Future Vision

Presented by the AIA Portland Committee on Equity, Diversity & Inclusion

May 18 | 8:30 am – 5:00 pm
Reception to follow | 5:00 – 7:00 pm
Union / Pine | 5 CEU LU


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We are thrilled to be hosting this year’s annual Future Vision event at Union/Pine, a building designed by Oregon’s first female architect, Margaret Fritsch. It’s hard to believe that less than 60 years ago there were no female architects in this state! The profession of architecture has come a long way since then, but we certainly have more work to do to ensure that under-represented groups are supported in the workplace. That’s why the Committee on Equity, Diversity & Inclusion (CoEDI)  is excited to have you to be a part of this ongoing conversation towards progressing equity in design.

This year’s title, Voices in the Workplace, acknowledges that a company’s culture is a reflection of its members. Everyone brings with them personal experiences, values and biases that intrinsically shapes a firm’s daily efforts. As companies work towards reflecting the realities of a changing world and a global client base, understanding the dynamics of a healthy workplace culture is paramount to success.  

This full day symposium will feature individual speakers, panelists, educators & professionals sharing their expertise and actionable strategies around equity in the workplace. Sessions include a discussion highlighting the current state of the profession, individual perspectives around representation in the workplace,  tools to address workplace harassment, a workshop on negotiation skills and a moderated panel focusing on the expectations & needs of the future workplace.

Who should attend: Design professionals, Architects, AEC Consultants, Developers, Educators, Students, HR Professionals, Construction & Tradespeople, Firm leadership, Members of ASLA, IIDA, ACEC, SEAO and CSI

What can I expect to learn:

  • The elements of a thriving company culture
  • How companies attract & retain the best talent
  • The benefits of equity on a company’s bottom line
  • The importance of representation within a firm
  • Shifts in workplace culture and individual rights
  • Tools towards collaboration and inclusion within the design process
  • How mentors, role models and media images shape self-image and ideas of the profession
  • The important role mentors, advocates & sponsors have in your career

Future Vision 2018 Session 1 Presentation:
The State of the Industry

What characterizes a thriving or toxic professional culture?
How do firms remain relevant within an ever shifting marketplace?
How do we support innovation, retain talent & craft a healthy workplace?

Future Vision 2018 kicks off with a broad overview of the industry, noting the strengths & the vulnerabilities evident in the profession.  Join presenters Hanna Richards-James, owner & principal consultant at Fantail Collaborative, & Osvaldo “Ozzie” Gonzalez, Director of Diversity @ Howard S. Wright Construction, as they discuss how events, such as the recession, the current development boom & the #metoo movement, influence choices firms & individuals make as they predict the future.

This full day program, titled Voices in the Workplace, takes a deep dive into company culture. Building on last year’s theme of The Value Proposition for Equity, acknowledging the importance of diversity towards promoting value and innovation, this year we move the dialogue further to understand the role of the individual within the larger framework of the workplace.

Tickets are selling quickly, register today to be part of the conversation.

Osvaldo “Ozzie” Gonzalez, Director of Diversity @ Howard S. Wright Construction
Ozzie is an Environmental Scientist and Architecture professional who specializes in building healthy, prosperous communities that work alongside nature. Ozzie holds a Master’s Degree in Architecture from California Polytechnic University in Pomona and a Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Science from Humboldt University. As a proponent of healthy, culturally diverse, and environmentally responsible cities, Ozzie works across the spectrum of design, policy, and community engagement to bring solutions to our city’s greatest environmental, social, and economic challenges. As Howard S. Wright’s Director of Diversity & Inclusion, Ozzie builds strategic partnerships with small businesses to create positive impacts in the neighborhoods where we work.

