On Thursday, March 9th, the SOM Women's Initiative hosted a screening of Diana Agrest's film "The Making of an Avant-Garde: The Institute for Architecture and Urban Studies 1967-1984" in the New York office.
Founded in 1967, the Institute for Architecture and Urban Studies helped position New York as a global center for architectural debate and discourse. Through archival footage and personal interviews, Agrest's film highlights the institute's founders and early participants who, though young and relatively unknown at the time, would ultimately shape architectural practice and theory for decades.
Following the screening, SOM Directors Colin Koop, Chris Cooper, and Olin McKenzie, along with Associate Director Meredith Bostwick-Lorenzo Eiroa and Architect Lulu Li, joined Agrest in a conversation centered on topics and themes reflected in the film, such as design, creativity, interdisciplinary thinking, and the education of an architect.
The SOM Women's Initiative (SOMWI), established in 2011, positions SOM as a leader in the design community by challenging barriers to gender equity and by fostering the retention and growth of women. SOMWI seeks to create an excellent, innovative, and sustainable workplace that reflects the firm's commitment to enhancing the built environment.