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Previous Symposia


"Building the Just City"
Third Annual David Dillon Symposium, October 10-11, 2014
Sponsored by the Nasher Sculpture Center and the Dallas Morning News

In recent days, as the events of Ferguson, Missouri have reverberated around the nation, we have been confronted by the reality that the idea and experience of justice in the American city is contested and imperfect. We have an enormous population living in the shadow world of the prison system, and our streets are becoming increasingly militarized. This year's Dillon Symposium brings together an interdisciplinary group of speakers—architects, historians, sociologists, police professionals, and other experts in criminal justice — to examine the ways that we can construct spaces, in our streets and in our prisons, that better reflect our ideals of justice, fairness, and decency. 

Keynote address, October 10, 2014

Raphael Sperry, Architects/Designers/Planners for Social Responsibility

Symposium, October 11, 2014

Morning panel “What Is a Just City?”

Opening remarks

David O. Brown, Chief of Police of the Dallas Police Department

Watch video of Chief Brown's presentation


Anna Andrzejewski, University of Wicsonsin-Madison

Colleen Casey, School of Urban and Public Affairs, University of Texas at Arlington

Watch video of Colleen Casey's presentation

Chad Houser, Café Momentum

Watch video of Chad Houser's presentation


Courtney Cronley, PhD, University of Texas at Arlington School of Social Work

Afternoon panel “Designing for Justice”


Theron Bowman, Assistant City Manager, City of Arlington

Watch video of Theron Bowman's presentation

Gregory Cook, HOK – Justice

Yolanda Lara, Dallas County Sherriff’s Office

Raphael Sperry, Architects/Designers/Planners for Social Responsibility

Victor F. "Trey" Trahan, III, FAIA

Seema Yasmin, University of Texas at Dallas, Dallas Morning News


Mark Lamster, University of Texas at Arlington, Dallas Morning News


Second Annual David Dillon Symposium, April 18-19, 2013
Making Connections: The Networked City

In his classic 1937 essay “What Is a City?” Lewis Mumford proposed a deceptively simple definition: “the city is above all else a theater of social action.”  Cities make connections between people, places, and ideas, and it is those connections that make a vital, thriving place.  But how do we make those connections?  How does design, from buildings to roads to the wires of our telecommunications network, help create that “theater of social action”?  Is the vast landscape of the 21st century city, with its dependence on digital technology, fundamentally different than the cities of the past?  At the Second Annual David Dillon Symposium, attendees discussed these questions and more as they explored the nature of today’s networked city.

Events were sponsored by the Dallas Architecture ForumDallas Morning NewsDallas Center for Architecture, and Nasher Sculpture Center.

Keynote address, April 18, 2013

Robert Bruegmann, author of Sprawl, A Compact History and professor emeritus at the University of Illinois at Chicago 

Symposium, April 19, 2013

Morning session:  Thinking about DFW

Paula Lupkin, assistant professor, Department of Art History, University of North Texas

Watch video of Paula Lupkin's presentation.

Kathryn Holliday, assistant professor and director, David Dillon Center for Texas Architecture, University of Texas at Arlington

Watch video of Kathryn Holliday's presentation.

Mark Lamster, new architecture and design critic for the Dallas Morning News and fellow of the Dillon Center

Watch video of Mark Lamster's presentation.

Watch video of the morning session's Question and Answer.

Afternoon session: The Networked City

Diana Lind, executive editor of Next City

Watch video of Diana Lind's presentation.

Jonathan Massey, associate professor at the School of Architecture, Syracuse University  

Watch video of Jonathan Massey's presentation.

Andrew Blum, author of Tubes: A Journey to the Center of the Internet 

Watch video of Andrew Blum's presentation.

Robert Bruegmann, author of Sprawl, A Compact History and professor emeritus at the University of Illinois at Chicago (joining for the afternoon panel discussion)

Watch video of the afternoon session's panel discussion, moderated by Donald Gatzke, dean of the School of Architecture, University of Texas at Arlington.


The inaugural David Dillon Symposium was held April 26 and 27, 2012 at the Dallas Museum of Art and the Nasher Sculpture Center.  Paul Goldberger of Vanity Fair provided the keynote address on Thursday evening, beginning with a spirited reading of David Dillon’s review of Philip Johnson’s “The Crescent” in Dallas, originally published in the Dallas Morning News in 1986.

Watch video of the keynote.

The following day, 8 arts, design, and architecture writers discussed the changing role of criticism today, as media platforms shift from traditional print models to distributed, democratized online sources.  Where do we go to read about architecture?  And where, especially, can we find local voices who interpret and critique our built environment?  What is the future for criticism? 

Speakers included (in order of presentation):

Session 1: Stephen Fox (Anchorage Foundation), Benjamin Lima (University of Texas Arlington), Scott Cantrell (Dallas Morning News)

Watch video of the morning session.

Session 2: Thomas Fisher (University of Minnesota), Alexandra Lange (Design Observer), Christopher Hawthorne (Los Angeles Times), Stephen Sharpe (Texas Build Smart), Paul Goldberger (Vanity Fair)

Watch video of the afternoon session.

Watch video of the question and answer session.