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Author: Catalina A Parra
Title: If I Were Young Today, Paul Revere Williams
Category: Justice & equity
Description: If I Were Young Today is a transdisciplinary, intergenerational reflection on the career of the prolific architect Paul Revere Williams – the first African American to become a member and later a fellow of the AIA – through the lens of modern-day architectural education and social practice. The field today struggles to find balance at the juncture of aesthetics, development, and human-centric design. We share the story of Williams’ Los Angeles-based practice as a framework to better understand our histories and imagine our futures within that balance. By pairing moving images with analysis from scholars, artists, and architects, a dialogue is created that reveals even with Williams’ extraordinary accomplishments, architecture still desperately lacks representation and is deeply disconnected from underserved and overlooked communities - and in order to change, there must be a shift in the industry and pedagogy. The film hopes to reignite awareness and enthusiasm for Williams’ work, and to invite viewers to begin building their own engaged, successful, sustainable approach to designing and participating with their own communities. We’d like to thank Daisy O’lice (educator), J. Yolande Daniels (architect + educator), Janna Ireland (artist + educator), and Tekena Koko (architect, conceptual artist + educator) for their contributions and insights for this piece.