EDI, Practice Resources, Relevance|

By: Mandy Freeland, AIA

Mandy Freeland, AIA

It seems these days we are all looking for proverbial shoulders to lean on, advice on how to juggle shelter-in-place with children at home. Worries about health, finances, the future can set in. This is an uneasy time. So when the AIA CA finds a resource such as the Facebook Group, “Parents in Architecture,” we send it to you. Before you go search for it, first read about it’s California-based co-founding architect.

Mandy Freeland, AIA is currently serving as the AIA Young Architect Regional Director for Southern California. This position is a regional representative to the AIA member group called the Young Architects Forum. The regional representatives (YARDs) and the YAF Advisory Committee meet monthly and interact with the AIA Strategic Council, AIA College of Fellows, AIA Knowledge Committees, and partner with the National Associates Committee. The YARDs are the connection of the local AIA chapters in their region to the Young Architects Forum and AIA National. As a YARD, She is currently serving on a Focus Group in YAF called the “Strategic Vision” focus group. They highlight and promote innovation and disruption in the architecture profession. Freeland is in charge of social media posts on the YAF platforms on Thursdays. The YARD position also puts me on the AIA California Academy for Emerging Professionals “Council of Advisors.” We also meet monthly to discuss EP concerns across the state.

Freeland is a recently licensed architect and firm owner in Bakersfield, CA – one of two woman-owned firms in the county. She is passionately involved in promoting small businesses in her community. Freeland also assists in development and historic / cultural preservation committees in my town. She has experience working in K-12 STEM classes, and she speaks to college architecture students. She participates as an advisor to our local community college architecture program, providing insight on creating a curriculum aligned with the real world profession. When there is an opportunity to speak on behalf of the profession, and on behalf of women in the profession, she is there.

Earlier this year, Freeland embarked upon the Facebook Group world with two colleagues “Parents in Architecture” is a place to provide support to men and women in the architecture profession, for parents and parents-to-be. Between the struggles with navigating a demanding career and balancing a family, they thought perhaps a group such as this could help alleviate, advise, console, or just plain laugh at the parent versus career demands. The other co-founders are a new mother in Florida, Gloria Kloter, AIA, and a dad of two small daughters from New Jersey, Brian Penschow, AIA. Right now, the topics focus on how to successfully tackle the shelter-in-place-while- working -full- time struggles. They invite all who are interested to join the group and weigh in on the conversations. Or pose a question. Or just read some of the comments so parents are not feeling so alone in their experiences.

AIA California
AIA California
AIA California is dedicated to serving its members, and uniting all architecture professionals in the design of a more just, equitable and resilient future through advocacy, education and political action. It celebrates more than 75 years of service and, today, is composed of more than 11,000 members across the state.

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