In this section

Recent News



POSTED: 07.14.15

Architecture Professor Honored with Distinguished Teaching Award

JUNE 26, 2015

SAN LUIS OBISPO – Professor of Architecture, Sandy Stannard was one of three faculty selected for the Distinguished Teaching Award  for the 2014-15 academic year. 

The Distinguished Teaching Award was established to recognize faculty members who demonstrate excellence in teaching at Cal Poly. Criteria include presentation of material that stimulates thinking, innovative instructional approaches and a high degree of student interaction. 

Stannard's teaching revolves around issues of ecological sensitivity; she teaches design studios, building technology coursework, and advises masters' theses.

"Despite living in an era of increasingly diminished resources, I hope that students develop a passion for ecological sensitive design - design that is place-based, resource smart, and experientially delightful,"  she says.

Stannard is one of the faculty advisors for Solar Cal Poly's upcoming Solar Decathlon 2015 entry; she also served as an advisor for Cal Poly's 2005 project, which received third place overall in the U.S. DOE/NREL sponsored international design/build competition. Professor Stannard was recently the recipient of a USGBC "Green Innovation" honorable mention award for her work on an "outdoor classroom" for a local elementary school, a project intended to enhance environmental learning in an outdoor setting.

Stannard studied architecture at UC Berkeley (B.Arch) and University of Washington (M.Arch). 




    Back to top

    POSTED: 06.10.15

    aqua farm demonstration Cal Poly's Sustainable Environments Program Wins Statewide Best Practice Award for Sustainability in Academics​

    JUNE 10, 2015

    SAN LUIS OBISPO -- The Sustainable Environments minor program in Cal Poly’s College of Architecture & Environmental Design (CAED) received a Best Practice Award for Sustainability in Academics from the California Higher Education Sustainability Conference (CHESC).

    CHESC is an annual conference that highlights cutting-edge research and case studies with proven successes in curriculum development, operational programs and community partnerships. The event is jointly organized by the California state universities, and the University of California, in collaboration with independent and private colleges and California community colleges, creating the opportunity for dialogue  across institutions.

    UCLA’s Education for Sustainable Living program was also awarded a Best Practice Award in the Sustainability in Academics category.

    The CAED’s Sustainable Environments program offers a cross-section of Cal Poly students an opportunity to become informed about the principles and problems of sustainable environmental design with global, regional and local perspectives and concepts – and then to attempt to implement sustainable practices locally. The program teaches students from across all majors to integrate concerns for ecology, social equity and economics in the context of human and natural resource systems and the built environment.

    The core requirement of the Sustainable Environments minor is a two-quarter, team-taught interdisciplinary sequence of Environmental Design (EDes) courses that has served as an international model for interdisciplinary undergraduate core education in sustainability. The Sustainable Environments core courses are team-taught by an interdisciplinary group of faculty from the College of Architecture & Environmental Design.

    About the Sustainable Environments minor

    More than 1,400 students, including students from every college at Cal Poly, have graduated with the Sustainable Environments minor.

    In 2005 the Sustainable Environments program won the top national award for Ecological Literacy in Architectural Education from the American Institute of Architects, and in 2013 the program won a regional Green Award from the Central Coast Chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council. In 2011 Cal Poly Architecture Professor Jonathan Reich was awarded a Senior Fulbright Scholar grant to teach a version of the Sustainable Environments core courses at the University of Camerino in Ascoli Piceno Italy.

    click here to learn more about se professors and projects 


    Back to top

    POSTED: 06.10.15

    Photo of Sandy

    Cal Poly College of Architecture & Environmental Design Awards $70,000 to Support Teacher-Scholar Activity 

    JUNE 10, 2015

    SAN LUIS OBISPO — Six faculty members in Cal Poly’s College of Architecture & Environmental Design (CAED) have been named 2015-16 Teacher-Scholar Award recipients.

    The awards, totaling $70,000, are made possible with support from the William Randolph Hearst Foundation and AVRP Studios, a San-Diego based company offering planning, architecture, and interior design services.  

    The awards are designed to foster a culture of intellectual experimentation and curricular innovation that will provide CAED students and faculty with opportunities to further their professional development and enhance the present and future quality of the built environment.

    “This funding will allow us to provide time and resources for faculty and students to engage in new and energizing forms of scholarly work,” said Christine Theodoropoulos, dean of the CAED. “We are truly grateful to the William Randolph Hearst Foundation and AVRP Studios.”

    Three faculty members will receive funding to employ Hearst Student-Scholar Fellows:

    Meridith Sattler, assistant professor of architecture, Sandy Stannard, professor of architecture,  and Joe Ragsdale, associate professor of landscape architecture.

    Ed Saliklis, professor of architectural engineering, was named the Hearst Teacher-Scholar Fellowship recipient; Mark Cabrinha, associate professor of architecture, received  the Hearst Scholarship in Education award; and Dale Clifford, assistant professor of architecture, was the AVRP Studios Housing Innovation Award recipient.   

    A jury composed of the college’s associate deans and department heads and distinguished external peers reviewed the award applications. The jury included Kate Schwennsen, FAIA, former AIA president, professor and director of the School of Architecture at Clemson University; Michael Fifield, FAIA, AICP, professor of architecture at the University of Oregon; and Bruce Danziger, SE, associate principal at Arup-Los Angeles, Cal Poly architectural engineering alumnus, and member of the CAED Dean’s Leadership Council.


    Back to top

    POSTED: 06.10.15

    Cal Poly Students Plan Low-Income Housing Project for Veterans

    JUNE 10, 2015

    Project Garners Second-Place Award in Bank of America Merrill Lynch Regional Competition

    SAN LUIS OBISPO – A multidisciplinary team of Cal Poly students has partnered with People’s Self-Help Housing to develop plans for a 30-unit affordable housing complex for at-risk and homeless veterans in Atascadero, Calif. The project is named Vestri Vita, which means “your life” in Latin.

    Cal Poly’s team created an ADA- compliant design, including a counseling center, first aid resources, and a “maker space,” a facility with resources geared to helping veterans reintegrate into the community.

    The project also features plans for drought-tolerant landscaping, solar panels, and a gray- water system. With Cal Poly’s plan, People’s Self-Help Housing can continue to pursue the project.

    Cal Poly’s plans for Vestri Vita recently took second place at the Bank of America Merrill Lynch Low-Income Housing Challenge. The annual event challenges several West Coast universities to create a detailed plan to develop and finance an affordable housing project on local property with a real estate developer.

    Cal Poly’s team included architecture students Derik DeLonzor, Jack Gamboa, Khristine Melendez and Miranda Mills; city and regional planning student Tanner Shelton; construction management students Holli Tripp and Lauren Norwood; and finance student Lauren Weber. Architecture Professor Kent Macdonald and finance Professor Pratish Patel advised the students throughout the five-month research and planning process.

