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Quarterly Bulletin - March 2012
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What's Happening

President's Message

Fariba Shantiyai, AIA, CCS, LEED AP

February 13, 2012

We are already a couple of months into 2012, and everything seems to be falling in place. Our volunteer pool is at 10% of the overall membership and is very enthusiastic and optimistic about the year.

We started 2012 off with a planning meeting early in January. Collaboration and open communication is in place, and the goal is to provide great service to the membership. We appreciate your comments and hope you find more interest in helping us with the day to day operations of the Chapter.

I am pleased to represent AIAPF at the upcoming Grassroots 2012 Leadership and Legislative conference in Washington, DC along with our Vice President, Alek Zarifian, and Jill Nicholson, our consulting Executive Director. For the first time, our Emerging Professionals group will also be represented by Tony Hambarchian at the conference.

The 2012 AIAPF goal is to provide a combination of educational, advocacy and social programs. Advocacy programs will continue to be held on the First Friday of every month and will focus on local advocacy issues along with the workshops related to challenges facing the practice of architecture.

Our speaker for the March First Friday Forum is Mark Christian, Director of Legislative Affairs for AIA California Council. He will address AIACC topics of interest with the California State Government in 2012. These include the failed proposals to remove the statute of limitations on architects for harm caused by hazardous materials, the re-evaluation of unreasonable exposures and liabilities, and interior design licensure. This is our chance at AIAPF to share our thoughts and concerns about issues that we are facing as a profession.

ADA continuing education classes will also be provided in multiple sessions during 2012, which will include a completely new and updated course outline and objectives. There are quite a few interesting workshops and webinars also in the works that will offer the CES Learning units to the attendees.

Chapter finances are on the priority list for this year. The Board of Directors has approved a projected budget, to be visited on quarterly basis. Membership is still the main source of income for the Chapter to cover the operating cost of the office with a part-time consulting Executive Director.

Per the latest CAPS list, the AIAPF Chapter includes 199 Architects, 79 Associate AIA members, 57 Emeritus, and 12 affiliate and allied members. Each year our membership has been declining. Supplemental dues have historically been a very important funding source to cover cost of the operations of the Chapter in prior years. Our goal is to maintain and improve upon the services we provide to our membership.

The following is a list of benefits that AIAPF offers to its members:

  • Free admission to monthly committee events on topics involving the environment, healthcare, interiors, international practice, and urban design. Members pay only for the cost of food at these events.
  • Free admission to our Monthly Chapter Meetings and First Friday Forums. Members pay only for cost of food at these events.
  • Special member prices on AIA contract documents on paper or WEB DOCS, personal and professional insurance through AIA Trust, and a variety of business and travel related promotions through AIA partner companies.
  • Invitation-only Chapter events such as your Board Installation & Holiday Party.
  • Free subscription to ArcCA magazine.
  • Special offers when you use our online job listings and résumé file to post or search for a job.

For a list of additional benefits for AIA members, please feel free to visit the AIAPF web site and AICC’s web site.

Our Communications Committee is evaluating options for a more user-friendly website. Quarterly newsletters will continue to be published on paper and online. Social networking, such as Facebook and Twitter are also utilized as an effective part of communications with the AIAPF family.

There is no doubt that with the collaboration, teamwork, and support from you, we will make 2012 a success. Please stop by the office, take part in the events, and show your support to the numerous volunteers who make our Chapter one of the
best in the nation.

To discuss this article, visit the AIAPF forums.
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Feburary FFF Recap

Ali Bamdad, Assoc. AIA

On Friday, Feb 3rd, members and guests attended the AIA Pasadena & Foothill Chapter’s First Friday Forum at the Brookside Country Club in Pasadena to discuss the topic of the month: “10 Winning Tactics to Making Intelligent Choices When Purchasing Business Insurance.”

Following a friendly meet and greet and breakfast, Director of Advocacy Eric Parlee presented John Feeney, Assistant Vice-President at Hefferman Professional Practice Insurance Brokers (HPPIB). He is a prominent author and lecturer on topics covering business insurance, and he graciously shared with the audience his 32 years of experience in the industry.

