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Lecture_Karen Braitmayer

March 22, 2021 @ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm

No cost
photo of Karen Braitmayer in a wheelchair

Click here to see the archived lecture featuring Karen Braitmayer


Our 2020-2021 lecture series continues on March 22, 2021, 6:30 p.m. ET, with a lecture featuring Karen Braitmayer, FAIA, founder and managing principal of Studio Pacifica, an accessibility consulting firm in Seattle.

Braitmayer’s “good fight” has consistently focused on supporting equity and full inclusion for persons with disabilities. In 2019, she was chosen as the national winner of the AIA Whitney M. Young, Jr. award—a prestigious award given to an architect who “embodies social responsibility and actively addresses a relevant issue.” In the award’s 48-year history, she was the first recipient honored for their work in the area of civil rights for persons with disabilities. A registered architect, Braitmayer was also appointed by President Barack Obama to the United States Access Board, a position she retains today. 

headshot of Karen Braitmayer
Braitmayer’s lecture, “You Have the Power,” takes a deep dive into generations of disability activism, legislative history that impacted the architectural profession and examples of private and public projects in which architects chose to create noteworthy designs inspired (and often enhanced) by accessibility requirements. 

Yes, you have the power to be a good designer and an access ally for people with disabilities. What does it take? An understanding of how the Americans with Disabilities Act (and other legislation mandating accessibility) really came to be—as well as a personal commitment to creating architecture that’s less about simply meeting code and more about creating beautiful environments that work for people of all abilities,” said Braitmayer in the lecture abstract.

Braitmayer advises state agencies, local governments, school districts, developers and architects on accessibility for housing, commercial, retail, institutional and educational projects. She received a Bachelor of Arts from Rice University and a Master of Architecture from the University of Houston.

Get to know Karen Braitmayer.

The lecture will be livestreamed. Check here and on our Facebook page for the link.

This lecture is co-sponsored by AIA East Tennessee and funded by the Robert B. Church III Memorial Lecture Fund.

For disability-related accommodations for the college’s virtual events, please contact Jennifer Flatford, at or 865-974-6714, at least three weeks in advance of the event.


March 22, 2021
6:30 pm - 8:00 pm
No cost


Maged Guerguis