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Ian Zapata, a Design Director at Gensler and Board President of Dallas Architecture Forum will moderate "The Urban Burbs -- Corporate Campuses and Suburbia”. Photo Courtesy of the Architect.

The Dallas Architecture Forum, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing public education about architecture, design and the urban environment, will continue its 2016-2017 Panel Discussion Series on May 23, 2017 with “The Urban Burbs – Corporate Campuses and Suburbia” moderated by Ian Zapata, a Design Director for the Dallas office of Gensler Architects.

Panels are offered at no charge to both Forum members and to the general public as a public outreach of The Forum. Join us for a cold beverage and lively dialogue!

The 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, located to the east of the DBDT building.

The panel discussion is FREE and will be held at 6:30 pm, with complimentary beverages available beginning at 6:15 pm.  No reservations are needed to attend. One CEU AIA credit is available.

"The Dallas Architecture forum is pleased to continue its 2016-17 series of thought-provoking Panel Discussions on topics impacting the citizens of Dallas both locally and globally," stated Forum Executive Director Nate Eudaly. "Continuing with a 20/20 theme for our 20th Anniversary season, this Panel will examine a trend for corporations to move to the suburbs, and the concurrent emergence of Dallas, Plano, Frisco and other area cities as headquarters locations for major national and international companies over the past two decades. This Panel will be especially timely as the pace of these relocations and corporate campuses has dramatically accelerated in recent years. The Panel will also project what, in the view of our Moderator and Panelists, needs to happen in the next twenty years. The result will be an engaging and thought-provoking discussion for our attendees."

Joining Zapata as panelists for this program will be the following distinguished community leaders and subject matter experts:

Peter J. Braster, Director of Special Projects, City of Plano

Steve Brown, Real Estate Editor, Dallas Morning News

Jim Tousignant, Director of Global Real Estate , Verizon

For more information on The Dallas Architecture Forum, or the Panel Discussion Series, visit or call 214-764-2406.

The Forum’s Panel Season Benefactors are John Eagle Dealerships, Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty, Purdy McGuire, Inc., Janet + Terry Kafka and WDG Architecture. The Sponsors for this Panel are Meg M. Fitzpatrick | Management Consultant and LUXE Interiors + Design Magazine.

Ian Zapata
“The Urban Burbs – Corporate Campuses and Suburbia”

23 May 2017
Tuesday, 6:30 pm, Informal reception at 6:15 pm


Dallas Black Dance Theatre, 2700 Ann Williams Way, Dallas, TX 75201

Behind One Arts Plaza, at the Corner of Arts Plaza Street and Ann Williams Way,

Entrance on Ann Williams Way, Free parking is available between the DBDT building and Fellowship Church, located to the east of the Dallas Black Dance Theatre 

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.

About the Moderator:


Ian Zapata is a Design Director in the Dallas office of Gensler, where he also mentors design talent and champions excellence and innovation.  Zapata has vast experience in aviation, hospitality, corporate campus and commercial office planning and design. He favors a multi-disciplinary approach and is interested in what happens when design theory and user experience intersect. Zapata is guided by the belief that the smallest, most anonymous project should have the same level of attention, quality and passion as the largest most prominent one. Mr. Zapara is also President of the Board of Directors of The Dallas Architecture Forum, a recognition of his design leadership by his colleagues throughout Dallas.


Peter J. Braster

Peter J. Braster is the City of Plano’s Director of Special Projects.  Located in the Office of the City Manager, the Special Projects position was created to bridge economic development and real estate development in Plano.  Currently, Mr. Braster oversees the ongoing redevelopment of Downtown Plano; is the ombudsman for the $3 billion Legacy West development; and will lead the City’s retail redevelopment program.

Before joining the City of Plano, Mr. Braster was the City of Carrollton’s Senior Development Manager.  He was the city’s first Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) Manager, and negotiated and managed Carrollton’s first public/ private partnership and promoted TOD and economic development in Carrollton’s three transit centers. He also led Carrollton's development projects such as the 80-acre Project Raiford; the City’s multi-family redevelopment project at Crosby road; and several other special projects.  Mr. Braster has over 30 years of public and private experience. He began his career in civil engineering by working on large transportation projects including several highway, airport, and light rail systems in New York and California.  Peter is a member of the Urban Land Institute, the North Texas Urban Land Institute TOD Product Council, and the International Economic Development Council.

