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Meet the Orchids & Onions Jury: A Look at Ron Roberts

As our loyal audience, you answered our call for Orchids & Onions jurors. Now the jury is taking shape! We’ll be shining a spotlight on O&O jurors bit by bit as they’re chosen. First in our juror spotlight is former San Diego County Supervisor Ron Roberts, who served in public …

As our loyal audience, you answered our call for Orchids & Onions jurors. Now the jury is taking shape! We’ll be shining a spotlight on O&O jurors bit by bit as they’re chosen. First in our juror spotlight is former San Diego County Supervisor Ron Roberts, who served in public office for 31 years.

Elected to the San Diego County Board of Supervisors in 1994, Roberts was deeply involved in San Diego civic life for more than three decades. The impacts of his advocacy can be seen countywide. Most notably, Roberts advocated for San Pasqual Academy, a unique residential campus for foster teens. He also threw his support behind Waterfront Park, helping to transform parking lots and weedy plots into a seaside asset.

A former member of the San Diego City Council and the San Diego Planning Commission, Roberts is a professional architect by trade. Before being elected to City Council in 1987, he had a 20-year career as an architect, serving as managing partner of a large firm. He earned his bachelor’s degree in social sciences from San Diego State University and a master’s degree in architecture from the University of California, Berkeley.

As an Orchids & Onions juror, Roberts brings a knowledge of architecture and a commitment to the San Diego landscape, one he has helped shape through three decades of thoughtful decision making.

“Ron’s deep background in architecture and San Diego government makes him a great fit for the Orchids & Onions jury,” said Orchids & Onions committee member Brandon Nash. “He understands the impact that design has on the urban landscape, for better or worse, and his three decades of decision making as a civic leader will bring a valuable perspective to Orchids & Onions 2020.”

 

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SDAF’s Resident Educator is Schooled in Architecture and the World

When Jose Parral joined the SDAF Board of Directors in January, he recognized an opportunity to influence San Diego’s built environment and the next generation of designers. As Architecture Chair at Woodbury University’s San Diego campus, Parral cares deeply about San Diego students, and he’d like SDAF to play a …

When Jose Parral joined the SDAF Board of Directors in January, he recognized an opportunity to influence San Diego’s built environment and the next generation of designers.

As Architecture Chair at Woodbury University’s San Diego campus, Parral cares deeply about San Diego students, and he’d like SDAF to play a role in influencing rising stars of the future.

Parral brings a unique perspective to SDAF, one deeply rooted in his Latino upbringing. A native San Diegan, in many respects he’s an international melting pot. His parents emigrated here from Mexico, and he’s part of the first generation in his family to be born here. As a teenager, he yearned to explore his Latino identity. But as a minority raised in the San Diego suburbs, he never felt he had that freedom.

Finding Inspiration in World-Class Cities

That changed when Parral attended community college after high school, as he met people from all over San Diego. Then at UC Berkeley, at 21, Parral traveled far beyond southern California and began to view the world differently.

“Together, my international experiences opened my eyes to what’s possible in San Diego,” he says. “That history, that worldly point of view, is what I bring to the SDAF board.”

Parral was the first in his family to earn a college degree. He earned his bachelor’s degree in landscape architecture from UC Berkeley and his master’s degree in landscape urbanism from the Architectural Association School of Architecture in London. As a recipient of the Kate L. Brewster Rome Prize in Landscape Architecture, he also spent a year in the Italian capital, studying the city’s ancient architecture.

In exploring cities like Paris, Rome and Barcelona, Parral learned that through small, simple measures, designers can fundamentally improve public spaces and build them to last. San Diego is a big step closer to standing among the great architectural centers of the world, especially with influential programs like Open House San Diego and Orchids & Onions. But it will take a bit more work.

The solution lies in SDAF’s mission — to inspire San Diegans to discover the value of thoughtful design in the natural and built environment.

“Design does play a role in how we live and behave,” Parral says. “If people can understand the role of design in politics, in culture, in society as a whole, I think that becomes really important to changing the world.”

