Open House San Diego

Celebrating architecture, urban design and the built environment.  
OH! San Diego 2021 is coming March 5 – 12, 2021.

OH! Chats & Experiences

This year, in addition to virtual and outdoor self-guided tours, OH! is offering a slate of panel discussions and socially distanced experiences. Browse our OH! Chats & Experiences below to learn more.




La Mesa: The Next Generation


Date/Time: Originally streamed March 4   VIEW NOW  
Hosted by:  SDAF
Cost:  Free (suggested donation $20)

Join SDAF for a panel discussion exploring the next generation of growth in La Mesa, and how good design practices will help create a sustainable future.

Image credit: The Haven at La Mesa; photography by Pacific Living Properties


Michele Hottel –Architect and City of La Mesa Planning Commissioner (Moderator)
Jim Newland – President, La Mesa Historical Society
Allyson Kinnard – Senior City Planner with City of La Mesa
Drew Hubbell – Principal Architect and Owner, Hubbell and Hubbell
Thomas L. Edmunds, Jr – Development Director, Silvergate Development
Craig Abenilla – Principal, Foundation for Form



Design Your Future: Careers that Change Communities


Date/Time:  Originally streamed March 5   VIEW NOW
Hosted by: The Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation, in partnership with OH!
For:  Middle-schoolers and high-schoolers
Cost:  Free

The Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation, together with the San Diego Architectural Foundation and as part of Open House San Diego, is happy to host Design Your Future: Careers that Change Communities.

The panel will feature a diverse group of professionals in architecture, engineering and construction who will talk about their work and their career paths. Moderated by Eric Henson, policy advisor for City Councilmember Monica Montgomery Steppe’s office (District 4).

This panel is an opportunity for middle and high school students to hear from and ask questions of professionals working on projects throughout San Diego and in neighborhoods like Southeastern San Diego and Barrio Logan.  It is our hope that conversations like these will provide new pathways and access points for young people to explore careers that provide professional growth opportunities and the power to positively shape communities physically, socially, and economically.


Eric Henson – (moderator) Policy Advisor for Councilmember Monica Montgomery-Steppe
Carmen Vann – LEED AP B D +C, Project Executive B N Builders
Edgar Camerino – PE, Principal, RICK Engineering
Alfonso Barragan – Associate Principal, Safdie Rabines Architects
Kayleigh Cornejo – 5th year Architecture student, Woodbury University






Built Environment Education Program (BEEP): KidSketch


Date/Time: March 6, 7 & 13 / 11 a.m.
Format: Zoom
Hosted by:
SDAF’s BEEP Program
For: Kids and adults
Cost: Free

March 6: National City Aquatic Center – VIEW NOW  

March 7: Ocean Discovery Institute – VIEW NOW  

March 13: Chula Vista Library South – VIEW NOW

SDAF Board Member Laura DuCharme Conboy, AIA, is the Matisse of architectural sketching, and in two hands-on lessons for kids and adults, she’ll show others how to do it, too. Tune in the weekend of OH! San Diego 2021 when Laura leads two sessions, each featuring a different architectural icon. In the first session (March 6), attendees will sketch the National City Aquatic Center in National City. The second session (March 7) will feature the Ocean Discovery Institute in City Heights.



Bike Tour:  Urban Design Finds


Date/Time:  March 6 / 10:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Format:  Bike ride (bring your bike)
Hosted by: San Diego Cycling Public/Ron Miriello
Cost:  Suggested $25 donation supports the San Diego Community Bicycle Center in Liberty Station

Image credit: Ron Miriello

San Diego Cycling Public/Ron Miriello is collaborating with Open House San Diego to provide a bicycle tour of some of Barrio Logan’s lesser-known places of interest. Airstream restorers, a hidden oceanfront park, low riders and alley-art are on the agenda. Limited to 25 riders. Not a bike ride – rather a neighborhood tour by bike. This short 3-4 mile flat bike ride is appropriate for riders and families of any level. Bring a helmet and bike lock.  All riders must wear masks and maintain six-foot separation from other family groups when stopped at tour locations.



Collaboration, Connection, Community


Date/Time:  Originally streamed March 9   VIEW NOW
Hosted by:  AIGA San Diego in partnership with OH!
Cost:  Free (suggested donation)

How do we foster partnerships between individuals to create something new, something better? How can we open doors in our own work to connect and lift up members of the community— from working professionals, to students, to those transitioning within the workforce?

Beyond the tools of technology that connect us on a daily basis, collaboration is an instinctual human activity. To put it simply, collaboration happens when two or more people work together, purposely, towards a shared goal. Join us as we discuss the power of collaboration and how partnering up can boost ideas and initiatives, taking them to new heights.


Ashanti Davis – Exhibitions Manager at Fleet Science Center
Genevieve DePerio Fong – Logistics Team, Medical Operations Center County of San Diego
Don Hollis – Founder of Hollis Brand Culture



Design for Good


Date/Time:  March 11 / 12:00-1:30pm
Format: Zoom
Hosted by:  AIA San Diego in partnership with OH!
Cost:  Free (suggested donation)

Join us for a panel discussion featuring local architectural designers as they offer up a virtual tour of exemplary projects the world over which embody the highest design standards (with the awards and citations to back them), while also making a positive impact in under-served, disenfranchised communities.


