Tel Aviv - Who Knew??

tel aviv The architect Guy Zucker inserted an elegant, light-filled penthouse into this 1960s-era apartment building on Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square. Z-A Studio photo.  

In his blog post, author James Trainor shines a light on Tel Aviv - "the secular antithesis to everything that ancient Jerusalem represents; it’s young, cosmopolitan, progressive, energetic, and gritty.... and in the past few years... it’s seen a rising generation of artists, architects, filmmakers, restaurateurs, fashion designers, and other creative types."

Hmmmm... sound familiar, San Diego?

Member Spotlight: Lloyd Russell, AIA

We are pleased to introduce the SDAF Member Spotlight, our new monthly blog post featuring our most valuable asset: our supporters. The series will highlight the varied backgrounds, disciplines, experiences and viewpoints of our diverse membership.

We are especially pleased to launch this series by featuring a long-standing member of SDAF, Lloyd Russell, AIA. Lloyd and his work have received numerous accolades and awards, including 2 Orchids (R3 and Centre Street Lofts), and the 2009 Grand Orchid (The Station). Most recently, Centre Street was recognized in the LA Times for offering a "new vision for apartment living." Indeed, he is a visionary whose projects reflect fresh ideas about urban design and development - and he's a pretty darned affable guy, besides.

Lloyd Russell

Name:    Lloyd Russell

Profession:    Architect

Where were you born, raised and educated?
St. Louis, Chicago, San Diego. Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and Copenhagen

Why do you support SDAF?
Because San Diego needs a conscience.

What attracted you to the design industry? 
The Brady Bunch. Mr. Brady didn't have to wear a tie like my dad did! Seriously, I was always good at Math and Science but I didn't have any drawing skills until my senior year in high school when I figured out all the girls were in art class, so I was kind of a late bloomer. At about that same time I was taking humanities classes and I liked the idea of doing something that contributed to the history of arts and culture. And buildings stick around for a long time. After I visited the architecture studios at Cal Poly I was hooked.
How could we improve San Diego's built environment?
What's wrong with it? Oh yeah- the suburbs and no clear vision of what the city and its waterfront should know we keep trying to hold on to the mantel of America's Most Beautiful City but when it rains I can't surf in the polluted water, its dangerous to ride a bike and when my kid is old enough I have to leave the city to go to a better school. We shouldn't be satisfied with that paradigm. We should lead the way in being environmentally responsible. We should stop talking about being bike friendly and start implementing plans to make it so. When we get to 100 miles of dedicated bike lanes (not shared painted stripes in the roadway) we can begin to compare ourselves to cities like Chicago and Portland-two places with honestly terrible weather and a better bike culture than ours. And how San Diego Unified funds schools is regressive. They could have a bigger positive impact than any redevelopment agency or urban plan rewrite with better schools in urbanized areas.  Don't get me started on the pension debacle. But basically we citizens should be less complacent and hold our public officials accountable.
Where / what is the most inspired design to be found in San Diego? 
A lot of people aren't aware of it but San Diego is getting national recognition for architect/developer led housing projects. I am flattered whenever I am in the discussion with Jonathan Segal and Ted Smith but there's a whole new generation out there, Mike Burnett/Craig Abenilla, Sebastian Mariscal, and everyone else associated with Woodbury's Master of Real Estate Development for Architects (MRED) Program.
Share 2 or 3 favorite building/ landscape/ interior/ designs and why.
My favorite modernists are the pre-WWII architects who were using new technologies and had a social agenda with their modernism before it became a style...Irving Gill and Rudolf Schindler are mavericks in that regard (and built their own stuff) so Pueblo Rivera down by Windansea is a favorite. I also think Henry Hester's apartments on 6th avenue get better and better and better the more I look at it. My favorite landscape is the path from Glider Port to Blacks Beach especially on a long period swell. My favorite bike paths are in Copenhagen where the parked cars shelter the dedicated bike lanes from traffic (which have their own traffic signals). Seeing the High Line in NYC this year was a highlight. Cocktail service poolside at the Ace Hotel in Palm Springs, wait I'm diverging....
What has been your most satisfying project to have worked on and why? 
I've been extremely fortunate to have kind and considerate clients and all of those projects The Station, Rimrock, the house in Del Mar I am doing for Benno Baenziger-the unique relationship of client collaboration holds a special place in my heart, but nothing is as intense as financing and building your own design. I don't think I can ever replicate all the things that caused the R3 Building to come into existence so that one would have to be it.

To join, renew or learn more about membership in SDAF, click here.



Modern Home Tours Hit Home

SDAF is pleased to participate in Modern Home Tour San Diego next weeked, when the Austin-based Modern Home Tours opens the doors to contemporary homes designed by Studio E, Public, Lloyd Russell and more. SDAF Members take $5 off ticket price! Click here for more info.

Settling For Mediocrity?

Unconditional SurrenderPort of San Diego's new public art committee, comprised of arts professionals including artists, curators, architects, and administrators, found that "Unconditional Surrender" didn't meet the requirements of the new Master Plan and voted not to accept it. But...

The Board of Commissioners decided to accept the permanent statue anyway. Needless to say, the group assigned to guide the Port in these decisions is none too pleased. Check out KPBS coverage by Angela Carone's on their reaction. And for a more detailed perspective from a member of the committee, read David White's (of Agitprop) thoughts and letter to the Port Commission.

Then let us know, what do YOU think?

Community Brand; Socially Sustainable Orchid Continues to Bloom

LWP Group's Community Brand is an affordable, "brand" of urban properties recognized with a 2010 Orchid for Social Sustainability. See what they and their fearless leader, SDAF member and supporter Greg Strangman are up to in the East Village in this SDUT piece by Lily Leung. Greg Strangman
Greg Strangman at the Carnegie Apartments. Photo by John Gastaldo / U-T San Diego staff

Shown Your Love Yet?

