Spirit of Giving – Individually and collectively, we give back to our communities, our schools, and those who need our help. The company participates in a key community philanthropic event each year (Rebuilding Together, Sandcastle Building Contest to benefit art education, Playhouse building contest, etc.).


Aedis and friends paint between the raindrops with Rebuilding Together

Despite a 15-minute rainstorm, Team Aedis waited it out and carried on with its mission: to upgrade this home of a San Jose family who needed a helping hand. Besides caulking windows and painting the exterior, Team Aedis also painted and adjusted interior doors and constructed a high fence around the lot. More photos here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/rtsv/sets/72157647552020228/
This is one of several volunteer days Aedis contributed with Rebuilding Together Silicon Valley. Thanks to Aedis’s family and friends–including comrades from Muji, Koroseal, Gilbane, Landry and Bogan, Carroll Engineering, and others–for helping out!


Rebuilding Together in Alum Rock, San Jose

The homeowner of the house we restored was age 68. She lives with her 92-year-old mother and adult daughter. They are originally from Portugal, and the family moved to San Jose in the late 1970s. The homeowner worked at a linen company until her recent retirement. Upon retiring, she began taking care of her elderly mother full-time, who suffers from dementia.

View photos of the event on our Facebook Fan Page


Schools of the Future Competition with Quimby Oaks Middle School

As school architects, we love to be involved with the students and teachers so that we can have a greater understanding of their needs and what will help them be successful. But in the simplest way, we just love being around them. They inspire us, they energize us.

Thank you, Quimby Oaks for letting be a part of all this. Stephen, Elise, Myron, Daniel and Matt always come back with smiles on their faces after working with all of you.

Congratulations to both our classes for winning both 1st and 2nd place in the school competition this past January. We are proud of all of you!

View photos of the event on our Facebook Fan Page


Empowering Middle School Girls at Hillbrook School

Our youth live in an age where one’s gender has far less limiting power than it did decades ago. But the fight isn’t over yet. Media still shows girls in stereotypical female roles. Sure, we tell them they can do anything they want, but if they don’t see women portrayed as scientists or architects, they won’t know that this path is indeed an option for them. Empowering young girls and showing them what they can do is important to us and this is why we gave our full support to Stephen Sun, our architectural intern, in mentoring 7th Grade girls at Hillbrook School in Los Gatos.

Stephen is a graduate of Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc). His passion is architecture and education. As a result, he has mentored students in Haiti where they designed and built their own school. He also lead the team in mentoring the 21st Century Project-Based Learning Class at Quimby Oak Middle School in San Jose for the Schools of the Future Competition. Here’s what he wrote about his experience working with Christa Flores who is the coordinator of the iLab for Making at the Hillbrook School:

“Jia Liu, Partnerships Manager at Coursera, visited Aedis’ open house back in Januray 2014 and was deeply impressed with our involvement with the Project Based Learning curriculum at Quimby Oak Middle School. He later introduced me to Christa Flores, a project-based learning specialist at The Hillbrook School in Los Gatos, and we discussed Christa’s challenge for the Spring Semester of 2014. Her group of 7th grade girls sought to design and build a micro-classroom. The goal was to re-engage the students in a lost tradition at Hillbrook where students could take control of their educational environment. These micro-classrooms were to be part of the campus they dubbed as ‘The Village of Friendly Relations.’

When I was asked to mentor this enthusiastic group to design the 21st century version of the village house; I couldn’t be happier to answer such a calling. As if developing a 7th grade design/build studio was not ambitious enough, the girls were developing curriculum where fellow classmates could participate in the construction, rent out the spaces for club activities, and experiment with their creation through the testing of new building materials and technologies. Talk about empowering the youth! It was an opportunity to mentor young girls to be architects, scientists, construction workers and entrepreneurs! For example, students learned the science of solar panels and circuitry in a conventional classroom setting and then experienced the application of what they learned by immediately installing such systems on the micro-classroom they themselves built. Walls were modular and easily deconstructed. This allowed different materials to be tested in terms of their insulation values, acoustical properties, and of course educational flexibility and effectiveness. The space is as quiet as the introverts define it to be, or as loud as the “place-to-be” on a rainy day.

This adventure was a radical transformation of both the practice of education and our own architectural discipline. I am fortunate to be part of a collective effort in revolutionizing educational practices for the generations to come.” 

Stephen will be moving onto Harward this fall. We have been lucky to have him as part of our team and glad we were able to provide him with a work environment that supports his passions for both education and architecture. The students Aedis has worked with over the past few years have benefitted greatly from mentors like Stephen. We look forward to more opportunities to impact students on a personal level like this. For us, being educational architects doesn’t mean just working on the buildings, it’s also being architects who educate using our buildings and the process of completing a project.


Below is a video from the Hillbrook School’s iLab: Thinking about Learning Spaces.


Green Apple Day of Service at Aptitud Community Academy School Garden

Aside from being a “post hole digger”, our very own John Diffenderfer connected the Green Sports Alliance and USGBC to the campus program for this Green Apple Day of Service project.
The campus was Aptitud Community Academy. The school garden, which is supported by Veggielution Community Farm, serves to help integrate food and healthy living into the lives of the students and families living in San Jose.
John and over 50 other volunteers spent the morning building and replanting reused concrete beds in front of the garden, building raised planter boxes, planting fruit trees and sheet mulching areas of the garden.
Thank you to Green Sports Alliance for sharing your photos with us!

Read More


Aedis and friends paint between the raindrops with Rebuilding Together

LEAP’s residency programs place professional teaching artists into Bay Area elementary and middle schools to enhance the classroom curriculum through creative projects. Dynamic educators who are professional painters, sculptors, performers, musicians, dancers and architects represent Leap in these schools.

We headed out to Ocean Beach to build a whale skatepark with the students from Dianne Feinstein Elementary school and raised money for LEAP.



Join us on October 25 for Rebuilding Together

On Rebuilding Day, nearly 1000 volunteers repaired and improved 35 homes and non-profits in Santa Clara County. Aedis was part of an effort to help struggling community members live more safely, independently, and comfortably in their own homes.

Our team was assigned to Rebuilding Day Project #21. This is a joint effort between Rebuilding Together and Aedis Architects.

HOMEOWNER PROFILE:  Homeowners are husband and wife in their late 30s who have 4 children.  The father is a cancer survivor, which the family prefers not to discuss.  The eldest daughter is preparing to go to UC Santa Cruz on a full grant, and they are all very proud of her. The family lives on the father’s income, which he earns as a warehouse supervisor. The younger children like to be outside but cannot play there due to a lack of fencing and the presence of stray dogs that bite. The mother came from the Philippines as a child with her parents in 1985.  She has had to quit her job as a pharmacy tech to take care of her children.  The park management has been putting pressure on them for several years to paint their house although it does not seem to be in apparent need.

The work scope included exterior painting and fence installation.