His presentation was aimed at small to mid-sized architectural firms and how to strategically obtain the best insurance coverage plan for individual practices that will minimize financial losses.

Attendees benefitted from an in-depth perspective of the business insurance industry. This included a multitude of topics, such as how insurance policies are determined, information that should be expected from brokers, comparing professional liability to commercial liability, information on premium credits and debits, and how to build positive relationships with insurance companies.

Mr. Feeney’s insight and knowledge was well received, benefiting all those who attended this AIAPF event. We hope that this knowledge is shared among our professional community to benefit our community as a whole.

Julie Arcelay, Jill Nicholson, and February FFF speaker, John Feeney.
Photograph courtesy of Eric Parlee, AIA.

To discuss this article, visit the AIAPF forums.
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StonExpo/MARMOMACC 2012 Visit

Tiffany Dell'Aquila, Assoc. AIA

This January, the AIA Pasadena & Foothill Chapter attended the StonExpo convention in Las Vegas. Our sponsors, StonExpo/Marmomacc Americas 2012 and Hanley Wood Exhibitions, were gracious enough to provide for our travel, one night’s lodging at the MGM Signature, and educational classes at the convention.

We arrived in the evening and were immediately welcomed by Pamela Miller from Hanley Wood. She briefed us on what to expect: a busy schedule the next day with three educational classes that award AIA learning units.

Our first session in the morning was a seminar on natural stone from Trentino, presented by Vince Marazita. The lecture included information about stone industry, history, terminology, and technology. We learned about Italy’s historic significance in regards to the stone industry, and how stone technology is developing in other countries worldwide. We also learned in great detail about the composition of various types of stone and methods of creation and “harvesting” stone.

This was immediately followed by a walking tour of the convention fl oor, where we visited a number of stone vendors. It became quickly apparent that each vendor strongly promoted their quarries by identifying with their country of origin. We witnessed a fantastic array of stone, with all varieties of color, texture, and grain.

I was struck by one idea that came up over the course of our time at the convention—that stone is a unique, personal material whose characteristics are not always specifically available. We were advised to become familiar with the wares at our own local quarries, rather than seek out a stone to match a pre-set color palette.

After a brief box-lunch break, we had our last educational class of the day, “From ANSI to ISO: Improvements In Performance Evaluation,” presented by Mike Granatowski of MAPEI. The topic was on tile adhesives, and we learned in detail about polymer composition and how an adhesive may or may not function properly when paired with tiles of differing porosities. We were enlightened on the code differences between ISO and ANSI, as well as jurisdiction differences. ISO describes performance standards of products expected worldwide, without promoting companies or brand names, and ANSI is the U.S. representative of ISO.

This was the first year that AIAPF attended StonExpo, and it was a successful pilot program. I invite you to attend next year’s convention.

Photograph courtesy of Tiffany Dell’Aquila.

Photograph courtesy of Tiffany Dell’Aquila.

Photograph courtesy of Brian Cravens.

To discuss this article, visit the AIAPF forums.
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Citizen Architect Committee Update

This past February, the Citizen Architect Committee met with San Gabriel Valley Habitat for Humanity at the Elmira Residence in Pasadena. Spearheaded by Habitat Director Paul McAnnally-Linz, members of both organizations gathered to participate in this charrette session aimed at renovating the existing interior spaces. After touring the premises, the group brainstormed together and produced a plethora of different strategies designed to improve the quality of life for current inhabitants. Solutions involved increased natural light, implementing efficient storage systems, and use of multi-purpose spaces. The event was a successful example of community outreach, and we continue to look forward to future involvement with Habitat for Humanity.

Design charrette session at Habitat for Humanity’s Elmira Residence in Pasadena. Photograph courtesy of Tiffany Dell’Aquilla.


