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AIASF Committees: Public Policy and Advocacy Committee


AIASF has supported public policy and advocacy work for many years and in many formats.  This latest incarnation, PPAC, evolved out of long-standing concerns many AIASF members and their constituencies have had with SF Planning Department policies and design review procedures.  During 2015 -2016, AIASF established a joint Working Group between SF Planning and AIASF that included a small cohort of activist architects committed to meeting every two months with the Director of Current Planning (Jeff Joslin) and other staff, for a series of discussion sessions on the topics of residential design review, historic review procedures, and urban design guidelines. 


In 2016-2017, this small group expanded its membership and focus with the creation of the Steering Committee of the newly founded AIASF Public Policy + Advocacy Committee (PPAC).  This group continued to work with the Planning Department while also developing a Strategic Plan for its second year focused on Short- and Long-Range Advocacy programming.  (In addition, a separate, non-AIASF sponsored advocacy organization, Design Advocacy Group (DAG_SF) was established and issued a series of Opinion Papers).  PPAC also works closely with the AIASF Small Firms Group and reports back to them regularly.


In 2017-2018, the PPAC Steering Committee is expanding and will begin initiating programming.  Half of the year’s PPAC meetings will be devoted to SF Planning Department issues with Maia Small and/or Jeff Joslin as well as invited additional Planning staff.  This agenda includes Historic Review Procedures, Residential Design Review Procedures, and the upcoming Residential Design Guidelines review.  The remainder of our meetings will focus on short- and long-range advocacy programming.




The establishment of more formal lines of communication between AIASF and SF Planning has built a strong basis from which to advocate for change. The first year and a half of our work was marked by open, respectful, but at times vocal and contentious debate about the rate and format for meaningful change.  Despite significant agreement about the problems with then current residential design review and the Residential Design Team, instituting change appeared elusive at times.


By spring 2017 however, with the promotion of Maia Small to oversee design procedures, significant progress towards our goals came quickly.  This includes a major reorganization of both the former RDT staffing as well as revised procedures before, during, and after Planning Department review.  Based on this success, we look forward to deepening the relationship between SF Planning and AIASF, especially with the upcoming Residential Design Guidelines revisions anticipated for Spring, 2018.  For more information please see: (Press Release TBD)


2016-2018 Steering Committee Member meetings TBD

2018-2019 Open Membership Call



2019 - 2020 AIASF PPAC Steering Committee

Maura Abernathy, Studio VARA

Joshua Aidlin, Aidlin Darling Design (Emeritus)

Karen Curtiss, Red Dot Studio

Vivian Dwyer, Dywer Design (Chair)

David Gast, AIA, Gast Architects

Hulett Jones, AIA, jones | haydu

Peter Larsen, Aidlin Darling Design

Ross Levy, AIA, Levy Art + Architecture (Past Chair)

John Maniscalco, AIA, John Maniscalco Architecture

Luke Ogrydziak, AIA, Ogrydziak Prillinger Architects

Karin Payson, AIA, Karin Payson architecture + design (Co-Chair)

Michael Robbins, AIA, Studio Robbins Cortina

Neal J.Z. Schwartz, AIA, Schwartz and Architecture (Past Chair)

Jim Zack, AIA, Zack de Vito

Stacy Williams, AIASF Executive Director 


Vivian Dwyer

Karin Payson

Ross Levy
Past Chair