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AIAS Chapter Leader of the Month (June)


Bonnie Netel
AIAS Philadelphia University




Bonnie Netel is a recent graduate from the Bachelor of Architecture program at Philadelphia University. Over the course of five years, Bonnie has grown as a student and as a leader within the AIAS Freedom by Design Program. She began her involvement as a freshman and rose to the Team Captain position in her fifth year.




The AIAS Freedom by Design Program at Philadelphia University was founded in 2007 but still remained as an undercurrent of conversation in the architectural program and in university knowledge. It was important for her to create marketing initiatives that improved campus event planning for public awareness. As part of the larger university sponsored "Unity Week" to highlight diversity in the Philadelphia University community, Bonnie implemented "A Day without Freedom" to add issues of accessibility to the conversation. The event was a collaboration with the Office of Student Development Programs and Office of Disability Services to demonstrate to the student body that there are alternative methods of movement that alter how we all use and understand space.

Aside from her focus on campus awareness, Bonnie is proud that their FBD team was able to take action and complete an accessible kitchen renovation design for their client, a wheelchair bound individual in North Philadelphia. The project included replacing the flooring and creating a wheelchair accessible storage island for her family to gather, reaching completion in November 2011.

Bonnie has also spoken on the behalf of the Philadelphia University team during the Freedom by Design Seminar at Forum 2010 in Toronto, and she currently serves as a member on the National Freedom by Design Task Force. This coming fall, Bonnie will be attending the Parsons the New School for Design to attain a Master of Science in Design and Urban Ecologies. Her primary focus and goal is to address social issues in the urban community through architectural response as a licensed professional.

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