Toast & Jam: Women at the Forefront of Innovation


Toast & Jam Brunch Symposium

June 9, 2013 10:00 am

2806 Clearwater Street 
Los Angeles 90039 

Toast & Jam: Women at the Forefront of Innovation

What causes moments of insight? When do you feel most “in the zone”? As creative professionals, we strive to learn from each other and glean inspiration from those truly operating outside of the box.

The Association for Women in Architecture + Design brings together five cutting-edge design thinkers practicing in Southern California. Their work is progressive, interdisciplinary, and often revolutionary. Please join us as they share their stories at this celebratory symposium.

This event is now sold out! Email Programs to be added to the waitlist.

Doors open at 9:30AM.

Parking: Valet (free)

Format: Five presentations, twenty minutes each, with mingling and refreshments

Food: Coffee, pastries, mimosas, and a delicious luncheon!



Barbara Bestor, Bestor Architecture

Los Angeles-based modern architecture firm Bestor Architecture was founded by Barbara Bestor in 1995 with the manifesto: “Everyone should experience strange beauty every day.” The office is collaborative and produces design that navigates between popular culture, art, and architecture; propagating the concept that Architecture can and should be a part of all aspects of our creative community. Bestor engages Southern California as both the site and subject of architectural and cultural production to create contemporary environments. Recent projects include a new headquarters for Los Angeles companies Beats By Dre and Nasty Gal, an innovative small lot housing complex in Echo Park, art environments, restaurants, commercial spaces, and collaborative installations and graphics, as well as the book, Bohemian Modern; Living in Silverlake. Bestor was founding chair of the graduate program at Woodbury University’s School of Architecture and is now Executive Director of the university’s Julius Shulman Institute. She earned her Bachelor of Visual and Environmental Studies from Harvard University and Master of Architecture from the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc).


Theresa Chiueh, Continuum

Continuum is a global innovation and design consultancy founded in Boston. The company helps organizations drive business innovation through the design of products, services, and experiences that become part of the fabric of people’s lives. As Director of Continuum’s LA Studio, Theresa Chiueh leverages her multidisciplinary training to integrate sound business analysis and design, resulting in implementable strategies for Continuum’s clients. Chiueh references her twelve years of experience in both design and innovation to formulate, direct, and analyze project research in order to identify innovations and opportunities to meet business goals for companies including Sprint Nextel, Colgate Palmolive, Jarden, Braun, P&G, Johnson & Johnson, Zipcar, and Nestle. Chiueh earned her B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from MIT in 1994 and an MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management in 2001.

Lisa Little, Vertebrae

Lisa Little is Co-founder of Layer and Principal of the recently launched architectural practice, Vertebrae. Her work is rooted in rigorous material experimentation and a sensitivity to the nuances of human perception, engaging ambient phenomena through built form. Little’s recent projects include large scale artworks, commercial interiors, and private residences, and have appeared in the LA Times, Interior Design, The California Design Biennial, and numerous museums and galleries.  Before founding Layer, Little worked at Patrick Tighe Architecture and Pugh+Scarpa.  She has also worked as the director of software development teams and as a hardware design engineer for film and television post production. Little earned a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology and a Master of Architecture from the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc). She currently teaches Design Studio at USC.


Kellee Santiago, OUYA

As President and Co-Founder of thatgamecompany from 2006-2012, Kellee Santiago developed one of the most prominent brands in independent and innovative game development, pushing the communicative possibilities of video games as a medium. She recently took a position as Head of Developer Relations for OUYA, and is a partner in IndieFund, which aims to support the growth of games as a medium by helping indie developers get, and stay, financially independent.

Santiago graduated from the MFA Interactive Media program at the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts where she teamed up with fellow student Jenova Chen on the student-created game, “Cloud.” The game went on to become critically acclaimed, and landed the two a three game deal with Sony Computer Entertainment America, Inc. to develop downloadable games for the PlayStation Network. The three titles, “flOw”, “Flower,” and most recently, “Journey,” were each record-breaking commercial successes, and award-winning titles.

Santiago speaks around the world at video game, business, and entertainment conferences on innovation in games, games as art, entrepreneurship, and better methods for video game development. In 2010 she became a TED Fellow, and was recognized as one of The Ten Most Influential Women in Games of the Decade. Kellee was also recently nominated for the Microsoft Women in Games Lifetime Achievement Award.


Valerie Watson, Los Angeles Department of Transportation

As Assistant Coordinator of LADOT’s Pedestrian Programs Division, Valerie Watson works on all aspects of pedestrian-focused design; developing active transportation plans and policies, establishing effective partnerships, and securing funding opportunities to enhance safety for people who walk, bike, and take public transit. With the LADOT Pedestrian Programs Division team, Watson is embarking on numerous initiatives, including the City’s first ever “Safe Routes to School” strategic plan and “Streets for People” – design treatments that repurpose road space as public open space, including parklets, plazas, and bicycle corrals. Watson also served as volunteer At-Large Director of the Downtown LA Neighborhood Council to design and implement two of the City of LA’s first pilot Parklets; repurposing metered parking spaces on Spring Street with seating, planting, and communal, public spaces, installed in March of 2013. Watson holds a Master’s degree in Urban & Regional Planning from the University of California, Irvine with an emphasis in urban design and behavior, and is a veteran of Los Angeles-based Meléndrez Landscape Architecture, Planning & Urban Design.

For sponsorship info, please contact Sponsorships.

Questions? Please contact Programs.