Woodbury alumn Pedro Tavares began MRED Fireside chats, a series of informal, round table discussions and project tours in San Diego. Named after the fireplace where classes were held in Ted Smith’s Merrimac Building, the chats take place on the second Wednesday of every month at 7PM. The group discusses architecture, design, local policies and the future of residential development in San Diego. The group is very active in promoting infill development in the city. As architects and designers, they focus on fine-grain development that promotes building sustainable, walkable projects that enhance community character. Attendees are involved in various community groups in the city, including involvement in public policy and various professional organizations.
The first meeting was held on May 8, 2013, and has led to 42 meetings and numerous tours across 20 different infill development projects in San Diego and surrounding area. The group has met with public figures such as Joe LaCava, former head of the community planners advisory board, meetings with Civic San Diego regarding development issues facing San Diego, and Todd Gloria, a previous San Diego City Council member.
The Master of Science in Architecture in Real Estate Development (MSArch RED) program seeks to build upon the unique perspective and ethos of the architect. The program is unlike a real estate development program where the curriculum is offered in a traditional lecture setting. Instead, the entire curriculum of the 12-month, three-semester program is delivered through a studio-based format. For the thesis, students develop and prepare finished presentation packages for their projects including market analysis, partnership agreements, funding proposals, architectural designs, and sales and leasing strategies. Many students have gone on after graduation to successfully build their thesis projects.
Also be sure to check out a map of MRED Affiliated projects across San Diego and South Californaia.