The Forums program is a series of discussions, performed in each city center throughout the calendar year, that focus on one central topic which impacts our design community at large.


The Forums goal is to define, engage, and challenge our community of designers, dealers, builders, and beyond. By re-interpreting the central theme to fit each City Center’s unique perspective, we both unite our Chapter and highlight the differences that make us such a rich and vibrant community. Forums are eligible for CEU credit. To find out which Forum is happening in your City Center next, please visit the calendar of events and join us!

2016 theme

The Forums theme for 2016 was “Design for Humanity”:

April 12
East Bay
Design for Humanity: Well-Building, Biophilia, and LEED

Moderator: Lindsay Baker, President, Building Robotics (now Comfy)

Panelists: Kelly Leanos, Director, Ware Malcomb; Brenden McEneaney, Director, USGBC Northern California; and Mara Baum, Vice President, Healthcare, Sustainable Design Leader, HOK

April 19
Kings Arena Tour and discussion of its effect on the revitalization of downtown

April 20
Silicon Valley
Design for Humanity: Sheltering Silicon Valley

Moderator: Terry de la Cuesta, Synergy 4 Health, a One Workplace company

Panelists: Claire Wagner, Home First Spokeswoman; Ray Bramson, Division Manager, City of San Jose, Housing Department; Desta Krong, President and Co-Owner of Krong Design; and Yana Roni, Design Strategist, Gensler

Special Guest Speaker: Dave Cortese, County Supervisor, District 3

April 28
San Francisco
Human Centered Design: An Exploration of Biophilia and Experience Design

Moderator: Louis Schump, Account Executive, Rapt Studio

Panelists: Joseph White, Director of Workplace Strategy, Design, and Management, Herman Miller; Elizabeth Freer, Principal, Oppenheim Lewis Inc.; and Dido Tsigaridi, Senior Design Experience Researcher, Autodesk

May 14
North Bay

Design for Humanity: The Influence of Art + Design on At-Risk Youth

Moderator: Dave delaChevrotoire, Edelman Leather

Panelists: Caitlin Childs, Social Advocates for Youth
; Michelle Carnes, Michelle Carnes Fine Art Works
; Mike McGinnis, Santa Rosa Junior College; and Gordon Huether, Gordon Huether Studio


Vice President: Jenne Wicht
Assistant Vice President: Meghan Panighetti

FORUM videos

Design for Humanity – The Influence of Art + Design on At-Risk Youth

As design professionals, we have a great opportunity and responsibility to our communities to help positively impact the next generation thru our creative work. Join us as we discuss with local artists, designers, educators and youth advocates how our industry can inspire young people struggling with social, economic and educational challenges through integration of art in interior environments.

Human Centered Design – An Exploration of Biophilia and Experience Design

Immersive, life-changing design is all around us; whether we recognize it or not, may just be the difference it takes to be a successful designer. Join us as we explore the many facets of Human Centered Design and the ways in which we craft experiences that impact, influence, and improve the human reality.
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