When we hear about paradigm shifts, they’re often described as happening to us. Able City was formed around the principle of shared value — the idea that for architecture to remain relevant, it must actively build for reasons beyond profit. In 2021, the firm started a process of defining and installing 30 metric-driven commitments aligned with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, integrating universal frameworks for advancing health, safety, and general welfare into its calendar, policies, spec libraries, payscales, lunch n’ learns, etc.
This course is lessons-learned, providing a template for SDG-aligned pledges where architecture and interior design firms of any size can not only keep up with change, but lead it.
Diana Pena, founding partner of Able City, is an accredited member of the Congress for the New Urbanism and managed Hickey Pena Architects for 10 years. She was born and raised along the border in Laredo, Texas and currently lives in San Antonio. Growing up with a bicultural lens, her interests led her to major in Foreign Policy and Public Administration. Diana’s many years helping people experiencing homelessness through her work on the board of Bethany House (an agency providing shelter/meals for community members in need) has deepened her interests in public policy, social equity, urban design, and exploring the relationships between the built environment and mental health.
Elizabeth (Frani) O’Toole found her way to architecture through an artists collective rehabilitating abandoned sites while on a Fulbright scholarship to Cork, Ireland. A graduate of Yale University in the creative writing program, she is glad to put language to the work of supporting the community-focused work of Able City.
"Change by Design" is where innovation meets practicality. This series goes beyond fulfilling CEU requirements; it's about integrating resilience in your designs so your forward-thinking projects stand out for addressing today's most pressing challenges and satisfying a market that demands it.
Why 'Change by Design'? Because it's where your expertise meets the pressing need for a built environment that stands the test of time and nature. It's where you gain CE credits and a competitive edge in a market that values foresight and responsibility. Each session is an actionable step towards mastering economically viable and environmentally sound designs.
Join a community that does not follow trends but sets them by delivering architectural solutions that meet today's needs and anticipate tomorrow's challenges.
Ready to elevate your practice? Secure your spot in a series that promises resilience amid fragility: "Building Resilience in Design and Architecture: Global Perspectives, Local Solutions." with Omar Degan, Principal, Do Architecture Group (live and on-demand).