The Making of an Avant-Garde, which she has written, produced and directured, is the first feature film by Diana Agrest. As a Fellow at the Institute for most of its existence, Agrest was both an active participant and an observer in an historical moment at the forefront of architectural practice and theory. Agrest has always had a passion for film and could constantly be seen with her Beaulieu super 8 camera filming people and activities during her time at the Institute. This original archival footage, often spontaneous in quality and the only one in existence of the IAUS, provides an important basis of The Making of an Avant-Garde documentary.
Diana Agrest is a New York based architect, internationally renowned for her unique and pioneering approach to architecture and urbanism practice and theory. Over the course of her career she has developed an approach to urbanism based in great part on film and film theory, and was a pioneer in bringing this subject to the fore through the publication of essays, lectures, and teaching. She has been the recipient of many awards for her work in the design and building of architecture, urban design projects, and the creation of master plans in the USA, Europe, South America and Asia. She is a Professor at The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture of The Cooper Union and has taught at Princeton, Columbia and Yale Universities. She graduated from the University of Buenos Aires and did postgraduate studies in Paris at the Ecole Pratique des Haites Etudes, VI Section and at the Center for Urban Research, before settling in New York. Shortly after arriving in New York she became a Fellow at the Institute for Architecture and Urban Studies and won a position of full-time faculty at Princeton University School of Architecture, where she was the first woman Architect to teach.
She has created and directed Framing the City: Film, Video, Urban Architecture at the Whitney Museum of American Art and has produced over 50 short films on the city in her studios of the same name at The Cooper Union and Columbia University. Her work has been exhibited in museums, galleries and universities throughout the US and abroad, including the Museum of Modern Art, the Schenzen Biennial; The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; The Walker Art Center; The Dallas Museum of Contemporary Art; The Fogg Museum; