KEYNOTE SPEAKERS

 

MARK SANDERSON

DIGSAU is based in Philadelphia and practices contemporary architecture, urbanism and environmental design. With a commitment to the core values of design excellence, experimentation,and attentiveness to material culture, our approach builds enthusiasm in others for creating meaningful places that empower people to be more inspired, productive, and fulfilled. In a built environment where authenticity is increasingly scarce, DIGSAU’s work focuses on Architecture’s capacity to connect people to the experience of place, history, and time. The studio consists of a staff of thirty-four, including twelve Registered Architects. Our diverse backgrounds and a broad range of partnerships allow us to execute innovative projects across a wide range of project types. We have a broad view architecture, how it is made, and who makes it. We work together rather than working alone, and a culture of open dialogue ensures that all voices are heard and encourages full exploration of ideas.

DIGSAU is committed to sustainable design practices at all levels, and the firm has participated in numerous projects which have been awarded or are seeking LEED certification. While notable progress in the building industry over the last decade has resulted in buildings that are increasingly sustainable, our process strives to find innovative solutions that transcend “sustainability” and make a positive and regenerative contribution to local, regional, and global ecosystems.Since its founding in 2007, DIGSAU has been recognized with over forty design awards from The American Institute of Architects (AIA) and in 2013 was named one of North America’s “Emerging Voices” by the Architectural League of New York. In 2017, the AIA Pennsylvania chapter honored DIGSAU as the fifth recipient of the Firm Award. This award is granted annually to a selected Pennsylvania firm whose efforts have consistently produced distinguished architecture for a period of at least 10 years. Our work continues to be informed by our connection to the region, and its rich geological, agricultural, urban, social, and natural history.


KAREN BLANCHARD

Karen Blanchard is a Principal at SITIO architecture + urbanism where she is focused on delivering design excellence to multifaceted projects. Her vast experience ranges in scale and typology – she is fully engrossed as an architect on civic and cultural, residential, educational and mixed-use projects. Karen’s commitment to design and the profession has resulted in numerous project design awards as well as being presented the AIA Philadelphia Young Architect award. Karen was the 2018 President of AIA Philadelphia, Co-Chair of the AIA Philadelphia Women In Architecture Committee, and currently sits on the AIA Philadelphia Board of Directors and their Executive Committee. In addition, she serves her community on the Board of Directors with the Fairmount Community Development Corporation.

SITIO is a collaborative practice of architects, urban designers and planners based in Philadelphia. The firm focuses on context sensitive transformational developments, designing vibrant, mixed-use places at a wide variety of scales. SITIO is rooted in a commitment to place-making, sustainability, and design excellence with a regard for local context.