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
UCSD Great Hall | June 6, 5–9 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 change the public perception about new development in existing and new communities and to humanize the problems that opposition to development causes. The program will emphasize homes rather than housing units, jobs rather than companies, 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.

The CV4 program contains three key elements, says Whitlock. The first, to launch the development of a one-of-a-kind, countywide survey on neighborhoods and housing generated and analyzed by University of California, San Diego (UCSD) Center for Sustainability Science, Planning and Design. Through this survey and its analysis, the community and industry will gain valuable data on what is important to San Diegans with respect to lifestyle, livability, education, and employment in the context of current and future neighborhood structure.

Secondly CV4 will host a conference to launch the survey and host a distinguished panel of experts to 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 dialog, and share success stories from other cities that could work in our neighborhoods,” says Whitlock.

SDAF is pleased to announce the conference Key Note speaker is:

Vishaan Chakrabarti author of
A Country of Cities: A Manifesto for an Urban America.
Practice for Architecture and Urbanism (PAU).




Other speakers confirmed to round out the event are: 


Christopher Bledsoe
Ollie Co-Living
New York, NY



David Baker
dB Architects
San Francisco, CA




Kevin Wronske
Heyday Partnership
Los Angeles, CA




Sarah Dunn
Urban Lab
Chicago, IL




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


“Future Livable Neighborhoods”


Then in 2018, the CV5 program will host local schools of architecture and design to exhibit “Future Livable Neighborhoods” designs from their studio work in Fall 2017.

The San Diego Architectural Foundation Context Vol.4 is part of a series of conferences featured by  Housing San Diego’s Future.  Additional conferences include the American Institute of Architect’s San Diego Housing the Next 1 Million Residents and CityAge’s The Business of City Building.  

Along with CV4, the San Diego Architectural Foundation is the host of Orchids and Onions, the only interactive, community-based program geared towards raising awareness and encouraging practical discourse in response to San Diego’s built environment.


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

Upcoming Events

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Open House San Diego 2017
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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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