About Us

Archtoberfest (pronounced “ark-tober-fest”) San Diego is a collaboratively-operated initiative aimed at establishing an annual, month-long program of publicly-accessible events and activities pertaining to architecture, design, planning and sustainability. Also known as “San Diego Architecture & Design Month,” the Archtoberfest umbrella brand offers support for the coordination & promotion of an ambitious program-schedule during October, including exhibits, tours, lectures and workshops.

Each activity will be operated individually by one of the more than 2-dozen participating, mainly non-profit, local partners – all leaders within their domains. Besides being fun and unique, Archtoberfest events and activities will expand awareness and appreciation of the region’s important architecture & design legacy, draw attention to current & expected changes & challenges and explore key issues addressing these themes, including the role of design. Numerous events are free-of-charge and many are suited for younger participants.

Archtoberfest offers opportunities for the public to connect and engage with partner organizations across a wide range of interest areas. “Archtoberfest “ is a play on San Diego’s celebrated emergence as America’s newest craft-brewing capital – leading both to robust investment in new facilities and increased destination travel to the region. It is anticipated that these will serve to amplify the impact of the Archtoberfest brand for potential participants.

Founding Organizations

The American Institute of Architects San Diego was founded in 1927 and has a well-earned reputation for design-advocacy leadership & support for the architecture community. AIA San Diego is a 501 c 6 professional association, headquartered in downtown San Diego with about 850 members, across various categories. Its 2014 Board of Directors is headed by Matthew Geaman, AIA and its Executive Director|CEO, Bastiaan Bouma is a seasoned non-profit executive in the architecture/design arena.

The San Diego Architectural Foundation, a 501 c3 non-profit, is the preeminent agency in San Diego dedicated to programs and events supporting public awareness and appreciation pertaining to architecture & design. It also embraces collaborative programs and has frequently worked with other organizations, including AIA San Diego, on joint initiatives. SDAF’s voice reaches deeply into the community and helps shape public discourse about critical issues in the built environment. The SDAF 2014 President is Maxine Ward, AIA of Studio E Architects and the Vice-President is Pauly De Bartolo, Associate AIA, a Principal of De Bartolo + Rimanic Design Studio as well as a member of the Gaslamp Quarter Land Use & Planning Design Review Board.

The San Diego Design Film Festival (an Archtoberfest Secretariat member and strategic partner), will debut during Archtoberfest. The film fest will be mounted by Quartararo & Associates and its principal, Todd Quartararo. Q&A Marketing is the operator of the highly regarded and successful Newport Beach Design Film Festival Series. Now in its 18th year the Newport Beach Film Festival has evolved into a prestigious multicultural event, attracting over 50,000 attendees to Orange County this year alone. The firm is deeply experienced in the marketing and promotion of cultural events in the region and is providing critical expertise in the creation of marketing materials and as well as developing and implementing the communications plan.


Archtoberfest’s varied offerings are well suited to a wide-ranging audience.  In addition to a county-wide population in excess of 3 million individuals, within 2-3 hours’ drive of downtown San Diego reside more than 17 million people.  October also is a peak month for visitors to San Diego – as many as 2 million can be expected. More than 20 million people are potential Archtoberfest participants.

Core Archtoberfest audiences are those interested in experiences tied to architecture & design, with a particular emphasis on historic styles/preservation, issues in the built environment, the role of design & planning to support economic development, expanding design education as well as exploring design’s impact on quality-of-life.

However, wider audiences will be drawn to the many fun, engaging and real-world experiences. Participation is made more attractive by the numerous free programs as well as those suited to families with children.

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