The LIneup

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James Sanders, AIA

Conference Director

James Sanders, AIA,  is an internationally recognized architect, author, and filmmaker, whose work has garnered him a Guggenheim Fellowship and Emmy Award, among other honors. His landmark study on the city and film, Celluloid Skyline, was hailed by Jane Jacobs as a “marvelous—miraculous—book,” and in 2007 became a multimedia exhibition in Grand Central Terminal, sponsored by TCM.  With Ric Burns, Mr. Sanders conceived and wrote the acclaimed eight-part PBS series, New York: A Documentary Film and its bestselling companion volume, New York: An Illustrated History, for which they are currently producing a ninth episode, The Future of Cities.


As principal of James Sanders + Associates, a design and research studio, he has developed architectural, interpretive, and placemaking projects for a wide range of clients, including The Howard Hughes Corporation, New York University, General Growth Properties, André Balazs Properties, Ian Schrager Company, and the Pershing Square Property Association.  Mr. Sanders is affiliated with Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, co-founded the Architectural League’s Young Architects Forum, sits on the Board of Directors of the Skyscraper Museum, and in 2006 was elected a Guggenheim Fellow.  His essays have appeared in The New Yorker, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Reuters, Vanity Fair, and the Harvard Architecture Review.  Since 2017 he has served as consulting Design Council Chair for Woods Bagot. 


Woods Bagot

Sponsoring Partner

Woods Bagot Global Studio continually expands and challenges the expectations of multi-disciplinary architectural practice in a shifting, fast-moving digital era.  Its portfolio is worldwide in scope, diverse in scale and discipline, and encompasses some of the highest-profile projects currently under way in North America, Europe, Asia, Australia and the Middle East—including major projects for Apple, Google, Lendlease, Brookfield, Plenary and other transformational clients.  The firm’s work is defined by its clarity of narrative and by the extensive use of state-of-the-art analytics as a platform for design.  Its sixteen studios, located in major cities around the globe, consistently imbue the firm’s work with a rigorous vocabulary that references urban and regional context, ecological and social sustainability, and innovation.  Above all, Woods Bagot prioritizes human experience and delivers engaging, future-oriented projects for its clients.



Cultural Partner

Located in downtown Los Angeles, SCI-Arc is a center of innovation and one of the nation’s few independent architecture schools. SCI-Arc was founded in 1972 in Santa Monica by a group of faculty and students who wanted to approach architecture from a more experimental perspective than traditional schools offered. SCI-Arc teaches architects to engage, speculate, and innovate, to take the lead in reimagining the limits of architecture. Its students and faculty critically examine the rich possibilities of the built environment. From design and materials to culture and experience, SCI-Arc asks questions regarding new theoretical constructs and designed realities to constitute possible futures. It contributes an imaginative, rigorous, and forward- thinking approach to help shape the future of the architectural profession.