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Announcement:  Registration for the Fall 2024 Annual Retreat is now open!

Welcome !

We are pleased to be celebrating over 50 years of fellowship.

Since 1973 the Organization of Women Architects and Design Professionals (OWA+DP) has been an active support network for the many women involved in architecture, building engineering, planning, landscape architecture, interior and graphic design, and related environmental design fields.

Join us

Our Mission

The OWA+DP is a non-profit organization that supports and promotes women in design-related fields in all phases of their professional lives.  We seek to:
  • Improve the professional standing of women in architecture and design-related fields.
  • Promote networking opportunities among our members and related professional groups.
  • Provide support for women entrepreneurs and business owners in the design industry.
  • Advocate for young women and students entering design-related fields through mentoring, education, and employment opportunities.
  • Support women in creating a healthy balance between their professional and personal lives.

Upcoming events

    • 20 Jun 2024
    • 7:30 PM - 8:30 PM
    • Zoom

    Please join us for our Third Thursday Zoom Social, an informal gathering of members and guests to check-in, catch-up, and share news. 

    After registration, you should receive an email confirmation with a Zoom link.

    • 27 Jun 2024
    • 6:30 PM - 8:00 PM
    • AIA East Bay Offices

    Come join AIA EB WiA  in our first joint event as we discuss Burnout: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle by Emily and Amelia Nagsoki. This groundbreaking book explains why women experience burnout differently than men—and provides a simple, science-based plan to help women minimize stress, manage emotions, and live a more joyful life.

    Register Now

    A note from Sara Mae, hostess for this event: 

    I discovered this book during the pandemic, it really changed the way I think about stress dramatically and I wanted to finally talk to other architects and creatives about it. 

    This book was much more in line with my experience as an architect and a woman... I never really understood "reducing stress". I love stress! I love the thrill of a deadline and the battle with the design processes, but there's also obviously something bad about it. This book breaks it down in another way - as long as we complete the stress cycle, we have a huge capacity to deal with stressful situations, we just need ways to let our minds and bodies recover. And that there's a difference between stressors (that big terrible plan check comment) and stress (my feeling about that plan check comment). And that's just chapter one ... There's a lot of interesting ideas and research to talk about here that are relevant to the work we do and I look forward to discussing it with all who are interested. 

    If you don't have time to read the book, you are still welcome to come to the book discussion. Here are some podcasts and you-tube videos that will give you an idea of what the book is about: 

    Podcast (w/transcript): Brene Brown with Emily and Amelia Nagoski on Burnout and How to Complete the Stress Cycle - Unlocking Us Podcast  10.14.2020 

    Video: Emily & Amelia Nagoski, Burnout - XOXO Festival (2019) - YouTube

    Article: How to De-stress | You Must Complete the Stress Cycle - Womens Health Magazine 


    When you register for the event I'll invite you a google doc with some summaries & you can contribute your thoughts there prior to the event if you feel a desire to do so. Also a sign-up sheet for the comfort food potluck. Whatever comfort food means for you!   

    See you there! 

    Sara Mae Parker 

    About the Book

    Burnout. Many women in America have experienced it. What’s expected of women and what it’s really like to be a woman in today’s world are two very different things—and women exhaust themselves trying to close the gap between them. How can you “love your body” when every magazine cover has ten diet tips for becoming “your best self”? How do you “lean in” at work when you’re already operating at 110 percent and aren’t recognized for it? How can you live happily and healthily in a sexist world that is constantly telling you you’re too fat, too needy, too noisy, and too selfish?

    • 28 Jun 2024
    • 4:00 PM - 6:00 PM
    • 2 Embarcadero Plaza Promenade level Suite R2308 San Francisco
    • 41

    Please join us for a tour and happy hour at Insidesource

    Insidesource is a global furniture dealer and workplace innovator transforming how and where companies work.

    Meet at the Insidesource showroom at 2 Embarcadero Center, Promenade level at 4pm. We'll start with happy hour and a presentation then walk over to the All Steel showroom for more.  


    4-5pm Happy Hour + presentation at Insidesource

    5-6pm Allsteel walkthrough, Happy Hour and dessert

    Free to OWA+DP members and Persian BIBI members

    $10 for non-members 

    All are welcome! 

    • 18 Jul 2024
    • 7:30 PM - 8:30 PM
    • Zoom

    Please join us for our Third Thursday Zoom Social, an informal gathering of members and guests to check-in, catch-up, and share news. 

    After registration, you should receive an email confirmation with a Zoom link.

    • 20 Sep 2024
    • 4:00 PM
    • 22 Sep 2024
    • 3:00 PM
    • Westerbeke Ranch, Sonoma, CA

    Each year we get together at Westerbeke Ranch in Sonoma for a 3-day retreat in the fall. Accommodations are shared rooms in rustic redwood cabins set among landscaped grounds including pool and hot tub. The towns of Sonoma and Glen Ellen are minutes away.  Join us for a weekend of conversation, fun, exercise, hiking, swimming, hot tub, massage, music, art, and delicious food. Give everybody a chance to know you better, develop closer ties with friends and colleagues, and return home inspired by new ideas from our group.

    Our 2024 retreat weekend includes a keynote on Artificial Intelligence by Pardis Mirmalek of ARTAA, legacy presentations by OWA+DP members, live Afro Cuban music with Patricia Thumas, a salsa dancing lesson with Luz Mena, Qigong with Darlene Meltzer of Your Chi Lifestyle, as well as a felt-flower art project.

    We have room for 50 guests for the weekend, but Saturday-only (no overnight) registrations are available as well.

    Accommodations include access to gardens, swimming pool, adobe dining hall, and shared bedrooms in rustic cabins which is all set in beautiful, Sonoma, wine country.  Financial assistance for scholarships is available for students and those in need.  We encourage participants to join OWA+DP.


    Contact retreat coordinator T. Rachel Slonicki at Little Elephant Architecture with questions or to request a scholarship. 

    If you need special accommodation in the only accessible cabin on site, the blue cabin, email or call Rachel at 510.704.0808.

OWA+DP is a 501(c)6 non-profit organization. 

PO Box 9478, Berkeley, CA 94709-9991

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