The Citizen Architect Committee continues its collaboration with Pasadena Community Gardens as the organization continues to raise funds towards groundbreaking. The committee has taken on a key role in the design of the garden and continues to meet with the PCG steering community to develop the overall design concept. Thus far, our organizations have co-hosted a community wide design dialog, applied for grant opportunities, and continue to work towards a comprehensive design scheme. We look forward to continued collaboration with Pasadena Community Gardens as it begins preparations for the ribbon-cutting ceremony later this year.

We are always looking for volunteers to help make this community garden a reality. If you are interested in donating your time, please contact Tony Hambarchian.

Members of Citizen Architects Committee participate in design dialog with Pasadena Community Garden Steering Committee.

To discuss this article, visit the AIAPF forums.
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Pasadena Heritage: A Tribute to Julia Morgan

AIAPF members Amy Hellmund, John Luttrell, Eric Parlee, and Fariba Shantiyai at Pasadena Heritage’s Tribute to Julia Morgan and the Pasadena YWCA on January 21, 2012. Photograph courtesy of David Gaines, P.E.

To discuss this article, visit the AIAPF forums.
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Member Spotlight

New Board Member: Dr. Hofu Wu

Victor Lara, Assoc. AIA

Dr. Hofu Wu, FAIA, LEED AP (BD+C)
Professor, School of Architecture, Cal Poly Pomona

For over thirty years, Dr. Wu has raised awareness of building energy performance through his teaching and research on sustainable design integrated with environmental technology.

Nationally and globally, Dr. Wu has impacted the architectural community with his involvement in AIA committees, schools, and building energy regulations. A member of several technical committees within ASHRAE, he has history developing building energy codes and system testing standards. He has been previously involved with 50to50, a resource for architects and the construction industry that provides 50 strategies toward 50 percent fossil fuel reduction in buildings during their design process. He has published more than 100 technical papers in conference proceedings and has given numerous lectures on green and passive solar building designs around the world.

Currently, he serves as one of the seven members of the National AIA’s Strategic Initiative Discussion Group on sustainability. He specializes in building energy modeling, solar design applications, and natural and electrical lighting systems evaluation. Evidence of his devotion to promoting natural and low-energy cooling technology can be seen in his design advisory role at the John T. Lyle Center for Regenerative Studies at Cal Poly and his continual research and teaching there.

Dr. Wu defines his architectural philosophy as “user-centered”, serving the user’s purposes by adding “comfort and an inspiring energetic push” toward the individual’s use of space. Dr. Wu firmly believes that architects should recognize architecture as an “intervention to nature, to be careful in that sense of sustainability, and how we deal with nature in terms of our activity.”

In 1995, Dr. Wu’s efforts were showcased while he served as co-chair to the Committee on the Environment (COTE) of the AIA Los Angeles. His committee structured the Santa Monica Sustainable Design Charrette that entailed a collaboration of 45 renowned professionals to put forward design solutions for the City. This in turned raised awareness among component chapters and general public interest groups, such as historic preservation groups and Habitat for Humanity programs.

As an incoming board member for the AIA Pasadena & Foothill Chapter, Dr. Wu would like to provide more direct strategies and knowledge to the chapter to achieve increased sustainability regarding environmental, energy, and building issues. He believes that architects need to increase their public visibility to acquire increased respect and credibility for the services that they provide, in other words, to “raise our image to the public, to understand fully our role that the Pasadena & Foothill Chapter can play, and become a social movement along with the environmental movement as leaders.” Furthermore, Dr. Wu would like to venture similar exercises to improve advocacy within the Pasadena community in efforts to push for a community agenda to “lead our society towards a sustainable future.”

Hofu Wu has ushered in the science and technology as integral and inspirational aspects of architectural design and strives to bring AIA Pasadena & Foothill forward.

To discuss this article, visit the AIAPF forums.
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In Our Community

Regional Transportation and
Transit Oriented Development:
Government Funding at a
Major Crossroads

Elise Kalfayan,

As this chapter newsletter goes to press, Congress is considering a transportation bill that eliminates all dedicated gas tax funding for public transit and for pedestrian and bicycling improvements, among other cuts. This reactionary approach is fueled by the fact that elected officials can no longer kick the can down the highway: revenues are shrinking and choices must
be made. But these choices must move communities forward, not backward. Worthy transit and active transportation projects incorporate sustainable development plans, and exciting new building projects may be delayed or cancelled if federal transit funding is not available and other funds can’t be found.