Kurt Hunker – FAIA, Design Consultant for Davy Architecture | Monarch School
The Good: Educates students affected by homelessness, Barrio Logan

Eric Naslund – FAIA, Studio E | Washington Street Apartments
The Good: Low-income senior housing, La Quinta, CA

Laura Lesniewski – FAIA; Danielle Buttacavoli – AIA AICP, BNIM | Asilong Christian High School
Two designers from BNIM discuss their Design for Good approach featuring a High school campus with a profound emphasis on sustainability in Northwest Kenya and an affordable housing project in the Southcrest neighborhood of San Diego






Sure, you can download the app and explore OH! neighborhoods at your leisure, but here’s 16 reasons to start your discovery now. See what’s happening in our OH! neighborhoods March 4-12, including a mix of on-going local events and some special experiences created just for OH!



Image Credit: Southeast Art Team


Friday, March 5

Cruise by Woodbury University in Barrio Logan for their Drive-in Showcase, an outdoor art installation where architecture students across San Diego share their work that speaks to the theme of Design + Community.   6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. at 2212 Main Street, Barrio Logan. Missed the showcase? You can view it online!



Saturday, March 6:

Barrio Logan: A Creative Cultural Experience (various times)

There’s a lot happening in Barrio Logan!  Stroll Walk the Block, on Logan Avenue from Chicano Park to 26th Street, to shop local and meet business owners, artists and activists working together to create a fun, safe experience for the community (12:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.)

​Be inspired by the work of Barrio Logan creatives with a visit to TECTURE, hosting Meet the Makers, a just-for-OH! pop-up exhibition featuring the work of local makers and creatives. North Park’s own Monster Crafts food truck will be onsite. 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. at 2001 Main Street, Ste. A, Barrio Logan.

Bread & Salt

Check out a new art exhibition at Bread & Salt featuring the work of Carlos Castro: Remorses and Other Maladies. Gallery open 12:00 – 4:00 p.m. at 1955 Julian Avenue, Barrio Logan.

Important Safety Information from Bread + Salt: For the safety of all guests, a line will form at the door and entry will be staggered. All visitors must wear masks at all times. There will be no refreshments served, and restrooms are closed for the safety of Bread & Salt tenants.


Hector Perez Model



Meet the Designer behind two innovative mixed-use developments in Barrio Logan – one built and one under construction.  Hector Perez will show the design thinking behind these developments with process sketches, models, and visions of what’s to come at Los Patios and the adjacent lot (owned by Rudy Pimentel).  12:00 – 4:00 p.m. at two locations:

La Esquina, 2222 Logan Avenue,
Los Patios, 1776 National Avenue, and adjacent lot

Stay for the Drive-in Showcase at Woodbury University, 6:30 – 7:30 p.m., an outdoor art installation/student exhibition at 2212 Main Street, Barrio Logan. Missed the showcase? You can view it online!



City Heights:  Poplar Street Art Walk / 12:00 – 4:00 p.m.

Poplar St. Mosaic

The Azalea Park community is rolling out the welcome mat for OH! visitors and you won’t want to miss it.  Start your walk at Azalea Park (two parking areas available, plus street parking).  Check out the Azalea Park Water Conservation Garden, an oasis of peace and public art. Notice the wall of murals along the alley behind the garden.  Then continue from the park to Poplar Street for the Art Walk, where you’ll see classic Mustangs from The Mustang Shop, and appreciate the many vibrant murals and mosaics that line the street. Stop by the studio of local artist Vicki Leon to see the Mosaic League in action (4125 Poplar Street), enjoy live music and more.

Azalea Park, 2596 Violet Street (additional parking at Pepper Drive and Tulip Street)

While you’re in City Heights, stop by City Farmers Nursery to experience “a little bit of country in the city”.  Say hi to the goats Olive and Pickle, get a start on your vegetable garden, and relax on the rustic patio at Nates Garden Grill.  City Farmers Nursery open 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.; Nates Garden Grill open 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.



National City:  ARTS in Action / 12:00 – 4:00 p.m.

Bring the family to watch young artists in action and view an exhibition of their work in ARTS’ outdoor gallery space, with a to-go art activity for kids (while supplies last).

200 E. 12th Street, National City




San Marcos:

Take a Hike.  The San Marcos Parks & Recreation will guide this city hike A blend of wide sidewalks, maintained trails and signature parks awaits you on this 5.3 mile hike through some of the oldest neighborhoods in San Marcos. There is minimal elevation gain on this easy to moderate hike. Meet at Hollandia Park, 12 Mission Hills Court, San Marcos (park near the dog park).  Sign in at 8:30 a.m., hike 9:00 – 12:00 p.m.

Stroll through History at Heritage Park. Docents from the San Marcos Historical Society will be available to share the stories of San Marcos’ past as you tour past the Cox House, Bidwell House, and Williams Barn (exteriors only) and enjoy the native plant garden. 1952 Sycamore Drive, San Marcos. 1:00 – 4:00 p.m.



