Panels are free and open to the public as an outreach of the Dallas Architecture Forum. Complimentary beverages at 6:15 pm, Panel discussions begin at 6:30 pm. Panels last approximately one hour fifteen minutes.


The Dallas Architecture Forum will present a total of 7 Panel Discussions this Winter and Spring.  Using a 20/20 theme, each Panel will examine what has occurred over the past twenty years on each topic, and will also project what, in the view of our Moderators and Panelists, needs to happen in the next twenty years.

Our new venue for the Panel Series for this season is the Dallas Black Dance Theater building directly behind One Arts Plaza. The DBDT is located at the corner of Arts Plaza Street and Ann Williams Way – at 2700 Ann Williams Way, Dallas, TX  75201.
Free parking is available between the DBDT building and Fellowship Church.

Panels begin at 6:30 pm with complimentary beverages available at 6:15 pm.  Panels last appx one hour 15 minutes

Panels Open to the Public, No Reservations Needed
Free Admission as a Public Outreach of The Forum

1 CEU AIA Credit Available

We hope you will join us for our Panel Discussion Series!



Willis Winters

Dallas Trails and Bicycle Initiatives: Past, Present, Future

Moderated by Willis Winters, Director of Dallas Park and Recreation Department

Monday, 21 November 2016
6:30 pm, Drinks Available at 6:15 pm

Open to the Public, No Reservations Needed
Free Admission as a Public Outreach of The Forum
1 CEU AIA Credit Available

“Great trail systems are associated with great cities.”
Today the City of Dallas has developed one of the best hike and bike trail systems in the United States. How did this happen and what are the plans for the future? The results of a citizen survey, conducted in 2002 as part of the Department's Renaissance Plan, found trail development to be one of the highest priorities for Dallas residents. In response, in 2005 the Park and Recreation Department created The Trail Network Master Plan, a plan which outlined a 287 mile trail network throughout the City of Dallas. In the 11 years since the plan was adopted, the city has added 90 miles of trails and now has 153 miles in its network thanks to the help of city, county, and private supporters. What is the vision for the future of Dallas trails and how will it impact life and living in this city?

Lois Finkelman

Dallas Parks and Public Spaces 

Lois FINKELMAN, moderator
Tuesday 21 March 2017

Dallas Parks have materially increased in importance in the last twenty years under solid public and private leadership. This comes during one of the most exciting periods in modern urban history in which parks have gone from being non-existent in downtown and in the far reaches of the city edge to becoming major economic engines for the urban fabric throughout. This renaissance has been brought about by forward-thinking municipal officials, public-private partnerships such as the Dallas Park Foundation and Woodall Rogers Park Foundation-Klyde Warren (one of the city’s best non-prescription mood elevators) and other savvy, resourceful, and entrepreneurial groups.

Where will Dallas Parks go in the next 20 years? Join us to learn and discuss more on this important topic at our Panel Discussion moderated by Lois Finkelman, former Board Chair of both the Dallas Park Board and the NRPA (National Park and Recreation Association) as well as City Council Member. She will be joined by panelists involved with public park leadership in Dallas who are working to shape the future of the city.

Rick Brettell

Cultural Developments in Dallas

Rick BRETTELL, Moderator with Mark LAMSTER

The last two decades have seen dramatic developments in the cultural fabric of North Texas. In Dallas, the Arts District saw the addition of the Nasher Sculpture Center, the Wyly Theater, the Winspear Opera House, the City Performance Hall, and the completion of the Booker T. Washington campus. Fort Worth has added the Modern Art Museum and the Piano Pavilion at the Kimbell among its new signature buildings.

Much has happened besides the completion of these signature buildings. Galleries, artist labs, new musical and theatrical organizations have also come into existence or increased their reach across North Texas. Academic centers and non-profits such as The Forum have expanded the cultural reach and raised awareness and dialogue on issues important to all of us. In addition to the Arts District in Dallas and the Cultural District in Fort Worth, there are emerging centers of creative activity across many North Texas cities. Join us for a lively discussion with Rick Brettell and Mark Lamster as we examine some of these major accomplishments over the last twenty years, and discuss what needs to occur over the next two decades with a goal of enhancing the arts and cultural opportunities for all North Texas residents.

