FESTIVAL HISTORY

When the Architecture and the City festival began in 2003, it included many of the elements most beloved by today’s audiences: free films at the SF Public Library, architectural tours, exhibitions, lectures, and, of course, San Francisco Living: Home Tours. Over the years, we have worked to enrich these core events as well as add family programs, food tours and civic events like PARK(ing) Day and Sunday Streets.  

 

We have collaborated with countless design and community partners, firms and organizations to further creative ideas and advance the conversation surrounding our local built environment, to celebrate accomplishments and together work towards building a more sustainable future. Through competitions, charrettes, exhibitions, and program partnerships we have worked to bring together leading minds from around the world to share and exchange ideas as well as promote the innovation and forward thinking that defines San Francisco.  

 

In our eleven years, perhaps what is most exciting to us is the number of other cities who have been inspired to launch festivals of their own in the last decade, including Sacramento, New York, Seattle, and Portland, Oregon. Generating public dialogue about architecture has always been at the heart of this festival and we are honored to see similar initiatives engaging communities across the country.

 

See below to learn more about past festivals. 

PAST FESTIVALS

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

 

This year, the Architecture and the City festival theme will be Play: Design in Action. We will examine play as a dynamic and essential element of the creative process for design arts, explore how it is employed by San Francisco’s design community and discuss how it can be applied to other fields (health, education, economic development).

 

As we explore how designers incorporate play into their creative process, we will examine questions like:

  1. How does a playful approach help overcome adult tendencies to self-edit and truncate the creative process?

  2. How do we develop “rules for the game” that go beyond standard problem solving methods, which can stifle the creative process?

  3. How do you create an environment for taking risks, making mistakes, and learning?

 

Join us as we re-live our childhood and re-discover Play: Design in Action.

2011 / Arch. of Consequences

AIA San Francisco and the Center for Architecture + Design have selected Architecture of Consequence as the theme for the 2011 Architecture and the City festival. A collaborative exhibition featuring work by design firms from the Netherlands and the Bay Area will serve as the central catalyst for this year’s programming. The exhibit demonstrates how progressive design and creative problem solving can address many of our most pressing urban issues, from decreased social cohesion and unsustainable food systems to diminishing free time.

 

A wide variety of complementary programs and special events will provide visitors with unique opportunities to rediscover San Francisco and learn about the diverse organizations that contribute to our city’s creative vitality. This year’s programs will aim to broaden, deepen and diversify the ways individuals engage with design. We will light up the night with film screenings, taste our way through the city’s neighborhoods, take exclusive behind-the-scenes tours that include sailings across the Bay, and much more. Blockbuster events, such as the San Francisco Living: Home Tours weekend (returning September 17-18), will celebrate the wealth of cutting-edge residential design throughout the city. We look forward to seeing you this fall and hope you enjoy the 2011 festival!

2009 / Everyday, Design

Welcome to the sixth annual Architecture and the City festival, the nation’s largest architectural festival showcasing tours, films, exhibitions, lectures and more. Whether you are looking to become involved with the local architecture and design community or simply want to learn more about the city in which you live, Architecture and the City offers an unparalleled opportunity to experience San Francisco. This year’s festival promises several new and exciting ways to engage in conversation about our city.

 

The festival theme Everyday, Design celebrates the many smart, ingenious and unexpected ways design impacts our daily lives, unveiling the unseen hand of the designer in everything from civic and institutional works to landscaping and residential design. Programs promise to explore the nuanced ways architects and designers thoughtfully impact our communities and reflect ever-important issues of sustainability.

 

For the second year in a row, the festival will also offer architectural programming for the whole family, tours of evolving San Francisco neighborhoods and dining by design, a unique opportunity to enjoy our local culinary arts with the architects and chefs who make it possible.

 

Throughout the festival, participants will also have the opportunity to discover the best in residential architecture during the San Francisco Living: Home Tours weekend, which returns September 12-13; take in films that examine the work of Herzog & de Meuron and Gregory Ain, as well as the tremendous life and career of Julius Shulman; partake in architectural runs and bicycle rides; and enjoy lectures by designers such as Piero Lissoni, among others.

 

It is our privilege to announce that Mayor Gavin Newsom has once again officially proclaimed September “Architecture and the City month.”

