Picnic in the Plaza

07/31/2013 - 6:00pm - 8:00pm

Join us in celebrating the transformation of Plaza de Panama into a car free zone! Let's make it people packed! Bring your blanket and your 20 closest friends and let's see how many picnicking people it can hold!

Bring your own Food, Blanket, Chairs, Table, Centerpiece, Candles, etc ... and enjoy the Plaza de Panama. Just like these Belgians in the photo.

2 weeks left to nominate your Orchids & Onions! August 1st deadline!

It is now peak season to plant your favorite and least favorite projects in the field of 2013 Orchids & Onions. The success of the program hinges on quality nominations and public participation, so take your camera for a walk and let us know what you think makes San Diego blossom - or stink!
Nominating is easy - if you have seen a new building, piece of public art, restaurant, park etc, go take a few pictures and then nominate it on the Orchids & Onions website. Also, be sure to "Like" the O&O Facebook page and you will be able to see featured nominations as they come in



The deadline for 2013 Orchids & Onions nominations is August 1st. Once the nomination window has closed, the jury will take their first, electronic scoring pass at every single nomination, viewing the photos, design details and your comments. The highest scoring projects are then short listed and toured, and deliberations commence. The People's Choice voting will occur online in September.  


Thanks to this year's title sponsor, NewSchool of Architecture & Design.
If you would like to be involved, be a sponsor of this year's program! Check out our sponsorship information here.
If you have any questions on how you can nominate a project, become a sponsor & be involved, please do not hesitate to contact SDAF board members Pauly De Bartolo or Craig Howard at orchidsandonions@sdarchitecture.org


Poo! PechaKucha Night postponed...

SorryPechaKucha Night folks... For the first time since launching PechaKucha Night San Diego on January 20, 2009 - we have to postpone one. Apologies for any inconvenience. We promise it'll be worth the wait. Hang tight for the new date.

Since former PechaKucha Night SD presenter, promoter and emcee Dave Brown of Holiday Matinee has traveled all the way across the country to present at #18, and since he can't extend his stay, and he's still talking to us - we're going to do lunch. Just lunch. Of course, anything we do with Dave Brown around typically turns into awesome. So that means we're having an AWESOME lunch. No agenda. Just working our love, and loving our lunch. Join us at Basic Urban Kitchen if you like awesome, too. More info here. RSVP on Facebook here.

Thanks For Your Support of SDAF!!

Thanks to all who attended first SDAF Member Mixer on May 16 at the fabulous Pearl Hotel, and the fourth installment of SDAF's Inside the Design Studio at Basile Studio on May 23! We so enjoyed seeing so many of you, and hope you made some new friends, learned something new, and had some fun at both events.

We enjoyed a remarkable increase in new (and renewing) memberships in May, as well - so WELCOME (and WELCOME BACK!) to all. We hope to see much more of you in the coming months. In fact, remember to save June 20 for PechaKucha Night San Diego Volume #18. We still have room for a few more presenters... so let us know if you have a 20x20 up your sleeve!

Photo of Inside the Design Studio by the awesome Mike Torrey. Click on the image for more. Inside the Design Studio at Basile Studio


Join Us "Inside the Design Studio"

Join us for an exclusive evening with award-winning Designer/ Builder/ Fabricator Paul Basile of Basile Studio to be held inside his design studio this Thursday night, May 23. Basile and team are responsible for numerous Orchid-awarded projects in San Diego including Car2Go (2012), Craft & Commerce (2011 Grand Orchid), Banker's Hill (2011) and The Guild (2007); and others including Polite Provisions, Soda & Swine, Underbelly and Big Front Door; and custom seating, tables, signage and more.

Entry ($20 / Free for SDAF members) includes interview, Q&A, fabrication demonstration, a complimentary Craft & Commerce cocktail (additional available for purchase) and food provided by the soon-to-be opened Acme Kitchen & Bar.

This evening is made possible by our awesome sponsors; including DCI Engineers, Car2Go San Diego and McCullough Landscape Architects, Inc.

$20 Tickets available online through 3:00pm on 12/23.
$25 at door.
Get your tickets / RSVP here.

Inside the Design Studio

Join SDAF at the Awesome, Orchid-Awarded Pearl Hotel For Our First Member Mixer

Join us, and your fellow SDAF members, for fabulous food, fascinating film and cultured company at the first official SDAF Member Mixer held the awesome, Orchid-awarded Pearl Hotel. Current SDAF Members get a generous 15% discount off their bill (please remember to tip your servers generously!). Did we mention a very special drink special? Let's just say there's likely to be some toasting involved. We hope you will join us!Member Mixer

Kicking Off May With the CVA!

SDAF is very pleased to recognize the Barrio Logan Community for their collaboration and commitment to Smart Growth, infill development. Please join us on Saturday, May 3, for a free event at the project on which the 2013 Community Vision Award is based, the Mercado del Barrio. More info here. 2013 Community Vision Award Event

Celebration of the Life of Graham T. Downes

Graham T. Downes
Graham T. "Basher" Downes
July 17, 1956 - April 21, 2013

San Diego Architectural Foundation extends our deepest condolences to the family, friends and associates of Graham T. Downes. San Diego has lost a true visionary, and whether you knew him or not, you have likely been touched by Graham and his work.
Below is an update on a Celebration of Life for Graham Downes,
planned for this Saturday, April 27. 
More tributes to Graham and his many contributions to San Diego and beyond are in the works, and we will keep you
posted accordingly. 

