On June 7, architects and others gathered at San Francisco’s Mission Bay Conference Center for Architectural Record’s 19th Innovation Conference, the fourth held on the West Coast. Addressing the theme “The Future of Architecture and the Public Realm,” speakers presented their work and discussed the built environment in the context of global urbanization.

Kicking off the day, Gensler’s Andy Cohen and FORM’s Greg Lynn shone light on the possibilities for autonomous vehicles, proposing varying directions for the technology and implications for buildings and cities. Diller Scofidio + Renfro’s Elizabeth Diller talked about several of her firm’s projects, as well as some of their unintended consequences, such as the extreme gentrification that occurred around New York’s High Line. OMA New York’s Shohei Shigematsu also presented projects that engage the urban fabric, urging attendees to invent by “observing change, capturing it, and pushing typologies forward.”

Chicago-based Amanda Williams brought a new perspective to the event. With a background in architecture, the artist is known for her work “Color(ed) Theory” in which she painted soon-to-be-demolished houses on the city’s South Side—landscapes that are, as she said, “invisible in plain sight.” Concluding the conference, Thom Mayne questioned the fundamental premise of the day’s conversation, critiquing the state of the American civic realm. “Forget public space,” he said. “There is no collective culture.” Notwithstanding, RECORD continues its Innovation Conference series and will hold its next event on the same theme in New York on October 19.