    The team advanced to the final round to compete against teams from UCLA, UC Berkley and the University of Washington. Each member of the team gave a presentation on the plan, including design, planning, construction and financing. Cal Poly was the only team of undergraduate students to compete in the final round. According to Macdonald, the final scores were close, with Cal Poly falling short by less than one point.  

    “This competition embodies Cal Poly's Learn by Doing motto and really challenges us to go outside the classroom and learn what it's like to work in the industry of affordable housing development,” said Weber, a senior. “It's a lot of work, but definitely worth the experience.”

    The competition aims to provide college students with exposure to challenges associated with the development of affordable housing. Many professionals in the industry, such as lenders, bankers, nonprofit developers, tax credit investors, architects and planners, judge the competition and provide feedback. Several of the competitors in the final round received job offers within the affordable housing industry.

    Cal Poly has competed in the challenge in the past, winning first place in five of the past 10 years.

    To view the team’s presentation video on Vestri Vita, visit

    For more information about the CFA Institute Research Challenge ›

    Back to top

    POSTED: 06.04.15

    Fluor Donation

    Fluor Funding Promotes Student Success in the College of Architecture & Enviornmental Design

    June 04, 2015

    San Luis Obispo- More students in the architectural engineering and construction management departments will benefit from professional development and leadership opportunities thanks to a $9,000 grant from the Fluor Corporation.

    The Fluor grant will be used to fund two architectural engineering scholarships and provide course materials for the concrete course. In addition, it will support the International Construction Management Education Initiative. This initiative allows Cal Poly to further develop relationships and to build on existing partnerships with international universities by recruiting Cal Poly students to study abroad and increase recruitment of international students to study at Cal Poly.

    Fluor’s Doug Makowecki visited the College of Architecture & Environmental Design (CAED) to personally deliver the funding to the CAED Dean, Christine Theodoropoulos and Assistant Dean for External Relations, Natalie Schaefer.

    “Fluor support plays a key role in helping to meet our student’s needs,” says Schaefer. “Students report outstanding benefits to their professional growth and development from the type of hands-on participation made available through supporting grants.” 

    Back to top

    POSTED: 05.26.15

    David DiamondPamela Anderson-BruleNathan GoodDiane Eileen McLean

    Four Cal Poly Alumni Elevated to the American Institute of Architects’ College of Fellows

    MAY 26, 2015


    SAN LUIS OBISPO -- The American Institute of Architects (AIA) 2015 Jury of Fellows elevated four Cal Poly alumni to its College of Fellows. 

    Pamela Anderson- Brulé (B.S., Architecture, 1981), David Diamond (BAR Architecture, 1988, M.S. Architecture, 1989), Nathan Good (B.S. Architecture, 1978, MAR, 1991) and Diane Mclean (B.S. Architecture, 1980) were among 147 architects honored at a ceremony during the AIA Convention in Atlanta last week.

    "Quite a number of our alumni were honored with this prestigious recognition this year," said the College of Architecture and Environmental Design Dean Christine Theodoropoulos. "These individuals have contributed significantly to the field of architecture in their communities, the state and the nation. We are happy for them, and proud to call them Cal Poly alumni."

    Anderson- Brulé, Diamond, Good and Mclean were recognized for their vision and innovation in shaping the built environment. Induction into the AIA fellowship program is one of the highest honors the organization can bestow upon a member. Election to the College of Fellows recognizes the achievements of architects as individuals and their significant contribution to architecture and society. Out of the more than 85,000 AIA members, less than 4 percent hold this distinction.

    Anderson- Brulé, FAIA, is president and co-founder of Anderson Brule Architects headquartered in San Jose, Calif., and is the first woman in Santa Clara County to earn the distinction of AIA fellow. She believes successful building design engages the client’s entire operation from a human, social, economic and environmental perspective – a methodology she calls strategic process design. Anderson-Brulé has been nationally recognized for the new service and operational models developed for the San José Martin Luther King Jr. Library, a first-of-its-kind facility used jointly by San Jose State University and the city of San José.

    Diamond, FAIA, is associate director and technical designer at SOM. A recognized expert in the integration of building systems and architecture, his extensive portfolio includes the U.S. Embassy in Beijing; U.S. Consulate General in Guangzhou, China; Cathedral of Christ the Light, in Oakland, Calif.; and the headquarters for Electronic Arts in Redwood City, Calif. Diamond is committed to sharing his knowledge and expertise with future architects and generously volunteers his time as a mentor and lecturer to Cal Poly architecture students.

    Good, FAIA, IIDA, LEED AP, founded Nathan Good Architects in 2005. He specializes in projects that bridge environmental performance with character and aesthetics. He is known for being at the forefront of sustainable design and was the fifth individual to be designated a LEED accredited professional. His projects strive to reduce environmental impact through thoughtful site planning, aggressive reduction of energy consumption, water savings and careful selection of materials. His firm has received design awards from the Portland and Salem chapters of the AIA, National Association of Home Builders, Sunset magazine, Environmental Design + Construction Portland Spaces and the Mid-Willamette Valley.

    McLean, FAIA, LEED AP BD+C, program architect for New Construction Services at Southern California Edison is a leader in energy efficiency and sustainable design practices.  She has 30 years of professional experience in the design and construction of institutional and government building complexes, including healthcare facilities, universities and civic centers. McLean has received several awards for her leadership and commitment to raising the standards of sustainable design. She serves on the AIA California Council Energy and the Built Environment Steering Committee, the AIACC Committee on the Environment (COTE) and AIA Orange County Board of Directors.

    More about Pamela Anderson-Brulé​›

    More about David Diamond Skidmore ›

    More about Nathan Good ›

    More about Diane Eileen McLean ›

    More about the American Institute of Architects ›


    Back to top

    POSTED: 05.26.15

    Photo of Rachel SantaOlallaCal Poly Student Named American Society of Landscape Architects Council of Fellows Scholarship Recipient for 2015

    May 26, 2015

    SAN LUIS OBISPO — A Cal Poly student is one of three university students across the nation to receive the 2015 American Society of Landscape Architects Council of Fellows Scholarship.

    Rachel SantaOlalla, who plans to graduate in December 2016 with a bachelor’s in landscape architecture and a minor in land rehabilitation, said it was a “shocking feeling that I rarely ever feel” to learn she will receive the $4,000 scholarship.

    “I’ve become comfortable with the professional world through my ASLA endeavors, which have benefitted me as a student, an emerging professional and as a person,” she said. “It felt very rewarding to be recognized for my enthusiasm in the field.”

    SantaOlalla, 25, was a team leader of a project that received an ASLA national award of excellence last November for a playground Cal Poly students designed and built at an orphanage in Alexandria Township, South Africa.

    The 5,000-square-foot Ratang Bana Orphanage Park project was honored in the community service category of the organization’s Student Awards competition. It was one of only three awards of excellence given out in the annual competition that attracted more than 500 entries from 77 universities across the U.S.

