49th high school design competition – 2018!

Posted on January 22, 2018 by AFSF

The Architectural Foundation of San Francisco proudly invites all interested high school students in the Bay Area to enter

the 49th Annual

April 21 – 22, 2018

This year you are challenged to design a Community Campus Center to be integrated as part of a new mixed-use development at the Potrero Power Plant on San Francisco’s eastern shoreline.  Create a physical model and / or a digital model to win a prize in one or more of 3 categories: 1) Best Design (single entrant), 2) Best Group entry and 3) Best Digital entry.

More info and the complete competition packet are available here:

The Annual Architectural Design Competition for High School Students

Summer Design 2018 – Sign up Now!

Posted on December 7, 2017 by AFSF

The Architectural Foundation of San Francisco (AFSF) is thrilled to announce our 2018 Summer Design Institute!

Sign up here:   https://goo.gl/forms/tzL6klMOdc9FFcDm1

Open to any high school student, you can choose between two 3-week sessions: June 11-29 or July 9-27.   Both run Mon. – Fri., 9am – noon, and tuition for either session is $2,000 which includes all materials and supplies. For more info, see: 

We look forward to your participation! 

Thank you for making the 2017 Beaux Arts Ball fabulous!

Posted on October 30, 2017 by AFSF

The Architectural Foundation of San Francisco thanks all of the professionals and fans of the architecture, engineering and construction worlds who came out in style for our 3rd annual Beaux Arts Ball Redux.  More than a few impressive costumes made the evening of music, food, games and prizes sparkle even more brightly.  Special thanks to our organizing committee for making it all come together in such stunning fashion!

Thank you for showing up and for supporting our educational programs.  See you all next year!


October 19, 2017 – Beaux Arts Ball!

Posted on July 18, 2017 by AFSF

Order your tickets NOW!


Thursday, Oct. 19th, 2017
6:00 – 10:00 pm

SF War Memorial & Performing Arts Center
401 Van Ness Ave.,  SF, CA  94102

The Architectural Foundation of San Francisco invites you to our annual Beaux Arts Ball, a festive evening to celebrate the people who plan, design, and build our city.  Everyone in, supportive of or interested in the Design, Architecture, Engineering, Contracting, Development, Construction, MEP and related industries is welcome to the party!

We also invite prominent members of the design and construction communities to become supporters of this event. Proceeds from the Beaux Arts Ball support our educational programming, including:

– Build SF

– the Summer Design Institute

– our annual High School Design Competition

– and our other educational and internship programs.

AFSF provides skills and training for high school students from diverse backgrounds.  And we place students in one-on-one internships with professional architects, engineers and contractors as mentors.

Come celebrate the many accomplishments of those creating our built environment.  And show up to support our mission of furthering architectural education and opportunities for SF Bay Area youth.

Costumes encouraged. Bring friends!

We hope to see you there!

Spaces still available for the Summer Design Institute

Posted on June 26, 2017 by AFSF

There’s still time to apply for the July session of our annual Summer Design Institute!  Join other high school students from around the Bay Area to learn multiple professional 3D design tools, meet with architects and engineers, apply sustainable design technologies, view some of the most exciting new architecture in San Francisco, and collaborate on original designs to meet a current urban design challenge posed by a representative from a multi-billion dollar development firm.


AFSF Summer Design Institute
July 10-28

(no program July 13-14)

Mon-Fri, 9am-noon
Chronicle Building: 901 Mission St.
San Francisco, CA 94103


For more information, see:  http://www.afsf.org/programs/build-san-francisco-summer-design-institute/


To apply go to: https://goo.gl/forms/hNsfoAGe9Dcp1g1w1


With questions, contact: sustainablefred@gmail.com


2nd session of the 2017 Summer Design Institute now open!

Posted on April 27, 2017 by AFSF

Due to unusually high demand, the Architectural Foundation of San Francisco (AFSF) announced that we are offering another session of our annual Summer Design Institute.  In addition to our regular June session (June 13-30), which is almost full, we have added a new session in July:


July 10-28 (except no program July 13-14).


For more information, see:  http://www.afsf.org/programs/build-san-francisco-summer-design-institute/


To apply go to: https://goo.gl/forms/hNsfoAGe9Dcp1g1w1


With questions, contact: sustainablefred@gmail.com


Announcing the winners of this year’s (2017) 48th annual High School Design Competition!

