Architectural Foundation of Santa Barbara

About AFSB

Acheson House

Who We Are

Mission statement

The Architectural Foundation of Santa Barbara offers and supports a diverse array of programs serving both North and South Santa Barbara County. These activities provide educational opportunities for the public and involve participation and support from local architects and building professionals. AFSB seeks to promote quality in design, construction, and preservation and to foster an understanding of excellence in the urban environment.

Vision Statement

To fill a gap in Santa Barbara County’s education system for art, architecture, and design and in doing so encourage awareness and appreciation of the built environment in our community.

AFSB Board of Directors

Selinda Tuttle, AIA


Selinda began her involvement with the AFSB in 2012. In 2014 she became a member of the Board of Directors and held the position of Vice President in 2018. Selinda first became interested in architecture and its history and preservation as a child. From there, Selinda went on to take drafting classes and architectural history courses through high school and college while pursuing her degrees in Art History and English. Selinda is married to attorney, Justin Tuttle and together they have four teenage boys, Jacob, Dominic, Benjamin and Mason. Prior to moving to Santa Barbara with her family she worked extensively in Special Education Advocacy and Law for non-profit agencies affiliated with the California State Office of Education.

Jeremy White, Ph.D.,AIA

Vice President

Jeremy has been in Santa Barbara county since 1998. He is an architect and a game designer, and a lecturer in the Department of History of Art and Architecture at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He is the co-editor of City Halls and Civic Materialism: Towards a Global History of Urban Public Space (Routledge 2014), and The Routledge Companion to Critical Approaches to Contemporary Architecture (2019).

Greg Rech, AIA, LEED A.P.


Greg is the current Treasurer and a past president of the Architectural Foundation of Santa Barbara. He began volunteering with AFSB in 2000 during the original planning, research and writing of the weekly Domingo Walking Tour and later became a docent for that tour for many years. Lately he has been volunteering with the AFSB Scholarship committee, a program that has awarded over $1.3 million to local high school graduates studying architecture or other related fields of design. The committee also recognizes the scholarship recipients each year with a reception in their honor. Greg is a licensed architect in Santa Barbara and a partner in the local firm of Architects West. He has been married to his lovely wife Ruth for nearly 30 years, has a son Christopher, daughter-in-law Marianne and a two beautiful granddaughters.

Ann Dwelley


Ann returned to Santa Barbara in 2000 from the Boston area. A participant in the Radcliffe Institute program in Landscape History, she worked on varied projects, from researching the introduction of ornamental plants from Japan into commerce by the University of Massachusetts in the nineteenth century, to the appropriate varieties of apple trees to plant for the Alcott properties in Concord Massachusetts. She has run non-profit agencies in London, England, Wichita, Kansas, and the Boston area. In retirement, she is enjoying teaching and singing classical music and leading tours for the AFSB. She was drawn to the AFSB by the project to plan the domingo walking tour, and then taking grandchildren to the Kids Draw program.

Rocio Iribe

Executive Director

Rocio graduated from UC Santa Barbara with a BA in the History of Art and Architecture and completed the department’s Architecture and Environment emphasis. Hailing from Los Angeles, Rocio’s path to the Architectural Foundation has been winding and somewhat unexpected. After eight years in the Marine Corps, serving at multiple duty stations and deployments, she realized a passion for art and enrolled at UC Santa Barbara. Rocio has been Executive Director for 2 years.

Cassandra Ensberg, FAIA, LEED A.P.


Cassandra Ensberg is an artist, an architect, an interior designer, an avid cyclist, and a gardener. She is a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects - recognized for her work to promote the importance of art in architecture. Her primary focus is always to find simple solutions to complex problems. She believes in the power of art, conservation, restoration, adaptive reuse, and design based upon ancient methods and configurations that employ the elements naturally and without complex systems. She has been a resident of Santa Barbara, California for over 30 years and is a passionate advocate for social justice and preservation of the environment.

Elyse A. Gonzales

Assistant Director & Curator of Exhibitions @ AD&A

Elyse is Assistant Director and Curator of Exhibitions at the Art, Design & Architecture Museum, UC Santa Barbara where she has worked since 2008. While at the Museum she has curated numerous collection exhibitions and organized several group shows including The Schoolhouse and the Bus: Mobility, Pedagogy and Engagement; Two Projects by Pablo Helguera and Suzanne Lacy / Pilar Riaño-Alcalá; The Stumbling Present: Ruins in Contemporary Art (2012); Starting Here: A Selection of Distinguished Artists from UCSB (2014); Peake/Picasso (2013); and Shana Lutker, Anna Sew Hoy, and Brenna Youngblood: CB08, the California Biennial (2008). She also initiated an Artist-in-Residence exhibition program, and has commissioned artists Eric Beltz, Ann Diener, Fran Siegel, Zoe Strauss, Stephen Westfall, and Bari Ziperstein to create new works in the Museum’s galleries. In 2017 she was named a fellow in the Center for Curatorial Leadership Program and is currently on the board of the Architectural Foundation of Santa Barbara. Prior to working at the AD&A Museum, Gonzales was Assistant Curator at the Institute of Contemporary Art, University of Pennsylvania (2001-2008) and Special Projects Assistant at the Williams College Museum of Art, Williamstown, MA (2000-2001). Gonzales received an MA from Williams College in 2000 and a BA from the University of New Mexico in 1996.