    SantaOlalla grew up in Ventura, Calif., where she developed a love for nature “surrounded with mountains, rivers, islands and the ocean,” she said. “I finally found a field that I am heavily passionate about and am looking forward to what the professional world has to offer.”

    The ASLA Council of Fellows established the scholarship in 2004 to aid outstanding students, increase the participation in landscape architecture of economically disadvantaged and underrepresented populations, and enrich the profession through increased diversity.

    She will attend the professional organization’s annual convention at McCormick Place in Chicago, Nov. 6–9, to receive her scholarship certificate.

    About the American Society of Landscape Architects:

    Founded in 1899, ASLA is the national professional association for landscape architects, representing more than 15,000 members in 49 professional chapters and 72 student chapters. Members of the Society use ASLA after their names to denote membership and a commitment to the highest ethical standards of the profession. Landscape architects lead the stewardship, planning and design of the built and natural environments; the society's mission is to advance landscape architecture through advocacy, communication, education and fellowship.

    More on ASLA ›

    Back to top

    POSTED: 04.28.15

    Cal Poly Faculty Michael Boswell

    Cal Poly Professor Michael Boswell Working with United Nations Habitat Committee on Cities and Climate Change

    APR 29, 2015

    SAN LUIS OBISPO — City & Regional Planning Professor, Michael R. Boswell was selected to participate in Guidelines for City Climate Action Plans, sponsored by U.N.-Habitat, a United Nations program designed to promote socially and environmentally sustainable human settlements and adequate shelter for all. The meeting took place in Oslo, Norway, in conjunction with the U.N.-Habitat 2015 Cities and Climate Change Initiative advisory committee meeting.

    Boswell was chosen based on his expertise in local climate action planning, including greenhouse gas emissions reduction and climate adaptation planning and policy. He was one of 30 experts from around the globe representing organizations including U.N.-Habitat, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), World Bank, Local Governments for Sustainability (ICLEI), Climate UK, C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, Cities Alliance and the World Resources Institute.

    While some cities are beginning to address climate change in a more strategic and forward-looking manner, many cities, particularly in developing countries, are working without the benefit of climate action plans. Boswell recently authored “Local Climate Action Planning,” with City & Regional Planning Professor Adrienne Greve and subject area expert Tammy Seale.  

    “Climate action plans have the power to reduce vulnerability to the hazards associated with climate change and to position a city to thrive well into the future, economically, environmentally and socially” said Boswell. "I am honored to be selected by U.N.-Habitat to work on providing global cities with needed tools to address the challenge of climate change."

    Boswell is currently serving on the U.N.-Habitat committee to develop a set of guidelines and recommendations that will be presented at the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP-21) in Paris, France.


    For more information about Michael Boswell, go to

    For more information on local climate action planning, go to


    Back to top

    POSTED: 04.07.15

    Cal Poly Alumnus Pamela Anderson-Brulé

    Cal Poly Alumna Pamela Anderson-Brulé to be inducted into Distinguished College of Fellows

    APR 07, 2015

    SAN LUIS OBISPO – Ms. Pamela Anderson-Brulé, (B.S., Architecture, 1981) will be inducted into the College of Fellows in the American Institute of Architects (FAIA) at the 2015 National AIA Convention in Atlanta, Georgia.

    The College of Fellows was first created in 1889 by the American Institute of Architects and was officially formalized in 1952. This honor is designed to "elevate those architects who have made a significant contribution to architecture and society and who have achieved a standard of excellence in the profession."

    Anderson-Brulé represents one of the few women-owned firms in Silicon Valley and is the first woman in Santa Clara County to be honored with this distinction. In the most recent AIA Survey completed in 2012, women represented 17% of the 85,000 AIA members, and less than 4% of all members hold the FAIA distinction.

    Anderson-Brulé believes that for a building design to be truly successful, it is the architect’s responsibility to fully understand, engage, and enhance the client’s entire operations from a human, social, economic, and environmental perspective. She terms this “Strategic Process Design,” which begins by creating a comprehensive dialogue of needs, expectations, and models of the client’s vision, services, and operations with all of the client’s stakeholders: administrators, political leaders, community members, employees, and those who will use the services within the building.

    Anderson-Brulé‘s Strategic Process Design was nationally recognized for the groundbreaking new service and operational models developed for the San José Martin Luther King, Jr. Library, a first of its kind, joint-use library for not only the San José State University and City of San José but the United States.  For more information, please visit

    For more Anderson Brulé​ Architects, Inc. ›


    Back to top

    POSTED: 03.13.15

    Cal Poly Alumnus David Diamond to be Inducted into Distinguished College of Fellows

    David Diamond

    SAN LUIS OBISPO- Cal Poly Architecture alumnus David Diamond (B.S., Architecture, 1988; M.S. Architecture, 1989) will be inducted into the American Institute of Architects’ College of Fellows (FAIA) at the 2015 AIA National Convention in Atlanta, Georgia.

    Diamond is an Associate Director and Technical Designer in Skidmore, Owings & Merrill’s (SOM). He is recognized as an expert in the integration of building systems and architecture.  During his 20-year career he’s worked with civic, technology, and high security corporate and government clients.  His extensive portfolio includes the Cathedral of Christ the Light in Oakland, California; the United States Embassy in Beijing, China; the United States Consulate General in Guangzhou, China; the San Bernardino Justice Center in San Bernardino, California; and the headquarters for Electronic Arts in Redwood City, California.

    Induction into the AIA Fellowship program, established in 1952, is one of the highest honors that the organization can bestow upon a member.  Election to the College of Fellows not only recognizes the achievements of architects as individuals, but also their significant contribution to architecture and society.  Out of the AIA’s total membership of more than 85,000 people, only 3,200 have received the distinction of Fellowship or Honorary Fellowship.

    In addition to his professional achievements, Diamond is committed to sharing his knowledge and expertise with future architects. He generously volunteers his time as a mentor and lecturer to current Cal Poly architecture students. Diamond was instrumental in convincing Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) to develop a combined Co-op +Design Program. This program is an intensive 15 week multi-disciplinary design studio course taught at the SOM offices in San Francisco, California. Teams of undergraduate students from Cal Poly, UC Berkeley and California Center for the Arts work directly with SOM designers and structural engineers on the design and advanced building system integration of a large-scale skyscraper project. “David has had an impact on an entire generation of students and graduates,” said Architecture Professor and SOM Program Coordinator and Professor Thomas Fowler. “He is really a unsung hero of the many award winning SOM projects, that have been constructed over the years.”


    To Learn more about SOM ›

    To Learn more about the AIA ›

    Back to top

    POSTED: 03.06.15

    Cal Poly Construction Management Students Win Top Honors at Regional Competition​

    CM Student Team

    SAN LUIS OBISPO — Cal Poly construction management students earned top honors at the Associated Schools of Construction competition held in February in Reno, Nev. Seven out of 12 Cal Poly teams placed in the top three spots in their respective categories. Overall, Cal Poly took home more trophies than any other university.

