Rosa T. Sheng

President and Founder

Equity by Design


Rosa T. Sheng, FAIA is a Principal and Director of Equity, Diversity, Inclusion at SmithGroup. She is also AIASF 2018 President and Founder of Equity by Design. As a licensed architect with 24 years of experience in architecture and design, Rosa has led a variety of award-winning and internationally acclaimed projects from the aesthetically minimal, highly technical development of the glass structures for Apple’s original high-profile retail stores, to the innovative and sustainable LEED NC Gold–certified Lorry I. Lokey Graduate School of Business at Mills College in Oakland, California.

Most notably Rosa has led a national movement for equitable practice in Architecture - catalyzed by pivotal research studies, engaging platforms and public speaking nationally and abroad. Press coverage of Rosa’s work with Equity by Design include Architect Magazine, Architectural Record, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Forbes, TEDxPhiladelphia and KQED/NPR.

About the Equity by Design: Fueled by the persistent and striking inequity of representation architectural practice, where women compose only 12–18 percent of AIA members, licensed architects, and senior firm leadership, Rosa Sheng founded Equity by Design, an AIASF committee in 2013. The effort has grown into a national movement to realize the goal of equitable practice in the workplace and just design outcomes. By minimizing barriers to maximize our potential for success, the group is driven to retain talent, advance the profession and communicate the value of design to our communities. The 2018 Equity in Architecture Survey with nearly 15,000 respondents have sparked much needed dialogue that has resulted in sold-out symposia, hackathons and widespread media coverage of EQxD both nationally and beyond.