A newly-released RAND Corporation study, Highway Infrastructure and the Economy, concludes that “In restructuring U.S. transportation policy, Congress should steer funding toward projects of ‘national signifi cance…that have positive net benefits dispersed over large geographic areas.’” The report finds that federal highway spending goes to a great number of projects, often via earmarks, that do not have broad benefits. Optimizing federal investment in future infrastructure should be the goal, it says, and while focused on highway spending, its larger implications are clear: planning for future transportation requires strategic thinking to achieve regional benefits. Among those regional benefits in Southern California would be a new development paradigm leading to energy effi cient buildings, livable community designs, and land use patterns mandated by AB 32 and SB 375.

Allocation of transportation funding is also the subject of the Southern California Association of Governments’ Regional Transportation Plan, in draft form as this newsletter goes to press (the final RTP for 2012, in effect until the next plan is
ratified in 2016, will be approved in April). In contrast to the federal plan, SCAG’s RTP must conform to state mandates of AB 32 and SB 375, and must include a Sustainable Communities Strategy component. Even so, Pasadena, South Pasadena, and surrounding communities have launched official objections to elements in the plan, which in contrast to the federal bill, attempts to please all constituencies and sectors. It calls for more freeways, more freeway lanes, more conventional port and rail yard capacity, and dedicated truck routes for goods movement. It also calls for significant investments in transit projects, active transportation, and for a long-term (but unfunded in the plan) study of zero-emission, electrified rail options for freight movement.

The SCAG plan does kick the can down the highway. It acknowledges this in its Project List divided into three categories: projects with already committed funding, those with constrained funding, and those that are completely unfunded such as the zero-emission, electrified rail option for freight movement to inland distribution centers. Can the plan stand up to criticism that it doesn’t meet California GHG and air quality goals?

The Plan Environmental Impact Report is also up for review, and during the review period California Attorney General Kamala Harris joined an environmental group’s lawsuit against the comparable San Diego Association of Governments’ Regional Transportation Plan. According to LA Streetsblog, “the lawsuit argues that the environmental review of the transit plan did not adequately analyze the public health impacts of the increased air pollution. The San Diego region already has a very high risk of cancer from particulate matter emitted by diesel engines and vehicles and there is no analysis as to whether this risk will increase. By prioritizing highway expansion in the first years of the plan, SANDAG claims more pedestrian, bicycle and transit expansion in the plan even though those plans may never happen.”

Stay tuned for results on the SANDAG lawsuit, and upcoming wrangles over similar problems in the SCAG RTP.

While these debates are over transportation project funding and its impacts on communities, design professionals must take note and stay involved. If the bulk of public funds are steered toward building more and bigger concrete highways, fewer investments will be driven toward optimized transit oriented developments that reflect what design professionals can contribute to the future of community life in the region.


Elise Kalfayan is a contract editor, writer, publishing consultant, and advocate for active transportation options in Southern California. A long stint as a feature writer for a design/build trade journal led to various editing and writing jobs with architects, developers, and contractors, and an ongoing interest in urban design and transportation. She currently writes for regional publishers, and she is the owner/editor/publisher of Glendale community news blog

To discuss this article, visit the AIAPF forums.
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Letter to the Editor

Lance Bird, FAIA

February 5, 2012

Letter to the Editor:

What can AIA do for our interns? Limited jobs. Demanding software. Difficult to accumulate IDP credits.

Tough to get a job without experience. Skills diminish as the months pass. And that’s only the half of it. Interns should be using Revit. If they’ve learned the software skills, do they have sufficient knowledge and experience to prepare credible drawings?