Steve Brown

Steve Brown is the long-time Real Estate Editor for the Dallas Morning News.  In that role, Steve is one of North Texas' leading voices on the ever changing and expanding real estate market related to the Metroplex.  His articles are read by thousands of our areas' business, governmental, and civic leaders, and by many other  local residents, as well as followed around the world by those wanting to stay informed about the dynamic real estate market in the North Texas.   Steve is highly respected by his peers around the United States, and was elected last year as President of the National Association of Real Estate Editors.  

Jim Tousignant

Jim Tousignant is a real estate executive with over 26 years of corporate real estate experience.  Jim is responsible for the Real Estate initiatives and transactions for Verizon companies throughout the United States.   Verizon has a diverse portfolio of over 100 million square feet in over 6,000 properties, including office, warehouse, land, retail and technology space.  Transaction volume in 2016 is expected to include over 800 contracts at a combined value of over $1.5B.  Currently leading several strategic initiatives including; a flexible office program, co-working, condo development and a sale/lease-back program.

Jim has career experience in all areas of real estate, including; property management, design and construction, strategic planning, furniture and real estate transactions.  He has provided strategic planning and organizational consulting both domestically and internationally, and is viewed as an expert in outsourcing strategies, portfolio optimization, real estate development and contract negotiations.

About The Dallas Architecture Forum

The Dallas Architecture Forum is a not-for-profit civic organization that brings leading architectural thought leaders from around the world to speak in Dallas and also fosters important local dialogue about the major issues impacting our urban environment. The Forum was founded in 1996 by some of Dallas’ leading architects, business, cultural and civic leaders, and it continues to benefit from active support and guidance from these citizens. The Forum fulfills its mission of providing a continuing and challenging public discourse on architecture and urban design in - and for - the Dallas area. The Dallas Architecture Forum's members include architects, design professionals, students and educators, and a broad range of civic-minded individuals and companies intent to improve the urban environment in North Texas. The Forum has been recognized nationally with an AIA Collaboration Achievement Award for its strategic partnerships with other organizations focused on architecture, urban planning and the arts. For more information on the Forum, visit

Among the over 160 speakers who have addressed The Forum’s Lecture Series are Shigeru Ban, Brad Cloepfil, Diller + Scofidio, Peter Eisenman, Michael Graves, Daniel Libeskind, Thomas Phifer, Rafael Vinoly, Juhani Pallasmaa, AIA Gold Medal Winner Peter Bohlin, and regional architects David Lake and Ted Flato. Pritzker Prize winners speaking to The Forum have been Kazuyo Sejima, Rafael Moneo, Thom Mayne, Rem Koolhaas and Norman Foster (the latter two in collaboration with the ATT Performing Arts Center). Other speakers for The Forum have been leading designers Calvin Tsao, Andrée Putman, and Karim Rashid; landscape architect Michael Van Valkenburgh; and National Trust President Emeritus Richard Moe. Important critics, authors and patrons who have spoken to The Forum include Emily Pulitzer, Terence Riley, Pulitzer Prize winners Robert Campbell and Blair Kamin, Aaron Betsky, and the late David Dillon.

The Forum organizes and presents an annual series of Panels—local, informal, open, and offered free of charge as a public service to the community—led by a moderator who brings a subject of local importance along with comments by participating panelists. Moderators and Panelists have also come from both other Texas cities as well as from national institutions that were connected with particular Panel subjects. Panels offer attendees the opportunity to participate in creating discourse. Important topics addressed in Panels in recent years include: “Thoughts on the Dallas Comprehensive Plan”; “The Kimbell Expansion: A Discussion”; “Filling Out the Dallas Arts District”;
and “Re-envisioning the Trinity”. Among the many community leaders who have served as Forum Panel Moderators are Rick Brettell, Gail Thomas, Brent Brown, Peter Simek, Krys Boyd, Scott Cantrell, and the late David Dillon. 

For more information on The Dallas Architecture Forum, visit For questions about The Forum, call 214-764-2406.

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