As an organization focused on collegial collaboration—celebrating the best practices within educational institutions and private enterprise, we believe that FastForward 2012 will be the most stimulating and productive gathering we have hosted as we look ahead to the future of media, culture and arts education. In looking toward the trends and issues of the next ten years as a starting point, we are very pleased to announce Frederick and Laurie Samitaur Smith, founders and owners of Samitaur Constructs, will join us as keynote speakers at FastForward 2012 in Miami.
Since the mid-1980’s Frederick and Laurie Samitaur Smith have been developing the Conjunctive Points urban redevelopment project in Los Angeles and Culver City, California. Internationally recognized as a unique urban experiment in the fusion of art, architecture, and technology, Conjunctive Points has received numerous awards and extensive worldwide press coverage. Over the years, Samitaur has attracted a prestigious tenant roster that includes Nike, Ogilvy, Sony Pictures, WPP, Aegis Media, Delta Apparel and Red Bull, among many others. Through their company, Samitaur Constructs, the Smiths have fostered an economic and cultural renaissance in what was once a defunct industrial tract.
Moving back to California in the 1970’s, fortuitous circumstances brought Frederick to the Silicon Valley, where he built several high-tech facilities at the dawn of the high-tech industry. These experiences, combined with a love of cubism, modern literature and higher math, have formed the basis for his ambition to create a community that brings together in symbiosis technological advancement and the arts.
Besides conceiving the Conjunctive Points urban philosophy, since coming together both Laurie and Frederick have been actively involved in promoting change in the L.A. area: Laurie founded and led a citizens movement comprised of a quarter of a million people seeking to preserve L.A.’s public park system, for which she was named L.A.’s first Honorary Park Ranger. Together the Smiths founded the support group for the L.A. Police Department’s Juvenile Division, and Laurie led the organization for 12 years, organizing large community events and doing major fundraising to provide the officers with the latest equipment and training in the field of crimes against children. Sharing a great appreciation for art, the Smiths donated a new gallery space to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Frederick founded the fundraising arm of the L.A. Free Clinic, garnering much support for that organization for many years; it is now the preeminent free clinic in the State of California, and has served as a prototype for all the other free clinics in the State.
Also in the 1990s the Smiths began to develop a serious interest in historic preservation on an international level, coupled with theories as to how to create economic redevelopment at the same time as preserving historic structures. This led to their being invited to attend numerous UNESCO World Heritage meetings and conventions, both as attendees as well as speakers, in several different countries.
Join us in Miami on November 8-10, 2012 for Fast Forward 2012, the 10th anniversary conference of the International Digital Media and Arts Association, hosted by the New World School of the Arts. Calls for papers, panels and art are all posted and deadlines are soon, so submit your work now and join the conversation.
Click here for more information on Frederick and Laurie Samitaur Smith and our other keynote speakers.
Click here to register for iDMAa FastForward 2012.