    Cal Poly students took first in the Mechanical category; second in the Mixed Use, Design Build and Marine Construction categories; and third in the Heavy Civil, Concrete, and Risk Management divisions.

    A total of 178 teams from 43 universities competed in this year’s competition. Cal Poly has competed in this event for 28 years. This year a record 30 percent of Cal Poly’s construction management students participated in the competition.

    “The ASC competitions are invaluable to students’ career development. There’s nothing in the country that compares with it,” said Al Hauck, head of the Construction Management Department. “The Reno competition attracts up to 1,400 students, who further their education, gain professional development and benefit from networking.”

    For complete competition results, go to:

    28th Annual Student Competition.pdf ›


    Back to top

    POSTED: 03.06.15

    Cal Poly Scholars Starts in the CAED

    Bruno Gilberti

    Bruno Giberti cares, and that’s why he’s made a $10,000 pledge to the Cal Poly Scholars program, helping to provide an underrepresented student with financial need the opportunity to obtain a scholarship to attend the College of Architecture and Environmental Design.

    Giberti, a member of Cal Poly’s Architecture Department for 20 years, first learned of Cal Poly Scholars at an associate dean’s meeting. He was immediately enthusiastic about the program, and made a commitment to support it right there on the spot.

    The Cal Poly Scholars program targets students originating from partner schools – those whose students qualify for Free and Reduced Lunch. Often times, these students are very successful academically and qualify to obtain a higher education, but their families cannot afford to send them.  It is not uncommon for these students to be the first in their families ever to attend college.

    “I enjoyed an essentially free public education,”says Giberti, an ARCH ’79 graduate. “The Cal Poly Scholars program helps me to give back to students who may struggle to attend the university. It’s an unmitigated good.”

    This is Giberti’s first foray into philanthropy. He noted that giving is a bit scary at first, but this program makes it easy – at $5,000 per year, the scholarship provides the student a full housing allowance and intrusive advising to ensure his or her education is supported.

    “The brilliance of this program is that, with a relatively low investment, I can help a specific student get an education in a particular department at Cal Poly,” he said. His investment will be paired with another donor’s investment in this program to fully support a Cal Poly Scholar in the Architecture Department during the next academic year.

    “Thinking about the benefits my peers and I enjoyed as students at Cal Poly, I hope this investment is a challenge to them. Perhaps they’ve reached a point in their lives where money isn’t such a struggle, and they can afford to give back to another generation of students. Supporting them will increase Cal Poly’s diversity and the diversity of the architecture profession as a whole.”

    For more information on how you can support the CAED Cal Poly Scholars program, call Natalie Schaefer, Assistant Dean for External Relations at 805-756-1582.

    More on CAED Giving Opportunities   ›

    Back to top

    POSTED: 03.06.15

    Cal Poly City & Regional Planning Receive National Award for City of Milpitas Land Use Project

    Image from Video

    SAN LUIS OBISPO – A team of undergraduate students from Cal Poly’s City & Regional Planning Department (CRP) received the American Institute for Certified Planners (AICPHonor Award in recognition of their work for the City of Milpitas, "Urban Planning Visions for Milpitas: California Circle and Main at Serra." 

    The Cal Poly contingent is the only undergraduate team in the country to receive an award this year. Of the 29 students involved in the project, three were from Santa Clara County: Clarissa Caruso and Diane Tran, both from San Jose; and Stephanie Benzel, from Fremont.

    The third-year City & Regional Planning students collaborated with the Milpitas Planning and Neighborhood Services Department to develop a land use and urban design study and visioning process. Over the 10-week quarter, the students engaged in rapid information collection, data gathering, consultation with the city’s planning commission and city staff, and a rigorous planning process. The students developed seven proposals for walkable, memorable, sustainable and energized public spaces.

    “The City of Milpitas encouraged the students to develop visionary alternatives that could be actualized strategically in the long-term general plan,” said Hemalata Dandekar, CRP department head. “This liberated the students and made the academic exercise rich and challenging.”

    City planning commissioners and city council members described the ideas as “new, innovative, creative, [and] projecting options for the city that they, as residents for the last 30 or more years, had not thought of.”

    The AICP Student Project awards recognize outstanding class projects or papers by a student or group of students that contribute to advances in the field of planning. TheAICP recognizes student work in four categories: Application of the Planning Process, Contribution of Planning to Contemporary Issues, Applied Research and the Honor Award. Awards are selected by jury and presented at the annual American Planning Association Meeting and Planning Conference. 

    In addition to the National Honor Award, the student’s work for the City of Milpitas earned the California American Planning Association (APA) Award of Merit for Academic Excellence, the California Northern Chapter APA Award of Academic Excellence, and the California Central Coast Chapter APA Award of Academic Excellence.

    To View the student-produced compilation video ›

    For more on the American Planning Association (APA) ›

    Back to top

    POSTED: 02.26.15

    CRP research diagram

    15% of city planning departments are optimized for smartphones

    21% of cities offer online permitting — these are two of the findings from CRP Professor William Riggs’ recently published report.

    City & Regional Planning Professor William Riggs recently released the findings from the study “Technology Use by City Planning Departments,” published by

    The study tracked Internet use in 523 cities across the U.S. to predict how technology trends will impact planning departments in 2015-16. The report found emerging technologies are fundamentally changing how urban areas are planned, developed and managed.

    Students in Riggs’ Planning Information Systems class conducted some of the preliminary data.

    “It is exciting to see the creative ways that many planning agencies are using technology, but there is still room for growth — especially in the areas of social media, basic readability, and mobile compatibility,” said Riggs.

    Some of the findings include:

    — 15 percent of city planning department websites are optimized for smartphones. 

    — 21 percent of cities offer online permitting.

    — 10 percent of city planning departments have dedicated social media channels.

    — 21 percent of city planning departments do not offer their general plan online.

    — 40 percent of cities offer online property lookups using geographic information systems (GIS) software.

    “The study allows us to benchmark how planners across our country are using these technologies to plan, communicate planning concepts, and engage citizens in the planning process,” said Chris Steins, chief executive officer of Urban Insight, and study co-author.

    To view the study, click here ›

    More on City & Regional Planning ›

    Back to top

    POSTED: 02.24.15

    Cal Poly Students Rank High at Construction Management Competition

    Cal Poly's second-place NAHB team

    SAN LUIS OBISPO — An interdisciplinary team of Cal Poly students captured second place in the four-year college category at t

    he recent 2015 National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Residential Construction Management Competition.

    The competition has become a highlight of the annual International Builders’ Show. At this year’s Las Vegas event, 54 teams participated, representing NAHB student chapters at universities, community colleges and high schools from across the country.

    The competition gives students the opportunity to apply skills learned in the classroom to a real construction management problem by completing a land acquisition proposal. During the convention, students present their proposals and defend their projects in front of a panel of industry experts.

    Cal Poly’s proposal included market research and sales strategy, product and site design, green building initiatives, land development, estimates, schedules and a financial analysis.

