We Are Architecture for EveryBody

We are a non-profit coalition of architectural, building, and preservation professionals that empower our communities through design. We share 1000 years of New Mexico's sustainable architecture and craft traditions by celebrating historic and cultural sites around the state, and in so doing, we aim to help our communities to: utilize simple and affordable tips and tricks to achieve more sustainable design (and lower utility bills); adapt homes and businesses for changing needs (ADA especially), preserve communities and cultural traditions, amd support local crafts and economies.

Our Story Mission/Vision

Our Services

Community Building Workshops

Encouraging stronger, safer, and more sustainable communities.
We help people protect and promote their cultural and architectural resources.

Read More

that Work’

Providing simple and affordable tips and tricks to help families adapt to changing needs, including handicapped accessibility and reduced energy consumption.

Read More

Television Shows and Documentaries

Producing educational public television programming about great design that responds to it's Place,
as told by the builders,
in their voice.

Read More


Empowering communities by sharing knowledge of historic preservation and sustainable design methods that conserve resources and reduce bills.

Read More

A4E in the News


Our 2016 Year in Review!

It's Been a Banner Year for A4E!

We just signed a MOU with the American Institute of Architects in Albuquerque, which strategically aligns our organizations to work together to improve the prospects of long-term sustainability for the people of New Mexico and the desert Southwest.

Our first documentary, Emergence, Sky City Cultural Center (an outgrowth of our tv show, still in pilot) had it's world premier in Toronto in October. Then in November, we opened Pueblo Film Fest at Indian Pueblo Cultural Center! The film will go on to become part of the visitor experience and education programs for the children of Acoma Pueblo.
We'll even be writing a companion book!

Designing for multiple revenue and impact streams is just another way
that we help our partners grow their programs!

Our Founder Rachel Preston Prinz was:
• named a Woman of Influence by ABQ Business First magazine
• invited to The White House for South by South Lawn #SXSL for her work with A4E
   (one of THREE New Mexicans selected out of 20,000 world-wide nominations!)
• named to the Emerging Social Sector Leaders Cohort at Santa Fe Community Foundation

And 2017 Is going to be even better!
We are working on building even more exciting strategic partnerships!

Consider us in your year-end giving!
Check out "What's Next" below to see what's coming in 2017!
~ YOU can help make it happen! ~

Your contributions may be tax deductable. We are fiscally sponsored by the RGCDC
and strategically aligned with The American Institute of Architects - Albuquerque.

What's next?
Education and Outreach!


A public television series about the 1000 year history of sustainable design in New Mexico

As told by the people who built it. We're not just talking about history, we will also feature tips and tricks that you can use on your own home or office to reduce your bills and increase enjoyment. (Even using found and scavenged objects as part of the design!)

Education modules

Middle and high school teachers will be able to empower young people to learn about the intersection of architecture and culture, and also to learn more about the crafts, trades, architecture and engineering, and great design with education modules about architecture that use video from the series along with a text and graphic design syllabus designed by professional educators.

Community-Enhancing Workshops

The how-tos of good design, whether it be the process of restoring a building, repairing doors and windows, learning how to build a ramp for granny who's in a wheelchair now, or build a rainscreen, or a trellis for shade. We'll also offer workshops about the ins and outs of architectural projects and what services are needed when, so our communities don't go into large projects blind.

Evidenced-based Design Research

We'll be asking professionals in many fields what the pressing needs are in our communities. What are the "low hanging fruits" of sustainable design that most people need and cannot afford? We'll collect data and demographics to build our programs around making the most impact with the limited resources available!

Our work will be supported by foundation and community grants,
as well as private donations and strategic sponsorships.

Donate your time with our community workshops, on the film crew, or just answering surveys so we can start building our evidence-based design database!
Just let us know you are interested!


Here's the link to watch it!
This is what we did with almost NO MONEY
Imagine what we could do with equipment and professional staffing!
Help us make that happen!

Donate Now!

Advisory Board

  • Hakim Bellamy, Co-host of NMPBS' Colores! + Community Organizer
  • Carrie Christopher, Sustainability + Community Expert
  • Barbara Felix, AIA, AIA-New Mexico Incoming President
  • Ashley Hartshorn, AIA-New Mexico Incoming Associate Director
  • Melanie Magdalena, Editor-in-Chief at Origins Scientific Research Society


We signed an MOU with AIA-Albuquerque!

We just signed a Memorandum Of Understanding with the American Institute of Architects in Albuquerque, which strategically aligns our organizations to work together to improve the prospects of long-term sustainability for the people of New Mexico and the desert Southwest!!!


