AIA Los Angeles Logo

The Art of Collaboration & Getting Things Done


This session focuses on how A+D founders and leaders create their own culture with impactful design, and how this is nurtured by design teams, leadership styles, new ways of working, and even, ownership transitions. Join Think-Time Tuesdays host, and SO|arch founder Elisabeth Sporer, AIA CIC for a presentation on design culture that energizes the business of design.

Elisabeth provides an overview of the influencing factors of an office culture from the founder’s values and its impact on client and project selection to the way staff is hired, trained and mentored and how projects are executed in a hybrid work environment. Then Elisabeth is joined in conversation by Los Angeles-based A+D firm leaders Karin Liljegren [Omgvining], Georgina Huljich [P-A-T-T-T-E-R-N-S], Stephanie Ragle [office42], and Monika Haefelfinger [XTEN], who share stories that other founders and leaders of small studios and midsized firms in particular will find useful, on these topics:

  • Applied values: Design culture manifested in client selection and project work
  • Design teams: Growing the firm
  • New ways of working: Collaboration in hybrid mode
  • Leadership: Training, mentoring, and ownership transitions

Learning objectives

  • Discern how an office structure influences design culture
  • Gain an understanding of the importance of job descriptions
  • Gain additional knowledge of best practices for office design and quality standards
  • Adapt best practices for their own business

This session was presented and recorded live on December 14, 2021 by AIA Los Angeles as part of the Think-time Tuesdays Series.  

User rating:
Average: 3.6 (28 votes)
 $45  non-member
 $30  member
1.00 LU


  • Monika Haefelfinger Headshot

    Monika Haefelfinger


    Co-Founder and President | XTEN Architecture

    Shaped by an apprenticeship at her father's architecture firm in Switzerland, Monika moved to Los...
  • Georgina Huljich Headshot

    Georgina Huljich


    Partner and Managing Director | P-A-T-T-E-R-N-S

    An architect and educator, Georgina Huljich joined P-A-T-T-E-R-N-S as partner in 2006, and...
  • Karin Liljegren Headshot

    Karin Liljegren


    Founder | Omgivning Architecture 

    Karin has dedicated her career to community building, sustainability and advocacy by embracing...
  • Stephanie Ragle Headshot

    Stephanie Ragle


    Co-Founder and Partner | office42

    Stephanie founded office42 with her husband, Benjamin Ragle in 2007 on this premise: Good design...
  • Instructor headshot. Elisabeth Sporer smiling

    Elisabeth Sporer

    AIA, CIC

    Founder | SO|arch

    A+D Business Strategist

    Elisabeth Sporer, AIA, CIC works with CEOs, founders and leadership teams to build successful A+D...