I attended the panel discussion at the beginning of March presented by the Ilan-Lael Foundation’s at the Mingei International Museum. These are ongoing Conversations on Beauty and this one focused on San Diego in Search of Its Identity.
I have recorded the sounds bites that each of the four participants produced. I think this short summary presents some of the history and wishes of our beloved city. But each of us must use our own imagination if we want to avoid a SD identity crisis.
James Hubbell, artist and social commentator Ilan-Lael Foundation - A large vision is important for San Diego which includes the Navy, Baja, Pacific Rim, and High Tech industry. We should let Balboa Park and the Bay creep back into the city. We need to remember to be happy with what we don’t know.
Mary Walshok, author, head of UCSD Extension and industrial sociologist – In the 1890’s,San Diego was attractive as a clean and open city at a time when other cities were perceived as diseased and dirty. It was built almost entirely from federal funding. But there raged a battle here between the industrial capitalist and the art and crafts movement often called smokestacks or geraniums. The city is divided 60% as private space and 40% public.
Rob Quigley, architect of the new Downtown central library – We have a very engaged community but very risk adverse. Let’s not have form follow fear. We have to consider emotional functionality. It is all about being good ancestors.
Howard Blackson, urban planner – San Diego has the most beautiful outside so we need to get people outside more. Cultural value creates economic gain. Change can not always be seen to be bad. The things you love should be renewed.
To read an article full of quotes from the evening check out this City Beat link.