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AIASF + Flexform present: Cultural Influences in Architecture
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When: Tuesday, October 30, 2018
6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Where: Flexform
145 Rhode Island Street
San Francisco, California  94103
United States
Contact: Annabelle Udo-O'Malley

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Join us for "Cultural Influences in Architecture", a panel discussion featuring some of the leading industry professionals who will explore how they
bring their own cultural references and design philosophies to projects that impact the spaces they create and how clients respond to this approach. Moderated by Mary Jo Bowling, San Francisco Home Editor, Luxe Interiors + Design Magazine.


Advance online registration closes two hours before event time; on-site tickets sales upon availability.


  • $15 AIASF Member
  • $25 General Admission


  • 6:00 PM: Doors open / registration 
  • 6:30 - 8:00 PM: Program

Cocktail reception to follow.



(Moderator) Mary Jo Bowling, Homes Editor, Luxe Interiors + Designs (Colorado/San Francisco)
Mary Jo has written and edited articles for publications including 
SunsetBetter Homes & Gardens and California Home+Design, as well as for online platforms, such as Houzz and Curbed. The result of years of exposure to dramatic before-and-after home stories has made her an inveterate remodeler, and she has tackled transformations ranging from a Victorian-era home to a century-old barn.

David Darling, AIA, IIDA
, Founding Principal, Aidlin Darling Design
David is a founding principal of Aidlin Darling Design, a multi-disciplinary practice formed with Joshua Aidlin in 1997. Founded on a closely held conviction that design can engage all of the senses, his work has pursued an interest in the connection between food, art, and design. Recent work includes the restaurant In Situ at SFMOMA, the 3 Michelin-starred Benu in San Francisco, the Windhover Contemplative Center at Stanford University, a 160,000-sf LEED Gold craft brewery in San Leandro, and several wineries that push the boundaries of sustainability in agriculture and architecture. Additionally, the firm has been awarded over one hundred and fifty regional, national and international design awards, including an AIA/COTE Top Ten Plus Green Project Award, two James Beard Awards,
seven American Architecture Awards from the Chicago Athenaeum, two International Civic Trust Awards, and several regional and national awards from the AIA, IIDA, and ASLA. 

Steven Ehrlich, FAIA, RIBA, Founding Partner, Ehrlich Yanai Rhee Chaney Architects

Steven was the recipient of the 2015 American Institute of Architects (AIA) Firm Award. The jury recognized the firm for “fluidly melding classic California Modernist style with multicultural and vernacular design elements by including marginalized design languages and traditions.” The practice’s signature approach known as “Multicultural Modernism” creates meaningful architecture through environmentally conscious designs, cultural meaning and advances in technology and materials. Ehrlich, a self-proclaimed “architectural anthropologist,” learned early on the significance of architecture’s response to the culture and to the environment. Upon graduating from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Ehrlich spent six years in the 1970s living and working in Africa, serving for two years with the Peace Corps as their first architect in Marrakech, Morocco; he later traveled across the Sahara and taught architecture at Ahmadu Bello University in Nigeria

Maura Fernández Abernethy, 
Principal, Studio VARA

Maura Fernández Abernethy has been specializing in residential architecture for over twenty years.  Maura has worked at a variety of scales but has found that her passion is truly in the fine details. Her approach to architecture is informed by her love of craft and art and by working from the inside out. Maura has extensive experience in designing, fabricating and working directly with artisans. After having lived and practiced in five metropolitan cities during her career: Los Angeles, Boston, New York, Barcelona, and San Francisco, she has amassed experience with a range of scales and typologies. Maura holds a BArch from California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo. Prior to forming Studio VARA with Christopher Roach, Maura ran her own successful design firm for eight years called MFAdesign, also in San Francisco. As principal of her 4-person firm, she solidified her experience in high end residential work, shepherding difficult and ambitious projects through the San Francisco Building and Planning Departments and the Planning Commission.

Daniel Piechota, Founding Principal, Piechota Architecture

Daniel is founding principal of Piechota Architecture, a boutique residential and hospitality design firm located in Hayes Valley, San Francisco. Originally founded with artist and designer Loring Sagan, the firm has completed work throughout Northern California, with projects including spectacular cliffside residences, stylish urban coffee kiosks, and recently, the Silver Oak Cellars Winery and Tasting Room in Alexander Valley. Daniel earned his BArch at Cal Poly, studied design in Denmark, and spent a year working as a carpenter on the Price Residence. He apprenticed with Mickey Muenning, Architect, and contributed to a number of high-profile Big Sur projects, most notably the famed and consistently award-winning Post Ranch Inn. His work emphasizes the relationship between contemporary aesthetics and the natural world, and his projects have uniformly been recognized and lauded for their remarkable ability to be in conversation with the landscape.



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