Posted on April 26, 2017 by AFSF

Best Design, Overall Superiority

1st place               Rachel Sweeney                      Lowell High School

2nd place              Emily Rupright                       Lick-Wilmerding High School    

3rd place               Jenny Cong                            Lowell High School


Honorable Mentions

            Maxim Yu                               Burlingame High School

            Aaron Liang                            Lowell High School

            Jasmine Liang                         Lowell High School

            Rigel Wakil                             Lowell High School

            Kelsey Wang                           Valley Christian High School

            Andrew Boghossian                Lick-Wilmerding High School


Best Group Entry

1st place               Lisabel Wolf                           Abraham Lincoln High School

            Jason Tan

            Emily Hu

2nd place              Brian Zhang                            Abraham Lincoln High School

            Justin Wong

3rd place              Cherry Tsang                           Abraham Lincoln High School

            Monty Choy

            Jet Hule

Honorable Mention

            Allison Lee                              Abraham Lincoln High School

            Katherine Ngo

Best Digital Presentation

1st place              Vialina Bulatova                      Abraham Lincoln High School

2nd place             Andre Simmons                      Lowell High School                           

3rd place             Maya Malauasi                          Nueva School


Honorable Mention

            Andrew Justin Villanueva         Lowell High School


Congratulations and thank you to all 88 students who submitted 68 designs.  Our judging panel of professional architects and designers were incredibly impressed by the level of effort, creativity, thoughtfulness, and attention to detail that ALL of the participants demonstrated in your submissions.

Thank you as well to Fort Mason for hosting the awards event and for providing this year’s design challenge topic.

And enormous thanks to Ryan Lee of Woods Bagot,  This former champion of the High School Design Competition has gone on to a successful career as a professional architect, and continues to give back with incredible dedication, spearheading the high school design competition process itself yet again.

For more information on the annual AFSF High School Design Competition, see: http://www.afsf.org/programs/the-annual-architectural-design-competition-for-high-school-students/

2017 Architectural Foundation Awards Breakfast!

Posted on March 23, 2017 by AFSF

The Architectural Foundation of San Francisco’s Eighteenth Annual Awards Breakfast will be held on Thursday, May 18, 2017 


The City Club, 155 Sansome Street, 11th Floor   San Francisco

7:30 am             Check-in and Coffee

7:45                   Breakfast

8:00 – 9:30      Program


To purchase tickets please contact Alan Sandler, 415-393-1493.


Sponsor @ $2,500 (reserves a table including 8 complimentary tickets)

Contributor @ $1,350 (reserves half a table with 4 complimentary tickets)

Individual Tickets are available @ $375


The Architectural Foundation of San Francisco’s Eighteenth Annual Awards Breakfast will be held on Thursday, May 18, 2017 at The City Club, 155 Sansome Street, 11th Floor in San Francisco.  The event will begin at 7:30 am with check-in and coffee, then the Breakfast will begin at 8:00 am and conclude by 9:30 am. This event will honor outstanding teachers and principals, students, architects and designers working in the classroom, firms and community organizations, all working on design education projects in the San Francisco Bay area. This annual awards event is attended by over 150 architects, engineers, contractors, educators, students and civic leaders.

The Architectural Foundation of San Francisco (AFSF) is a non-profit educational organization that involves San Francisco elementary and secondary public school students through a mentored appreciation of architecture, engineering, construction and the design process.

Past keynote speakers have included noted designer Alexander Julian, SFUSD Superintendent Carlos Garcia, Milton Chen, Executive Director, The George Lucas Educational Foundation, David Macaulay, author and illustrator, Dr. Tom Peters, President and CEO of the Marin Community Foundation, Dr. Sandra Hernandez, CEO of the San Francisco Foundation, Keith Wheeler, President and CEO of the Foundation for Our Future at the Center for a Sustainable Future in Shelburne Vermont, and Moy Eng, Program Director of the Performing Arts Program and The William and Flora Hewitt Foundation.

