I have been an AIGA member since 1995, but was not actively involved until 2003, when i joined the San Francisco Chapter board as the Environment Chair. It was in this capacity that I created and produced the first Compostmodern in conjunction with Jennifer Pattee. Originally a bi-annual event for convening designers interested in sustainability, Compostmodern has assumed many guises over the years and remains an ongoing property for the chapter to this day.
In the course of utilizing AIGA as a platform for developing my own interest in sustainability, I was asked by Executive Director Ric Grefé to spearhead a national task force for the benefit of the membership at large. I worked in conjunction with Marc Alt to create the Center of Sustainable Design — the means by which the national organization developed consensus on this all-important issue.
This consensus gave birth to the Living Principles, a comprehensive framework through which the design community could develop and deploy sustainable business practice. Created with Gaby Brink and Nathalie Destandau of Tomorrow Partners, the Living Principles framework was unveiled in June of 2009 and remains central to designers who wish to align their projects and practices with the natural world.
Ongoing development of the Living Principles led to a position on the AIGA National Board, a three-year term from 2011–2014. Upon stepping down from that position, the San Francisco chapter asked me to assume its presidency, a two-year commitment that ran from 2014–2016. In doing so, my focus shifted from professional-oriented sustainable business practice to community-oriented governance.
#aiga4life and the attendant "incarceration" video (co-starring chapter Executive Director Dawn Zidonis and the vocal stylings of former chapter President David Asari) was a hashtag campaign created to celebrate my ongoing commitment to an organization that has been so important to my professional and personal life.
I continue to serve on the board as an executive officer, and also as an advisor to San Francisco Design Week — a large municipal celebration of design that has become the signature initiative of the AIGA SF Chapter.