Alison Whitelaw, FAIA, LEED AP BD&C

Senior Principal
Platt/Whitelaw Architects, San Diego


Alison obtained her architectural degree from Edinburgh University, Scotland. During her thirty five years in architectural practice, she has focused on designing buildings that sustain their users, the community and the natural environment. One of her designs earned the nation’s first Energy Star label for a building and was used as a model for the creation of the LEED rating system. Alison has taught Sustainable Design at college level and has lectured nationwide on the subject.

Alison’s work has focused on public and community projects for private, governmental and institutional clients and includes facilities that accommodate the workplace, education, community service, recreation, arts and worship.

Alison is the President of Platt/Whitelaw Architects, located in San Diego; she is a fellow of the American Institute of Architects, past President of the San Diego Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), past Board member of AIA California Council and past President of the San Diego Architectural Foundation

ANFA Themes

In 2003 I chaired the organizing committee that created the Academy of Neuroscience for Architecture. The Academy was formed as a Legacy Project by AIA San Diego and the San Diego Architectural Foundation, to commemorate the AIA National Convention, being hosted in San Diego that year. I was inspired and mentored in this effort by John P Eberhard FAIA and Norman Koonce FAIA. The conviction I already held, that the quality of the built environment has a direct impact on human performance, was given sustenance by the realization that Neuroscience research could provide scientifically based insight into how the brain responds to various properties of designed space. As the body of relevant neuroscience research continues to expand, and as a past President of ANFA and continuing Board member, I look forward to contributing toward the Academy’s role of promoting, gathering and disseminating this knowledge as well as continuing to nurture collaboration and promote dialog between the disciplines of Architecture and Neuroscience