The San Diego Architectural Foundation was founded in 1980. Thanks to the gift and subsequent sale of a piece of property in La Jolla by local architect and developer Ed Malone and his wife Barbara. The foundation was formed for the advancement of architecture in San Diego. Although SDAF has taken on many different faces during 30+ years, this mission has always remained.

Some SDAF highlights include:

  • In 2003, SDAF published its first book, the award-winning San Diego Architecture. A 350 page, full color, 700 building guide to the architecture of the San Diego region. San Diego Architecture is in its second printing, and a downtown edition was also published.
  • The annual presentation of the Steven C. Ladislaus Memorial Scholarship has awarded scholarships to twenty-four recipients from nine different schools of architecture since its 1985 inception.
  • In 2004, SDAF re-strategized and became a public membership organization, and embraced an updated mission: Dedicated to education, and the promotion of outstanding architecture, planning and urban design throughout the San Diego region.
  • In 2005 SDAF, previously housed within the American Institute of Architects’ San Diego Chapter offices, struck out on its own, and has been an independant-yet-collaborative organziation ever since.
  • In 2006 SDAF took ownership of Orchids & Onions, the local design awards program with a 30 year history and has presented this program annually with event attendance of over 400 people each year and public nominations exceeding xxx.