Show Your Love for a Greater San DiegoIf you have not yet taken the poll, there's only a few more days to show your love.

Our Greater San Diego Vision is an innovative way to immediately contribute to changing our region for the better. Fortunately, San Diegans enjoy a desirable quality of life and share a passion and pride for this beautiful region we call home. To keep it that way, we need your voice to help us create a vision for the 1.3 million additional residents expected in the next 40 years.

Today, you have the opportunity to decide. Clicking the image above will take you to "” where you may take a survey that will support future generations enjoying what we all love today.

Share your voice in 2012 to help shape the region for 2052. 

To learn more about Our Greater San Diego Vision, visit and join the conversation with your fellow San Diegans on Facebook or Twitter.

Thanks for your support, San Diego!

As we usher in a New Year, we wanted to take a moment to say THANK YOU, San Diego! We have had a remarkable year, and your support is what made it all possible.
Happy 2012~
As we have a look back at 2011, we recognize that it was a remarkable year of growth and success, and there is much to be proud of - and much to do in 2012! We urge you to join SDAF,  renew your membership, or make a donation now. Your renewed support will allow us to continue with the great strides we have made.

Some 2011 SDAF Milestones and Achievements:

  • SDAF-hosted PechaKucha Nights featured in San Diego Reader cover story (January)
  • Completed a strategic planning process resulting in a 5-year plan for the organization. (March – May)
  • Launched new and exclusive interview event,  “A Very Special Evening (w/Boone Hellmann)" (June)
  • Hosted special, sold-out screening of the documentary film “Urbanized,” and conversation with Director Gary Hustwit, SD Planning Commission Chair Eric Naslund, and former City Architect Michael Stepner (September)
  • Collaborated with APA’s San Diego Chapter on sold-outscreening of “Pruitt-Igoe Myth.” (October)
  • 2011 Orchids & Onions Awards Ceremony & Silent Auction marked the culmination of another widely acclaimed year of community engagement, conversation about our built environs, and public support and participation in this year-round program. (October) Click here for photos of the event!
  • Supporting sponsor of the film screening of “Charles & Ray Eames; the Architect and thePainter.” (December)
  • Published 4 full-color, quarterly editions of the SDAF newsletter, “By Design.”
  • Hosted 4 regular PechaKucha Nights (one emceed by visiting PechaKucha Founder Mark Dytham), and 2 special PKN events, including a benefit for Japan, and collaboration with San Diego Museum of Art as part oftheir Summer Salon Series, “What Does A City Need?” Click here to see photos of 2011's PechaKucha Nights.

As we look ahead to 2012, we are eager to continue the advancement of the SDAF mission to educate and promote outstanding architecture, planning and urban design throughout the San Diego region.  In addition to the continuation of the programs noted above, the following is planned for the New Year:

  • Orchids, Onions & Opportunities: An Exhibit:  A follow up to the Orchids & Onions award program,”Orchids, Onions & Opportunities” is comprised of an exhibit, various panel discussions, and interactive exercises focused on the (Onion-specific) trends of the past 6 years of SDAF’s Orchids & Onions program, and looking ahead to the changes and decisions that may influence the best designed and built San Diego possible.
  • Urban Orchid Tour: In conjunction with the exhibit, SDAF will launch a series of Orchid Tours, this first one featuring Urban Orchids, with various architects and /or owners guiding tours of their projects.
  • SDAF Film Series: Varying only slightly from our original Film Series launched in 2008, this unique cinema showcase will include documentaries, dramas, and others that depict the many different ways film and architecture have reflected each other. First screening of 2012 will take place at the Pearl Hotel in February.

Our continued efforts to serve and educate our community and inspire excellence in San Diego’s built environment are possible only through your tax -deductible membership contributions and sponsorship support.

To become a member of SDAF, click here.
To make a end-of-year, tax-deductible contribution, click here.

Thank you again for making 2011 such an inspirational success. We are keenly aware of, and deeply appreciative for, the growth that your participation has afforded the SDAF. On behalf of the Board of Directors, volunteers and staff, we wish you an abundantly warm, wonderful, prosperous and healthy holiday season and New Year!

The Architect and the Painter

Eames: The Architect and the Painter

SDAF is pleased to support in the the local debut of new film Charles & Ray Eames: The Architect and the Painter, prior to its national broadcast debut on PBS later in the month. Presented by Modern San Diego with the Museum of Photographic Arts and Mingei International Museum, the event celebrating modern design will begin at Mingei with a reception and exclusive viewing of San Diego's Craft Revolution: From Post-war Modern to California Design, followed by the film screening at MOPA at 7:15 pm.

Click here for more info, and to RSVP (required).

Tickets on Sale Now for the 2011 Orchids & Onions Awards Ceremony & Silent Auction!!

The 2011 Orchids & Onions Awards Ceremony & Silent Auction is on October 27, and tickets are available now! The jury will have completed their deliberations, the People (that's you) will have voted, and the only thing left is the culmination of the nomination, commenting and voting process:


Early Bird tickets are available now, and we have another spectacular event in the works, including inspired set design by Bells & Whistles, fabulous furniture from HoldIt Contemporary Home, beer by Stone Brewing Co. and wine from Leonesse Winery, mind-blowing Auction items (including a 26-person luxury suite at Petco Park for a 2012 Padre game, amazing art, restaurant, spa and hotel gift certificates and much, much more!), and about 450 awesome attendees to mingle with. Early Bird ticket rates apply until October 1. If you are a member of SDAF, you should have received your ticket discount code. If you did not, please send a note to and we will send one to you asap. Purchase tickets now.O&O Awards Ceremony

Join SDAF today


Upcoming Events

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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.