Harriet Gill founded the Friends of San Diego Architecture in 1985 at the age of 71 with the intention of bringing together design professionals and lay people for mutual education and enlightenment. Her education and career in clinical social work, along with her wide-ranging interests in philosophy, religion and the arts informed her many contributions to the community. After passing away in 2008 at the age of 94, the annual Harriet Gill Award was created for students of architecture or related design who demonstrate creative and/or innovative design ability towards positive social impact. The first award of $1,000 was presented in March, 2010. FSDA continued this annual award for four years.
Projects submitted by students are evaluated based on the following criteria:
- Design that is socially conscious and provides service to the community
- Creative and unique design solutions
- Sustainable design prinicples
- Site and technical considerations
- Quality of presentation and professional character
Angela Vanella a 2nd year student at University of San Diego (USD); won award for mass housing program in Tijuana, Mexico.
Matt Evans, a 4th year student at NewSchool of Architecture & Design, won the award for a project called Southcrest Redevelopment Plan.
Rachel Dentel, a graduate student at NewSchool of Architecture & Design won the award for her design of Los Hermanos, a government-subsidized multi-family complex that reflects the cultural heritage of Barrio Logan.
Alejandro Nunez, a student at NewSchool of Architecture & Design and John Christopher Snider, a student at Woodbury University shared the award for the project: Casa Hogar Classroom. They designed, helped raise funds and built a classroom with attached computer lab for a privately-owned orphanage in Tijuana, Mexico.