Women in Architecture Series

 Events, Spotlight



Join DCNOMA in partnership with AIA DC ES  and AIA NOVA for the three-part lecture series, organized by the AIA Northern Virginia Women in Architecture Committee (WIA) to inform, encourage and empower women in the field of architecture.

Each lecture is at SmithGroupJJR, 1700 New York Avenue, NW, Suite 100, Washington, DC 20006. 1.5 AIA LU. A reception, sponsored by Haworth, will follow each discussion.

$15 for each lecture; $40 for all three lectures. Prepaid registration is available here and is required one day prior to each individual lecture. Subscriptions for all three lectures are available through March 3.



Innovations in Profit and Compensation
March 6

PAY ME! We complain about it and many talented architects leave the profession because of it. Is it due to the lack of negotiating skills and understanding real cost that dictates our professional worth? Does the rule of “never discuss fee” hinders the development of knowing our architectural value? What’s the next innovation in contractual agreements for public projects?

Learning Objectives:
1. Examine architecture salaries from 2013 AIA Compensation Report
2. Identify techniques for negotiating
3. Examine the antitrust laws and AIA code of ethics
4. Examine the P3′s (Public, Private Partnership) contract

Panel Speakers:

Jay A. Stephens Hon. AIA, Senior Vice President and General Counsel at the AIA
Jay Stephens, admitted to the District of Columbia Bar in 1981, has more than 30 years of legal experience, working in the court system, private practice and association work before coming to the AIA in 2000. He is a member of the American Bar Association and the American Society of Association Executives, where he serves on the ASAE Legal Section Council.

Alyssa Best, Career Coach
Alyssa Best helps people identify their dream careers and provides them with the tools to achieve their goals. As a career coach, trainer and speaker, she offers guidance and skills on topics related to career and professional development. Her tips on salary negotiation have appeared in The Washington Post. She also manages thought leadership programs for The OpEd Project.

Jennifer Riskus, Manager of Economic Research at the AIA
Jennifer Riskus has been at the AIA for 11 years, where her portfolio of projects includes the Architecture Billings Index, Compensation Survey and Firm Survey. She works closely with the AIA’s Chief Economist, Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA, to analyze data and present it in a way that is relevant and meaningful to the architecture profession.

Donovan Olliff, AIA, Architect at HOK, Inc.
Donovan Olliff is the chair of HOK’s diversity advisory council, which focuses on inclusion, fairness in opportunity, respect and integration within HOKs diverse international practice. On a day-to-day basis, Donovan, who holds a degree in architecture, serves as HOK’s assistant general counsel.



Innovations in Technology
March 13

The use of technology in architecture isn’t limited to CAD. It takes many different forms including social media and crowd-sourcing to generate and promote business. This lecture will examine digital technology as a pervasive force for the developer and the designer.

Learning Objectives:
1. Identify today’s technological trends as it relates to architecture and Architect Magazine R+D awards
2. Examine crowd-funding as a method to online real estate investment
3. Identify how social media is integrating the architecture profession
4. Discuss how an architecture firm uses technology

Panel Speakers:

Benjamin Miller, Co-Founder of Fundrise and Popularise
Benjamin Miller co-founded Fundrise, an equity crowd-funding platform for local real estate, and its affiliate Popularise, a real estate crowd-sourcing website, to transform traditional commercial development by giving community members the power to participate and invest in local real estate. Ben is also a managing partner of WestMill Capital Partners, president of Western Development Corp. and co-founder of US Nordic Ventures, a transatlantic green venture capital company.

Wanda Lau, LEED® AP, Senior Editor at Hanley Wood Media in Washington, DC
Wanda Lau is an award-winning editor who covers technology and products for Architect, Residential Architect, EcoBuildingPulse.com and Architectural Lighting magazines. She also oversees Architect’s annual R+D Awards program. After five years of working in engineering and construction management, she transitioned to communications and journalism with a focus on architecture and sustainable design.

Enoch Sears, RA, Founder of BusinessofArchitecure.com
A licensed California architect, Enoch loves talking about running a great architecture business. He founded Business of Architecture to help solo architecture and small firms run a better business so they can have the peace of mind to focus on creating great architecture.



Timeless Innovation – Chloethiel Woodard Smith
March 20

“DON’T CALL ME A WOMAN ARCHITECT.” Chloethiel Woodard Smith, FAIA was considered the most influential Washington DC modern architect and urban planner of her time. Smith owned one of the largest architecture firms in the area. She believed the term ‘woman’ demeaned her accomplishments, Smith made it a point NOT to distinguish herself as a woman architect. This lecture will examine her works, career and the concept of ‘women’ in architecture.

Learning Objectives:
1. Examine the firm of Chloethiel Woodard Smith & Associates
2. Explore the greatest concentration of her work, SW Washington
3. Discuss her influence and legacy in the Washington DC area
4. Discuss the relevance and irrelevance of the term “woman architect”


Francisa Villarroel Alonso, Co-Founder and CEO of AV Architects + Builders
Francisca Alonso has more than 20 years of experience in architectural and interior design. She and her husband/business partner Antonio Alonso launched AV Architects in 2001 to provide full architectural services to high-end homeowners in the Washington Metropolitan Area and AV Builders in 2002 to deliver a seamless construction process and provide their clients with a single point of accountability from concept to completion.

Panel Speakers:

Amy Weinstein, FAIA, Principal, Esocoff & Associates/Weintein Studio
Amy Weinstein is currently designing a 500,000sf mixed-use development at Eastern Market and a master plan for a six-acre L’Enfant Plan open space on Pennsylvania Avenue, SE. She has been a visiting professor at several architecture schools, including the University of Virginia, University of Maryland, Catholic University and University of Oklahoma. Amy has served on the DC Historic Preservation Review Board and as a GSA Design Excellence peer reviewer.

Carolyn Crouch, Founder of Washington Walks
When not traversing the city’s streets on foot, Carolyn Crouch can be found riding her favorite form of public transportation – the red Circulator bus. She is the author of Frommer’s 24 Great Walks in Washington, D.C. Her favorite spot in DC for a quiet meal and chat is Corduroy in the Shaw neighborhood.

Colden Florance, FAIA, LEED® AP
Colden Florance practiced architecture in Washington from the early 1960′s through the first decade of 2000. His work included leadership of multidisciplinary design and planning teams for institutional facilities, educational facilities, mixed use developments, government projects, commercial and corporate offices and residential projects. His practice was devoted to development and planning issues critical to the city with a special interest in innovative historic preservation. Initially with the firm of Keyes, Lethbridge and Condon, he became managing partner of its successor firm, Keyes Condon Florance which later became SmithGroupJJR. He was a founding member of the DC Historic Preservation Review Board and actively participated in a variety of commissions and boards such as the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, the Federal City Council, the Baltimore Architectural Review Committee, and the DC Preservation League.


Please visit the link below for more information about the seminars and registration.

See you there!