 

Education and Design Together Can Shape Urban Landscapes

Parral’s time in Europe showed him that preservation can play a vital role in shaping urban landscapes for the better. In his work today, he recognizes that SDAF can take the lead in helping local leaders decide when to advocate for preservation, and when to advocate for change.

As the resident educator on SDAF’s Board of Directors, Parral sits on the Scholarship Committee and BEEP Committee, SDAF’s program for youth. He sees young designers as the future, and strives to do all he can to help them reach their potential.

Parral understands how education and design work together to shape the urban landscape. A resident of Logan Heights, where the sense of community is strong, he sees how Woodbury influences those who live there. It’s not just a school. It’s a place where decisions are made. And that, Parral says, influences the broader community.

“At Woodbury, education moves beyond buildings on campus and goes out into the real world,” he says. “For me, joining the SDAF Board of Directors was another way to bring that to life.”

Learn more about the professionals who make up the SDAF Board of Directors.

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For Scholarship Recipients, Education is a Pillar of the SDAF Community

Jessica Patrick is on her way up. The 2019 NewSchool of Architecture & Design graduate earned the 2019 AIA student merit award for her thesis about using neuroscience to create empathetic designs in place of prison architecture. And she’s one of four recipients of the 2019 Pillars Scholarship. Funded in …

Jessica Patrick is on her way up. The 2019 NewSchool of Architecture & Design graduate earned the 2019 AIA student merit award for her thesis about using neuroscience to create empathetic designs in place of prison architecture.

And she’s one of four recipients of the 2019 Pillars Scholarship. Funded in partnership between the NewSchool of Architecture & Design and the San Diego Architectural Foundation (SDAF), Pillars scholarships are awarded annually to students who demonstrate academic achievement and a commitment to supporting NewSchool’s pillars — things like human welfare, technology and sustainability — through their work.

At SDAF, where the mission is deeply tied to architectural education, supporting scholarships such as the Pillars is a natural fit.

As a Pillars Scholar, Patrick was drawn to the opportunity to research her passion overseas. The scholarship allowed her to study for four weeks in Santiago de Compostela, Spain and share her work with the local community.

In NewSchool’s Spain workshop, students learn about architecture and craftsmanship done by hand. And with a concentration in neuroscience for architecture, Patrick was eager to see the impact that woodwork, masonry and metalwork could have on one’s well-being.

Masonry most of all left Patrick wanting more, as chiseling and cutting away stone made her feel deeply connected to the craft.

“It’s meditative, and there’s an art to it,” she says. “By bringing neuroscience to the process, you’re working with the movement of the body to craft different forms, and it’s very therapeutic.”

The experience left Patrick wondering about the physiological impacts that stone’s properties could have on alleviating addiction, depression, violence and boredom, much like the effects of nature. She plans to study this further. After all, the communities that architects create can have a tremendous impact on the way people feel.

SDAF Membership Creates Networking Opportunities for Students and Recent Grads

While Patrick wants to play a role in using architecture to create positive change, she also aspires to win an Orchid at Orchids & Onions, SDAF’s annual people’s choice awards for the best and worst architecture of the year. And it’s worth noting that Patrick isn’t just a distant admirer of SDAF; she’s also a member.

Patrick joined SDAF last summer after meeting some of the SDAF team at NewSchool. It wasn’t long before she began attending meetings for Open House San Diego (OH!) and taking advantage of the networking opportunities that the foundation brings.

“Joining SDAF is a great way to become more familiar with San Diego architecture,” she says. “I enjoy the openness and inclusiveness of the SDAF community and the education it provides.”

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OH! San Diego 2020 Photo Contest Winners Announced

We again received more than 200 entries in our Open House San Diego (OH! San Diego) photo competition. Thank you for your submissions! We hope you enjoyed OH! San Diego 2020 and the opportunities it provides to celebrate San Diego’s built environment through photography. Our judges selected first- and second-place …

We again received more than 200 entries in our Open House San Diego (OH! San Diego) photo competition. Thank you for your submissions! We hope you enjoyed OH! San Diego 2020 and the opportunities it provides to celebrate San Diego’s built environment through photography.

