Event Women in Architecture Site Tour

June 30, 2022 - 4:00pm to 5:30pm

This event has already occurred.


WiA Site Tour – Community First Village Living Room Building

Join the Women in Architecture for the first Site Tour of 2022 at Community First Village! This in-person tour will include a panel discussion with the women-led team. PPE is required (hard hat, protective close-toed shoes, etc). Space is limited to 40 participants and registration is required. Please register below.

Designed as an informal social space that provides opportunities for neighbors to gather and cultivate a supportive community, the Living Room building is an exciting addition to Phase 2 of Community First Village (CFV). In this tour we will learn how the need for the building was identified during an AlA-led post- occupancy study, how the program developed with staff and neighbor input, and how the design evolved to meet CFV's needs for enhanced accessibility, durability, and economy. 

Learning Objectives 

  • Recognize the value of post-occupancy evaluation in architectural practice, including the example of how post-occupancy study of Phase 1 of Community First Village identified the need for the Living Room building in Phase 2.
  • Articulate multiple options for participating in community-engaged projects, including volunteer, pro-bono, and low-bono roles.
  • Identify how the Living Room building design meets the unique needs of the staff and residents of Community First Village, including considerations for community interaction, safety, and enhanced accessibility.
  • Describe the pros and cons of pre-engineered metal buildings as used in a commercial application.

1.5 LU/HSW 

SOLD OUT! To be placed on the waiting list, please email your request to julia@aiaaustin.org. You will be notified of openings as they become available.


Shelby Blessing, AIA – Project Architect, Page

Shelby Blessing, AIA, believes that all design has a social impact, and that designers have a responsibility to maximize the positive social impact of their work. As a Senior Associate and Design Architect at Page in Austin, TX, Shelby collaborates with teammates and clients to create innovative learning environments, dense urban living, and unique public spaces that promote interaction and community. Shelby is an active member of her professional community through AIA Austin and the Texas Society of Architects, where she is currently focused on projects surrounding equity in professional leadership, post-occupancy research of supportive housing for the chronically homeless, and gender-inclusive restroom design. Shelby is the co-founder of the AIA Austin Leadership Collective, a current member of the TXA Community-Engaged Design Committee, and has been actively working on housing the homeless with Community First Village since 2015. Shelby holds a B.A. in Art from Whitman College and an M. Arch from the University of Texas at Austin, where she was part of the inaugural Public Interest Design program.


Alex Haddad – Project Designer, Page

Alex is a Project Designer at Page, in Austin TX, where she first interned in 2018 while finishing her Master’s degree at the University of Texas in Austin. Her work experience focuses on developing non-profit, academic, and multi-family projects in architecture. 
She is native to the Middle East, a region sorely affected by war. It was here Alex developed a passion for reconstructive and progressive architecture focused on providing a renovated hope and economic opportunity. Given her background, she is committed and has dedicated her work to the development of architecture that contributes to today’s society and leaves a lasting impact on future generations.
On a personal note, Alex’s passions include drawing (recipient of five Fabriano Drawing Awards), traveling and hiking with her dog, Obie, in Austin’s Greenbelt.


Melissa Sibley, PE – Senior Project Manager

Melissa is a senior project manager in DCI’s Austin office, with 8 years of experience and has worked on a variety of projects throughout the country.  She has a reputation of being a collaborative and creative engineer and thrives on finding ways to make projects work.  Melissa has worked on a wide array of projects from small single-story medical office buildings to affordable multifamily housing to bond-funded public schools to complex hybrid steel/concrete high rises.  Melissa serves a lead mentor for several younger engineers in the office, and she serves as a mentor with ACE Mentor Program.  Off hours, she enjoys yoga, cooking, exploring parks, and spoiling her dogs.


Sarah Satterlee – Director of Architecture and Site Development, Mobile Loaves & Fishes

Sarah Satterlee is an architect currently serving as Director of Architecture and Site Development with Community First Village, a permanent supportive housing community for the formerly homeless in Austin, TX. A native New Orleanian, she previously worked with design firm Colectivo on many residential and commercial projects, as well as several community focused design/build projects with the Small Center for Collaborative Design. Sarah holds an M.Arch from Tulane School of Architecture.


Arlene Ellwood – Architectural Design Coordinator, Mobile Loaves & Fishes

Arlene Ellwood is the Architectural Design Coordinator at Mobile Loaves & Fishes, which operates Community First! Village. She holds an M. Architecture and a B.S. Architectural Engineering degree from the University of Texas at Austin, and has work experience in arts-based planning and community engagement. She is deeply committed to inclusive, community-engaged and trauma-informed design, and believes that good architecture can promote dignity and change stereotypes.


Learn more about WiA >>>

2022 Chair: Stephanie Lemmo, Assoc. AIA
2022 Chair-Elect: Carina Coel, AIA
AIA Austin staff liaison: Julia Brown