    “Congratulations to the NAHB student chapter at Cal Poly,” said Jerry Howard, CEOofNAHB. “They and their competitors showed a great deal of talent along with a depth of understanding of building industry management, from land development to marketing to scheduling to estimating.”

    Cal Poly team members included construction management students Josh Gleason and Eric Sanchez, architecture student Derik DeLonzor, business students Chris Bet and Anna Costa, and city and regional planning student Darya Oreizi. Business student Scott Heath and construction management student Nick Gibson also assisted with preparing the proposal.

    Bet acted as team captain and was also recognized as an outstanding student during the awards ceremony. This distinction was given based on Bet’s grade point average, involvement in the local student chapter club, and interest in pursuing a career in the housing industry.

    I think this is a big step for both the Orfalea College of Business and the College of Architecture & Environmental Design,” Bet said. “In the past, teams from just one discipline competed. This accomplishment shows how strong we can be when we come together.”

    Cal Poly Construction Management Professor Scott Kelting served as faculty advisor to the students. Finance Professor Pratish Patel also worked with the team as they prepared for the finance and business portions of the project.

    Cal Poly has participated in the competition since 2001, finishing in the top five during 10 of the last 15 competitions. Cal Poly placed first in 2005, 2006 and 2011.

    More on Construction Management


    Back to top

    POSTED: 02.24.15

    Cal Poly's CAED Receives $250,000 from William Randolph Hearst Foundation


    SAN LUIS OBISPO — The William Randolph Hearst Foundation awarded $250,000 to Cal Poly’s College of Architecture & Environmental Design to establish the first teacher/student scholar fellowships within the college.

    The William Randolph Hearst Foundation teacher/student scholar fellowships are intended to foster a culture of intellectual experimentation and curricular innovation that will provide students and faculty in the fields of architecture, landscape architecture, architecture engineering, construction management, and city and regional planning with opportunities to further their professional development and enhance the present and future quality of the built environment.

    Funding will be distributed through three awards:

    •  The Hearst Student Scholar Fellowship will be awarded to a faculty member to advance faculty scholarly work while benefiting the professional development of students with paid work related directly to their field of study. The students will earn and learn by doing, adding new dimension, assistance and perspective to the work of their faculty leaders.
    • The Hearst Teacher-Scholar Fellowship allows faculty to pursue scholarly activity that enhances professional development and increases educational opportunities for students.
    • The Hearst Award for Scholarship in Education supports one faculty member a year in the development of a transformative project that will integrate teaching and scholarly achievement and significantly enhance student education. 

    “We are truly grateful to the William Randolph Hearst Foundation,” said Christine Theodoropoulos, dean of the College of Architecture & Environmental Design. “This funding will allow us to provide time and resources for faculty and students to engage in new and energizing forms of scholarly work. This is a transformational gift.”

    The Hearst Foundation supports well-established nonprofit organizations that address significant issues in four areas of interest – culture, education, health and social service. In each area of funding, the Hearst Foundation seeks to identify those organizations achieving truly differentiated results. 

    More about the Hearst Foundation ›

    Back to top

    POSTED: 02.15.15

    Cal Poly Faculty Member Appointed to California Architects Board

    Cal Poly Hosts ASLA Reception in Denver, CO

    DENVER, COLORADO - Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, College of Architecture & Environmental Design and the department of Landscape Architecture hosted an alumni reception to honor two members of the CAED community this November at the annual American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) conference in Denver.

    Former CAED Associate Dean K. Richard (Dick) Zweifel, FASLA, has been appointed as the new president of the ASLA.  Dick is a professor and associate dean in the CAED and is one of the two founding faculty of the landscape architecture department.  He has been a member of the ASLA since 1975, and was inducted into the Council of Fellows in 2000.  He has most recently served as chair of the Council of Fellows Jury and the Licensure Committee, and as a member of the Policy Committee.  Dick Zweifel earned his BSLA and MSLA degrees in Landscape Architecture from the University of Wisconsin, and has worked in public and private practices both in Wisconsin and in California.

    Alumnus Kevin Conger has been inducted as a Fellow of the ASLA.  Kevin graduated from Cal Poly with a Bachelor of Science in Landscape Architecture in 1988.  He then went on to receive a masters in Landscape Architecture from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1994.  He has taught at the Boston Architectural Center, The Rhode Island School of Design, and the University of California, Berkeley.  Kevin is also one of three founding partners of CMG Landscape Architecture – a San Francisco based studio where he currently serves as President and CEO.

    Please join us in congratulating these two men for these milestones in their professional careers!


    Back to top

    POSTED: 02.02.15

    Design Intelligence 2015 Rankings for ARCH and LA

    Cal Poly Architecture and Landscape Architecture Programs Earn No. 2 and No. 4 in National Rankings

    SAN LUIS OBISPO — Cal Poly’s bachelor of architecture program was recognized as the No. 2 program in the nation in the latest DesignIntelligence ranking of the country’s top architecture and design schools. Additionally, Cal Poly’s bachelor of landscape architecture program maintained the No. 4 national ranking. Both programs received the highest ranking of schools in the 13 western states.

    The rankings also include the top 10 schools in eight architecture skills. Cal Poly placed in the top 10 in seven of eight categories. Cal Poly was deemed strongest nationally for education in construction methods and materials, third in sustainable design practices and principles, and fourth in cross-disciplinary teamwork.

    “We consistently rank among the best due to our faculty, students and strong industry partnerships,” said Christine Theodoropoulos, dean of the College of Architecture & Environmental Design. “This recognition reflects the collaborative efforts of everyone associated with our programs.”

    In a separate survey that asked architecture school deans to name the most admired undergraduate architecture programs, Cal Poly placed second for its “solid technical education, excellent reputation, and continued quality of graduates.”

    The landscape architecture program was noted for preparing graduates for success in the profession. In skills assessment, the program placed nationally in the areas of computer skills and sustainable design practices and principles.

    “Sustainability was identified in the survey as the number one design concern facing the profession,” said David J. Watts, chair of the landscape architecture department. “Ranking well in that area is a testament that the department continues to demonstrate an awareness of current issues and a commitment to preparing graduates for their contributions to future solutions.”

    The ranking results are published in the 2015 edition of “America’s Best Architecture & Design Schools” and are based on a survey conducted by DesignIntelligence on behalf of the Design Futures Council. Data was gathered from 1,059 professional practices that hire recent graduates. For more information, go to

    Back to top

    POSTED: 02.02.15

    Cal Poly Faculty Member Appointed to California Architects Board


    Image of Barry Williams

    SAN LUIS OBISPO – Gov. Jerry Brown appointed Cal Poly faculty member and alumnus Barry Williams to the California Architects Board through the term ending June 30, 2018.

    The California Architects Board (CAB) regulates the examination and licensing of architects as part of its mission to protect the health, safety and welfare of the public. “The position on the board will provide me with the opportunity to strengthen the dialogue between the educational and professional practice sides of architecture,” said Williams. “With the ongoing advances in technology, I feel it is extremely important to strengthen the symbiotic relationship required to keep the profession in step with our changing world.”

