Making Change: Define, Advance, Enhance
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When: Tuesday, June 25, 2019
6:00 PM
Where: HMC Architects
333 W. San Carlos Street, Studio 750
San Jose
United States
Contact: Erica Snyder

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Making Change: Define, Advance, Enhance


Are you an emerging architect or designer, or simply a pragmatic idealist who is looking to balance learning, working, and making an impact through architecture? Organized by the Women in Architecture Committee, this event will explore methods for advancing public interest design both within the workplace and through independent work with external organizations.


Amy Ress and Dasha Ortenberg will present influential projects and programs from their own experiences and beyond, and lead an interactive group workshop to help identify examples and opportunities to make social and environmental impact at different scales through design work.


6:00 - 7:00 PM - Socialize with Wine & Light Nibbles


7:00 - 9:00 PM - Presentations & Workshop Breakouts




Learning Objectives

  • Discover opportunities for emerging professionals to make an impact through architecture.
  • Explore examples and methods for advancing public interest design and social impact within workplace practices.
  • Take away strategies and consider the roles for emerging professionals to become “Citizen Architects,” by leading with personal values and professional expertise to impact communities.
  • Identify examples and opportunities through an interactive group workshop to make social and environmental impact at different scales through design work.


Parking: Street parking is free after 6:00 pm; and there is paid parking in the building located at 333 W. San Carlos Street, Studio 750.



Amy Ress, Executive Director, AIA Silicon Valley


As the Executive Director of the AIA Silicon Valley, Amy Ress is at her best designing and implementing programs to empower and inspire environmental designers and allied professionals to expand the impact of their work in vulnerable communities. Most recently, she was the Program Director of Resilient by Design during the design challenge’s launch phase. She also served as the Director of the internationally recognized 1+ program at Public Architecture, a nonprofit that engages architects and designers, nonprofits, and manufacturers to commit to design for the public good. Amy advanced the reach and scale of this program to provide $56MM in pro bono design services annually for nonprofits that collectively serve millions of beneficiaries.


Dasha Ortenberg, Job Captain and Arts Integration Strategist, Anderson Brulé Architects


Dasha Ortenberg is a designer and artist based in the Bay Area. Her formal education in Art History, Linguistics, and Architecture  is supplemented by a varied and adventurous work experience. Most recently, she developed and lead social impact workshops in Casablanca through the ZERO1 American Arts Incubator. In her independent projects and  work for art and architectural practices she combines traditional and contemporary technologies to transform individual narratives into socially-impactful spatial experiences. In her current role as Arts Integration Strategist and Job Captain at Anderson Brulé Architects, she is exploring methods for increasing collaboration between architects and artists - from project design to implementation.