Our judges selected first- and second-place winners in Interior, Exterior and Detail categories, as well as a student winner. Congratulations to all of the winners!

Interior Category

First Place: Kurt Kiel (image below of the Eckart Building at Scripps Institution of Oceanography)

 

Second Place: Jeff Ferguson (image below of the Old Director’s House at Scripps Institution of Oceanography)

 

Exterior Category

First Place: David Weiner (image below of Scripps Institution of Oceanography)

 

Second Place: John Muller (image below of Balboa Park Recital Hall)

 

Detail Category

First Place: Michael Booth (image below of a light fixture at Shayan House in Bankers Hill)

 

Second Place:  Adrienne Hulme (image below of a fan at Morning Glory)

 

Student Winner

Elena Hall (image below of Balboa Park’s California Tower and the domed roof of the Museum of Man)

Thanks to:

Photo competition organizer: David Harrison of Harrison Photographic

Photo competition judge: Mike Savacool, co-founder and chief strategic officer at Less+More, a San Diego-based creative agency.

Prize sponsors: Nelson Photo, Warwick’s Books

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SDAF Partner Spotlight: Delawie Up Close

Architecture. Experience. Integrity. Since 1961, Delawie has built a name for itself on those vital cornerstones, and SDAF is proud to count the San Diego-based firm as an Annual Partner and program sponsor of Open House San Diego (OH!). In our inaugural partner spotlight, we look at what makes Delawie …

Architecture. Experience. Integrity. Since 1961, Delawie has built a name for itself on those vital cornerstones, and SDAF is proud to count the San Diego-based firm as an Annual Partner and program sponsor of Open House San Diego (OH!).

In our inaugural partner spotlight, we look at what makes Delawie tick, from its people to its expertise. Since its founding, Delawie has made a lasting impact on Southern California’s built environments with designs that complement skylines and transform communities. The firm’s reach can be seen in industries as diverse as defense, technology, life science, hospitality, health and education.

A leading firm specializing in sustainable and high-performance architecture, interior design, planning and entitlements, Delawie’s designs foster learning, shape communities, and solidify corporate identity — all while making facilities more functional.

With collaborative design at its heart, Delawie has embraced a “holistic philosophy” that empowers its staff of over 60 of the brightest minds in architecture and interior design to merge all aspects of its projects. Propelled by talented designers who believe in advocacy as much as collaboration, Delawie is a lifelong supporter of AIA. In fact, seven of its team members have served as AIA chapter presidents.

With several awards for distinguished design from the San Diego Green Building Council and Engineering News-Record (ENR) California, among others, Delawie’s design team has also earned Orchids from SDAF for its work on the Imperial Beach Library, Mesa College Math and Sciences Building, and NOAA Southwest Fisheries Science Center.

To learn more about the firm and see their most notable projects, visit Delawie.com.

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At SDAF, Volunteering Can Open Doors to a Bigger World

Nikki Holloway had been looking forward to volunteering for OH! San Diego ever since she missed the chance last year. A marketing coordinator at Balfour Beatty, Holloway and her boyfriend, Rob Rusnak, finally got the opportunity to participate in the citywide celebration of San Diego’s built environment this March, when …

SDAF volunteering opens doors

Nikki Holloway had been looking forward to volunteering for OH! San Diego ever since she missed the chance last year. A marketing coordinator at Balfour Beatty, Holloway and her boyfriend, Rob Rusnak, finally got the opportunity to participate in the citywide celebration of San Diego’s built environment this March, when they volunteered for OH! San Diego in Balboa Park.

“OH! San Diego is such a cool event,” Holloway says. “By opening nearly 100 architecturally unique sites to the public — sites that aren’t always accessible — the design showcase exposes residents to some of the city’s most iconic structures. It’s a great volunteering opportunity, because it allows you to get to know the city and establish a stronger cultural identity.”