2008 / Design for Community

Welcome to the fifth annual Architecture and the City festival, the nation’s largest architectural festival showcasing tours, films, exhibitions, lectures and more. Whether you are looking to become involved with the local architecture and design community or simply want to learn more about the city in which you live, Architecture and the City offers an unparalleled opportunity to experience San Francisco.

 

This year’s festival promises several new and exciting ways to engage in conversation about our city. The 2008 theme Design for Community aims to showcase the way in which buildings impact our streets and neighborhoods, and, more importantly, how they help to shape our communities into better, livable places. We highlight work by architects and organizations who see design as a means to creating community-based change, and by doing so positively affect the urban landscape. For the first time ever, we also offer architectural programming for the whole family, tours of evolving San Francisco neighborhoods and dining by design, a unique opportunity to enjoy our local culinary arts with the architects and chefs who make it possible.

 

Throughout the festival you will also have the opportunity to discover the best in residential architecture during the San Francisco Living: Home Tours weekend, take in films that examine the enduring relationship between architecture and celluloid, partake in architectural runs along the waterfront, and enjoy lectures by the groundbreaking firm Marmol Radziner, among many others.

 

It is our privilege to announce that Mayor Gavin Newsom has once again officially proclaimed September “Architecture and the City” month.

2007 / 4th Annual Festival

Welcome to the fourth annual Architecture and the City festival, the nation’s largest architectural event showcasing tours, films, exhibitions, lectures and more. Whether you are looking to become involved with the local architecture and design community or simply want to learn more about the city in which you live, Architecture and the City offers an unparalleled opportunity to experience San Francisco.

 

This year’s festival promises several new and exciting ventures, including a special collaboration with the San Francisco Department of the Environment. By offering dozens of green programs that integrate the festival’s goal of engaging city dwellers with the best of local architecture and design and the City’s desire to make San Francisco the greenest city in America, we hope to advance the importance of sustainability in our lives. We also invite you to enjoy a Mundane Journey by artist Kate Pocrass. These handcrafted vignettes encourage you to view San Francisco in a whole new light.

 

As always, you’ll have the opportunity to discover the best in residential architecture during the San Francisco Living: Home Tours weekend, take in films that examine the enduring relationship between architecture and celluloid, and enjoy lectures on everything from how to green your business to the work of David Adjaye.

 

It is our privilege to announce that Mayor Gavin Newsom has once again proclaimed September “Architecture and the City” month.

2015 / PLAY: Design in Action
2004 / 1st Annual Festival
2005 / 2nd Annual Festival

Sponsored by the American Institute of Architects, San Francisco Chapter and the Center for Architecture + Design, the two month celebration will engage members of the public and design enthusiasts, as well as architects and designers, with a deeper appreciation for San Francisco’s rich architectural and design community. So whether you hope to become more involved with the local architecture and design community, are looking for an architect, or want to learn more about San Francisco’s impressive architectural past, present, or future, this series is bound to offer you an unparalleled opportunity to experience our city in a new way.  

Series highlights include a unique glimpse into San Francisco’s most stunning modern residences and the chance to meet the architects behind them during the popular San Francisco Living: Home Tours Weekend on September 17-18. Then on October 8, the Eichler Home Tours offer a rare glimpse into California’s great architectural past by showcasing modern homes throughout San Francisco and Marin.

 

Film buffs can enjoy the enduring relationship between architecture and cinema throughout the month-long Architecture and the City Film Series at the San Francisco Main Library. And anyone eager for a peak inside the new de Young museum, designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architects Herzog and de Meuron and local team Fong & Chan Architects, won’t want to miss the 32-hour opening celebration on October 15 or the On View Now: Architecture as a Cultural Destination panel on October 21. In honor of this exciting celebration, Mayor Gavin Newsom has officially proclaimed September and October a time for San Franciscans to celebrate “Architecture and the City."

Inagural festival!

 

Celebrating San Francisco’s unique built environment, this month-long series features architectural tours, film screenings, lectures, dance performances, and more.

The 2014 Architecture and the City festival theme, Home: My San Francisco, will examine the shifting nature of home, the different elements that contribute to its definition, and its relation to the urban fabric. Over 40 festival programs will celebrate the cultural richness and diversity of our local architectural and design community as well as provide a platform for conversation about our changing landscape and its implications for a city in a time of rapidly intensifying housing needs.

