s California College of the Arts and a visiting lecturer at University of California, Berkeley. Sarah lives with her family in San Francisco’s Noe Valley.

  • Steven Falk
    Steven Falk
    Lecturer, UC Berkeley, Goldman School of Public Policy
AIASF + Center for Architecture + Design


AIASF + Center for Architecture + Design

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