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Call for Submissions Now Open

2020 San Francisco Living: Home Tours Program

Extended Deadline: Thursday, April 30, 2020


Submission Process

  • Submit a program proposal by creating an account and completing the submission form;
  • Submissions are open to all AIA Members; JOIN or RENEW your membership
  • Project must be located in the city and county of San Francisco;
  • Proposals will be reviewed and selected by AIASF's Housing sub-committee and all applications will be notified of status of acceptance or decline no later than June 2020.
  • There is no application fee to submit a proposal.
  • Take a look at the previous San Francisco Living: Home Tours to be inspired. 
  • Proposal deadline extended to Thursday, April 30 at 11:59 PM (Pacific Time).

About San Francisco Living: Home Tours

Started in San Francisco in 2004, AIASF’s Home Tours program is the first tour series of its kind in the Bay Area to promote a wide variety of architectural styles, neighborhoods, and residences — all from the architect's point of view. Projects are showcased via an open house format and tour participants have the opportunity to see some of the region's latest projects from the inside out, meet design teams, explore housing trends, and discover design solutions that inspire unique ways of living. 

This is an excellent opportunity for architects and homeowners to showcase the positive impact of great residential design in San Francisco and demonstrate the ways design contributes to an improved quality of our daily lives. Members and nonmembers are encouraged to apply.

Specifically, the tour aims to:

  • Celebrate great design in the region, revealing ways it continues to contribute to our unique quality of life. 
  • Promote the awareness, understanding, appreciation, and experience of excellent design. 
  • Engage the community in conversation about residential design and connection with the surrounding environment.
  • Provide insights into the design process with pre-tour lectures and opportunities to interact with architects and designers on site during the tour.
  • Demonstrate the positive impact of great design as it contributes to our economy, environment and community identity.
  • Highlight the innovative talent of our local design community and inspire a new generation of architects to explore the field.



For the Homeowner’s Consideration

This event would not be possible without the generosity and support of the homeowner. The homeowner’s participation will help promote the value of great architecture in San Francisco, through living examples of innovative planning, style, technology, building and land use. 

AIA San Francisco and the Center for Architecture + Design recognize the intimate nature of this request and we take numerous measures to ensure selected homes are supervised with the utmost care. 

Hours: Homes will be open for ticketed attendees from 10:00 am until 4:00 pm on the day of the tour.

Security: AIA San Francisco will station an experienced group of trained docents at each home. A docent is stationed at each entrance in order to validate access for all guests. Docents are posted inside the home to answer questions and to make sure that everyone has an enjoyable experience. The number of docents in each residence is dependent upon the size and layout of the property. Special attention will be given to each home and to accommodate site-specific requests and / or needs. A head docent is assigned to each home to serve as team leader and liaison with AIASF staff throughout the day. Head docents have previous experience working at AIASF Home Tours and share our mission of creating a unique program that is fun, educational, and inspirational. 

Privacy: The address of each home will not be made available to the general public or published online. Ticket holders learn of the address only through the printed ticket that will be mailed prior to the tour, purchased at the AIASF office, or picked up at the official Home Tours Headquarters on the tour day. In an effort to protect the privacy of each homeowner, photography is prohibited by the general public. 

Attendees: In 2019, approximately 600 local and international attendees participated in the San Francisco Living: Home Tour. Attendees represented a range of professions including architects, designers, and others from the greater design community.  

Impact on home: House rules + regulations are provided in the attendee program booklet/ticket and signage throughout the homes and include but are not limited to: no photos/videos, no shoes, no food/drink, no pets, and no children.

Insurance: AIASF has a comprehensive insurance policy that covers any accidental damage or injury to attendees, volunteers, and staff. Certificates of insurance will be issued prior to the weekend, outlining all pertinent details. 

Promotion: San Francisco Living: Home Tours will be promoted on the event website www.archandcity.org  and in partner publications. Marketing materials typically include photographs of the home, a project description from the architect and a link to the architect’s website. These tours attract local, regional and international press. Homeowners and their architects will be informed of all press requests.

Architects’ Responsibilities as a Participant of the Home Tours Program 

In addition to being the primary contact with the homeowner prior to the weekend, the following are tasks required of the participating architects, design teams, and firms:

Architects Forum 

Each architect will be asked to participate and may be requested to prepare a slide presentation that addresses their design philosophies, as well as the overall design and the construction process. More details will be given to participants.

Day of Home Tour 

Please be sure that you and the assigned AIASF team have each other’s cell phone numbers in case of any emergencies or urgent matters that may arise on the day of the tour.

Design teams are responsible for opening and closing the homes, unless you are the homeowner or your client has arranged and notified AIASF otherwise as follows:

  • 9:00 am: Make sure you or someone from your design team is present and ready to show your project on the
  • 4:00 pm: Close home 

Volunteer Tour Docents
Names of Volunteer Docents assigned to your project with names will be sent to you in advance of the tour. 

  • 9:30 am – 1:00 pm: Shift 1 Docents  
  • 12:30 – 4:00 pm: Shift 2 Docents

Homeowner Reminders

  • The selected Home should be presented in the best way possible and should be immaculate and 100% ready to be shown by 9:00 am on the morning of the tour. 
  • There will be docents in each home and they will be asked to arrive at 9:30 am. Docents will be given water for their shifts and need to store in an agreed location in the home. A designated restroom needs to be identified for volunteer use only throughout the day; restrooms are not open to the general public.
  • Additional detailed information will be provided to architect team in advance of the Tour.

AIASF and Center for A+D Agreement with Architect/Design Team and Homeowners

AIA San Francisco and Center for Architecture + Design agree to:

  • Organize and produce the San Francisco Living: Home Tours Program in San Francisco, California (September 2020).
  • Provide project and firm recognition in event ticket/guide, website and select marketing and direct mail pieces, both online and in print.
  • Staff the homes with trained volunteer docents throughout the duration of the tour.
  • Provide Homeowners/Clients with Certificates of Insurance to show that they are listed as additional insurers of our insurance policy for the day of the tour. 

Architect/Design Team agrees to:

  • Participate in events/programs related to the Tours: Architects Forum (September 24, 2020) and San Francisco Living: Home Tours (September 26, 2020)
  • Be available for any media inquiries or interviews
  • Provide project images, descriptions, and other required materials by specified deadlines 
  • Not distribute any promotional materials during the event unless approved by AIASF and/or Center for Architecture + Design. The architect/design team may have a one-page specification sheet and/or business cards. Other materials reviewed/approved on a case-by-case basis.
  • Be responsible for opening the home at 9:00 am and closing the home at 4:00 pm, unless the homeowner or the client has arranged otherwise. 

Please Note: For this program, the architect/design team is defined as the architects and designers of the firm who worked on the project and does not include interior designers, contractors, engineers, etc. In order to keep the integrity of the mission and vision of the Home Tours program, we will not have representatives outside of the architect/design team at the homes unless they are under a sponsorship agreement with AIASF and/or Center for Architecture + Design.

Homeowner/Client agrees to:

  • Open their home/project for the day of the tour beginning at 9:00 am through 4:00 pm. 
  • Make sure their home/project is immaculate and 100% ready to be shown by 9:00 am on the morning of the tour.
  • Take into consideration the safety and well-being of pets. AIASF and Center for Architecture + Design strongly recommend pets be crated or taken off-site for the day of the tour.
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