2014 / Home: My San Francisco
2013 / Unbuilt San Francisco

Over 40 festival programs taking place in many of the city’s diverse neighborhoods will address Unbuilt San Francisco and various aspects of the design and planning process. As we experience elements of our built environment at different stages - from theoretical urban interventions and works in progress to civic landmarks and hidden histories - architects and designers will discuss the ways their work alters and redefines the city we call home. 

 

Throughout the month, festival tours and lectures will explore the mix of layered history and contemporary design that contribute to the uniqueness of our vibrant community. Learn more about proposals for the Presidio’s newest cultural institution, plans for some of San Francisco’s most heavily used thoroughfares, architectural gems of today’s Chinatown, the future of Marin County Civic Center and more. 

 

A collaborative exhibition presented by AIA San Francisco, Center for Architecture + Design, Environmental Design Archives at UC Berkeley, California Historical Society, SPUR and the San Francisco Public Library, Unbuilt San Francisco is an opportunity to confront visions for the Bay Area that never came to pass as well as those existing plans which will, in time, have a major impact on our city. On September 5, join designers participating in the Unbuilt San Francisco exhibition at AIA San Francisco for 7x7 in 20x20, a PechaKucha presentation. 

2012 / Design: It's About Time

Much of San Francisco is at least a century old – older than most of its residents. And the architects among us are charged with designing cathedrals and museums meant to last half a millennium, or homes intended to last longer than most of us expect to live.

 

But the rapidity of urban change and reality of economic times challenges us to consider the notion of permanence from a new perspective. Pop-up stores, storefront galleries and food trucks can be found in nearly every corner of the city, transforming building uses and public spaces, and redefining the way we live and work. For new residents, it is sometimes hard to imagine Mission Bay as a snarl of railroad tracks, or that SOMA’s warehouse structures had many layered uses before their latest repurposing as vibrant workspaces for some of the world’s most innovative companies.

 

In an era when many aspects of our lives become seemingly obsolete and replaceable overnight, the fabric of the city often feels like the most permanent feature of our daily lives. With the 2012 festival theme Design: It’s About Time we encourage you to pause and consider the enduring power of design in our built environment.

2010 / Invest. Urban Metabo.

“For even as your brain, nerves, heart, lungs and stomach are hidden from view, so it is with the city.” --Harry Granick, Underneath New York, 1947

 

The 2010 festival theme Investigating Urban Metabolisms explores the notion of the city as a living, breathing organism that is as multi-layered, intricate and in flux as the human body. With a strong emphasis on how the city is organized, programming will look at information systems, ecological systems, building systems, transportation systems, surveillance systems, life cycle systems, natural systems, and more.

 

Additionally, festival programming promises to explore the nuanced ways architects and designers thoughtfully impact our communities and reflect ever-important issues of sustainability. For the third year in a row, the festival will offer architectural programming for the whole family, tours of evolving San Francisco neighborhoods and dining by design, a unique opportunity to enjoy our local culinary arts with the architects and chefs who make it possible.

 

Throughout the festival, participants will also have the opportunity to discover the best in residential architecture during the San Francisco Living: Home Tours weekend, which returns September 11-12; take in films that examine the relationship between architecture and celluloid; partake in architectural runs and bicycle rides; and enjoy lectures by renowned architects and designers.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
2006 / 3rd Annual Festival

Welcome to the third annual Architecture and the City festival. As the nation’s largest architectural festival showcasing tours, films, exhibitions, lectures and more, Architecture and the City is unique in that it promises something for both design professionals and aficionados alike. Whether you hope to become more involved with the local architecture and design community, are looking for an architect, or want to learn more about San Francisco’s impressive architectural heritage, Architecture and the City will offer you a chance to experience our city in a new way.

 

This year’s festival features unparalleled opportunities to learn more about San Francisco’s burgeoning Mission Bay neighborhood, experience the best in residential architecture during the San Francisco Living: Home Tours weekend, take in films that examine the enduring relationship between architecture and celluloid, and enjoy lectures on everything from the future of sustainability to the work of Lebbeus Woods.

 

We are honored to partner with a host of remarkable sponsors this year, without whom we couldn't make the festival possible. And as always, it is our privilege to announce that, in recognition of this unique festival, Mayor Gavin Newsom has proclaimed September “Architecture and the City” month.