Architect, Designer, Facilitator

Fred L. Sweeney Architect, AIA has spent the last 37 years of his career as a partner, architect, master planner, and designer involved in diverse projects across the State of California. These projects include everything from residential work, to the design of the Santa Barbara Air Terminal. Fred has provided continual leadership within his profession, his academic community and his home town. Fred recently served as president of the 144,000 member Cal Poly Alumni Association, is a member of the Residential Design Review Board for the City of Santa Barbara, and member of Santa Barbara’s “Safe Passage Project.”  Fred is also an avid watercolor scene painter, and his work is displayed in many private and public collections including the Santa Barbara Four Seasons Biltmore Hotel.


Fred’s communication abilities and his skill at being able to render on command a client’s ideas allows him to facilitate design  and project visions for those clients.  This has allowed him to contribute to a wide variety of architectural and planning solutions from individual residential projects to master planning of college campuses.   His career has fortified this ability into award winning designs and projects which really reflect the needs and desires of his clients.  His skilled use of both quick pencil sketches and water color renderings allow his clients to visualize what their projects will look like.

Along with these talents Fred also utilizes his listening and communication skills to help facilitate a diverse group of opinions into a consensus outcome representing the entire client group.  He has developed, over many years in working in this area of programing and design facilitation, a 7-step process for consensus building:

  1.  Establish project stakeholders and participation boundaries
  2. Develop a common language
  3. Communicate openly
  4. Establish and meet the true goals of the project
  5. Project scope and budget reconciliation from start to finish
  6. Visually communicate information
  7. “Mirror Back”

Presentation Coach
Fred, having spent the vast majority of his career obtaining projects within the public sector has established himself as a presentation specialist in presenting to a multitude of public interviews with winning results.  He knows how to establish the presentation game plan, facilitate visual aids, and finally connecting with the sometimes known or unknown interview panel members for a winning success.

Watercolor Scene Painting
In developing his skills as an architect he has also developed an intense understanding of being able to “see” and capture the essence of the built and natural landscape not only of his cherished California, but of a wide variety of scenes on his travels throughout the world.  This skill has allowed him to understand the importance of observing, the play of light and color, and the essence of what makes him want to capture that scene in a painting.   The fluidity of watercolor allows him to achieve that and capture it in much the same manner as the plein air painter’s traditions of years past.  Many of the subjects that Fred paints are no longer there, changed by nature or removed by progress of time.  He delights in documenting those scenes many of us sometimes pass without really noticing the beauty that they hold.