Design Matters

Design Matters - Patterns of Life that Shape a Liveable City

Spokane Convention Center, 334 W. Spokane Falls Blvd


Member: $25.00
Non-Member: $40.00

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Join us on Thursday, April 12th as we celebrate Architecture month. Hear from Ferd Johns, FAIA, about how patterns of life shape a livable city. 

  • AIA Credit will be available

Ferd, with AIA Spokane, suggests that thoughtful and sensitive design decisions at every level are required to make a city truly livable. In his presentation Ferd will cover:

  • How letting market forces, big corporations and starchitects make all of the decisions about how our cities grow and develop, can result in a very unlivable city.
  • Why the "big ideas" that shape the basic plan of a city can fit or fight nature, purpose and culture, but without thoughtful people-centered design throughout the entire process, the best conceptual plan will not produce a truly livable city.
  • The role good design decisions play in respecting and celebrating the patterns of life, and enhance the fine grain of the architecture and furniture of our best cities.
  • These decisions must be based on enduring principles important to the people who live there, and not merely on fashion or style, in order for a truly livable city to emerge.

About The Speaker

Following a tour as a guided missile destroyer officer and a long night celebrating with two old friends, Ferdinand Johns (Ferd) decided to become an architect. He received his professional Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Virginia in 1971, and following internship and a passing grade on the registration exam, became Vice-President of Commonwealth Architects in Sarasota, Florida. Ferd left for New York in 1975 to pursue a Master's Degree in Architecture and Urban Design from Columbia University. An often-embarrassing two-year initiation into teaching architecture at the University of Oklahoma was followed by yet another move to Annapolis MD, where Ferd combined a busy practice with teaching at the University of Maryland. Beth and Ferd moved their family to Bozeman MT in 1992 so he could accept a faculty position at Montana State University, from which he retired as Professor Emeritus of Architecture in 2008.

Ferd has thoroughly enjoyed a varied and exciting career in architecture and teaching, as well as a supportive and highly accomplished family that includes five children. He received a number of teaching, architectural design and urban design awards over the years, including a National AIA Honor Award for Excellence in Urban Design in 2006, the Distinguished Professor Award from the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture of North America (ACSA) in 2007, and election to Fellowship in the American Institute of Architects (AIA) in 2011. Although Ferd is often busy sailing the Pacific Northwest, Chesapeake and Florida Keys from his home base on Whidbey Island, he remains fully engaged in architecture, planning, urban design and education through active service on the Board of Directors of the International Making Cities Livable (IMCL) Conferences.

Thank You To The Program Sponsor!



AIA Spokane, a chapter of the American Institute of Architects, is a non-profit professional association that serves to support the practice of architecture, by providing education, community and advocacy for its members. The local chapter membership consists of licensed architects and interns, as well as allied members from the engineering and construction professions. Led by a volunteer board and a part-time Executive Director, AIA Spokane is a local component of the national organization.

MAS members receive free parking. For Non-members, event parking is $8-10 at the Convention Center. Please provide 72 hours notice to receive reimbursement for cancellations.

RSVP per the MAS website by Friday, April 6th to guarantee your spot. For more information, please contact Leslie Hebert at

Interested in being a Sponsor? Contact Brooke Giordano at

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Design Matters