Basher crammed 100+ years of life into his brief 55. - One of Graham's 4,558 Facebook friends.

For Immediate Release
Contact: Jon Hinkin  702-267-8354

Celebration of Life for Graham “Basher” Downes
Playoff Bound OMBAC Rugby Closes Out 2013 Regular Season on Saturday

San Diego, CA - The Old Mission Beach Athletic Club (OMBAC) Rugby Team is looking to continue its winning ways in their Southern California Division One league finale on Saturday. Winners of six of their last seven matches, OMBAC is looking to improve to 8-4 with a victory over a 1-10 Back Bay squad at the Little Q on Saturday, April 27. Kickoff for the A side match will be at 1:00 p.m. with a B side match to follow at 3:00 p.m.
In addition to hosting the rugby matches on Saturday, the Little Q will also play host to the Celebration of Life for past OMBAC and U.S. National Team rugby player Graham “Basher” Downes. Downes helped lay the foundation for OMBAC Rugby’s great success in the 80s and 90s and has been a constant supporter of the program to the present. Basher influenced many aspects of San Diego and created friendships across industry and sport, anyone that knew Graham is invited to come celebrate. Images of Downes will be on display at the field. There will be a short ceremony and an open mic between the A and B side matches for those wishing to say a few words in Graham’s memory. A big crowd is expected as many of his USA, OMBAC and KwaZulu Old Crocs teammates, business colleagues, family and friends will be in attendance.

The Little Q is the old Chargers practice field at the South West corner of the Qualcomm Stadium parking lot located at 9449 Friars Road, San Diego, 92108.

In lieu of the usual $5 admission charge, OMBAC Rugby will be asking for a $5 donation that will go to start the “Graham Downes Scholarship Fund.”

Win, lose or draw, OMBAC will finish the season in third place in Southern California but another win would boost their confidence even further for when they travel to Sacramento on May 4 to take on the Sacramento Lions in the Round of 32 National Playoffs.

Come on out and support OMBAC Rugby and share memories of one of the greatest players to have ever pulled on an OMBAC Rugby jersey.

Tonight! Let's Talk About Building TOGETHER

021313MOAEventCurrent issues in urban SDMA logoplanning, specifically highlighting the possibilities of designing not just for communities, but  with communities, will be discussed at a colloquium this evening, presented in conjunction with The San Diego Museum of Art's interactive installation Beneath the Moon II, Journey through the City. Speakers include Leo Orellana, Architect and Founding Director of Sirchal II; Michael Stepner, Architect and Professor, NewSchool of Architecture & Design and former City Architect; and Eric Naslund, Design Principal/Partner in Studio E Architects and Chair of the San Diego Planning Commission. James Brown of Public Architecture & Planning will serve as moderator.

More information and tickets here.

We Believe!!

SDAF Manifesto
Happy Holidays!!
Tis the season to believe in something bigger than yourself, so we thought we would share some of the things we believe in - see our manifesto above.

As a architecture and design afficianado, or a member of San Diego's design community, we hope that you recognize the value of having an Architectural Foundation in San Diego, and share some of our passions.

If you are or have been a member, sponsor, or donor, we are exceedingly grateful. You have enabled SDAF to become the vital organization it is today. Help to keep SDAF active and set us up for success in 2013. Please consider enhancing your support, whether through membership or a tax deductible donation, to help us reach our year-end fundraising goal.

2012 has been another banner year for our programming and outreach. Some notable successes include:

  • Presented our seventh annual Orchids & Onions program and our biggest and best O&O Awards Ceremony & Silent Auction yet! 2012 saw a revamped website with a more user-friendly interface and hundreds of nominations, all culminating in THE annual design event of the year! Event photos and the complete list of official 2012 Orchids & Onions are available here.
  • Hosted our fourth year (16 events total, so far) of PechaKucha Nights, the international phenomenon that provides creative types an outlet to share their ideas, work and thoughts directly with an audience in an informal and social atmosphere.
  • Debuted the first Orchid Tour, of Urban Orchids. 35 tours of 15 projects were offered over a 3-day period, all guided by the architects, designers, owners or developers responsible for creating these Orchid awarded projects.
  • Self-published Urban Orchids from 2006 – 2011, a guidebook to accompany the tour. Copies of the book are still available for purchase.
  • Designed and marketed the first ever Orchid plaques, now installed in numerous Orchid-awarded projects throughout the region. Be on the lookout!
  • SDAF curated and hosted an original exhibition, Orchids, Onions and Opportunities (OOO) in a downtown storefront at 877 G Street. Free to the public, the exhibition consists of a series of visions for San Diego based on the realities of the present, inspiring examples from around the world of what has worked well, and the range of possibilities for the future.
  • SDAF established partnerships with both Dwell Magazine and Austin-based Modern Home Tours, entitling SDAF members discounted tickets to the respective tour offerings.

We have a lively line up of events on the horizon in 2013; however, without your support, we cannot continue to make these great strides towards our mission to raise awareness about the value of excellence in our built environment. 

We urge you to act now to show your support and belief in the future of SDAF.


From San Diego Architectural Foundation to you and yours, we wish you an amazingly happy, healthy, peaceful and prosperous New Year!

Join SDAF today


Upcoming Events

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

P.O. Box 122228
San Diego, CA 92112-2228
619.232.1385 Phone
Federal Tax ID: 95-3513927


You may join SDAF, renew or change your membership information by clicking here.