Ellen Dunham-Jones and Stuart Horodner talk architecture and design

Gary Hustwit's 2011 documentary Urbanized will screen on Monday, May 13, at Georgia Tech's Reinsch-Pierce Family Auditorium at 6:30 pm in partnership between the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center and the Georgia Tech School of Architecture.

The film screens as part of the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center's current exhibition Jon Pack & Gary Hustwit: The Olympic City.

We caught up with Ellen Dunham-Jones, Professor of Architecture and Urban Design at Georgia Tech and the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center's Artistic Director Stuart Horodner to discuss some of the issues in the film, and how they apply to Atlanta.

We begin with Dunham-Jones, who is featured in the film.

Discuss the process of participating in the film. How did Gary Hustwit reach out to you? How long was the interview, etc?

I'm not sure how they found me - but I suspect in their research on urbanism they found my TedX talk. Gary and a cameraman came to Atlanta and filmed me at Georgia Tech for a little over an hour. They told me to expect only about 1-3 minutes to make it into the film so at the end of the interview I had NO idea what parts they would select.


  • Gary Hustwit, Urbanized
  • Ellen Dunham-Jones

You get one of the best quotes in the film - paraphrasing Supreme Court Chief Justice Potter Stewart's famous line about pornography to define "sprawl." Given that there's only so much a film can convey in its timeframe, were there any points where you feel the film missed the mark, or failed to make your case?

It was clear from Gary's questions that he wanted me to talk about sprawl. I was happy to do so, but kept trying to squeak in discussion of solutions to sprawl and my research on retrofitting suburbia. I love the film but wish there had also been inclusion of the ways we are reinhabiting, redeveloping and regreening underperforming suburban properties.

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