NEW YORK, N.Y. – The award-winning architecture and interior design firm FAIA, will present on a panel along with architects from Ennead and the Director of Interior Design from the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations (OBO) to discuss collaborative practice methods for large-scale overseas projects.

In the panel discussion, “Women-Led Collaborations: Balancing Culture & Context in Large-Scale Embassies,” Smith joins architects Kate Mann, AIA, and Felicia Berger, AIA, both Associate Principals at Ennead Architects LLP, along with Laura Rogers, NCIDQ, IIDA, LEED AP, the Director of Interior Design with OBO, to examine strategies for engaging teams in the design of complex new embassies. The case-study session, focused on three embassy projects where Ennead has served as the architect and Spacesmith as space planner and interior designer, offers valuable insights into design strategies utilized for these sensitive and complex projects while offering solutions for effective collaboration techniques.

With expertise across a wide range of sectors including workplace, higher education and nonprofit facility design, Jane Smith and the other panelists will discuss techniques used to optimize space utilization and allow for future growth and expansion. The case studies also demonstrate how design teams can create embassies that best reflect host cultures.

“Embassy design projects often provide unique challenges due to the complexity and the need for design teams to represent the United States in the increasingly interconnected global stage,” says Smith. “Our multidisciplinary panel has uncovered valuable approaches and project solutions based on communication, collaboration and creative design strategies while working on these high-profile embassy projects.”

The case studies will be presented at the AIA Conference on Architecture 2019, known as A’19, which will host the membership of the American Institute of Architects in Las Vegas from June 6-8 for educational workshops, seminars, tours, and events focused on the theme of “Future Cities.”

About Jane Smith, FAIA
Jane Smith, FAIA, IIDA, is founding partner of Spacesmith, LLP, an architecture, planning, and interior design firm in New York City and Hudson, NY. With a diverse portfolio and longstanding clients, Spacesmith works for government agencies, schools, not-for-profits, and private-sector clients in fashion, finance, and media. Clients include the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations (OBO), New York State’s Office of General Services, New York City’s Department of Design + Construction Design Excellence Program, and the School of Visual Arts. Recent clients include the American Natural History Museum, Breaking Ground, BlackRock, Abrams Books, and MarketAxess. For 12 years, Smith served as Chair of the School of Visual Arts (SVA) Interior Design Department and currently serves SVA as Special Advisor to the President to develop a Master program in Architecture.

About Laura Rogers, NCIDQ, IIDA, LEED AP
Laura Rogers is Director of Interior Design with the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations (OBO) and a commercial interior designer with more than 30 years of international experience on complex building projects to include corporate and federal campuses, U.S. embassies and consulates, and mixed-use facilities. With expertise in strategic planning and interior architecture, Rogers previously served as a senior designer with the architecture firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill.

About Felicia Berger, AIA
Felicia Berger, AIA, LEED, is an Associate Principal at Ennead Architects, Berger believes collaborative design processes, combined with strong management philosophy, produce effective outcomes. Her hands-on management style, complimented by extensive planning experience, ensures efficient project delivery. Berger co-directs Ennead’s Center for Government Work and is Program Manager for work with OBO.

About Kate Mann, AIA
Kate Mann, AIA, LEED AP, is an Associate Principal at Ennead Architects. Mann has led design efforts on many of Ennead’s award-winning projects across typologies over the past 20 years. Mann creates architecture that gives form to institutional missions and creates transformational spaces that encourage experimentation and connection. In addition to design responsibilities, Mann co-directs Ennead’s Center for Government Work and is involved in Ennead Lab, Ennead’s in-house think tank.

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