San Francisco Design Week Honors AAU Project


San Francisco Design Week honors projects encouraging thought leadership in design. 

Design Awards Theme: “Where Innovation Meets Social Responsibility”

June 7, 2018–San Francisco, California

ARH 250 was honored at the first annual San Francisco Design Week Awards, hosted by San Francisco Design Week on June 7th at Pier 27, San Francisco. The ARH 250 Studio, Fall 2017 received an Honorable Mention in the Student Altruistic Non-Profit Architecture category.

The Guerilla Coffee Unit was recognized for its ground-breaking design and commitment to thought leadership in meeting the needs of a positive future for society.

The Guerrilla Coffee Unit (GCU) refutes the gentrified, high end coffee-laden streetscapes of San Francisco by creating a free urban kitchen table and sanctuary for the city’s ever-more visible homeless population. The GCU creates a new safe space to converse, listen and tell stories by giving someone on the street a literal place to sit, a warm cup of coffee, and someone to listen to. It engages public space on any sidewalk that is bound by the sit/lie ordinance (section 168 San Francisco Police Code); which forbids sitting or lying down on the sidewalk. The GCU proposes a shared, free coffee table on the street that engages all members of the public. 

This project was conceived, designed and built in the Second year undergraduate Fall 2017 studio at AAU taught by Sameena Sitabkhan and Doron Serban.
Students: Stella Buckmann de Lima Netto, Yuanyuan Chen, Pablo Delarosa, Raul Higuera, Woohyung Kim, Erick Luna, Wenjie Lie, Zed Malmoux, Benjy Michel, Adam Nuru, Andre Rumal, Markish Siojo, Nahoua Christian Jean-Raymond Sorho, Carrarheina Tjoa, Francisco Toca-Madrid, Robert Villanueva, Bobby Wijaya, Yang Xi, Shuangrong Zhong

“We are extremely excited to launch the first San Francisco Design Week Design Awards this year,” says SFDW Director Dawn Zidonis. “The quality of the many entries we received was exceptional in terms of how they exceeded our expectations of our theme, ‘Innovation Meets Social Responsibility’. Congratulations to this year’s outstanding and diverse winners.”

San Francisco Design Week (SFDW), the premier gathering of the world’s most active design community, debuted the first annual San Francisco Design Week Awards at Pier 27 San Francisco. This year’s theme, “Where Innovation Meets Social Responsibility” was met by award winners from leading design firms, in-house teams, and creative individuals, who were honored at during a press preview at the SFDW Opening Night Reception at Pier 27, San Francisco.

The Design Week Awards reception brought together leading designers, architects, city officials, international guests, and consulate generals. The press preview began with a champagne toast by AIGA Executive Director Dawn Zidonis, followed by photos of the winners with their awards. Special guests also included Mark Chandler, Director, San Francisco Mayor’s Office of International Trade and Commerce, as well as international official representatives: Consul General of Mexico: Gemi Gonzalez; Italy, and Switzerland.

SFDW Design Awards is an international design competition seeking to encourage thought leadership by supporting designers whose works can contribute towards a positive future for society. The Design Awards celebrates and recognizes exemplary work in all fields of design, including architecture, interior design, industrial design, communication design, and user experience design. Eighteen winning projects were selected by a jury comprised of distinguished professionals, who reviewed submissions from an exceptionally competitive pool of applicants from all over the world, including Italy, China, USA, United Emirates and Japan.

The winning projects were awarded to designers from US, Italy and Switzerland from a pool of applicants in the following categories: Architecture – Altruistic; Architecture – Residential; Architecture – Commercial; Biotech; Communications Design,; FashTech; FinTech; Furniture Innovation; Future of Foods; Interior Design – Office: Commercial; Interior Design – Residential; Interior Design – Restaurant: Hospitality; IOT; Student Innovation; Urban Mobility; Virtual Tech; and Wild Card.

Each winning project displayed the following characteristics:

Impact—Design that represents a substantial shift in the way a particular process is created, executed, perceived, or experienced.

Singularity—Products and ideas that go above and beyond contemporaneous work being done within distinct fields of design.

Inclusiveness—Work that empowers those previously underrepresented in the design community and emboldens social mobility at all levels.

Social Responsibility—Design that offers solutions for people with needlessly insurmountable barriers to entry in all walks of life.

Ease of Use—Design that can be easily understood and applied by the end user.

Visual Appeal—Projects, ideas, and processes that not only solve problems, but do so with aesthetics that accentuate and elevate the experience from start to finish.

Feasibility—Design that can be sensibly funded, implemented and embraced.

A full list of winners and runners-up is published at

The SFDW Design Awards esteemed jury comprised:

JD Beltran, designer, artist, filmmaker, writer, educator and public art administrator

Diane Dorrans Saeks, influencer, author, editor and teacher

Rob Duncan, partner, Mucho

Trevor Hubbard, founder, Butchershop

Barry Katz, CCA, IDEO Fellow, Stanford University,

Dominique Price, director at M Moser Associates

August de los Reyes, VP of Product Design, Pinterest

The winners’ entries are displayed prominently in a SFDW Design Awards Exhibition at Pier 27, San Francisco, from June 7 – 8, 2018 and featured permanently at SFDW online.

ABOUT San Francisco Design Week
SFDW is an essential week-long city-wide festival that showcases the unique intersection of ideas, design, business & entrepreneurism that makes the Bay Area the birthplace of the future.

Now a global phenomenon, San Francisco’s international success is born from a historically free-spirited entrepreneurialism, coupled with the imaginative vision of contemporary design and state-of-the-art technology. Pioneers of new ways of looking at the world, nimble Bay Area start-ups are now among the world’s most influential design-led companies, producing products, services and experiences that profoundly influence the daily lives of billions of people globally.

Through studio tours and events, SFDW celebrates this spirit of newness by providing unique access to exhibitions and conversations with the designers who are shaping the future — from architecture to fashion, product design to digital services, and everything in between.

At the Design Week Hub, everyone comes together to discuss, debate, explore, celebrate and showcase San Francisco’s broad influence on the design world and beyond.

SF Design Week spans the entire Bay Area from Silicon Valley to the city of San Francisco, featuring world-renowned designers, entrepreneurs and innovative thought leaders with more than 60 studio tours and 200 events throughout the week.

SF Design Week is a community event led by a team of advisors and a core committee which represents the diversity of design disciplines in the Bay Area. The event is produced by AIGA SF, the professional association for design, a 501(3)c and the oldest and largest membership association for professionals engaged in the discipline, practice and culture of designing.

For more information, visit: or the SF Design Week Blog.