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 Volume 5 | June 1, 2018
The Tijuana Renaissance/El Renacimiento de Tijuana


The dictionary defines the word ‘renaissance’ as ‘a movement or period of vigorous artistic and intellectual activity,’ a ‘rebirth,’ a ‘revival.’ Certainly, no other word best describes what is happening right now in our sister city across the border, Tijuana.

From its downtown on Avenida Revolucion to its modern cultural complex in the Zona Rio and south to the wineries and restaurants of the Valle de Guadalupe, the city of Tijuana and its surrounding region are experiencing an ongoing, modern-day ‘renaissance’ driven in large part by a dynamic creative community of fine, decorative, and culinary artists who are reshaping this city into a national and international creative destination. From Tijuana to ‘el Valle’, architects, designers, chefs, vintners, brewers, artists and other creatives of virtually every type and description intermix and intermingle in exciting and sometimes unexpected ways.

The San Diego Architectural Foundation (SDAF) is going to tell the story of the Tijuana Renaissance at this year’s Context Volume 5 (CV5): The Tijuana Renaissance/El Renacimiento de Tijuana. For CV5, to be held June 1st, the SDAF will bring gather a group of noted architects, developers, designers, chefs, vintners, and others, who will tell the story of Tijuana’s revival in their own words and through their own works of art, architecture, design, food and wine.

CV5 is a multipart event that will begin with a VIP bus tour from downtown San Diego that will stop at the famous Culinary Art School, training ground for many of Tijuana’s up and coming culinary talents, Via Corporativo, Mexico’s first Gold LEED building, and other sites. The program also includes an open, free-to-the-public exhibit of student work from Tijuana’s five schools of architecture and a musical performance, and culminates culminating with a paid reception and evening forum. The latter two events will be held at the Casa de la Cultura de Tijuana, a landmark 1913 Neoclassical revival building overlooking the city’s downtown and San Diego Bay and itself a sight not to be missed.

I am writing you today for two reasons. First, we need your help in telling this exciting and important story, one in which the value of good design in the built environment is front and center. We are asking you to become a CV5 sponsor supporter of the Tijuana Renaissance by becoming a CV5 sponsor. Enclosed is the program brief projected costs, and a list of the various sponsorship opportunities.

Secondly, I invite you to come to Tijuana with us on June 1st, see for yourself, and hear firsthand about Tijuana’s revival from the men and women who are making it happen. Come taste the food, the wine, and the beer, stay to learn about the architecture, design, culture. It will be an event not to be missed.

Interested in becoming a sponsor for Context Vol. 5? Please download our brochure to learn more. 


Previous Events

Context Volume 4 | Neighborhoods 2027

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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