MBA participates in and supports the AIANN (American Institute of Architects, Northern Nevada) because we realize the importance of this group in advocating the value of architecture in our communities. Erik Fong served as a board member for the AIANN executive board and was also chapter President in 2013. Wan Cone is also an active member of the AIANN board and is President of the chapter for 2016.
Through Wan and Erik’s participation in the AIANN, they initiated a new project to improve the design discourse in Reno. DICE (Design is Innovation, Creativity, and Energy) is an annual program, held at the Nevada Museum of Art that brings together speakers of all design disciplines, with the goal of advocating for good design and its positive effect on our community. DICE provides a forum for discussions on how to improve the urban fabric of Reno. It has brought speakers such as Tom Kundig, Ellen Dunham-Jones, and Dr. Chris Lubkeman, all leaders in their fields, to inspire and elevate design and the dialogue in our community.
Erik Fong has been an active member of Rotary since 2010 and has served as President of his Club in 2013/14. Through his work with Rotary he has served as a counselor in RYLA (Rotary Youth Leadership Awards) for the last seven years. RYLA is a weeklong summer camp for students entering their senior year in high school and provides crucial tools to be more effective leader in their schools and more importantly, compassionate and confident people in their own communities.
Our office is providing design services at a reduced rate for Kids Kottage, whose shelters provide temporary care for Washoe County’s abused and neglected children until they can safely be returned to their families or placed in a foster home.
MBA regularly participates in Canstruction, which benefits the Northern Nevada Food Bank directly. It gives our team a chance to give back and create something fun and whimsical.
Our office is always exploring new ways we can support our community. We have held design charrettes for outdoor spaces and shading solutions for the St. Vincent’s Homeless Shelter located near downtown Reno. MBA also provided dorm designs for the H.E.R.O Academy (Housing Educations and Rehabilitation of Orphans) in Haiti. We are providing design services at a reduced rate for CAAW (The Committee to Aid Abused Women) to renovate housing for families experiencing domestic abuse. Other design work provided for community benefit includes a tennis court and indoor athletic facility for Bishop Manogue High School and design support for a Main Street beautification in Susanville, California.
Team members have also participated in educational programs such as “Architects in the Classroom”, “Upward Bound”, and “Box City” to get young students engaged in the field of architecture and urban planning. Erik and Wan also volunteer regularly to critique student projects at the architecture program at Truckee Meadows Community College. Staff members also support the Boys & Girls Club and Casa De Vida through raffle prizes, design services, and volunteer time.