Legacy of Fisher-Friedman Associates


In the forty-six years since its 1964 formation, up until 2010, Fisher-Friedman Associates (FFA) has established an award winning reputation in the field of architectural design and planning. The firm designed over 10 million square feet of office space and executed urban design and land planning projects totaling over 25,000 acres. Additionally, more than 250,000 units of housing by the firm were designed or built in North America, Europe and Asia.

The firm was honored with over 200 awards for excellence in design, including The American Institute of Architects California Council (AIACC) 1993 Firm Award for its significant contribution to the architectural profession, particularly in the area of residential design; the 2006 Presidential Citation; and the 2007 AIACC Distinguished Practice Award. Within the building community, Rodney F. Friedman, FAIA was inducted into the Housing Hall of Fame. In addition FFA had five projects on display at the New York Museum of Modern Art and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

The firms founders include A. Robert Fisher (retired in 2000), Rodney F. Friedman (retired in 2010), and Robert J. Geering (retired from FFA in 2005).


In 2010 the architecture firm NBBJ acquired Fisher-Friedman Associates. Joining NBBJ were practice leader Mark B. Steppan, AIA, CSI, NCARB (Executive VP of FFA), architect David Tritt, AIA, NCARB (Senior VP at FFA), and two other key staff. In addition, six ongoing FFA projects in various stages of development were completed at NBBJ, including a learning center, library renovation, and genomics teaching laboratories for the Peralta Community College District; a private residence; and a nine-story, affordable housing project in the South Bay. The addition of the Fisher-Friedman designers and executives built upon NBBJ’s strength in the higher education market. After a few good years, due to market conditions, both Mark and David had an opportunity to change direction.


In 2012 former VP of FFA Susan Fay joined Aetypic. Susie found a new home that reminded her of the spirit of FFA, and subsequently recruited several former FFA/NBBJ employees to join Aetypic’s team. These include the former FFA senior leadership – Mark B. Steppan and David Tritt. The influence, insight and experience of Mark, David and Susan joining the developing Aetypic team and sharing in the firm’s vision has created a dynamic and formidable team.