Everyone has implicit bias. We develop our biases through our environment, the people we engage with, and the culture we grow up in. These interactions shape the expectations we have for ourselves, colleagues, and even potential clients. Thus, bias can have a major impact on the design process and desired outcomes in our profession. Additionally, reflecting on our own “Bias Blind Spot” is critical to building empathy and foster a culture of open communication. We will explore implicit bias in design and practice through research and storytelling. We will examine our “Bias Blind Spots” in small groups, and share resources to increase our awareness of bias in our workplace and foster strategies for tangible change.
- Upon completion, participants will be able to better understand the nature of implicit bias and to identify and recognize key factors of implicit bias/the bias blind spot and its effects on the workplace.
- Though the sharing of personal experiences by the panelists, the audience will gain a heightened awareness of implicit bias issues and greater empathy for recognizing bias in future situations when encountered.
- Upon completion, participants will be able to takeaway resources for dealing with implicit bias and be able to share those with a broader audience in the workplace including colleagues, firm leaders, consultants, and clients.
- Through small group hands-on discussion of real life scenarios and possible solutions, participants will be able to advocate for themselves and others in the workplace when faced with implicit bias.
Sandra Vivanco, Principal, A+D, Architecture+Design
Sandra Vivanco is founding principal of A+D, Architecture+Design, a San Francisco firm characterized by design excellence as well as innovative community-based processes. Published widely, Vivanco is sought as a Latino cultural expert with profound knowledge of modern art and architecture in Latin America. A Professor of Architecture and Diversity Studies at CCA, she is a Mission resident, an avid dancer, a mother of two public school graduates and is fluent in Spanish, Portuguese and Italian.
Michael D. Thomas, Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C.
Michael Thomas is an Associate with the global law firm Ogletree Deakins in their San Francisco office. He represents employers in all aspects of employment law. He also works with employers on diversity and pay equity issues. Michael has studied mindfulness, meditation and yoga with a focus on healing and self-regulation. Recent publications include “Preventing Workplace Violence by Examining Trauma and the NFL” which incorporates mindfulness, meditation and body awareness in preventing workplace violence, and “How Employers Can Root Out the Influence of Unconscious Bias in Compensation Decisions.” Recent speaking engagements include: Inclusion 2.0, “Intergenerational Trauma, Diversity and Inclusion;” Tech Inclusion Conference, “Awakening to Inclusion;” Association of Corporate Counsel event at Google, “Best Practices for Promoting Fair Pay;” Kaiser, Continuing Legal Education, “Implicit Bias” panel and lecturer, Berkley School of Law, “Mindfulness to Disrupt Suffering and Bias.” He has a B.A. from Bucknell University and a J.D. from Boston College.
Ming Thompson, AIAPrincipal, Atelier Cho Thompson
Ming Thompson, AIA is a principal of Atelier Cho Thompson, a San Francisco-based design and concept firm, engaged in the art of architecture, interiors, graphics, brand strategy, furniture, installations, and exhibition design. Ming and her partner Christina Yoo formed their firm with an aim to transcend the conventional boundaries between these disciplines, resulting in a richness borne of the cross-pollination of ideas and strategies from across this spectrum of design. Ming studied architecture at Yale University and the Harvard Graduate School of Design and has worked for large and small firms around the globe. As a practicing architect, Ming is focused on bettering human experience through design; she insists that good design must occur at all scales, from the building to the furniture to the logo, and everything in between. Outside of architecture, Ming serves on the Board of Trustees of the Yale-China Association and the Alumnae Council of The Madeira School, and teaches at the California College of the Arts.
Helen Bronston, Associate and Architecture Discipline Lead at SmithGroupJJR
Helen Bronston serves as Director of Architecture for the San Francisco office of SmithGroupJJR, where she is an associate. Raised in Wisconsin, she holds a BA in Anthropology from Yale, and an MArch from Harvard, where she was awarded the AIA Adams Medal. Over her 26-year career she has worked exclusively for non-profit educational, healthcare, and governmental organizations, for that is where she has felt she can do the most good for the greatest number of people. She is currently serving on the board of directors for Joan’s House, a newly-forming shelter for transgender women who have been incarcerated. Her experience transitioning gender as an architect was profiled in the San Francisco Business Times on 12 June 2015. Unable to leave school behind, Helen is also very slowly writing a PhD dissertation in History of Architecture at UC Berkeley.
Julia Mandell, AIA, Architect, Wilson Associates
Julia is an experienced architect and planner with broad project experience in architecture, urban design, and landscape design. Currently designer and project manager at Wilson Associates, a design/build/development firm in Oakland, Julia’s recent work focuses on innovative commercial and residential projects that serve as urban catalysts. Julia is also very involved with AIASF’s Equity by Design, serving as the group’s 2017 Co-Chair. Previously, Julia worked for four years with SWA Group on large-scale urban design and landscape work in China and Houston, Texas. She received her Master of Architecture from Rice University and her Bachelor of Arts in Architecture from Columbia University.
Rosa T. Sheng, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, Senior Associate, Bohlin Cywinski Jackson
Rosa is an architect with over 23 years experience, that has led a variety of award-winning and internationally acclaimed projects, from the aesthetically minimal, highly technical development of the glass structures for Apple’s original high-profile retail stores, to the innovative and sustainable LEED NC Gold–certified Lorry I. Lokey Graduate School of Business at Mills College in Oakland, California. As founding chair of Equity by Design and President-Elect 2018 of AIA San Francisco, Rosa has led Equity in Architecture Surveys in both 2014 and 2016, authored AIA National Resolution 15-1 in 2015, and served on the Equity in Architecture Commission in 2016. She has presented nationally and abroad including Boston, New York, Lisbon, Atlanta, Philadelphia, and Seattle. Equity by Design has been featured in Architect Magazine, Architectural Record, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, TEDxPhiladelphia and KQED/NPR.