In the day, interns right out of school worked in design. Schematics. As they hand-drafted, they pochéd that space within walls and between fl oors. In the ensuing design phases, the senior staff fi gured it out. Today, once the concepts are understood, the efficient office draws ‘it’ once in CAD and Revit, starting in Schematics. If you don’t understand materials and building systems, you won’t get far.

Interns are further challenged by NCARB and the Intern Development Program. To get licensed, you need to complete the IDP. If you don’t have a job, you can’t earn credits. If you don’t get paid (A.K.A. volunteer), your work hours don’t count. Doesn’t matter if the work is for a good cause, like Habitat for Humanity or volunteer work in Haiti and Africa.

If fortunate enough to have a job, earning credits in the comprehensive IDP categories quickly builds requisite knowledge, particularly if studying with others for the exams.

As we look forward to the economy improving (this could be the year!), expect a shortage of young talent. We’ll be scrambling for interns like in the boom years a decade ago.

Consider this.

Characteristics of young architects (interns): passionate, enthusiastic, creative, well-versed in new software, deeply committed to sustainability, willing to take risks, and affordable.

Mature architects: Insert “LESS” in front of each of the young architect’s characteristics.

Successful offices NEED young talent. It’s essential for our prosperity. Old offices die.

What can AIA do for our interns?

Lance Bird, FAIA
La Canada Design Group

To discuss this article, visit the AIAPF forums.
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Upcoming Event

March First Friday Forum:
AIACC Advocacy

In addition to reviewing more than 2000 legislative bills introduced each session, the AIACC monitors more than 16 state agencies, numerous boards and commissions affecting the profession, and serves as a liaison between the profession and the public.

Topics of interest for 2012 include the failed proposals to remove the statute of limitations on architects for harm caused by hazardous materials, the reevaluation of unreasonable exposures and liabilities, interior design licensure, the AIACC’s role in improving our position within the government, and much more.

The AIA Pasadena & Foothill Chapter aims to educate and inform architects about the policies that will be presented to the legislature and policy proposals that need to be opposed. This is in order to guide our members and their practices in light of the broad effects of such legislation and potential changes in state policy. This program also offers a stellar opportunity to give feedback on various issues of concern to one whose full efforts are engaged in advocacy on our behalf.

Please join us and our chapter’s continuing efforts in providing a stronger voice for our members and profession.

Friday, March 2, 2012
7:30 - 9:00 am
Brookside Country Club

Register at

To discuss this article, visit the AIAPF forums.
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What's Happening

Member Spotlight

In Our Community

Upcoming Event




  • 4/2
    EXCOM Meeting
  • 4/6
    April FFF
  • 4/11
    Board Meeting
  • 4/11
    Citizen Architect 
  • 4/14
    Advisory Committee Meeting
  • 4/17
    Fellowship Committee & Candidates Meeting
  • 4/18
    AIAPF Weinbar
  • 4/25
    Chapter Program


  • 5/2
    EXCOM Meeting
  • 5/4
    May FFF
  • 5/9
    Chapter Program
  • 5/9
    Board Meeting
  • 5/9
    Citizen Architect Meeting
  • 5/12
    Advisory Committee 
  • 5/15
    Fellowship Committee & Candidates Meeting
  • 5/17-19
    AIA National Convention & Design Exposition
  • 5/23
    Program - ADA


  • 6/1
    June FFF
  • 6/6
    EXCOM Meeting
  • 6/9
    Advisory Committee Meeting
  • 6/12
    Fellowship Committee & Candidates Meeting
  • 6/13
    Board Meeting
  • 6/13
    Citizen Architects Meeting
  • 6/27
    Chapter Program


AIA Pasadena & Foothill Chapter
555 S. Oak Knoll Ave.
Pasadena, CA  91101
T. 626.796.7601
F. 626.796.1352

Connect With Us

YOU are our most valuable resource! Put your good ideas, knowledge, and energy to work where it can really do some good for the Chapter. Join a Pasadena & Foothill Chapter Committee or volunteer to help with one of the exciting 2012 events or programs. Contact the Chapter Office to get involved.

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