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Community Alliance Awards
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The Center for Architecture + Design and AIA San Francisco’s Community Alliance Awards program honors the individuals, firms, and organizations whose overall work, leadership, and dedication shape the character and vibrancy of our communities and the future of our built environment.

In recognition of their contributions to the advancement and enrichment of the quality of life in the Bay Area through their commitment to design excellence, the Center and AIASF strive to acknowledge these extraordinary individuals and organizations for their service to the Chapter, to the community, and to the profession. Their continued efforts to engage, educate, collaborate, and advocate elevates the value of design and its impact on the experiences of our daily lives.

For more information on the submission process, click here.

2019 Nominations

Past Awardees

2019 Jury

Jennifer Brooks

Jennifer Brooks is a landscape architect at San Francisco Public Works and Board Member of the Center for Architecture + Design. Her work explores the intersection of design, ecology, and infrastructure, and seeks to reveal the enduring connection between landscape and daily experience. Jennifer’s work at San Francisco Public Works (SFPW) rests on a strong foundation of design practice in service to the public. Prior to joining SFPW, Jennifer taught design studios at the UC Berkeley College of Environmental Design, and contributed to several significant public landscape projects at the offices of Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape Architects, Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, and Ken Smith Landscape Workshop in New York. Current design projects investigate landscape strategies for adaptation and resilience in urban civic spaces, and use design agency to advocate for environmental and social justice in the urban landscape.

 Robin Abad Ocubillo

Robin Abad Ocubillo has worked for over a decade in civic innovation in public space design, planning, evaluation, and policy. He is currently Senior Planner and Urban Designer with the SF Planning Department, where he leads Places for People, the first placemaking legislation of its kind in the country to streamline government processes and lower barriers for communities creating and stewarding public spaces in underutilized streets and lots. He has extensively developed research methods and metrics for human-use evaluation of public spaces and is co-author of the Global Public Life Data Protocol. Robin is also a Producer and Curator with the San Francisco Urban Film Festival, bringing communities together around civics and storytelling. Prior to his current role at the San Francisco Planning Department, Robin worked with LADOT People St. and the Mayor’s Great Streets Project on advocacy and performance evaluation of projects throughout Los Angeles. Before that he served for several years as a Project Manager in the Golden Gate National Parks, working on cultural landscape and visitor access projects at sites throughout Bay Area parklands.

Neal Schwartz, AIA

Neal J. Z. Schwartz established the modern design studio, S^A | Schwartz and Architecture in 1997. Recent recognition for the firm's design work and ethos includes a national James Beard Foundation Award for Excellence in Restaurant Design, 2 Chicago Athenaeum American Architecture Awards, and multiple AIACC and AIASF Design Awards. The firm's work has been profiled in numerous publications here and abroad including The New York Times, Dwell, Architect, Wallpaper* and Residential Architect among others. S^A is also committed to significant pro-bono work with non-profits, including La Cocina, The Children’s Creativity Museum, Larkin Street Youth Services, Public Architecture, The National AIDS Memorial Grove, and the Abayudaya Stern Synagogue in Eastern Uganda. From 2016 -2018, Neal chaired the newly revived AIASF Public Policy & Advocacy Committee (PPAC) building off of the joint working group he initiated between AIASF and SF Planning advocating for improvements to residential design review policies and procedures. From 2006 - 2009, Neal was on the Board of Directors for the National AIDS Memorial Grove, chairing the Memorial Design Committee working towards the capital campaign and design development of this national memorial. Neal completed dual Master’s degrees in Architecture and Public Policy at Harvard University's Graduate School of Design and the Kennedy School of Government respectively. At Harvard, Neal graduated with Distinction in Architecture, received the Thayer Award for Meritorious Scholarship, the Sheldon Traveling Fellowship, as well as national awards from the Urban Land Institute and American Planning Association. In addition, Neal has been actively involved in teaching for over 25 years, most recently as a full Professor in Architecture Studies at the California College of the Arts (CCA).

2019 Awards Luncheon and Ceremony

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 5, 12:00 - 2:00 PM


Join the Center and AIASF to celebrate the mission-driven accomplishments of our award recipients and the nonprofit community to make San Francisco a beautiful, affordable, and resilient city for everyone! On December 5, the Center and AIASF will partner with Autodesk to host the Community Alliance Awards Luncheon. Together, with the support and participation of all citizens, we are working to strengthen the future of our built environment!




2019 Awardees

Alliance Award
Fay Darmawi, SF Urban Film Fest
Public Knowledge

Chapter Service Award
Tom Brutting, FAIA, HKIT Architects
Karin Payson, AIA, Karin Payson architecture + design
Michael Robbins, AIA, Studio Robbins Cortina

Citizen Architect Award
Edgar Lopez, AIA, San Francisco Public Works 

Education Award
Shalini Agrawal, California College of the Arts
Irene Cheng, California College of the Arts 

Emerging Professional Award
Samantha Buckley, Gensler
Anand Sheth, AIA, Studio BBA

Firm Achievement Award
SITELAB urban studio

Local Government Award
Jeff Joslin, San Francisco Planning Department

Mentor Award
Catherine Barner, Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy
Cathy Simon, FAIACathy Simon FAIA Architecture and Urbanism

Revitalization Award

Social Impact Award
West Oakland Environmental Indicators Project

The 826 Build Team
VP Consulting SF

Student Award 
"The Remittance City: Reallocating Resources in Manila's Living Cemeteries"
by Allison Foronda, M.Arch, California College of the Arts
Kenta Oye, Academy of Art University School of Architecture







Venue Sponsor


Media Partner



Click here for information on Sponsorship and Benefits.



Recognition of an organization or individual outside the profession who has made significant contributions to the improvement of the Bay Area’s built environment. Contributions may include advancement or development of initiatives that promote excellence in architecture; the commissioning of notable additions to the built environment; or activities that raise the public’s consciousness of the importance of excellent design in the shaping of our world and culture.


Recognition of an architect, architectural designer, or design firm practicing 10 years or fewerwho exemplifies the highest qualities of leadership and demonstrates an unparalleled commitment to AIA San Francisco, to the design and construction industry, to the community, or to other professional organizations.


To recognize an individual who uses insight, talent, training, and experience to contribute meaningfully, beyond self, to the improvement of the community and human condition.


Recognition of an organization or individual for excellence in the advancement of architectural education through teaching, design, scholarship, research, or service.


Recognition of an organization or individual for their commitment in guiding their fellow professionals as they progress through all stages of their career.


Recognition of an individual student, student team, student organization, or student organization who has demonstrated a commitment to the community or the building industry.


Recognition of an architecture or design firm for outstanding contributions to the community, advancement of the profession, intern development, or for producing distinguished architecture.


Recognition of an organization or individual for extended commitment to community service or significant contribution evidenced by a positive impact on urban, environmental, or neighborhood issues.


Recognition of an elected or appointed organization or individual, public administrator, or institutional leader who establishes and contributes to the development of laws, regulations, policies, or initiatives that promote excellence in architecture.


Recognition of the work of an organization or individual who, by their skill, professionalism, dedication, ability, commitment, or volunteer contributions, has consistently advanced the common goals of AIA San Francisco.


Recognition of property owners, developers, and neighborhood organizations who have enhanced the local community by making significant improvements to their properties or invigorated the culture, which has, in turn, had a positive impact on the surrounding area.

Past Awardees



Karsen Maruca
Program Manager
(415) 874-2623