In his home of Portland, Oregon, Ozzie serves his community in a variety of ways. Ozzie is a founding member of the US Green Building Council’s LEED User Group for Industrial Facilities, President of the Jardín Portland Foundation, and Board Member of the Regional Arts and Culture Council, the Oregon Association of Minority Entrepreneurs, and the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

Hanna Richards-James, owner & principal consultant at Fantail Collaborative
Hanna Richards-James is owner and principal consultant of Fantail Collaborative. She has fifteen years experience in marketing and business, and organizational effectiveness. With a Masters in Organization Leadership, Hanna brings coaching, training elements and programs to create strong leaders and develop healthy organizations. Her particular interest is fostering environments that promote diversity, focusing in the development of women in leadership.





A special thanks to our sponsors!






Venue sponsor

Event Sponsors

Bora Architects

Holst Architecture


Future Vision 2017, The Value Proposition for Equity, held this past May at the EcoTrust Building attracted over 85 professionals interested in investigating the topic of equity’s impact on a company’s bottom line.    Here are a few comments from past attendees about what they most liked about Future Vision 2017:

  • I liked the call to action. I felt like we all left with a full toolbox of ways to implement equity strategies in our own firms.
  • I’m very glad to see the issue of inequity presented through a more intersectional lens. The talk about implicit bias was valuable, as was having insight from professionals in other industries.
  • Good energy, relevant information and timely material.
  • An inspiring event with a motivating atmosphere
  • Loved it! An annual check-in on where we are as an industry and to hear more and more success stories.
  • Overall the event was worthwhile and I had some concrete take-aways. As one of the very few men at the event, I was a bit disappointed there weren’t more. It is important that more males in the profession engage with this subject.



Visit here for details & photos from the 2017 event: http://www.aiaportland.org/futurevision


Equity is for everyone–architects, design collaborators, clients, and our communities. Often confused with equality, equity entails recognizing difference and providing fair and just access to opportunities rather than the same prospects for all.  Equity also speaks to a collective ownership, vested interest and knowledge of the architecture community’s worth. Equitable practice promotes the recruitment and retention of the most diverse talent while building stronger, more successful, and more sustainable design practices. Equity in our profession allows us to better represent the people we are meant to serve. Not prioritizing equity within the profession, from an individual to an organizational level, effectively limits innovation and deprives the bottom line.
Rosa Sheng, AIA
Author, Why Equity Matters for Everyone: A New Value Proposition for Design, 2016


Equity by Design is a call to action for both women and men to realize the goal of equitable practice, advance architecture, sustain the profession and communicate the value of design to society.

Resources discussed at the 2015 Equity by Design symposium:

Designing for Diversity: Gender, Race, and Ethnicity in the Architectural Profession
by Kathryn H. Anthony

Ask For It: How Women Can Use the Power of Negotiation to Get What They Really Want
by Linda Babcock, Sara Laschever

Web Resources:
The Missing 32 Percent Project/Equity by Design

Parlour: Women, Equity, Architecture


Resolution 15-1: Equity in Architecture

List of WLS Resources

WLS Conference Video Summary

RIBA – Role Models program

2003 Royal Architectural Institute of Canada: ‘Consultation & Roundtables on Women in Architecture in Canada
The Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC). Recommendations include: celebrating women’s achievements, publishing salary grids, improving Institute flexibility to recognize part-time employment and parental leave and expanding the definition of ‘architect’ to those in non-traditional roles.

The Career Progression of Men in Architecture
This Australian Institute of Architects report is a response to Paula Whitman’s Going Places report. Many of the findings regarding men’s attitudes to workplace and promotion are similar to Going Places.

2005 Going Places: The Career Progression of Women in Architecture
The result of a comprehensive survey of women in Australian architecture, by Paula Whitman including a set of recommendations.

2007 Gathering and Reviewing Data on Diversity within the Construction Professions
A report by Ann de Graft-Johnson, Rachel Sara, Fiona Gleed and Nada Brkljac, commissioned by the the Diversity Panel of the UK Construction Industry Council. Includes an extensive bibliography.

2010 Practice and Gender in Architecture: A survey of New Zealand Architecture Graduates 1987–2008
A report by Professor Errol Haarhoff looking at the progression of New Zealand women architecture graduates into practice.