Benefits of SDAF volunteering

Nikki Holloway with her boyfriend, Rob Rusnak, volunteering as part of OH! San Diego 2020

Volunteering at SDAF Driven by Strong Sense of Community

For Holloway, who’s lived here since the age of 3, volunteering for OH! made her feel more connected to home. Long an admirer of San Diego’s built environment, Holloway has followed SDAF for a few years. Drawn by her interest in historical preservation, she found that the more she attended SDAF events like PechaKucha Night, the more she wanted, well…more. Behind her growing enthusiasm are the people and energy that make SDAF events feel so inclusive.

“The people are passionate about what they do, and that really shines through,” says Holloway, who has a degree in visual and performing arts and is a member of the Design Forward Alliance. “You especially get a sense of that when you volunteer. All of it together makes me feel part of something bigger than myself.”

In the last few years, Holloway has enjoyed San Diego’s culinary scene, and she savors the restorative power of local nurseries, trails and gardens. She’s active with the Sierra Club, and is teaming with her Balfour Beatty coworkers in a Habitat for Humanity event this year.

Just as all of these things add balance to her life, so does design. Next in her SDAF involvement, Holloway would like to volunteer for Orchids & Onions, SDAF’s celebration of the year’s most notable (and questionable) architecture and design. She hopes to contribute when the celebration takes place Oct. 1.

“It feels great to help out,” she says. “I want SDAF as an organization to thrive and reach others, because I enjoy being part of it. Let’s get the word out.”

There’s something for everyone at SDAF. Sign up to volunteer with us and let us know how you’d like to contribute. You never know where it can lead.

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New Member Spotlight: Designing Women

Behind every great friendship is a great story. For Ann Golumbuk and Rachel Moriarty, the story begins with color. “If there’s color, I’m all over it,” says Golumbuk, a San Diego-based abstract artist. Moriarty, the proprietor of Rachel Moriarty Interiors, is the same way. “Rachel and I have a connection,” …

Photo by Deborah Shields Photography

Behind every great friendship is a great story. For Ann Golumbuk and Rachel Moriarty, the story begins with color.

“If there’s color, I’m all over it,” says Golumbuk, a San Diego-based abstract artist. Moriarty, the proprietor of Rachel Moriarty Interiors, is the same way.

“Rachel and I have a connection,” Golumbuk says. “We’re both high energy. She’s a go-getter, and I could tell the minute I met her — she knows color.”

We met the two ladies at the SDAF Member Lunch in February. Held at Broadstone Makers Quarter, the lunch brought together members from all over the city. Like so many others, Golumbuk and Moriarty joined SDAF looking to immerse themselves in a community of creative individuals. What they found was a sense of belonging.

Now they’re featured in a San Diego Home Garden Lifestyle Magazine spread, one that highlights Moriarty’s interior design and Golumbuk’s art.

Ann Golumbuk typically paints in a statement-making orange suit. Photo by Deborah Shields Photography.

Using Design to Tell a Story

 

“With residential interiors, it’s about telling the client’s story in their own space,” says Moriarty, who once owned a furniture store in La Jolla. “I’ve always been one to incorporate found pieces, and when someone hires me, I become their visual storyteller.”

As an artist, Golumbuk likes to incorporate found objects too. Metal, wood, stone, shredded canvas. If it’s raw or recycled material, it’s fair game. All of it gives her abstracts an urban appeal for the clients who buy art right off her walls.

“I’m an alley person,” she says. “I go down alleys and see what I can find. Learning which materials people are using spurs my creativity.”

In one stroll down the alley, she collected three metal pieces with blue paint on them. Today, they stand as a sculpture in her yard.

Rachel Moriarty stands in a space she designed in Ann’s living room. Photo by Deborah Shields Photography.