Katherine Seale

Preservation Issues for Dallas

Katherine SEALE, moderator
In partnership with Preservation Dallas
Tuesday 16 May 2017

The last two decades have seen a monumental shift in historic preservation both in Dallas and across the country. This is reflective of a broader renewed interest in the built environment – old and new – specifically how buildings, landscapes and places impact our lives. Today there are many more available studies on the subject, allowing Dallas’s citizens to be increasingly involved in the decision-making process that determines what their surroundings look like and how it will affect them. 

Though much progress has been made in Dallas, much remains to be achieved. Updated and improved tools are needed to guide future development and preservation efforts. This Panel will examine how our city can make informed decisions that will preserve a good foundation on which to build a better future. 

Ian Zapata

The Urban Burbs – Corporate Campuses and Suburbia

Ian ZAPATA, moderator
Tuesday 23 May 2017


The built landscape of the Dallas Area has been profoundly impacted by two distinct trends: The move away from downtowns and the emergence of Texas as a national headquarters destination.

How have corporate landscapes changed over the last twenty years and how have they influenced the quality of life of our city and the character of our communities? The Urban Burbs will look at the evolution of suburban corporate campuses and the future of work in Dallas. Important factors that will be discussed include amenity rich environments, a sense of community desired by employees of these companies, and the maturation of the suburbs including opportunities for recreation, entertainment, the arts and culture.

Paris Rutherford

Multi-Family Housing in Dallas

Paris RUTHERFORD, moderator
Tuesday 6 June 2017

Dallas-Fort Worth and North Texas have a current population of roughly 7.1 million people, more than double in the number of residents over the last twenty years. We are experiencing a population surge among the highest in the United States. Forbes quotes DFW as building 10% of the apartments nationwide, and it seems that the demand for multi-family housing in the region is almost insatiable. This also represents a shift in the type of housing that the Metroplex has historically demanded, moving from suburban single-family residences to condensed and stacked urban living.

What exactly precipitated this shift, and what does the future hold for these building types? Will suburban centers in North Texas, which have tended to hold out on such projects, be forced to begin to build multi-family style buildings due to overwhelming demand? And what happens to these buildings in the future when demand is not as high, or if the population migrates? We will discuss these questions as well as other important considerations of the multi-family housing boom during this Panel.

Paris Rutherford brings over 25 years of experience in the successful positioning of memorable developments across the United States including multiple nationally-recognized mixed-use developments. As Principal, Mr. Rutherford guides Catalyst’s development process to realize its mission of creating Great Places through investment, experiential and community returns.

Prior to forming Catalyst, Mr. Rutherford was President of Woodmont Investment Company, Practice Leader of RTKL Associates’ firm-wide planning practice, and Director of RTKL itself. Over 90 national, regional and local awards have been given to projects he has worked on, and his ideas and efforts have been published in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Urban Land Magazine. He has spoken at the National Press Club, ULI, ICSC, and been featured on CNBC’s Closing Bell and PBS’s News Hour. Paris is a graduate of the University of Southern California and Harvard University.

Barry Hand

Retail Space – What Works in Dallas

Barry HAND, moderator
Tuesday, 13 June 2017 (Note Rescheduled Date)
Venue: One Arts Plaza Conference Room (Ground Floor, One Arts Office Building)
Corner of Flora and Routh, 1722 Routh Street | Dallas, TX 75201

The birthplace of Neiman Marcus and home to NorthPark, Dallas is a city whose identity has been built on the art of retail excellence. From fine dining to world-class luxury shopping that bridges art and fashion, Dallas has, in many ways set the highest standard for retail across the nation. In recent years, however, there has been a noticeable shift towards themed, gimmicky trends, in both shopping and dining.

Fighting to break free of a cycle of trends, consumers are now searching for undeniable authenticity and lasting culture. Shaking off buzzwords, they instead want immersive, visceral experiences. This Panel will explore the future of the retail landscape, and how innovative design can shape memorable environments and genuine experiences. 

Dallas Architecture Forum