David Baker, FAIA LEED, is the founder and Principal of David Baker Architects (DBA) a progressive architecture firm based in San Francisco and Oakland that creates acclaimed buildings in urban environments. Over the years, the firm has become known for exceptional housing, creative site strategies, designing for density, and integrating new construction into the public realm.
After graduating in 1982—while living in the house he built for his Master of Architecture Thesis—he founded DBA, and in 1996 was selected as Fellow of the American Institute of Architects. A leader in the affordable housing sphere, DBA has designed and built more than 10,000 affordable homes for the Bay Area and received more than 300 local and national architectural design awards and honors, including six national AIA awards and two ULI Global Awards for Excellence.
Baker has been honored as a Visionary Leader in Design (Non-Profit Housing Association, 2014) and a Livability Innovator in Architecture and Urbanism (Livable City, 2014). He was selected as the AIA California Council’s 2012 Distinguished Practice, in recognition of a career of dedicated commitment to the built environment. In 2010 he was given Hearthstone Builder Humanitarian Award, which honors the housing industry’s 30 most influential and innovative people of the past 30 years.
A progressive urban activist and bicyclist, Baker has also been a union carpenter, a teacher, a father (of three grown kids), and served on the Boards of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition and SPUR (San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association). He was elevated to Fellow by the American Institute of Architects in 1996.
Baker currently lives in a net-zero cottage of his own design in the Mission District of San Francisco with his partner, Yosh Asato. Together, they are co-founders of StoreFrontLab, an ongoing interactive exploration of urban issues and of the storefront as a place of community, creativity, and local industry.
His recent architectural projects include affordable senior and family housing in the Bayview District of San Francisco, and the first market-rate micro-units to hit the market in Hayes Valley.
Douglas Abbey is Chairman of Swift Real Estate Partners, a San Francisco based real estate operating company focused on value add office properties on the west coast. He previously co-founded two investment management organizations: AMB Property Corporation (merged with Prologis:NYSE) which formed in 1983 and is now the largest global industrial REIT; and IHP Capital Partners, which formed in 1992 and is a provider of equity to the single family home building industry. He is a past Trustee and Vice Chairman of the Urban Land Institute and serves on the board of Bridge Housing, the leading non-profit affordable housing developer on the west coast with over 13,000 units under management. He also serves on the real estate committee of the UCSF Foundation. Since 2005, Abbey has taught the real estate class at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. Abbey holds a B.A. from Amherst College and an M.C.P. from UC Berkeley.
PRINCIPAL, DESIGNJONES, LLC; ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR, LOUISIANA STATE UNIVERSITY
Austin Allen is a Principal of DesignJones, LLC, a full-service landscape architectural firm which recieved the American Society of Landscape Architects Medal of Honor for Community Service in October 2016. He focuses on community engagement practices, disaster recovery planning, and building resilient communities and green infrastructure projects.
Allen has taught as an associate professor in the Robert Reich School of Landscape Architecture at Louisiana State University since 2010, after serving as its inaugural Bickham Chair in 2009. Interests include recovery and regeneration of landscapes; urbanism; public space; film and media arts; and African-American cultural landscapes.Allen was also an Associate Professor of Film and Communication at Cleveland State University and an Associate Professor in Landscape Architecture at the University of Colorado Denver.
He has worked on recovery projects in New Orleans for eleven years, particularly in the Lower Ninth Ward and the Bayou Bienvenue Wetlands Triangle, working with the community on planning and funding, administration, linking neighborhoods to wetlands and coastal restoration. His focus has been to take lessons learned from New Orleans recovery to the Historic District of Jacmel, Haiti, including work with the Haiti/New Orleans Cultural Task Force.
Allen was part of the Landscape Architecture team of the HUD/DOT Livable Claiborne Communities study for the City of New Orleans from 2012-2013. Along with colleagues from Southern University, he is currently conducting research on the Baker Canal Corridor Project. He was also part of the 2009 ASLA award winning team for the Rockefeller Park Strategic Master Plan in Cleveland, Ohio.
Allen has served in an administrative capacity at Cleveland State University including as Interim Director of First College in the School of Communication and as director of the CSU Prison Media Literacy Project. In addition, Allen served as Chair of the Landscape Architecture Department at the University of Colorado Denver from 2006 through 2009, and as the MLA Graduate Program Coordinator at the Robert Reich School of Landscape Architecture at LSU from 2012 through 2015.
Allen recieved his BA in Landscape Architecture from UC Berkeley in 1982, his Master of Arts in Mass Communication from Ohio University in 1987, and his Ph.D in Mass Communication from Ohio University in 1992.
Diane Jones Allen, D. Eng., MLA, ASLA, RLA, has 30-years of experience in professional practice, research, and teaching, focusing on land planning, transportation planning, and park design projects, as well as community development work. Allen was a graduate of the Washington University in St. Louis, School of Fine Arts, receiving a BFA in painting in 1980. After volunteering for the Neighborhood Design Center and Department of Urban Planning in Baltimore City, Maryland, she entered the College of Environmental Design and graduated with a Master of Landscape Architecture degree in 1984.
Allen became a community planner for the Maryland National Park and Planning Commission where she practiced community engagement and collaborated in a Master Plan for the Old Town Bowie, Maryland Town Center. Prior to becoming a tenured professor in Landscape Architecture at the School of Architecture and Planning at Morgan State University in Baltimore, Maryland in 2010, Allen was Principal Landscape Architect for TerraDesign Inc., a Louisiana based Landscape Architectural Firm for 11 years.
Terra Designs Inc. worked on several significant projects in New Orleans, including the restoration and redesign of Washington Artillery Park in the Historic French Quarter, and the expansion of the Riverfront Streetcar along Canal Street. To expand her abilities as a landscape architect in research and practice, Allen received her Doctorate in Civil Engineering with a focus in Transportation Engineering from Morgan State University in Baltimore, Maryland in 2014. Her dissertation titled “Operating within Transit Deserts: the Application of Just, Open and Equitable Circulator Systems within Outer Urban Neighborhoods” was the beginning of her continued research on Transit Deserts, which are places of increasing transportation demand and limited access. Allenwas also an Adjunct Professor at the Robert Reich School of Landscape Architecture, College of Art and Design, Louisiana State University.
She has served as a member of the Baltimore City Urban Design and Architecture Review Panel (UDARP). She is currently Principal Landscape Architect with DesignJones LLC in New Orleans, Louisiana. DesignJones LLC is working on several community based projects in New Orleans, including assisting the Gordon Park Neighborhood in a plan for relocation of their homes from the Agricultural Dump on which they rest. DesignJones LLC was selected to receive the 2016 Community Service Award from the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA).
Allen’s research and practice is guided by the intersection of environmental justice, identity and sustainability in African-American cultural landscapes, including “Nomadic” responses to “Transit Deserts,” as discussed in her forth coming book, Lost in the Transit Desert: Race, Transit Access, and Suburban Form, to be published by Routledge Press. Allen received a research fellowship from the University of Chicago-based Black Metropolitan Research Consortium during the summer of 2015 to undertake research on population shifts in Chicago, which she applied to the study of Transit Deserts for her book. She is a member of the Landscape Architecture Foundation board, and participated as a panel member for the Landscape Summit which was held in June 2016 at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.