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Quarterly Bulletin - December 2012
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2012 President's Closing Message                                                     

Fariba Shantiyai, AIA, CCS, LEED AP

November 28, 2012 

A year ago on behalf of the Board of Directors, your elected representatives, I made a pledge to embrace the mission of the Chapter to promote and enhance the quality of the architectural profession and the built environment. The year has passed quickly, and I am pleased to announce that despite all the challenges we faced in 2012, we have not only achieved our mission but we have also brought more prosperity to the AIAPF Chapter. The ultimate factors for this success are of course your participation and continued support.

Our membership count is now at a total of 347, of which 200 are Architects, 57 Emeritus, 83 Associates, and the remaining 7 are affiliate and allied members. Membership fees are 40-45% of the annual budget. The remainder is comprised of sponsorship and revenue from programs to make it a balanced budget. 

Our sponsorship committee raised over $17,000, which is twice the amount of previous year. We offered over 30 programs through the course of the year, which not only provided 44 learning units but also created an opportunity to close the gap in the budget. So, I’m thrilled to announce that the Chapter will close the books in black for 2012, another successful year. Our goal remains to have the opportunity to replenish the reserve account at the end of the year.

The unprecedented collaboration among AIAPF leadership and supporting committees generated a variety of quality programs in 2012 addressing every aspect of practice, Advocacy, Education, Community Outreach, and diversity. 

The Citizen Architect Committee had the lead with the community outreach efforts,  partnering with organizations such as the Habitat for Humanity and Pasadena Community Gardens as part of our commitment to engaging society as citizen architects.  We also offered a number of ARE sessions to facilitate licensure for the emerging professionals with strong emphasis on developing the talent pool of future architects. The Design Awards was a true reflection of importance of creativity and design in support of the profession of architecture.

My sincere appreciation to the Executive Committee, the Board of Directors, the entire group of Advisors, Committee chairs, and Committee members for their collaboration and support as well as our members, supporters and sponsors who were an essential part of making 2012 a successful year. I would also like to acknowledge the new addition to our team, Zelda Wong, Executive Director for her support who has been an integral part of this team. 

There is no doubt that our incoming leadership, Alek Zarifian and Nazanin Zarkesh along with their support team will continue to guide us into a brighter and more prosperous AIAPF.

“Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.”  Henry Ford

Thanks again for all your support.

Fariba S. Shantiyai, AIA, CCS, LEED AP
2012 AIAPF President

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AIAPF Love Fest

Lance Bird, FAIA


Incoming 2013 Board of Directors. Photo courtesy of Esteban Lopez.


On November 28th, our chapter gathered at the Maxwell House to celebrate an active, program-filled year.  And to boot, a year where we financially finished in the black!  Alek Zarifian, AIA was installed as our new president, succeeding Fariba Shantiya, AIA.  Mark Gangi, AIA was master of Ceremonies for the evening.  Michael B. Lehrer, FAIA set the positive, enthusiastic, “love fest” tone for the evening with his inspiring address.  Long-time member and architect extraordinaire, Harlan Pedersen, AIA, was honored with the Joseph F. Thomas, FAIA Founders Award.  

The Maxwell House on Grand Avenue was the site of the Perspectives: Women in Architecture event earlier this year.  Once again, we could witness (and feel) the uplifting effect of architecture on an event.  Traditional in design, the scale, lighting, acoustics and finishes of the space were just right for a warm dinner gathering. 

Michael Lehrer began with an inspirational reminder as to our purpose as architects: “The word ‘Architect’ is a magical word for me.  Why is that?  Ours is an awesome, awful, magnificent profession, with astonishing training requiring extraordinary grit.”  Lehrer went on to say “we are hard-wired for optimistic outcomes, it is what we do…and why does it matter?  Why does it?  Community Matters, Desire Matters, Engagement Matters, Place Matters, Values Matter, Leadership Matters.”  That is why we gathered -- to recognize our leaders, the outgoing board, and the new board. Special recognition to Fariba Shantiya, AIA, outgoing President, for embracing our membership with her sharing, enthusiastic outlook on architecture and our community, as well as recognition for incoming President Alek Zarifian, AIA and his strong vision for the future.  

Paraphrasing President John Kennedy, Alek said “My fellow Architects, ask not what the AIA can do for you, ask what you can do for the AIA”.  His goals include “collaborate, connect, educate, advocate, legislate, prosper, and HAVE A LOT OF FUN.”  Alek gets it! Under his leadership, we have good cause to expect that we will continue to emerge from four years of recession with flying colors.  

The Joseph F. Thomas Founders Award was presented to Harlan Pedersen, AIA. Jim Spencer, AIA was exceptional in communicating the essence of the honoree’s contributions.  He described how Harlan is truly an “architect for all seasons.”  A first-generation immigrant of Danish parents, following his service into the Merchant Marines during WWII, Harlan graduated from USC in 1948 and by 1956 was on his own in practice with Fred Dinger.  Many of us remember his transformative office buildings, the projects he developed in what was to become “architect’s gulch” on Figueroa at Colorado Blvd.  In addition to his prosperous practice, Harlan served as chapter president in 1976, and continued his board service with AIACC, USC Architectural Guild and others.  Harlan retired in 1991, and his fine practice lives on in Pasadena as PBWS.  Harlan’s wife Anne, his companion of sixty-years, joined the event.  Today they live on Orcas Island in Washington State.  

