Michael Rotondi characterizes the developers on the panel as being engaged in the essential work of connecting individual with collective interests. He introduces the moderator Mark Winogrand, who briefly introduces the panelists: Doug Gardner, Jon Jerde, Cliff Ratkovich, William Fain, and John Kaliski.
Doug Gardner outlines the Playa Vista community project (Phase One, 1980s-2001), stressing the protracted political and regulatory hurdles, and the desire to create a real neighborhood that was not dominated by the automobile.
Jon Jerde characterizes his work as designing experiences more than objects. He discusses several projects including Makuhari Town Center (1993), Canal City Hakata (1987-1996), Horton Plaza (1977-1985), Fashion Island (1987-9), Del Mar Plaza (1985-9), Universal City Walk (1989-2000), Yerba Buena Gardens in San Francisco, and Namba, Osaka (1996-2003).
John Kaliski, principal architect of the Los Angeles Community Redevelopment Agency, discusses the design review process, which he sees as a tool to help define collectively what a good city is. He advises architects to know the criteria–or to create them. Complete honesty and the ability to listen are components of a persuasive presentation.
William Fain characterizes Johnson Fain’s approach as stressing five points: pluralistic responses, defining the problem is often the solution, research, process, and encouraging planning in Los Angeles. Fain discusses a project for a new town of Kapolei on Oahu (1986), the Indian Wells Specific Plan (1988), and the Los Angeles Center development (1989).
Cliff Ratkovich distinguishes the old model of development–providing a product–with the new model, which asks, “What does this site need?” He discusses the design and planning of The Pike at Rainbow Harbor in Long Beach. He stresses preliminary engagement with politicians and the community, research into the area’s historic past as the “Coney Island of the West.” He notes that architect Stan Eckstutt designed the public spaces before the buildings.