Moriarty shares that gift for repurposing, incorporating clients’ global artifacts and mementos into the design. A Japanese textile here, a Korean chest there. When she and Golumbuk put their minds together, the collaboration manifested quite literally in a work of art.

As Moriarty pondered how to incorporate her friend’s dining room table into the design, Golumbuk came up with the idea to paint a piece. They had a section of wood cut, Golumbuk worked on an abstract, and the table is now the centerpiece of the home.

“I wanted my paintings to come out into the room,” Golumbuk says. “When you’re sitting in my house, you’re part of the painting.”

Feeling at Home at SDAF

 

That kind of ingenuity energizes the two women, and it’s reflective of the out-of-the-box thinking that attracted them to SDAF. Moriarty had been looking for the right fit for a while, something that celebrated her passions. When she discovered the architectural foundation through SDAF board member and designer Michelle Harrison-McAllister, everything clicked.

Ann and Rachel with ladies at the SDAF Member Lunch.  Their friend Michelle Harrison-McAllister stands one in from the left.

“When I went to the member lunch at Broadstone Makers Quarter, I thought, ‘This is something I can see myself being part of,’” says Moriarty, who grew up watching her dad construct architectural models as a pastime. “I felt so alive. For so long, I had dipped my toe in to test the water. SDAF was a full-bodied yes for me.”

An instructor at Art on 30th, Golumbuk was drawn to SDAF by a desire to broaden her network, stay up on San Diego development, and connect with creative individuals. She had risen from the ashes after being hit by a drunk driver in 2009, an event that changed the course of her life and career.

For more than a year, the one-time fitness trainer lay on the floor of her newly built home, recovering. Studying the room’s bare walls, the same thought occurred to her day after day. “I have to paint some art.”

On that floor, in those moments, a rebirth was in the works. When a friend said she was taking an art class, Golumbuk picked herself up off the floor. She hasn’t stopped painting since.

Moriarty and Golumbuk go at life with all they have. Nowhere is that more apparent than in their work. “We just want to live this life,” Golumbuk says. “Live out loud.”

Do you like to live out loud, too? Become an SDAF member today and feel part of something special.

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Behind OH! San Diego’s Success, A Volunteer Corps and Strong Sense of Community

OH! San Diego 2020 may be over, but the positive energy from the weekend still lingers. As hundreds of people turned out for the fifth annual celebration of urban design, architecture and the built environment, they were treated to a free, weekend-long event that truly inspired. Hosted by the San …

OH! San Diego 2020 may be over, but the positive energy from the weekend still lingers. As hundreds of people turned out for the fifth annual celebration of urban design, architecture and the built environment, they were treated to a free, weekend-long event that truly inspired.

Hosted by the San Diego Architectural Foundation from March 6-8, OH! San Diego (short for Open House) took place in nine local neighborhoods, from Balboa Park and Bankers Hill to Barrio Logan and Coronado. At every turn, the citywide Open House shined a light on the impact that impeccable design and innovative vision can have on community.

To learn about Open House’s deeper impact, we turned to those who know it best — the longtime volunteers who have watched the annual showcase grow up. Here’s why OH! San Diego enhances the San Diego cultural experience so much, in their words.

Dominique Valentino

“It’s a fun way to learn about neighborhoods in San Diego, even neighborhoods you thought you knew so much about,” says Dominique Valentino, who first learned of Open House four years ago, in a UCSD Extension class with Dr. Diane Kane.

Encouraged by Kane to volunteer for the event, Valentino donated her time at Villa Montezuma and the Marston House. She’s been part of Open House every year since, in roles ranging from site coordinator to committee member.

“OH! San Diego presents a great opportunity to familiarize yourself with neighborhoods you’ve never really explored,” says Valentino, who this year helped coordinate volunteers in Balboa Park and pitched in at the Hotel del Coronado. “We have such diverse architecture in San Diego, coupled with a rich history. Put all of that together with the people behind it, and OH! San Diego feels like time well spent.”

In 2020, Paul Engel was back for Open House for a third year.

