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 The 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 The 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 5 – Thank you Tijuana! From SDAF
The Tijuana Renaissance/El Renacimiento de Tijuana

Check Out the Highlights!

More about our Tijuana event:

CV5 was a multipart event that began with a VIP bus tour from downtown San Diego to Tijuana and visited the following buildings:

Culinary Art School with owner Javier González – The institution has been very important in the booming Tijuana and Valle de Guadalupe culinary scene. Beautiful architecture by Jorge Gracia, where materials like exposed concrete, steel, garapa wood, glass and metal are combined.

La Caja Galería with owner Arturo Rodriguez – A great art gallery that also does sensory dinners, art classes and certifications.

Object – A platform of cultural exchange between Mexico and the world. Location showcases pieces of design made of natural materials and of the highest quality – the work of designers and artists of Mexico.

VIA Corporativo with architect Ramón Guillot – Tijuana’s first LEED certified building is home to a number of businesses as well as Javier Plascencia’s Misión 19 restaurant.

Arboleda Residencial – A project conceived by architect Alfonso Medina, sited with an incredible panoramic view of the whole city. Residents are surrounded by nature amidst beautifully landscaped spaces offering different areas of recreation, contemplation and relaxation.

Tour goers enjoyed light bites and refreshments along the way.

The program also included an open, free-to-the-public history exhibit, culminating with a culinary fair, featuring eight of Tijuana’s best chefs pairing with three wineries and a TJ brewhouse. The evening program was a four-part forum discussing everything from our regional relationship, the emerging cultural explosions, development opportunity and building a quality of life through good planning and design. The latter two events were 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.

Distinguished Speaker Panel

Tiempo Primero – One City
Mike Stepner, professor at NewSchool of Architecture & Design
Roger Lewis, developer
Nora Marquez, Asesor Urbano
Gonzalo Peon Carballo, Instituto de Políticas para el Transporte y el Desarrollo
Armando Ramos Espinosa, Diverse Projects

Tiempo Segundo – Urban Explosion
Genaro Valladolid, Bustamante Reality Group
Greg Strangman, LWP Group
Maria Curry, ICOMOS Mexicano
Toño Diaz, revitalizing communities

Tiempo Cuarto – Culture
Hector Bustamante, principal at Bustamante Reality Group
Javier Plascencia, chef and restaurateur
Marcos Ramirez, artist
Antonio Gamboa, Telefonica Gastro Park
Daniella de la Puente, Chef at La Cocina Secreta

Tiempo Tercero – Textures, Tastes & Tectonics
Miguel Marshall
Jorge Gracia, Gracia Studio
Adriana Cuellar, CRO Studio
Aaron Gutiérrez, Amorphica
Alfonso Medina, T 38 Studio
Ramon Guillot Lapiedra, Guillot Arquitectos

Participating Chefs
Chef Ryan Steyn
Chef Ruffo Ibarra
Chef Paul Wallace Duran
Chef Manuel Julia
Chef Iker Castillo
Chef Felipe Lopez-Torres
Chef Daniella de la Puente
Chef Memo Barreto

The Wineries and Brew Houses
La Lomita Winery
Adobe Guadalupe Vineyard and Inn
Casa Magoni Winery and Vineyard
Cerveceria Agua Mala

The food and beverages were curated by Baja Wine & Food


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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NewSchool Lecture Series: Luis Othon Villegas-Solis & Patric
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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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