Member Spotlight: Rita Saikali Carter, Assoc. AIA
Lance Bird, FAIA
I met Rita Carter at the September Chapter Board Meeting. Energetic, well-read and focused, Rita recently reflected on the challenges our young members face.
To get to know her, I asked…
Favorite color – “used to be red, but it’s too aggressive. I’ve changed to orange.”
Favorite ice cream? Hmmm…put her in the chocolate family.
Favorite car – For Rita a car provides convenience and should be affordable. Money no object, it would be a Toyota Prius.
Lebanon, Rita got her
undergraduate degree from Cal Poly Pomona, followed with a Masters from . Married, no kids. One exam to go and she’ll be licensed. Senior Designer at Steinberg in Downtown Columbia Small projects: higher education, some
multi-residential. Formerly with
Rita participated in Architecture for Humanity at AIA/
Concerns of Young People in our Profession – “We often feel left out.” Firm leaders need to be inclusive, and create opportunities for those on the license track. As a thoughtful soon-to-be architect, she has many Big Questions. We could devote chapters -- maybe a book to finding answers to any of these questions. A diverse, collaborative team would be required. And with the exponential growth of technology, our answers would be obsolete when we got there.
#1 – “Why Architecture? (The purpose behind our services and products)”
#2 – “Why is business acumen not taught in design school?”
#3 – “Does empathy belong in Architecture?”
#4 – “How will you survive? (Are you, your family, your firm, your business prepared to bounce back from disaster?)
Disaster Preparedness – Rita intends to lead the charge, crafting a plan for our chapter members. When least expected, disaster can strike. It could be the next earthquake or El Nino. Contact Rita at rita.saikali.gmail.com, if you’d like to be a part of this effort.
Why Architecture? - I attended AIACC’s Healthcare Facilities Forum October 22nd. The kickoff speaker was Dr. John Mattison, MD, chief medical information officer at Kaiser-Permanente. He points out the explosion of technology and the impact on society and healthcare. Today the world’s largest transportation company is Uber; the largest hotel chain, Airbnb. Big Data is reinventing healthcare delivery.
- From 1983, cell phone ownership has grown to 10 billion. In remote villages, access to the internet through cell phones may be more important than water!
- In five years, Kaiser expects to deliver 50% of their services at home.
- Previously undreamed of cures are occurring through stem cell therapy.
- Through technologies like OpenNotes, patients will soon have access to their medical files.
The impact of technology and the corresponding societal changes should be similar in architectural practice.
Architects synthesize information to solve problems. To get ten steps ahead of the technology revolution (or even two steps ahead), we need to get beyond style, finishes, new materials and project delivery. Using healthcare as an example, if healthcare delivery will be in the home, not in billion dollar medical centers, what should our response be?
Read Michael Storper’s “How, and why,
lost its economic mojo”, L.A. Times Op-Ed, page A27, 10/25/15. In 1970, L.A. was ranked fourth in the nation for
income per capita. The Bay Area was
ranked 1st. Today, the Bay
Area is still number one. The
region is ranked 25th. The
Bay Area Council advocates for the economic
future. Los Angeles
…must replace isolation and fragmentation with networking and connectivity.
It has to turn away, once and for all, from low-cost, low wage manufacturing. It has to once again live up to its potential
as anything but stodgy.”
In the above statement, substitute “Architecture” for “
California”. That’s where
we can begin.