The chapter also awarded the American Institute of Architects National Component Scholarships to students Elizabeth Hanna and Stefano Passeri for excellence in the study of Architecture.

AIA Pasadena and Foothill Chapter 2013 Board of Directors:

Alek Zarifian, AIA, LEED AP -President 
Nazanin Zarkesh, AIA, LEED AP -Vice PRESIDENT 
Dan Stein, AIA, LEED AP -Secretary 
Chauncey F. Jones, AIA, NCARB -Treasurer 
Eric Parlee, AIA -Director of Advocacy & Government Affairs 
Mark Gangi, AIA, LEED AP -Director of Citizen Architects 
Brian Lee -Director of Membership 
Tiffany TingTing Dell’Aquila, Associate AIA -Director of Communications 
Tony Hambarchian, Associate AIA -Director of Emerging Professionals/ Outreach 
Ulises Gonzalez, Associate AIA -director of Programs 
Fariba S. Shantiyai, AIA, CCS, LEED AP – Immediate Past President, Director At Large
Dr. Hofu Wu, FAIA - Director At Large
Zelda Wong -Executive Director 


Mr. & Mrs. McCann, Dr. Hofu Wu. Photos courtesy of David Gaines.


Michael Lehrer, Nazanin Zarkesh, Lance Bird, Kenneth Long. Photos courtesy of David Gaines.


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Habitat for Humanity Charrette

Tiffany Dell'Aquila, Associate AIA
Director of Communication

This past November, the AIAPF Citizen Architect Committee conducted a successful charrette in collaboration with the Habitat for Humanity San Gabriel Valley Chapter. Our two organizations have co-existed side by side for many years, and these collaborative events demonstrate the symbiotic relationship that our organizations share. The event was well attended, with Elaine Wilkerson from Habitat for Humanity, Alek Zarifian (AIAPF Vice President), Mark Gangi and Steve Lewis (Co-Chairs of the AIAPF Citizen Architect Committee), Tiffany Dell’Aquila (AIAPF Director of Communications and Champion for Habitat for Humanity), as well as Dennis Woodson, Michael Hamilton, and Derek Ryder.

The premise of the meeting lay in Habitat for Humanity’s need to make better-informed decisions when assessing potential new sites for development. Though our starting point was the empty lot on Chestnut Street in Glendale, the ultimate goal was to develop a protocol for such pre-design analysis.

In the first hour, we examined existing floor plans of unit types that Habitat for Humanity had employed in the past. Each unit should have 3 bedrooms, 1.5 bathrooms, with kitchen, dining, laundry, and two on-site parking spaces. An introspective discussion ensued about the relationship of an open or enclosed parking space adjacent to a unit, and the fact that occupants often occupied their garage space due to a lack of adequate space. 

The second hour focused on the challenge of fitting three units and six parking spaces onto the 50’x140’ site. As the sketches evolved and the ideas sharpened, it became evident that the varying orientation of the parking spaces have dramatic impact on the open and community space that the lot is able to possess.

In the end, we were able to come up with seven distinct configurations, varying from the most custom units to the most modular units. The official report is still being compiled, but a follow up event will occur soon in the New Year.

L-R: Michael Hamilton, Dennis Woodson, Elaine Wilkerson, Alek Zarifian. Photo courtesy of Tiffany Dell’Aquila



L-R:  Elaine Wilkerson, Alek Zarifian, Derek Ryder, Steve Lewis, Mark Gangi, Michael Hamilton. Photo courtesy of Tiffany Dell’Aquila


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2012 President's Opening Message

Alek Zarifian, AIA

November, 2012 

It is with great pleasure and a slice of the common uncertainties, present in the entire strata of our nation, that we embark on the challenges of 2013 as a team and as a Chapter. 2012, under the graceful and persistent leadership of Fariba Shantiyai, proved to be a wonderful year full of successful programs, events and so many joyous gatherings. 

We so look forward to 2013 to be a wondrous and exciting year for our great Chapter of Pasadena and Foothill. What makes our Chapter so unique is that it is a small Chapter which manages to accomplish big things. We have managed to do well because our leaders have always cared and remained involved to insure the success of those who follow. AIAPF is known to be the village who raises the child. 

This year we are blessed with a very enthusiastic and diverse board of directors who will continue to be the voice of our membership to advance the profession through advocacy, education and collaboration. The board is fortunate to have the support of Zelda Wong, our outstanding Executive director, who has already proven herself above and beyond everyone’s expectations. 

It is my belief that our success is not only due to the work of this board, but it is because of the collective efforts of all those members and volunteers who so selflessly believe in good architecture and its promise for a better tomorrow. Let us join and welcome 2013 and together make it the best that it can be.

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Our Generous Sponsors










What's Happening




  • 1/11    
    January First Friday Forum by Dough Humphrey, DSA
  • 1/16    
    Cool Architects, Hot Slides
  • 1/23   
    Committee's Kick-Off Meeting
  • 1/26
    Advisory Breakfast Meeting at Mi Piace
  • 1/29 - 1/30    
    StonExpo (Las Vegas)


  • 2/1    
    February First Friday Forum
  • 12/7    
    ADA Session at 4:30 PM
  • 2/23     
    ARE Kick-Off Session hosted by Emerging Professionals Program


  • 3/1    
    March First Friday Forum
  • 3/8    
    No Architect Left Behind
  • 3/9    
    ARE: Construction Documents & Services
  • 3/23    
    ARE: Site Planning & Design
  • 3/30    
    General Structures


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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