Architecture and the City 2011

Architecture and the City 2011

By Miyoko Ohtake
This week, the AIA San Francisco kicks off its ninth annual Architecture and the City festival. The month-long event features food tours, home and city tours, film series, exhibitions, lectures, and more. Here we highlight the happenings that we're most looking forward to.

Architecture and the City boasts being the largest architectural festival in the U.S. and runs each year from September 1 through September 30. Organized by the AIASF and the Center for Architecture and Design, the festival is a chance to "celebrate the local architecture and design communities via events that really highlight the importance of design in our daily lives," says festival creator Erin Cullerton. Here's a list of what's not to miss.

The ninth annual Architecture and the City festival is organized by the AIA San Francisco and the Center of Architecture and Design to celebrate the local design community and the way design affects each and everyone's lives.

Food Tours

What better way to experience a city (especially one as foodie as San Francisco) and its publicly accessible architecture and design than through a food tour. This year, join one of four such tours to Bar Agricole by Aidlin Darling Design, Local: Mission Eatery by atelier KS, Twenty Five Lusk by CCS Architecture, or Farina by Studio Terpeluk. We joined Cass Calder Smith last year for a tour of CCS Architecture's Embarcadero restaurants and agree that design discussions, appetizers, and cocktails make the perfect pairings. (Watch our slideshow featuring atelier KS's amazing Sunset District Renovation to get a sense of the aesthetics of the designer behind Local: Mission Eatery.)

On September 10, join architect Joshua Aidlin of Aidlin Darling Design, Mark Rogero of Concreteworks, artist Nikolas Weinstein, and owner Thaddeus Vogler at Bar Agricole for an afternoon about the design and construction of the restaurant and a sampling of its tasty treats.

Home and City Tours

Though there are more than a dozen home and city tours to choose from, the biggest attraction is the San Francisco Living: Home Tours Weekend, which take place September 17-18 and features five stunning homes each day. There are plenty of other tours to join, however, if you can't make it to the Home Tours Weekend (or if the popular event sells out). Join the City on the Edge tour on September 2 for a discussion about San Francisco's changing waterfront plus a sailing trip in the Bay or hop on a boat tour September 27 for an up-close view of the new Bay Bridge. (Check out our slideshow featuring a recent tour in and around the new bridge.) Two others not to miss are San Francisco Chronicle urban design critic John King's September 13 tour of SOMA (watch our slideshow featuring CMG's Yerba Buena Street Life Plan) and blind architect Christopher Downey's Acoustic Wayfinding for the Bling tour on September 20.

Take a trip under the new Bay Bridge on a boat tour on September 27.

Film Series

Each Wednesday in September, the festival calendar features one or more movie screenings throughout the city. The one we're especially looking forward to is Urbanized, which makes its Bay Area debut at the Sundance Kabuki Cinemas on September 21. The final film in Gary Hustwit's design trilogy, Urbanized asks how cities come to be, how they affect our lives, and how they can be best designed. (Read our interview with Hustwit about his second film in the series, Objectified.)

On September 21, director Gary Hustwit (shown here on the right with designer Dieter Rams in a still from his design documentary Objectified) will be screening his new film Urbanized at the Sundance Kabuki Cinemas. Courtesy of

September is jam-packed with Architecture and the City events on nearly every day of the month so be sure to check out the festival calendar at See you there!


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