A4E Founding Director Selected to Attend the First White House Festival of Ideas, Art, and Action

President Barack Obama is set to host the first South by South Lawn—a White House festival of ideas, art and action—in early October, and A4E’s Founding Director, Rachel Preston Prinz, was selected out of thousands of nominations to attend.

Rachel will be joining other movers and shakers to take on Obama’s challenge to build towards an America that is more tolerant, fair, and full of opportunities.

On October 3, South by South Lawn is:

    Interactive: Panel discussions throughout the day will explore topics like how to make change stick with organizers who are having an impact, as well as a discussion with influencers who are using their platforms to bring about positive change. Interactive booths will encourage attendees to engage with and learn about new technologies and innovations. 
    Film: The film portion features the 3rd Annual White House Student Film Festival in association with its founding partner, the American Film Institute. Students in grades K-12 submitted more than 700 short films round this year’s theme, The World I Want to Live In. The submissions are inspiring and we’re excited to share official selections and honor young filmmakers as part of this event 
    Music: Musical performances will include well-known and emerging artists who are using their music to inspire audiences.
Congratulations to Rachel and all the nominees that have been selected to attend!


A4E Founding Director Rachel Preston Prinz named a Woman of Influence by ABQ Business First!


Rachel Preston Prinz is the founding director of Archinia, a preservation and architectural R&D firm. She also works with Barbara Felix Architecture + Design in Santa Fe where she does historic preservation, marketing and projects designed to increase architectural engagement. The author and TEDx speaker is dedicated to helping preserve cultures and traditions around the world through her nonprofit Architecture For EveryBody.

What is your biggest accomplishment so far?
I am the proudest of what all I have accomplished since being diagnosed with a form of macular degeneration that affects young people. When I first found out I was going blind, I became emotionally paralyzed. It took me a LONG time to figure out how to be in my new life. I was training to be an architect when I was diagnosed, finished with my internship and just about to take the exams, and the reality that I would probably never achieve that goal was painful beyond measure. After some healing time, I figured out that I could STILL do architecture, of sorts. I could use all the tips and tricks that I had learned in my career to empower communities with design and preservation knowledge so they could take their old buildings and make them work ... for the community and on their terms. It took me some time to figure out how, but in 2011, I did my first TEDx talk at TEDxABQ, and since then I have achieved more than I ever thought possible in empowering communities across New Mexico, and even the world, to thrive.

What would you say is the biggest obstacle in succeeding/getting ahead in your industry in New Mexico?
I think it's a tie between poverty and antiquated/us-and-them thinking that prevents architects, designers and preservationists from making more of a difference here. 98 percent of people in the U.S. who need architects and preservationists cannot afford them. In New Mexico, those numbers are even higher for the most part. Preservation here is not just about pretty buildings. Our towns and villages are cultural landscapes; they were put where they were so they could utilize the natural resources available to create livable communities. When erosion from ATVs, overgrazing, mismanagement of resources, mining, etc... affects the water quality of our rivers, that affects the water quality of our acequias, which can poison our food and destroys our tree cover. Our buildings don't work because they were designed for a climate that was modulated by the details of the places we created for ourselves when we knew better and didn't just plop down anything anywhere. Money and a stubborn willingness to collaborate are going to be required to tackle these huge issues and really get our communities thriving again.

What is something people may not know about your business?
Many of our projects are collaborations with experts from all over the world. Our next big project has 33 collaborators from every continent except Australia. My passion for the future of our efforts is to raise the money to complete our TV show (a public television show about the 1,000 years of sustainable design techniques used in New Mexico). Completing that will be a milestone in my career.

Click thru to the rest of the article at


A4E Founding Director Rachel Preston Prinz named to 2016 Emerging Social Sector Leaders at Santa Fe Community Foundation

Founder Rachel Preston Prinz was just named to the 2016 Emerging Social Sector Leaders Cohort at Santa Fe Community Foundation.

Rachel was selected to participate alongside leaders from the Santa Fe Youth Symphony; The Georgia O'Keeffe Museum; Girls, Inc. of Santa Fe; Think New Mexico; CASA; United Way; Santa Fe Art Institute; Folk Art Alliance; Farmer's Market Institute; Santa Fe Institute; Partnership for Responsible Business; Santa Fe Botanical Garden; Santa Fe Indian School; Delicious New Mexico; and other major non-profits throughout New Mexico.

This will be an opportunity to build bridges between our programs and others.


Architectural Education Portal

This is a just a drop in the bucket of our forthcoming training material. Each title will be linked as it is uploaded.

Repairing your community

links coming soon!

Preserving your historic buildings

links coming soon!

