April 24, 2019

At FORUM 2018, AIAS was proud to launch the AIAS Advocates Program – an application-based program geared towards showcasing and providing platforms for you, our members, to speak up and speak loud about niched advocacy topics and initiatives.  We are excited to announce that four applicants have been selected for the AIAS Advocates Program for the 2019 year. Get to know our advocates and preview their advocacy topics below:


NATALIE GOODIN | Boston Architectural College

Using this platform to advocate for: ways to rethink the design process for more culturally sensitive and people-centered projects.

“There are always broader cultural and socio-economic challenges within the context which projects reside; therefore, there is always room to further address problems beyond form and function. There is bound to be some need in the culture, which has gone unaddressed, reigning in and possibly inhibiting people’s lives.”


RACHEL WIESBROCK | Illinois Institute of Technology

Using this platform to advocate for: ways to advocate, through design, for all those who may not have the abilities or resources to do so themselves – placing specific emphasis on accessibility.

“Living with a physical disability that has no “cure”, I have become very passionate about accessibility and voicing my vision of creating equality in the built environment.  I have been told over and over again that since I am not completely bound to a wheelchair nor am I as able-bodied as others, I can provide an extremely unique perspective in the architecture world.”


SELENA ZHEN | Carnegie Mellon University

Using this platform to advocate for: an awareness of “empty activism”, its underlying causes and adverse effects, and how to participate in actionable and tangible advocacy.

“While this initiative would entail holding people accountable for inefficient practices, ultimately, the goal is to create a positive movement around actionable student activism fueled by the realization that bringing issues to light is merely a first step, which without tangible goals and results, can undermine rather than advance the current conversation.”


SHANNON DEFRANZA | Roger Williams University

Using this platform to advocate for: an awareness of different components of resource allocation in architecture.

“If I can incite the questioning of our current modes of operation, a thirst for change, and the conviction that it can be done in the leaders surrounding me in this organization, then we can put our best foot forward in creating a world we want to live in where we respect our resources.”


Similar to the AIAS CRIT Journal, the AIAS Advocates Program will run on a calendar-year schedule.  Our four Advocates will have multiple opportunities to shed light on their topics throughout the year – at our National Conferences and on our social media platforms.  We cannot wait to see how they utilize our platforms to amplify their voices and inspire all of you! Don’t forget to follow the AIAS Advocacy Instagram account @aias_advocacy so you don’t miss a thing.