AIA Charleston / CAC.C Lecture Series

"Seeking the Just City: Reflections from a Distressed Optimist"
Toni Griffin

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Urban Planning for the American City

Toni L. Griffin is the founder of Urban Planning for the American City, based in New York.  Through the practice, Toni served as Project Director for the Detroit Work Project Long Term Planning initiative, and released Detroit Future City, a comprehensive citywide framework for urban transformation.  Current clients include the cities of Memphis, Milwaukee and Pittsburgh.

Toni is also Professor in Practice of Urban Planning at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, where she will both teach and develop values-based planning methodologies through the Just City Design Lab. 

Most recently, Ms. Griffin was a Professor of Architecture and the founding Director of the J. Max Bond Center on Design for the Just City at the Spitzer School of Architecture at the City College of New York.  Founded in 2011, the Center’s work focused on Legacy City DesignInitiative; Just City Design Indicators Project; and Inclusion in Architecture, examining the participation of people of color in architecture and related design fields.

Toni has held several public sector positions including, Director of Community Development for Newark, New Jersey; Vice President and Director of Design for the Anacostia Waterfront Corporation in Washington, DC; and Deputy Director for Revitalization and Neighborhood Planning for the DC Office of Planning.  She began her career as an architect with Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP in Chicago, where she became an Associate Partner.  

Ms. Griffin received a Bachelors of Architecture from the University of Notre Dame and a Loeb Fellowship from the Harvard University Graduate School of Design.  In 2014, Toni was the Visiting Associate Professor and Theodore B. and Doris Shoong Lee Chair in Real Estate Law and Urban Planning, in the Department of City and Regional Planning at University of California, Berkeley.


"Charleston: from house to courthouse to warehouse to house of parliament"
Patricia Rhee

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Ehrlich Yanai Rhee Chaney Architects

Patricia Rhee is a Partner at Ehrlich Yanai Rhee Chaney Architects, recently awarded the 2015 National AIA Firm Award, one of the industry’s highest honors. Patricia has served as Principal in Charge and Designer for several of the firm’s most challenging and award-winning projects including the John M Roll United States Courthouse and the United Arab Emirates’ Federal National Council Parliament Complex. Her project experience ranges from civic to institutional and commercial developments of all scales. 

 Patricia received her Master's degree in Architecture from Harvard's Graduate School of Design and received her Bachelor's degree from the University of Pennsylvania. She has served on design juries for AIA Chapters and Universities throughout the country, and is currently the Co-Chair of the AIA Los Angeles Women in Architecture committee. She has lectured internationally, at the Hearst Lecture Series at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, the World Architecture Festival in 2010, and was recently a featured speaker at AIA Los Angeles’ POWERFUL Women in Design symposium and AIA Women’s Leadership Summit.


"Recalling Purpose"
Julia F. Martin Architects

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Julia F. Martin, AIA, LEED AP has been practicing architecture since graduating from Virginia Tech with a Master of Architecture degree in 1998.  Previously she had engaged in such varying endeavors as an early year abroad (Rotary International Exchange Student to Recife, Brazil), public service (VISTA/Americorps volunteer in rural North Carolina), international higher education (Associate Professor of English at the Autonomous University of Barcelona), and an indepth study of European culture, history, and languages (B.A. Furman University, including foreign studies in Spain, Belgium, and the British Isles).  Now married to a Venetian, the richness of global encounters continues to inform her approach to design here in Charleston. She enjoys collaborating with the city's numerous departments, boards, and organizations during the design process, and she finds meaningful solutions to the complex design issues that inevitably arise in this historic urban environment that so merits our deep respect.