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The fires that swept through our beloved Northern California haven’t been an anomaly; they are a sign of what’s to come. As architects and designers, we feel a responsibility to engage with the tools we have; to see, to build, to consider, and to create new homes for those who have lost so much. How do we design and build in a responsive way in the face of climate change? Napa-based designer and builder Brandon Jørgensen of Atelier Jørgensen set out to answer that question in the wake of the 2017 North Bay Fires.

Come join the conversation about resilient design with Jørgensen and colleagues, as they discuss their journey and process through what the Resilient Design Institute defined as “the intentional design of buildings, landscapes, communities, and regions in response to vulnerabilities to disaster and disruption of normal life.


Brandon Jørgensen is a native Californian with a design practice based in Napa California. A third-generation Californian, born and raised in the bay area, his family came here in the 30’s migrating from Denmark to work on the Bay Bridge and Golden Gate Bridge. Having served in the US Army’s 10th Mountain Division he went on to study architecture and received his Bachelor and master’s in architecture from the University of California, Berkeley. He has worked with Toyo Ito on the Berkeley Art Museum, Studied with Tadao Ando, and spent several years honing his skills as a young architect at Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill. He started his own studio in 2011 where he and his small team are currently working on projects in Greece, Hawaii, Los Angeles, and all throughout wine country with a focus on residential and hospitality.

Stanley Saitowitz

Stanley Saitowitz was born in Johannesburg, South Africa and received his Bachelor of Architecture at the University of Witwatersrand in 1974 and his Masters in Architecture at the University of California, Berkeley in 1977. He is an Emeritus Professor of Architecture at the University of California, Berkeley. He has taught at numerous schools, including the Elliot Noyes Professor, Harvard University GSD (1991-2), the Bruce Goff Professor, University of Norman, Oklahoma (1993), UCLA, Rice, SCIARC, Cornell, Syracuse, and University of Texas at Austin. He has given more than 200 public lectures in the United States and abroad. His first house was built in 1975, and together with Stanley Saitowitz/Natoma Architects Inc., has completed numerous buildings and projects. These have been residential, commercial and institutional. He has designed houses, housing, master plans, offices, museums, libraries, wineries, synagogues, churches, commercial and residential interiors, memorials, urban landscapes and promenades. Amongst many awards, the Transvaal House was declared a National Monument by the Monuments Council in South Africa in 1997, the New England Holocaust Memorial received the Henry Bacon Medal in 1998, and in 2006 he was a finalist for the Smithsonian Cooper Hewitt National Design Award given by Laura Bush at the White House. Three books have been published on the work, and articles have appeared in many magazines and newspapers. His paintings, drawings and models have been exhibited in numerous galleries and museums.

Anne Fougeron

Since 1985, FOUGERON ARCHITECTURE is a nationally recognized design firm whose work exhibits a strong commitment to clarity of thought, design integrity, and quality of architectural detail.

The firm’s decidedly modernist attitude is the result of founder Anne Fougeron’s vision to create a practice dedicated to finding the perfect alignment between architectural idea and built form. Her work can be defined by three basic tenets:

Architectural space is modulated by the quality and character of natural light.

Innovative use of structure becomes the architectural ornament.

Exploration into the visual and tactile nature of materials enhances how people engage a building.

Ms. Fougeron’s keen interest in crossing disciplinary boundaries has led the firm to develop a collaborative creative process that capitalizes on her relationships with craftsmen and artists who are experts in their fields. Contrary to most traditional practices, the firm does not separate between the design and production parts of the work process; preferring to believe that the process of design and innovation must continue through all phases of design and construction.

Craig Steely

Craig Steely is a California and Hawaii based architect. His buildings have been described as true and unique hybrids of these two environments. They embrace the realities of the environment and our connection/separation to it over the subjugation of it, all the while focusing on developing a singular architecture rooted in its context. Active projects include work on the Big Island of Hawaii and Maui, as well as several along the coast of California—from Sea Ranch to San Francisco to Big Sur.

He received his architecture degree from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. He has lectured at the University of Hawaii, the University of California at Berkeley, Cal Poly and at many conferences including the Monterey Design Conference. His work has been awarded recognition by the American Institute of Architects and published widely in books and periodicals. In 2009 he was selected as an “Emerging Talent” by the AIA California Council. His office was chosen the top firm in the 2013 Residential Architect Magazine leadership awards.

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