Proceeds from the event are used to support the Foundation’s educational programs, particularly our Build San Francisco Institute, a part of the San Francisco Unified School District’s Secondary School Redesign Initiative. This is an opportunity for SFUSD high school juniors and seniors to participate in an experiential learning program in architecture and urban design. Offering classes and mentorships in the afternoon hours of the school day, the Build San Francisco Institute introduces the students to the real world of urban planning and design, providing them a unique opportunity to become involved in the development of San Francisco.


Students from the Build San Francisco Institute.  AFSF breakfasts have showcased the Build San Francisco programs including both the morning Independence High School program and the afternoon Build San Francisco Institute mentorship program which were recognized for their outstanding work.

AFSF Executive Director presents Alexander Julian with the Speaker’s Award.

Build San Francisco Institute Student Speaker Mikalynn Todd

Build San Francisco Institute Student Speaker Alex Arevallo

2017 High School Design Competition Challenge!

Posted on January 5, 2017 by AFSF

The Architectural Foundation of San Francisco is pleased to announce our 48th annual


This is an exciting competition where high school students put their design skills, creativity, spatial and analytical thinking and craftsmanship to the test. With the guidance of instructors, high school students design a building and communicate their design solutions through drawings and models. All high school students in both public and private schools in the greater San Francisco Bay Area are encouraged to participate. This competition provides young thinkers with the opportunity to participate in what is a very unique learning project.


Competition Schedule: 

SUBMISSION: Entries must be submitted on Saturday, April 22, 2017 between 10:00 am and 12:00 noon  (Location TBD.  Check back here for updates or contact Ryan.Lee@woodsbagot.com for more info).

AWARDS CEREMONY AND RECEPTION: Sunday, April 23, 2016 from 4:00 – 5:00 pm at the same location (TBD).  All entrants, their parents and family members, and respective faculty instructors are invited. Winners will be announced and awards will be presented at this time. Doors open promptly at 4:00pm.

This year we are awarding prizes in 3 categories: 1) Best Design (single entrant), 2) Best Group entry, and 3) Best Digital entry.   Please note that depending on which option your students choose to enter, they will only be eligible for certain awards.  In addition to the standard prizes, the first place winner in the overall superiority category will receive a four week Summer Pre-college Scholarship at the California College of the Arts.

AFSF HS Design Winners 2014


2017 Design Challenge:

This year, you are challenged to design a Music Production Hub situated between Pier 1 and Pier 2 in Fort Mason’s Historic Landmark District. The lower portion of the revived former military base along San Francisco’s northern waterfront is currently home to the Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture (FMCAC), which consolidates various outlets for people to explore their creative and artistic abilities. This competition endeavors to enhance the FMCAC’s mission by creating additional space for musicians to both produce and perform their craft in a unique waterfront setting.

The Music Production Hub you design will be a place for aspiring Bay Area musical artists to practice, hone and challenge their capabilities in a wide-ranging environment equipped to cater to both collaborative interaction and individual experimentation. The hub will be a gathering place for those to express themselves through sound and also a place to learn and draw from musical history. Capitalizing on the site’s public waterfront access, a public performance space will be a key component of the project.  Download the 2017 challenge packet for a complete description of the challenge and requirements.

This year’s site is quite different from previous design competitions as almost 95% of the site is situated over open water. There are no limits to what may be created and designed by you: you may choose to float your design over water, to ground it on a structure by expanding portions of the existing piers, to use a combination of both ideas or to come up with an entirely alternative approach. As with all AFSF competitions, you will be critiqued more on the aspirations of your “big idea” than your ability to problem-solve every technical detail of your design’s real-life features and ramifications. However, if you choose to elaborate on certain technical aspects of your design, we will welcome anything and everything that intrigues you about your design.


Ultimately, have fun with it!




We Look Forward to Your Participation!


Classroom Support for Teachers:

Ryan Lee of Woods Bagot is this year’s Competition Chair and Author. He will be available to visit your classroom and discuss the program with your students. You may call him directly at 415-277-3041 or e-mail him at Ryan.Lee@woodsbagot.com to set up a classroom visit. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact him.



Announcing the 2017 Summer Design Institute!

Posted on December 16, 2016 by AFSF

The Architecture Foundation is proud to announce the 2017 Build SF Summer Design Institute.

June 13-30, 2017.

A fast-paced, exciting opportunity for high school students to gain high-tech archticture and design skills working on real-world challenges. For more info and to apply:

Build San Francisco Summer Design Institute