Calling all community instigators, space makers and design enthusiasts. Do you have something to share? Speak up. A dissenting viewpoint? Bring it on. We’re all about the collision of new concepts and the cross-pollination of ideas.

About Context

Context is an annual forum created by SDAF with a commitment to keeping the conversation alive about the value of excellence in the built environment. People, Places, Engage!

As San Diegans, we all have a responsibility to engage on how we shape our city’s development. Context is an opportunity for San Diegans to discover their civic pride and engage with like minded citizens to foster a better San Diego. Celebrate our achievements! Look to the future!

Each year SDAF and our collaborators will examine the past, present and future of our city to bring about increased public awareness of the opportunities that exist and document a collective call to action.



Context Vol.4 | Neighborhoods 2027
Green Acre Campus Pointe | June 6, 3–9 PM


Are you as concerned about the future of housing and the vitality of our neighborhoods as we are?

The San Diego Architectural Foundation’s (SDAF) Context Volume 4: Neighborhoods 2027 (CV4) aims to shift the public dialogue about new development in existing and new communities, from one that focuses on density to one that focuses on design. The program will emphasize homes rather than housing units, neighborhoods rather than cars, and community rather than separatism. “CV4 will explore creative planning and design solutions that will enhance San Diego’s urban vitality and economic growth, and provide opportunities for systematic increase of density through thoughtful, credible and purposeful design,” says Margit Whitlock AIA, Context Vol. 4 Chairwoman and Vice President of the San Diego Architectural Foundation.

Part One | Free Design Expo | 3–5 PM

Featuring over 60 local exhibitions and community leaders in urban design and planning.

This free architecture and urban design exhibition will highlight more than 60 student exhibits from leading area architecture and design schools, including the Master of Science in Architecture in Real Estate (MSArch RED) Development program at Woodberry University, NewSchool of Architecture + Design, University of San Diego (USD), University of California, San Diego (UCSD) and others. Additionally, winners of the Urban Land Institute Healthy Places Awards and the San Diego Housing Federation Ruby Awards will be displayed.

Several speakers during Context: Part I will begin the conversation about innovative ways to build denser communities and improve the economic vitality of our region. These include local leaders in urban design and planning presenting the following topics:

  •         Kate Goodson, Principal, POP/ARCH – Amplifying Communities Through Creative Placemaking
  •         Dr. Bruce Appleyard, Assistant Professor of City Planning and Urban Design, San Diego State University – Building Livable Transit Communities and Corridors
  •         Nancy Graham, Senior Planner, City of San Diego – Re-envisioning Mission Valley Through Greyfield Development

Table Top Exhibitors include:

  • American Institute of Architects
  • American Planning Association
  • Urban Land Institute
  • Housing You Matters
  • Designing For Life
  • Suja
  • San Diego Housing Federation
  • New School of Architecture
  • Design Institute
  • DCI Engineers
  • McCullough Landscape Architecture
  • Phillip Lighting
  • Sherwin Williams

Part Two | Hosted reception and panel discussion | 5–9 PM

Purchase tickets for the second part of the event.

CV4 will host a reception and a panel discussion with distinguished experts from around the U.S. who will demonstrate how well-designed, denser neighborhoods can improve the quality of life for all San Diegans. “This event will also provide a forum at which interested parties – developers, designers, academics, planners, residents – can come together, engage in useful dialogue, and share success stories from other cities that could work in our neighborhoods,” says Whitlock. Part II is a tickets-only event. Purchase tickets.

Opening remarks by council members Scott Sherman and Georgette Gómez.

Moderated by Dr. Bruce Appleyard, Assistant Professor of City Planning and Design, San Diego State University.



Featured keynote speaker Vishaan Chakrabarti, author of A Country of Cities: A Manifesto for an Urban America. Signed books will be sold at the event for $40.


Other speakers confirmed to round out the event are:

  • David Baker of dB Architects
  • Christopher Bledsoe of Ollie Co-Living
  • Sarah Dunn of Urban Lab
  • Kevin Wronske with Heyday Partnership




Want to learn more about our speakers? Download their bios (PDF).

Interested in becoming a sponsor? Download the Context Vol.4 Sponsorship Kit (PDF) for more information.


Previous Events

Context Volume 3 | Day on the Bay | Info Expo, Reception + Forum



Context Volume 2 | What’s the big IDEA? | Exploring Upper East Village




Context Volume 1 | San Diego Central Library | Celebrating Civic Courage


  • Context as a program provides the much needed open dialog about design in our city.

    Stacey Lankford Pennignton
    Urban Planner
    Makers Quarter

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San Diego Architectural Foundation



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

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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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