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2020 Maybeck Recipient: Angela Brooks, FAIA

California-based architect recognized for a “different kind of legacy”

The recipient of the 2020 Maybeck Award is Angela Brooks, FAIA, of Los Angeles.

The Maybeck Award, implemented as part of the Design Awards program in 1992 in honor of Bernard Maybeck. The purpose is to recognize exemplary achievement in architectural design by an individual architect over a period of at least ten years.

This year’s jury was comprised of five dynamic voices within the architecture world and included Takashi Yanai, FAIA; Anne Schopf, FAIA, Marc L’Italien, FAIA; Heather Holdridge, Assoc. AIA, and Frank Clementi, FAIA. They unanimously thought Brooks more than deserving of this award. She was described as a quiet powerhouse, and jurors began reflecting on the breadth and reach of her design portfolio. “She has contributed in ways that move beyond designing buildings,” one said. “Her leadership and advocacy efforts in the current political era are impressive and she seems unstoppable.”

It was then the group began to discuss legacy, and that hers is already forming and molding to be that of a different sort. “She is a brilliant designer, but she is also a steadfast advocate for the environment on a global scale.”

Brooks was described as valuing equity, affordability, and performance.

When asked what this award meant to her personally, Brooks responded, “I believe that design enhances humanity, simplifies a complicated world and includes a measure of empathy. I am seriously honored to have been awarded the Maybeck from a jury of my respected peers because I have always thought that our profession is best suited to solve some of society’s most intractable problems, we just have to have the will and persistence to do it. Those who never have access to good design are the ones who benefit the most from it, from homes for the homeless to public spaces like schools and parks. The recent fires in California make it abundantly clear that climate change is here; in contrast, our Florida studio concentrates on the impact of sea level rise…..‘change’ itself is being incorporated into the way we design for the future.”

Brooks will be honored at the virtual AIA CA Awards Celebration in December.


AIA CA represents the interests of more than 11,000 architects and allied professionals in California. Founded in 1944, AIA CA’s mission, in collaboration with local components, is dedicated to serving its members, advancing the value of architects, and improving the quality of the built environment. Today, AIA CA is the largest component of the national AIA organization. For more information, visit

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