Bay Hallowell


Bay Hallowell became enchanted by AFSB when she attended the Opening Reception for an exhibition of prints by Tony Askew in 2008. A few years later, she exhibited her own monoprints at AFSB. Soon, she was invited to join AFSB Gallery Committee, then the AFSB Board. She became co-chair of the Gallery Committee in 2016. Bay majored in Painting, Drawing, and Art Criticism at Bennington College (VT) and then became an education coordinator/curator at the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh, PA. This involved creating, teaching, and coordinating gallery, studio, and outreach programs, authoring publications for museum visitors and teachers, and a special guest appearance on Mister Rogers Neighborhood. After eighteen years at the Carnegie and after earning an M.A. in Education at the U. of Pittsburgh, she spent fourteen years at the Philadelphia Museum of Art where she developed teacher resources, became an art museum consultant and taught a required graduate seminar for art educators at the Tyler School of Art (Temple University). After arriving in Santa Barbara, she studied printmaking with Siu and Don Zimmerman, Linda Taylor, and Michael McCabe and began exhibiting her work. Bay is a member of the Santa Barbara Printmakers, Inkspots of Ventura, LA Printmaking Society, and Abstract Art Collective.

Brian Hofer


Born and raised in Southern California, Brian developed a strong interest in California architecture, including historical, cultural, and design aspects. He has a Master of Architecture degree from UCLA, and has been a practicing Santa Barbara architect for over 25 years. His small firm is active on residential, commercial, and institutional/healthcare projects. He’s a past President of the Foundation, and is the chairman and coordinator for the Foundation’s Architectural Walking Tours program.

Tom Jacobs, AIA


Born in Eugene Oregon in 1951; attended Phillips Exeter Academy ‘69; Pomona College ’73 with a BA in History and Modern Languages. Attended Washington University Architecture Program in St. Louis for two years; transferred to the University of Oregon in ’76. Graduated from the University of Oregon ’78 with a MARCH. Moved to SB in 1978 and lived in Married Student Housing @ UCSB for two years. Worked with Garcia Architects, Don Sharpe, Andy Neumann @ Seaside Union and Warner & Gray. In 1995 cofounded Ensberg Jacobs Design with Cass Ensberg, FAIA.

Lori Kari


Kathy Koury

Children's Creative Project, Executive Director

Kathy is the Executive Director of the Children's Creative Project, a post she has held since 1977. She was also one of the organization's founding artists. She created I Madonnari Italian Street Painting Festival in 1987, the annual Festival held at the Santa Barbara Old Mission as a fundraising event benefiting CCP arts education programs. Kathy has also volunteered for BEEP early in its inception and currently volunteers for KDA.

Jake Niksto, AIA


Jake is a Santa Barbara native who originally developed an interest in design while at Dos Pueblos High School, where he participated three years in the AFSB High School Design Competition. He went on to earn his BA in Architecture from Arizona State University before graduating with his Master of Architecture degree from the University of Pennsylvania. During his college studies, he was also a grateful recipient of an Architectural Foundation scholarship. Now, as a licensed architect and partner at Becker Henson Niksto Architects, Jake enjoys the opportunity to “pay it forward” and volunteer with the Architectural Foundation to mentor and teach the benefits of good design to the next generation of local elementary and high school students.

Irene Rinta


Irene has a degree in Bachelors of Science in Architecture, continued studies in Project Management, and worked in the industry for over 20 years. Between 2001 and 2007, she took a break from the industry, and commissioned several projects doing murals in the Bay Area. After marrying and having a child, she decided to combine architecture, art, and motherhood, hence the birth of Kidz Engineering 101, Inc., a non-profit corporation. In 2016, she and AFSB found each other through a common interest iin educating children. She now runs the Architecture Summer Camps for youth at Acheson House.

Paul Rupp, AIA. NCARB


Paul Rupp has been an enthusiastic Board Member of the AFSB and its mission for nearly 20 years since arriving from NYC to his wife’s home town. Paul is a senior designer, architect and manager, holds an NCARB certificate with 40 years of architecture firm experience with licenses in California, Nevada, New York and Washington State. He has designed and executed projects nationally and internationally. He has collaboratively designed and executed a wide range of project types and scales often working with some of the leading firms in the country as executive architect, design architect and as associate architect. His projects are often executed in carefully designed phases sometimes requiring over a decade of work. The bulk of his projects have been large scale, finely detailed, high finish projects with sophisticated building systems. As project architect and manger, Paul has provided project leadership to achieve American Institute of Architects Honor and Merit awards for Design and Execution on over $200 million in construction value. He often gives public lectures and tours of his projects including many sponsored by the American Institute of Architects, Architectural Foundations and other institutions and organizations. Paul attended the Cornish College Of The Arts in Seattle and earned his Bachelor Of Architecture Professional Degree from the University of Oregon. He is passionate about the transformational power of great design and the role of professional mentorship to have project team members perform at the highest standard possible. Paul also always maintains an art and design studio and produces fine art in a variety of mediums and design of decorative custom light fixtures, vessels, furnishings and fabrics. He utilizes both natural media and digital technology.

Kas Seefeld, AIA


Kas is the founder and principal architect at KAS Architect. Kas studied at the University of Oregon and moved to San Francisco shortly after graduation, where he contributed to the portfolio of Walker Warner Architects. After close to a decade in the City by the bay, Kas returned to his native Santa Barbara and contributed to the portfolio at NMA Architects in Carpinteria. He has played a successful role as a team leader on luxury residential, estate, and recreation club projects. Kas became involved in AFSB back when he was in high school when he was awarded a scholarship. When he returned to Santa Barbra, Kas volunteered for the BEEP (built environment education program) at local elementary schools, which lead to helping on the board of AFSB. In addition to running his own practice, Kas is a board member of The Friendship Paddle, and father of two thriving young boys.

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