- Muffie Dunn & Tom Piper
- Martin Filler, Mark Wigley, Anthony Vidler
Diller Scofidio + Renfro has long been at the forefront of design. The interdisciplinary firm, founded in 1979, first stirred interest with its provocative exhibitions of theoretically based projects that blurred the boundaries between art and architecture. In 1999, Elizabeth Diller and Richardo Scofidio, the firm’s founding principals, were awarded the prestigious “genius” grant by the MacArthur Foundation, in recognition of their commitments to integrating architecture with issues of contemporary culture. With the almost simultaneous completion of two large-scale projects in New York City—the renovation of the High Line and revitalization and expansion of the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts—Diller Scofidio + Renfro has galvanized the public’s attention. Between 2004 and 2011, the firm, in collaboration with James Corner Field Operations, converted the derelict High Line railroad tracks on the city’s West Side into a sophisticated 1.5 mile urban park. From early 2003 to 2010, DS + R redesigned Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall and the Julliard School, built a free-standing, grass-covered pavilion that houses a destination restaurant and a public lawn, and inventively modified the public spaces connecting the complex’s existing buildings. As architecture critic Martin Fill states in the film, “Both the High Line and Lincoln Center have had a really euphoric effect on life in New York. So it’s populism of a very high order.” Some of the film’s wonderful architectural cinematography is by Cornell alum David Leitner.