    Williams has a long history with Cal Poly. He earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in architecture from the university and has been a lecturer for the Architecture Department for more than 35 years. Williams has been a member of the College of Architecture & Environmental Design (CAED) Foundation Board since 2006, currently serving as the vice president.

    Christine Theodoropoulos, dean of the CAED, is confident that Williams will make a significant contribution to the California Architects Board: “Barry Williams is a successful architect and inspired teacher who understands the relationship between architectural education and architectural practice. As a member of the CAB, he will contribute valuable insights about how schools, practitioners and regulators can share responsibility for the professional development of future architects.”

    Williams has served as the principal architect and owner of Barry Lorenz Williams Associates in San Luis Obispo since 2010. Prior to that, he was a principal architect at Westberg and White Inc. architects and planners and was a research analyst and professional liability specialist at Design Professionals Insurance Co.

    There are approximately 21,000 licensed architects in the state and approximately 11,000 candidates in the process of meeting examination and licensure requirements.

    More on Barry Williams ›


    Back to top

    POSTED: 02.02.15

    CRP Graduate Program Ranked No. 2 in the Nation


    Photo of CRP students working with community

    SAN LUIS OBISPO — Cal Poly’s City & Regional Planning (CRP) graduate program was ranked No. 2 in the nation for 2015 by Planetizen, an information exchange for the urban planning, design and development community. The ranking is for graduate programs at institutions that do not offer a doctorate degree.

    “The continued high ranking for our planning program is due to our emphasis on plan making and implementation and courses in which students learn to do planning in real communities,” said William Siembieda, interim CRP department head. “We are leaders in the teaching of development and design, environmental and climate adaptation planning.”

    The ranking is part of the fourth edition of the “Planetizen Guide to Graduate Urban Planning Programs,” which ranks the top 25 programs nationally.

    Among all programs, including those with doctorate degrees, Cal Poly was ranked No. 21 in the nation.

    Cal Poly offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees in city and regional planning.

    More on CRP Rankings ›

    View the Cal Poly CRP video channel ›

    Back to top

    POSTED: 12.18.14

    CRP Prof. William Riggs featured in CityLab Walkability article


    Image from Walkability ArticleCity & Regional Planning Professor Dr. William Riggs researches the importance of walkable cities and neighborhoods in Richard Florida's CityLab article, "Walking is Good for You"

    More on "Walking is Good for You" ›

    Back to top

    POSTED: 12.10.14

    Hearst Lecture Series Winter 2015: New Urbanism, City Landscapes, Sustainability and Timeless Architecture Featured in Four Talks this Winter at Cal Poly


    SAN LUIS OBISPO — Cal Poly’s College of Architecture & Environmental Design will host four presentations as part of the Hearst Lecture Series Winter schedule. The lectures bring progressive thinkers and leaders to campus to engage students and the public in interdisciplinary topics on Fridays at 5 p.m. in the Business Building Rotunda (Building 3, Room 213).

    For more information about the series, contact the Architecture Department in the College of Architecture and Environmental Design, by email or phone 805.756.1316.

    The 2014-15 lecture series is co-coordinated by Professor Robert Arens, Professor Vicente del Rio and Assistant Professor Cesar Torres-Bustamente, and funded by a generous endowment from the Hearst Foundation.


    Chris Reed | Stoss Landscape Urbanism

    Friday, January 23 | 5:00 pm
    Business Rotunda (03-213)

    Chris Reed is Principal of Stoss Landscape Urbanism and Associate Professor in Practice of Landscape Architecture at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design. 

    Mr. Reed’s work at Stoss has included major re-visioning strategies for downtown Dallas and its riverfront; for derelict refinery and port sites along the lakefront in Mississauga, Canada; for the city of Detroit; for major new waterfront developments in Shanghai and Green Bay; and for a vibrant new plaza at the heart of Harvard University’s campus. His work with Stoss has been recognized with the 2012 Cooper-Hewitt National Design Award for Landscape Architecture; the 2010 Topos International Landscape Award; and various other practice- and project-based awards from Progressive Architecture, the American Society of Landscape Architects, the Architectural League of New York, the Waterfront Center, EDRA / Places, and the Boston Society of Architects.

    Mr. Reed's research interests include the impact of ecological sciences on design thinking, and city-making strategies informed by landscape systems and dynamics; he is co-editor of a recently published volume of research and drawing titled Projective Ecologies. Reed received a Master in Landscape Architecture from the University of Pennsylvania and an AB in Urban Studies from Harvard College.

    For more info visit


    Keil Moe| Harvard Graduate School of Design

    Friday, January 30 | 5:00 pm
    Business Rotunda (03-213)

    Kiel Moe is a registered practicing architect and Associate Professor of Architecture & Energy in the Department of Architecture at Harvard University Graduate School of Design. At the GSD, Moe teaches and coordinates core design studios, seminars on Forms of Energy, and lectures on architecture and energy.

    His research and pedagogy focuses on an agenda for design and energy that is at once more ecologically and architecturally ambitious. As such, he focuses on both buildings as manifestations of large scale energy systems as well as overlooked and discrete thermal parameters in buildings that yet have great impact on the power and thermodynamic depth of architecture. This research is the basis for his design research and his design practice.

    In recognition of his design and research, he was the 2009-10 Gorham P. Stevens Rome Prize Fellow in Architecture as well as the 2012 Barbara and Andrew Senchak Fellow MacDowell Colony. In 2015, he will be a member of the Arctic Circle expedition residency in Svalbard. He received the 2013 Boston Design Biennial award, the 2011 Architecture League of New York Prize, the 2011 AIA National Young Architect award, and numerous design awards for individual projects from the AIA, North American Wood Design Awards, and Boston Society of Architects, amongst others. He is recipient of Junior Faculty research grants at the GSD, the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies, the AIA Upjohn grant program, the Boston Society of Architects Architectural Research program, the AIA RFP grant program, the Northeastern University Provost Faculty Development program. In recognition of his pedagogy and teaching, Moe was awarded the 2010 ACSA/AIAS New Faculty Teaching Award.

    He is author of multiple books. He recently published a fifth book entitled Insulating Modernism: Isolated and Non-Isolated Thermodynamics in Architecture, Birkhauser, 2014. He is completing a sixth book, a technical manual on The Hierarchy of Energy in Architecture: Emergy Analysis with Ravi S. Srinivasan (2015) and, a seventh, PLOT: The Matter of Urbanization | Central Park and the Empire State Building, with Jane Hutton (2015). He is also author of Convergence: An Architectural Agenda for Energy(2013), Thermally Active Surfaces in Architecture (2010) andIntegrated Design in Contemporary Architecture (2008). He was co-editor of Building Systems: Design Technology & Society (2012).

