Architecture Seminar Takes Affordable Housing Design to New Heights | Housing and Development Report

Posted on October 18, 2022
| 3:43 p.m.

The American Institute of Architects, Santa Barbara Chapter will host a seminar, Dense-City: Housing for Quality of Life and Social Change, 6-7:30 p.m. on October 21 at Santa Barbara City College Main West Campus, Business Communication Center, FeBland Forum.

The program will explore new models that have transformed affordable, low-income housing into cutting-edge architecture.

It used to be that affordable housing for low-income people meant fortress-like structures that were soulless and cheaply built. Today, there is a growing interest among architects who have spawned new and innovative approaches to affordable housing that are well-designed and incorporate a combination of creative social programming, cutting-edge forms and materials, sustainable design and design. an acute sense of aesthetics.

Until the 1980s, nearly all low-income housing in the country was built by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, designed with quantity, not quality, in mind. Today, good design is the cornerstone of thriving homes and communities of all incomes and walks of life.

“Good design actually has therapeutic value,” says Mike Alvidrez, executive director of Skid Row Housing Trust.

The seminar will examine, discuss and show examples of how new models and current trends in affordable and low-income housing design have produced innovative and cutting-edge designs, and how they have improved cities and communities. .

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The event will showcase examples of extraordinary affordable and low-income housing projects and discuss their relevance to good community, neighborhood and urban design today. The seminar will also demonstrate how high-design affordable housing architecture can help create more equitable societies.

Angela Brooks and Lawrence Scarpa, of Brooks + Scarpa Architects, recipients of the 2022 AIA National Gold Medal, will speak at the event. Brooks is only the third woman to receive this award, and she and Scarpa are only the second duo. Brooks is also a 2020 AIA California Maybeck Award recipient and the first female recipient.

Brooks + Scarpa is a collective of architects, designers and creative thinkers dedicated to improving the human experience. Winner of the Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt National Design Award, the company is a multidisciplinary practice that includes services in architecture, landscape architecture, planning, environmental design, materials research, graphic design, furniture and interior design.

They have gained international acclaim for the creative use of conventional materials in unique ways. They are also considered pioneers and leaders in the field of sustainable design.

Their awards include the Architectural Firm of the State of California and National American Institute of Architects (AIA) Award, AIA Los Angeles Gold Medal, National Citizen Architect Award, Rudy Brunner Award, Lifetime Award Achievement Award from Interior Design magazine and six AIA National Environmental Committees. Ten Green Building awards.

Brooks + Scarpa also received the $4.5 million Housing Innovation Challenge grant awarded by Los Angeles County for innovative and scalable solutions to homelessness.

Register for the event at A pre-event book signing and architect’s reception will take place from 6-5 p.m. on the FeBland Forum Patio, hosted by DMHA Architecture + Interior Design.

To learn more about the AIA, visit

About Gertrude H. Kerr

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