AIA California Council (AIACC) Housing Forum — “Housing Attainability”

Why does it cost so much to live in California? Cities across the state are experiencing the same growing pangs. Tomorrow, the AIACC is hosting a Housing Forum to jump-start a year-long conversation about “attainable housing” for our communities and state. The one-day conference will be jam-packed with design-driven discourse about the roadblocks to housing and potential long term solutions.

On Friday, March 29th at the Newport Beach Civic Center, architects, government officials, and stakeholders, will look at the real crisis in housing today. We’ll discuss what type of design thinking might inform policy, regulations and advocacy efforts, and influence decision making.

As architects, we believe the power of architectural ideation, innovation and implementation can and will address housing attainability for all in California.

I’ll be speaking on a panel titled “Ideation — Roadblocks to Housing Attainability” with my colleagues Phil Bona, AIA, senior architect and planner at AVRP Skyport and Steinberg Hart Principal Simon Ha, AIA. The panel is being moderated by City of Campbell Councilmember Liz Gibbons. Each of us will share our experiences with building attainable housing in our cities. We’ll show how we’ve pushed projects through Planning, the various hurdles we’ve had to overcome to getting projects off the ground, and innovative techniques we’re implementing to increase the housing stock while still maintaining a quality of life. Hint: I believe the challenge is threefold: bureaucratic, cultural and psychological. And that the solutions are less radical than one might surmise. Think along the lines of listening, collaborating and being an active community member. That, and a whole lot of patience!

The event will kick-off with keynote speaker Ann Fougeron, FAIA, of Fougeron Architecture, who will speak about California’s state of housing. Joining her will be Associate Principal at KTGY Architecture & Planning and 2019 AIA California President Benjamin I. Kasdan, AIA and Michelle Hottel, AIA of Michele Grace Hottel, Architect.

Other panels throughout the day include:

California Housing — Challenges and Opportunities
Innovation — The Power of Design Thinking
Implementation — New Production and Delivery Methods and Technology Integration
Moving Forward — Architects Influencing Change Panel

In between seminars, there will be networking opportunities. By the end of the day, we hope attendees will gain a better understanding of what they can do to help Californians achieve attainable housing. No matter what scale of project, or which city you live, we can each do our part to overcome the housing hurdle.

For more information about the AIACC Housing Forum and a for a complete list of moderators and speakers, visit:

And if you would like a copy of my presentation or are interested in speaking with me about housing attainability, don’t hesitate to reach out.

John Lum, AIA