    For more info visit


    Kevin Conger | CMG Landscape Architecture

    Friday, February 6 | 5:00 pm
    Business Rotunda (03-213)

    Kevin Conger is a California licensed Landscape Architect with experience on domestic and international projects of all scales. Mr. Conger is a founding partner of CMG, and serves as President and CEO, directing many of the firm's projects and developing a role in the Bay Area design community.

    Mr. Conger's passion and commitment for vibrant civic public space and sustainable environmental design has benefited projects such as Better Market Street, the YerbaBuena Street Life Plan, Crissy Field and redevelopment plans for Treasure Island, Hunters Point, and Concord Naval Weapons Station. Mr. Conger has taught at Rhode Island School of Design, UC Berkeley, and the Boston Architectural College.

    For more information visit


    David ross scheer | Architecture in the age of simulation

    Friday, February 27 | 5:00 pm
    Business Rotunda (03-213)

    David Ross Scheer is an architect with 30 years' experience who has completed hundreds of projects of many kinds: residential, mixed-use and public buildings as well as urban design and planning. He authored many articles and the book "The Death of Drawing: Architecture in the Age of Simulation", published by Routledge in 2014 .

    Drawing on his experience in practice and expertise in the uses of computer technology in architecture, he advocates combining a variety of innovative and traditional tools to preserve the architect's ability to creatively address cultural and social issues while participating in technology-enabled project delivery processes. He explores these ideas in design projects, writing and lectures.

    Mr. Scheer holds an M.S. in Physics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and an M. Arch. from Yale University. He has taught architectural design, history and theory at the University of Cincinnati, Arizona State University, Miami University (Ohio) and the University of Utah.

    For more information about "The Death of Drawing" visit

    For more information visit


    Andrea Cochran, FASLA | Andrea Cochran Landscape Architecture

    Friday, March 6 | 5:00 pm
    Business Rotunda (03-213)

    Andrea Cochran has been practicing landscape architecture in the San Francisco Bay area for over twenty-five years. She graduated from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design and worked on the East Coast and in Europe before moving to California. After working in collaborative partnerships for over ten years, she established Andrea Cochran Landscape Architecture in 1998, now a twelve person firm. 

    Andrea Cochran’s early professional experience in the office of Jose Luis Sert was pivotal in informing her approach to landscape design. Across a diverse range of project types and scales, Cochran’s work is distinguished by its careful response to site, climate and the existing environment. Her designs use a controlled palette of materials to heighten the experience of texture, light, movement and space.  She instills an intimacy and attention to detail in all of her work, from small-scale residential gardens to large-scale institutional projects.

    In 2007, Ms. Cochran was inducted as a Fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architects. She has been a finalist in Landscape Architecture for the Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt National Design Awards in 2006, 2009 and 2010 before winning the award in 2014. Her work has earned numerous awards, most recently an ASLA Honor Award in General Design for the Nueva School. A monograph of her work was published by Princeton Architectural Press in May of 2009.

    For more information visit

    Back to top

    POSTED: 12.01.14

    Elevated Foundation: An Exhibit to Imagine Cal Poly's Academic Commons


    President Armstrong and Professor Omar FaruqueCal Poly Landscape Architecture students enrolled in summer courses LA 402 and LA 436, were given the task to imagine and design the future of an academic commons at Cal Poly (to be located in the area directly outside the Kennedy Library). Taught by Professor Omar Faruque, these talented students designed spaces that supported the goals and needs of an academic commons. The resulting designs are on display at Kennedy Library through exhibition Elevated Foundation.

    More on Elevated Foundation ›

    POSTED: 11.25.14

    Back to top

    Cal Poly Participating in Solar Decathlon 2015


    Solar Decathlon 2015Cal Poly San Luis Obispo has been selected to participate in the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2015! The Solar Decathlon is an international competition sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy, in which 18 teams of faculty and students design, build, and operate a solar powered residence, culminating in a showcase at Orange County Great Park in Irvine, CA in September 2015.


    Solar Cal Poly has an exceptional, dynamic interdisciplinary team — architecture; architectural, electrical, and mechanical engineering; construction management; landscape architecture; graphic communication; marketing; and business. This combined expertise is needed to compete in the Decathlon, which includes ten contests that range from design and performance to communication and affordability.

    WHY DO IT?
    The Solar Decathlon challenges collegiate teams to design, build, and operate solar-powered homes that are cost-effective, energy-efficient, and attractive. Having competed in the Solar Decathlon in 2005 with an award-winning project, we know that this is a transformative experience for students — truly a defining moment in their academic careers. We anticipate a similar life-changing undertaking for those participating in the 2015 project.

    You can help build it! Engaging in this competition represents a challenge in more ways than simply design and construction. In order to realize the project, we need to raise $650,000. We need cash and in-kind donations, as well as sponsorships to achieve the goal of creating an award-winning contemporary example of solar architecture that only a21st century polytechnic can produce. This is the essence of Solar Cal Poly.

    For more information on how YOU can support this program, click here (or here for corporate sponsorship levels) or visit the Cal Poly Giving Page to donate. 


    More on Solar Decathlon 2015 ›


    POSTED: 11.24.14

    Back to top

    Cal Poly Hosts ASLA Reception in Denver, CO


    DENVER, COLORADO - Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, College of Architecture & Enviornmental Design and the Department of Landscape Architecture hosted an alumni reception to honor two members of the CAED community this November at the annual Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) conference in Denver. 

    Former CAED Associate Dean K. Richard (Dick) Zweifel, FASLA, has been appointed as the new president of the ASLA. Dick is a professor and associate dean in the CAED and is one of the two founding faculty of the landscape department. He has been a member of the ASLA since 1975, and was inducted into the Counil of Fellows in 2000. He has most recently served as chair of the Council of Fellows Jury and the Licensure Committee, and as a member of the Policy Committee. Dick Zweifel earned his BSLA and MSLA degrees in Landscape Architecture from the University of Wisconsin, and has worked in public and private practices both in Wisconsin and in California. 

    Alumnus Kevin Conger has been inducted as a Fellow of the ASLA. Kevin graduated from Cal Poly with a Bachelor in Science in Landscape Architecture in 1988. He then went on to receive a masters in Landscape Architecture from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1994. He has taught at the Boston Architectural Center, the Rhode Island School of Design, and the University of California, Berkeley. Kevin is also one of three founding partners of CMG Landscape Architecture - a San Francisco based studio where he currently serves as President and CEO. 

    More on Landscape Architecture ›


    Posted: 11.20.14

    Back to top

    Construction Management Job Fair Success


    CM student On Novemeber 7, 2014 the Construction Management Department held a Job Fair for all Cal Poly students interested in a design and/or construction career. The event was attended by 34 companies, all eager to add new interns and graduating students to their teams. Over 100 students attended the job fair, half of whom were Construction Management students, and half of whom were a mix of other CAED majors, as well as students from Civil Engineering. Lunch was served in the courtyard of the Construction Management building, and after the event, companies went on to conduct interviews with students the very same day. The success of this event demonstrated industry interest in Cal Poly students, and the impact Cal Poly has in the Construction Management world. 