Southeastern San Diego:

Visit Mt. Hope Community Garden, meet community volunteers who help the garden grow, and learn from the Project New Village team about their Good Food District initiative. 12:00 – 2:00 p.m. at 4261 Market Street

Meet local artists and shop for some original art of your own at the Southeast Art Team’s Pop-up Gallery at Market Creek Plaza, from 12:00 to 4:00 p.m.  342 Euclid Avenue, Suite 406 (next to Asia Wok and across from Starbucks). See art happening before your eyes with live mural painting at Southeast Community Church, 210 Euclid Street.

Just across Market Street, walk through The Yard to see what happens when you create the first legal graffiti art park. Writerz Blok open from 12:00 to 4:00 p.m. 5010 Market Street



Sunday, March 7:

Southeastern San Diego:

Image credit: Anne Militante

Check out the Sunday Market at 1835 Creative Studio, with music, vendors, food and art. Sunday from 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. 1835 Imperial Avenue.

NEW! Meet local artists and shop for some original art of your own at the Southeast Art Team’s Pop-up Gallery at Market Creek Plaza, from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.  342 Euclid Avenue, Suite 406 (next to Asia Wok and across from Starbucks).



Week of March 8:

The weekend may be over, but the OH! exploration continues with these local events.

Tuesday: Visit North City Farmers Market, 251 North City Drive, 3:00 – 7:00 pm.

Wednesday:  Visit Fair@44 Food and Craft Market, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.  at El Cajon Boulevard and 44th Street.





In keeping with our Design + Community theme, our partners at San Diego Design Week have curated a special selection of 2020 SDDW self-guided and virtual tours, sharing more exciting opportunities to explore architecture, urban design, and the built environment in our region.


Browse from the following selection of SDDW programs:

Walls as Windows of Reality: Cross Border Urban Art: Follow this self-guided tour to visit recently created murals, all along the same street in San Ysidro. Mural artists include: Mr B Baby, Fifí Martínez, Isaias Crow, Luisa Martinez and David Pena, Hector Villegas, Sand Oner, Mary Jhun, and Victor Ochoa.

BIPOC History Ride: This self-guided bike ride takes you on a celebration of the rich cultural history of San Diego by experiencing historic homes, buildings and landmarks that tell the legacy of Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) in the community. Our virtual and self-guided bike route travels to areas of interest in the urban core of San Diego. Sites feature stories of people, places, policy, and land-use that tell the narrative of San Diego’s diverse community.

Watersheds of San Diego with Artist Roman de Salvo: Take this self-guided tour in which artist Roman de Salvo guides us through the watersheds of San Diego through the prism of five public art works. The tour begins among the mountains of Mission Trails Regional Park and ultimately leads to the ocean, next to the mouth of the San Diego River, showing the underlying ecological connections of seemingly unrelated parts of the city.

10 Neighborhoods: Revisited: This virtual exhibition tells the story of ten San Diego neighborhoods in photos. This free-form collection of signs, stores, and other street-level ephemera encourage exploration of our city beyond the usual sun and surf you find in travel imagery.

Public Spaces by Design: Imperial Beach: This self-guided tour features the Outdoor Surfboard Museum; two public art installations, Surfhenge and Illuminations; and the Tijuana Estuary Visitor Center, which overlooks one of California’s two nature reserves.

Court Arts 101: Check out a short video that documents the process of a collaborative team built from A.R.T.S. staff, local students, and design pros launching a project to revamp a basketball court in National City. The team hoped to build a new model, where students engage with design through a real world challenge while enriching their community in the meantime.

Iconic Signage and a City’s Identity: Watch a video presentation and take a self-guided tour showcasing San Diego’s unique collection of community identity signs. Some are historic, some are more modern, but all help to create a sense of place for the unique character of the community they represent. These signs are a sense of pride for residents, a welcoming feature for visitors, and often a driver for economic development.

Drive-Thru Art Gallery: Get in your car and take yourself on this self-guided driving tour, where you will experience an outdoor art gallery located throughout a one mile stretch from the 805 to the 15 freeway on University Avenue. The exhibition features over 20 murals painted by youth, international artists, local artists, UCSD and SDSU students, and members of the City Heights community.

Virtual Tiny House Tour: Join for a virtual tour of a 156 sq. ft. tiny house designed and built by Mariah Hoffman of Micro Modula. The tour includes both exterior and interior features, process highlights, and a budget breakdown from the designer/builder herself. The tour also touches upon lessons learned relating to safe space, placemaking, and where the business has gone since.

Positive Influence: Design Education + Community Projects: Watch this panel discussion that highlights the values and mutual benefits of incorporating community stakeholders and real-life projects in design education, as a multidisciplinary group of panelists presents the results of the Wetlands Education and Research Center (WERC) project.





  • No matter the style, beautiful design and architecture in our built environment showcases the creativity, passion and talent of people who have worked hard to help San Diego be its best self.

    Georgette Gomez
    City Council Member
    San Diego City Council

Open House San Diego Leadership

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