Architecture, Design & AI: What Will the Future Bring? – The VADATalks Series

When quantum computers can solve calculations a trillion times faster than current systems, what does that mean for creative thinkers who want to bring their visions to life? With the power of Artificial Intelligence, how far can the current boundaries of art, architecture, and design be pushed?

These questions are being investigated right here in Santa Barbara, and the first event of the new VADATalks series puts you in the audience for a discussion with notable local experts Thursday, October 12, at 7 p.m. at the Fé Bland Forum at Santa Barbara City College.

Come see Robin Donaldson, AlA Architect & Founding Partner at ShubinDonaldson; Dr. Erik Lucero, Lead Engineer & Site Lead Google Quantum Al Santa Barbara; and Forest Stearns, Principal Artist in Residence Google Quantum Al Santa Barbara take the stage and dive into these and other topics.

This first offering of VADATalks proudly presents a dynamic roundtable conversation showcasing an eclectic array of creative visionaries delving into the intricate nexus of art, architecture, and quantum computing. Each of these disciplines boasts its own distinctive essence; yet in the contemporary landscape of design, they elegantly interlace and influence one another.

The talk will be facilitated by Les Firestein, Founder & Editor of The RIV, Montecito Journal’s cutting-edge architecture and design magazine. Get a preview of the event by reading Les’s recent RIV article.

Refreshments and reception to follow. Free admission. RSVP required. Visit to register.

VADATalks is an ongoing series of events featuring renowned guests from all professions discussing how art has inspired the work they do.

The series is presented by VADA – The Visual Art & Design Academy of Santa Barbara High School and the Friends of VADA: a 501(c)(3) raising awareness of and support for the creative students of Santa Barbara High School.

Established in 1999, VADA is a focussed learning community with about 225 students in 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th grade. VADA integrates rigorous academic coursework with project-based, career-focused art and design instruction, in a supportive and creative environment.

As a California Partnership Academy, and Career Technical Education Pathway, VADA has always been funded by a renewable three-way matching grant from the California Department of Education, the Santa Barbara Unified School District, and the Friends of VADA, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Private donations are critical for sustaining and enriching the program, funding a variety of essential elements including supplies, technology and equipment upgrades, staff training, and experiential learning opportunities for the students.

Learn more about VADA:

The Friends of VADA (FOV) has launched a $10.75 million dollar capital fundraising campaign to expand and modernize the Academy’s aging buildings, transforming the campus into an integrated Design Lab and Art Studio. The new campus will provide the flexibility and space needed to prepare VADA’s creative minded students to flourish. FOV has successfully raised $7.25 million to enable commencement of construction on the new Design and Arts Lab with a completion date of December 2024. FOV continues to work with private, local, and state organizations to raise an additional $3.25 million to complete phase two of the project.

For more information, please visit


Sponsored by Friends of VADA.