AIA Los Angeles represented at New Urbanism Film Festival 2014
Los Angeles AIAs and FAIAs presenting and Speaking at NUFF 2014, Nov. 6-9th  

Los Angeles FAIA and AIA members will participate in the New Urbanism Film Festival second edition on Nov. 6-9th, 2014, by presenting their most thoughtful projects on Los Angeles or imparting their expertise in panel discussions with other urban thinkers and civic leaders. Among them Debra Gerod FAIA of Gruen Associates, William Fain FAIA of Johnson-Fain, Neal I. Payton FAIA of Torti Gallas & Partners and Will Wright Hon. AIA, director o government and public affairs at AIA Los Angeles.

Opening night, on Thursday Nov. 6th, after the screening of American Makeover at 8pm, Mr. Neal I. Payton FAIA of Torti Gallas & Partners will be speaking about Revitalization on the West Coast.  Mr. Payton FAIA, is a Principal at Torti Gallas and Partners where he directs the firm’s West Coast office in Downtown Los Angeles. 

On Friday Nov. 7th at 8pm, Ms. Debra Gerod FAIA follows the screening of Trainsforming America, with a presentation of the new master plan for Union Station, the project that Gruen Associates has been working on for over 2 years, to be completed by 2050.  The new plan aims to encompass all forms of transit including biking, walking, buses, local and regional trains, and even the LA River.  “We understood that to be successful, it was vital to find ways to enhance bicycle and pedestrian connections between the station and all of the many surrounding communities.” explains Debra Gerod, FAIA.
The presentation is followed by an on-stage interview of Ms. Gerod by the film’s director, Ms. Sansom. 

Part of the Architectural Shorts competition screenings on Saturday, Nov. 8th at 2pm, Los Angeles-based landscape architect, Evan Mather’s film, A Plea for Modernism, is the local short-film entry representing our city in the competition category.  Mr. Mather is a Principal with AHBE Landscape Architects. Evan is also an award-winning independent filmmaker. His films explore issues of landscape, place and memory and span multiple genres – including animation, documentary, essay, music video, and film title design. A Graham Foundation recipient, Evan's works have screened at Sundance, SXSW, the National Building Museum, the McMurdo Station (Antarctica) and now a the New Urbanism Film Festival 2014. 

Saturday night, Nov. 8th at 8pm, Mr. Will Wright, Hon. AIA|LA will join the panel discussion following the screening of Power to the Pedals, part of Bike Night.  Mr. Wright joins a distinguished set of panelists, among them the film’s director Bob Nesson, Nat Gale program director of LA Great Streets Office of Mayor Eric Garcetti, and Dawn Finley, founder of feminist library on wheels. The panel will be moderated by Mr. J. Keith Van Straaten. 

On Sunday, November 9th, Mr. William Fain, FAIA hosts Architecture for Dinner at 7pm.  Mr. Fain, whose practice Johnson-Fain has led numerous award-winning projects in Los Angeles and around the globe, will be the guest of honor at a private dinner to discuss architecture and urbanism.  Attendees of the dinner event will be able to discuss in depth the themes of this year’s festival with one of L.A.’s top urban thinkers. 

About Debra Gerod, FAIA: An Illinois native, Debra Gerod earned her Bachelor of Environmental Design from the University of Colorado, Boulder. Beginning her career in 1988 with Gruen Associates in Los Angeles, she became a partner in 2002 and currently heads its public architecture division. Gerod has served as a mentor for the ACE program since 2001. The ACE program is composed of professionals who mentor students pursuing careers in architecture, construction and engineering. An internationally recognized architect, Gerod's projects include Union Station in downtown Los Angeles and the U.S. Embassy in Berlin. 

About Will Wright, Hon. AIA|LA: Will Wright is the Director of Government and Public Affairs for the Los Angeles chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA|LA) and a 2011 AIA|LA Presidential Honoree.  As the chief design advocate for Los Angeles, he has more than a decade of experience lobbying for a healthier and more beautiful city.  At AIA|LA he is responsible for a variety of roles including connecting architects and designers with civic leaders to help shape public policy.  In 2013, Mr. Wright became a founding Board Member of the non-profit From Lot To Spot, which helps underserved communities transform vacant lots into parks.

About William Fain, FAIA: Mr. Fain has practiced architecture and urban planning for over 35 years. He is the managing partner and directs master planning and urban design for Johnson Fain, a firm of 50 architects, planners and interior designers, headquartered in downtown Los Angeles. With extensive experience in urban design, community planning and downtown redevelopment and transit-oriented development, his career has focused on advancing the practice of urban design as a bridge between the public good and private benefit. His projects have won several national AIA and Progressive Architecture awards including Mission Bay in San Francisco, Beijing’s new Central Business District, the Greenways Plan for Los Angeles, and the American Indian Cultural Center in Oklahoma.

About Neal I. Payton, FAIA:  Mr. Payton is a Principal at Torti Gallas and Partners, Inc. where he created and directs the firm's West Coast office. Focused on the infill and refill of cities and towns, and particularly on Transit Oriented Development (TOD), Neal also leads the office's efforts at designing and entitling the residential and mixed-use buildings in urban and urbanizing locations. He is passionate about urbanism and involving the community in urban design efforts. Often called upon to work on politically sensitive sites, including multi-ethnic or racially diverse neighborhoods, Neal has led over 75 community design charrettes. In every case, the effort is to engage the community with an understanding of both the reality of the present and possibilities for the future. 

About New Urbanism Film Festival: The New Urbanism Film Festival is the only film festival that addresses urban design from the pedestrian level to inspire civic activism.   The Festival is a four day immersive experience of documentary films, events, tours, workshops and conversations opening a meaningful dialogue, about revitalizing neighborhoods and cities into walkable, healthy, diverse, thriving places, between planners, developers, architects, engineers, public officials, investors, community activists and the general public.  The films are worldwide submissions, documenting improved urban shifts from city-wide projects to individual-sized ones.  The best films in the categories of architecture, bicycles, economic development, healthy cities, street art and public art, tactical urbanism and urban design go on to win the New Urbanism Film Festival competition and are screened around the country by the Congress for New Urbanism (CNU).  This year the New Urbanism Film Festival will return to Los Angeles, November 6th through 9th, at the ACME Theater.

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Last updated: 04-Nov-2014 10:50 AM
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