Forums: Design for Empowerment

Date: April 20
Time: 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Location: California College of the Arts

1111 8th Street
San Francisco,CAUnited States

Catalysts & Opposition

While everyone supports empowering others, there is a disconnect between the idea of empowerment and the action of empowering others. How can we, as a design community, create spaces that will empower the next generation? Join us as we analyze how architecture and interior design can be catalysts for empowerment and how to overcome obstacles that may lie in the way.



Laura Guido Clark, Founder, Project Color Corps

As a self-professed ‘dreamer’, Laura has always looked for creative solutions to the problems around her. As principal and owner of her own firm, Laura has been able to focus her creative passion on studying color and how it affects people’s moods, attitudes or even their sense of empowerment. Furthermore, in 2011 Laura started a non-profit organization called Project Color Corps. Their mission is to use color as a change agent to infuse well-being and energy in urban neighborhoods. The organization has already completed several successful projects revitalizing schools around the Bay Area and in LA. In Guido-Clark’s latest project, The Mays Boys and Girls Club of Hunters Point, the organization worked with fuseproject to design a mural in a vital area of an open plaza. The students were involved throughout the process, selecting inspirational words reflecting their desires and mixing colors that were used within the mural to maximize their involvement and empowerment.


Kali Gordon, Professor of Architecture, Youth Art Exchange 

Youth Art Exchange is an organization created to spark interaction and creative exchange between public high schools students and local design professionals. This manifests in high quality education programs, built works, field trips, events and networking opportunities. The organization caters to a diverse range of passions and backgrounds but focuses on empowering students to become leaders in their communities and to have an artistic voice.

Kali Ren Gordon is a professor of architecture at Youth Art Exchange and a practicing architect who believes that design is a powerful tool for change. In her personal and professional life, Kali has striven to be an advocate for vulnerable populations by pursuing thoughtful design solutions. She has practiced for seven years preceding her work with Youth Art Exchange and helping to empower the next generation.


Ryan Jang, Senior Associate, Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects

Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects has a reputation in the Bay Area for creating beautiful spaces for marginalized people groups including the homeless population, underprivileged students and many others. Their designs are specifically tailored to their client’s needs with an emphasis on function and dignity.

Ryan Jang, a senior associate at LMSA, has been committed to creating inspiring spaces that spark change. His most recent focus has been on how to build spaces specifically tailored to students and their specific needs. In a current project, Jang is working with the San Francisco Art Institute to revitalize Pier 2 at Fort Mason and repurpose it as a hub for graduate students and an intersection for public engagement with the arts.



David Meckley, Design Director, Huntsman Architectural Group

David Meckley, as a former president of IIDA’s Northern California Chapter, loves contributing to interior design industry whether through discussion, mentoring or volunteering. He began his design career at the University of Wisconsin studying architecture and now works for Huntsman Architectural Group in San Francisco. In his daily role at Huntsman, he oversees several large scale projects for clients like Kaiser, McKesson and Argonaut. David knows when to ask questions and how to thoughtfully guide design discussions for the greatest possible outcome.


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