    More on Construction Management ›


    Posted: 11.19.14

    Back to top

    Linda Dalton Receives National Honor


    Photo of Linda DaltonThe Association of College Schools of Planning has chosen Linda Dalton, FAICP,  as recipient of the  Margarita McCoy Advancement of Women in Planning Award 2014. Linda Dalton was selected as this year’s McCoy Award recipient due to the exceptional leadership qualities she has demonstrated during her distinguished career and, in particularly, the outstanding mentorship role she has played for many women in higher education in planning. In addition to her own distinguished career in planning, she has worked tirelessly to improve faculty diversity in planning programs and serves as a role model for women in higher education. ~ Hilary Nixon, Chair, FWIG Award Committee, 2014.  

    Linda Dalton serves as Cal Poly’s Interim Planning Officer leading the campus academic and master plan effort for the Cal Poly President Jeffrey Armstrong . Dr. Dalton served as Department head of City and Regional Planning in the mid-1990s, before being asked to direct an earlier master plan effort under then President Warren Baker. She is a Fellow of the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP), and a member of the California Planning Roundtable.

    Posted: 11.18.14

    Back to top

    Saliklis, Students Present Paper


    From Sept 14 to Sept 19 2014, Prof. Ed Saliklis and two Cal Poly students, Jared Parker and Evan Gerbo presented two papers on their research at the International Association of Shell and Spatial Structures World Conference in Brasilia, Brazil.  Jared Parker showed his research on the Maney-Goldberg Method and Evan Gerbo discussed his research on optimization of a frame geometry using genetic algorithms.

    In the photos from left, Evan and Jared are talking with Prof. Ashley Thrall of University of Notre Dame (where Evan is currently pursuing his Ph.D.) and with the world's preeminent structural engineer Bill Baker of SOM's Chicago office. In the photo on the right, Jared presents his work. 

    More on ARCE here.

    Image of Ed Saliklis with Students

    Posted: 11.12.14

    Back to top

    Cal Poly Architecture Alumnus Doug Lowe Receives First-Ever Sklarek Award


    Photo of Doug LoweCal Poly alumnus Douglas Lowe, FAIA, is the first-time recipient of the Norma Sklarek Award from the American Institute of Architects, California Council (AIACC). His award was “given in the spirit of social responsibility to honor and recognize those who contribute freely and greatly to humanity.”

    The Sklarek Award was created in honor of Norma Sklarek, who was the first African American woman to be a member of the AIA in 1959. She studied architecture at Columbia University and initially worked in New York before relocating to Los Angeles and Gruen Associates where she was eventually named the firm's director in 1966. In that position, and later as vice president of the Welton Becket firm, she left her mark on several important projects including the American Embassy in Tokyo, Los Angeles’ Pacific Design Center, the LAX Airport Terminal One, and the Fox Plaza in San Francisco. In 1980 Sklarek became the first African American woman to receive a fellowship from the American Institute of Architects.  She teamed up with two fellow architects in 1985 to form one of the largest female-owned architectural firms in the country and became the first African-American woman to establish and manage an architectural firm.

    After receiving his award Lowe shared that he performs humanitarian work in the US, abroad in Africa, the Middle East and in Haiti as part of that country’s earthquake recovery efforts.  Reflecting on his efforts Lowe said, “There’s no shortage of opportunities to help people.”


    He is an architecture graduate of Cal Poly’s College of Architecture and Environmental Design (CAED). Lowe’s involvement includes membership on the CAED Dean’s Leadership Council as the former chairperson, and is a board member of the college’s Resilient Communities Research Institute. The RCRI is an applied research unit devoted to advancing the application of knowledge and practice that improves the quality and safety of the built environment, and is a catalyst for creating effective and productive applied research partnerships, that in coordination with the civil society, yield community benefits, and foster the next generation of student leaders to become involved in research and solutions based design.


    “As a colleague I am aware of Doug’s many years of behind-the-scenes global humanitarian work,” said CAED Dean Christine Theodoropoulos. “We are very proud to hear that his transformative efforts helping communities in need and inspiring architects to embrace social responsibility are being recognized with the great honor of being named the first-time recipient of the Norma Sklarek Award.”  


    Lowe is a founding principal and vice president with the Cuningham Group Architecture in Culver City. In 2009 Lowe was elevated to Fellow in the AIA for service to society. He is licensed to practice architecture in several states and a licensed general contractor in California. 

    Posted: 11.10.14


    Cal Poly’s College of Architecture & Environmental Design will host four presentations as part of the Hearst Lecture Series fall schedule. The lectures bring progressive thinkers and leaders to campus to engage students and the public in interdisciplinary topics on Fridays at 4 p.m. in the Business Building Rotunda (Building 3, Room 213).

    The lectures feature:

    — Oct. 17: Simon Pastucha, head of the Los Angeles Department of Planning's Urban Design Studio, will discuss his more than 20-year career in landscape architecture with an emphasis on ecosystematic design and sustainability — work that has been fundamental in the revitalization of the city and in implementing context-sensitive design and people-oriented streets and places. For more information, visit

    — Oct. 24: Andrés Duany, architect, urban planner, and partner at Duany Plater-Zyberk & Company (DPZ) in Miami, will talk about the new urbanism movement that seeks to end suburban sprawl and urban disinvestment and re-establish the human aspects of city making. DPZ has completed designs and building codes for more than 300 new communities, regional plans, and inner-city revitalization projects in the U.S. and several countries. For more information, visit This lecture is sponsored in part by the HomeFed Corp.

    — Nov. 7: Lorcan O’Herlihy, founder and principal of Lorcan O’Herlihy Architects (LOHA) and a Cal Poly architecture alumnus, will explore opportunities to engage the changing complexities of the city landscape and embrace the role of architecture as a catalyst of change. He spent his formative years working in New York and Paris on the Grand Louvre Museum as a designer with IM Pei Partners. For more information, visit This lecture is sponsored in part by the annual Vellum Furniture Competition.

    — Nov. 21: Wonne Ickx, an architect at Productora, a Mexico City-based architectural studio led by four architects of different nationalities, will share work distinguished by an interest in precise geometries, the production of clearly legible projects with limited gestures and the search for timeless buildings in their material and programmatic resolutions. In 2011 the studio co-founded LIGA, Space for Architecture Mexico City, a platform that promotes emerging Latin-American architecture. The studio is collaborating on international projects with artists from around the world. For more information, visit

    The Hearst Lecture Series is free and open to the public. It is hosted by Cal Poly’s College of Architecture & Environmental Design through a grant from the Hearst Foundation.

    For more information, visit, or contact the Architecture Department at or 805-756-1316; or Robert Arens at or at 805-756-1444.

    Posted: 03.27.14

     News & Events Archives

    Back to top


    Related Content

    Giving to CAED

    More on CAED support

    CAED Gallery

    More Student Work