Designing your own Home

Home Design with YOU in Mind
Sustainable Home
Working towards a Better Definition of Sustainability
Cost Effective Sustainable Features    
Minimizing Waste and Pollution
From Vision to Reality
Where You Live Now
Wish List
Setting a Vision
Idea Book
Site Diagram

Where is the Money?  How to Afford to Pay Cash for Your Home
Mortgage Financing
Tools to Facilitate Financing
Creative Funding Solutions      
Pick the Right Materials
Homeowners Bill of Rights
Tax Incentives for Green Design
Budgeting for a Contractor      
Deciding Factors
Insurance for the Non-Traditional Home

Planning a Build
Getting it Built: Managing Volunteers
Regulatory Forces –The Code

The Building’s Context and Site
Land Uses       
The Best Design of All: At the Intersection of Two Ecosystems
Choosing a Building Site
Topography and Climate
Working with Microclimates
General Site Design Criteria
Growing your Own: Dan’s EPIC Garden
Outdoor Living
Fire-Wise Design

Vernacular Design Principals
       North Pacific Vernacular Zone
       Rocky Mountain Vernacular Zone
       Southwest Vernacular Zone
       Great Plains / Prairie Vernacular Zone
       Lakes Vernacular Zone
       Northeast Vernacular Zone              
       Southeast Mountain Vernacular Zone
       Southeast Coastal Vernacular Zone

Designing for Thermal Comfort
Passive Solar Design
Ultra-Tight Construction
Other Ways of Staying Cool     
Other Ways of Staying Warm
Thermal Mass versus Insulation
Thermal Mass for Heating
Thermal Mass for Cooling
Earth-Coupling and Earth-Sheltering  
Natural Ventilation Strategies and Indoor Air Quality
       Using Windows for Ventilation
       Other Means of Ventilation
       Indoor Air Quality
        Humidification Matters
Thermal and Moisture Protection
Roof Thermal Performance Improvements
Framing for Thermal Performance
Thermal Bridging
Choosing Insulation
Acoustics - Sound Insulation

The Structural System
Rubble Trench Foundations
Floor Structures

The Enclosure System
       Secrets of Great Curb Appeal
Natural versus Sustainable Materials
Insulating Versus Thermal Mass Building Materials
Strawbale vs. Cob
Glass Block and Bottle Walls
Can Walls
Other Types of Walls
Soil Factors for Rammed Earth, Adobe, Cob, and Earthbag Construction             
       Expansion and Control Joints
       Rammed Earth  
       Wood Block Concrete Forms
Wood and Log Construction
Timber frame
Log Buildings

Roof Structure
Roofing Types

Doors and Windows

Rooms, Spaces, Colors, & Textures
Create an Efficient Floorplan
Starting Small
Easy Spaces
What about All My Stuff?
Living Simply with Less
Other Interior Considerations
Hallways & Hidden Hallways   
Living Room   
Dining Rooms
Great Room   
Kitchens and Baths     
Second Floors and Lofts            
Laundry Room              
Root Cellar      
Stairs and Towers        
Standard Furniture Dimensions             
Details of Design          
Planning for the Long Game   
Universal Design          

Paints and stains          
Wall Coverings              
Floor Coverings            

Mechanical Systems            
Mechanical Heating and Cooling           
Mechanical Rooms      
Mechanical Heating    
Fireplaces and Stoves
Mechanical Cooling & Air Conditioning               

Electrical Systems  
The Art and Science of Outlets and Switching 
Water Flow    
Water Heaters              
Waste Management  
Rainwater Harvesting and Collection   
Maximizing Efficiency in Water Use     
Final Notes on Mechanical Systems     

Imbuing Space with Spirit  
What is Happy, Anyway?          
Your Core Desired Feelings     
Locating “Power Spots"            
Creating Sacred Spaces             
Correct timing               
Vaastu & Feng Shui     
Feng Shui        
Hiring an Architect or Designer        
Stages of Design    

       New Home Design Worksheet        
       Site Design Checklist            
       Suggested Reading               

Our Blog

3,359 Miles
driven so far in NM for filming
35 Collaborators
and counting
559 Buildings
documented to date

Our Team

Rachel Prinz
Founding Director
Barbara Felix
Board Advisor
Carrie Christopher
Board Advisor
Ashley Hartshorn
Board Advisor
Our Collaborators
The Rockstars


Talk to us

Want to schedule a talk or workshop? Collaborate on a project? Hire our marketing department to help you develop your own content? Contribute your course to the architecture curriculum?


M-R 8am - 5pm, Friday 8am - 12pm




Email Us.