“It’s great, I love it,” he said from his post outside the Timken Museum, where he was promoting the program, displaying T-shirts and greeting visitors. “OH presents an opportunity to learn about the buildings that you walk by every day and usually can’t get inside. But on Open House weekend, guess what? You can access them — for free. My love of architecture, history and lighting design drew me to OH, and the event itself instills and encourages passion in those who participate.”

Paul Engel volunteering in Balboa Park

Like so many others who feel drawn to the wide-ranging celebration of the built environment, Engel and Valentino return to it year after year because of the special community it attracts.

Rosamaria Acuña, a Realtor with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, feels the strong sense of community, too. An OH! committee member and sponsor who became involved with the showcase two years ago, Acuña felt pulled to OH! San Diego by a desire to give back to the city that has enriched her with so much.

“Open House brings people and communities together,” Acuña says. “It provides a framework through which people can learn and explore San Diego’s rich history. Through architecture and design, we can learn about the city’s past and present and look to the future.”

Rosamaria Acuña (far right) with Carol Chin and other OH San Diego committee members

Acuña stays involved with the program because she enjoys the positivity of event organizers Carol Chin and Maxine Ward, two women she now calls friends. She also admires the vision that event founder Susanne Friestedt showed in bringing the international event to San Diego five years ago.

With more than 300 volunteers contributing to OH! San Diego’s success this year, “this worldwide event is a gift to San Diego,” Acuña says. “Let’s treasure it and promote it to ensure it remains here for a long time to come.”

This year’s event may be over, but we need help for next year. Are you interested in becoming part of the OH! San Diego volunteer family? Email SDAF Operations Manager Beth Geraci at info@sdarchitecture.org to get involved.

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SDAF Membership — Creating Connection

When Nikki Kreibich contemplated renewing her SDAF membership for another year, she thought about all she’d built through it. She thought about connection. A real estate agent at Whissel Realty Group, Kreibich cherishes the close friends she’s made through SDAF membership. During the uncertainty of COVID-19, she’s cultivated them all …

When Nikki Kreibich contemplated renewing her SDAF membership for another year, she thought about all she’d built through it.

She thought about connection.

A real estate agent at Whissel Realty Group, Kreibich cherishes the close friends she’s made through SDAF membership. During the uncertainty of COVID-19, she’s cultivated them all the more.

“Even though we’re apart, we’re all staying in touch in some way,” she says. “For me, wanting to renew my membership had a lot to do with the fact that SDAF is where so much of my connection is.”

Connection has come chiefly from Kreibich’s involvement with Open House (OH!) San Diego, for whom she’s volunteered for three years. Each year, her involvement with the architectural and design showcase grows.

OH has allowed Kreibich, an expert in historic and architecturally significant properties, to breathe new life into her architectural passion. As a member of the OH planning committee for the past two years, she’s made an impact. In fact, through Kreibich’s connections at the Coronado Historical Association, she helped entice Coronado to participate in OH this year for the first time.

Immersing herself in the OH community allows Kreibich to stay current on what’s happening in San Diego’s architectural community, empowering her professionally.

“It’s been a huge education,” she says. “I thought I knew San Diego County, but SDAF and OH have really expanded my knowledge of San Diego buildings and their history.”

As a child, Kreibich liked to drive around and observe architecture with her dad. As an adult, she still makes the drives. Like so much else, the drives are rooted in Kreibich’s passion for architecture. After all, her not-so-distant ancestor was a San Diego founding father, and she has family roots in the Normal School designed by famed architect Irving Gill.

While OH’s penchant for educating and inspiring is one of its calling cards, the people behind the SDAF program make it so special for Kreibich. It’s those very people who make an SDAF membership so worthwhile for her.

“The friendships I’ve made through SDAF are friendships for life,” she says.

Learn more about the different levels of SDAF involvement and consider which one is right for you.

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San Diego Architectural Foundation

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Email
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San Diego Architectural Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to education and promotion of outstanding architecture, planning and urban design throughout the San Diego region.

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