North BayNewsPhilanthropy

North Bay Spring Forum Recap

Design for Empowerment: The Power of Space

Posted on: May 16, 2017

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The North Bay design community came together Saturday April 29 for a fascinating CEU round table discussion on the subject of Design for Empowerment: The Power of Space.  

The Forum

Attendees learned about common themes and unique challenges that can influence the interior design industry. A theme of “radical collaboration” was unearthed as panelists explored tools for empowerment at the user level. Understanding how shifting cultural values affect divergent needs can empower designers to employ new strategies for engaging with clients and stakeholders. Ultimately we found hope that the distinction between qualitative vs. quantitative success can become an invisible line where all parties benefit from a well-designed space.


Moderator Scott Witthoft with the Stanford led the lively discussion between panelists representing educational design, workplace strategists, and healthcare planning. 

The Speakers

Scott Witthoft with Stanford is a product designer, educator, and writer. He’s interested in understanding & tweaking interactions among systems. This has included forensic structural engineering as well as space, furniture, and curriculum design. At the Stanford, he teaches human-centered design and storytelling & visual communication. With the, he co-authored the book, Make Space—a tool for everyone interested in creating collaborative environments.

Aaron Jobson, AIA, LEED AP, ALEP with Quattrochi Kwok Architects is known for his innovative projects, including American Canyon High School (American Canyon, Calif.), one of the highest scoring Collaborative for High Performance Schools (CHPS) verified projects in California. He is also one of the creators of Folia, a classroom building solution that dramatically reduces design, permitting and construction time on projects to market. His work, passion and advocacy has garnered his reputation as a thought leader on how school facility design directly impacts academic success – a subject on which Aaron spoke about at SXSWedu, among other national education conferences.

Andrea Small, BA, MA recently joined Herman Miller as their Director of Product and Portfolio Strategy on the Living Office Point of View Team. Before immersing in the world of work at Herman Miller, Andrea was a Teaching Fellow at Stanford’s, where she was one of the first professionals (and non-Stanford grads) hired to the role. At the, she designed experimental learning experiences (on topics like ambiguity, critique and organizing) and taught design thinking to students and executives. Andrea previously spent five years at Yves Béhar’s design firm fuseproject in San Francisco, where she led strategic efforts for clients like Nivea, Starbucks, British Gas, GE, Nike Foundation, and Samsung.

Erin Clark, RN MS with HTS Consultants is registered nurse since 2006 with strategic, space, operations and transition planning as a hospital consultant working with hospitals across the country. Masters degree in Nursing Leadership with a focus in healthcare design. Project manager experience and clinical liaison between hospital operations and planning, design and construction teams to facilitate alignment of operations and design for optimal patient care.

THE Venue

Trope Group’s new Living Office showroom proved to be the perfect venue for socializing in an inspiring, design oriented environment. Light refreshments and beverages encouraged people to engage with one another as they explored furniture solutions and exchanged ideas. Those attending enjoyed seeing new and old friends in the industry as well as meeting people in the arts and related professions. 

Attendees gathering around the showroom for real time social networking.

Our City Center extends a huge thank you to our event sponsors and the chapter patrons for helping us raise a substantial contribution for YWCA Sonoma County and their work empowering of victims of domestic violence and discrimination.

Posted in: North BayNewsPhilanthropy

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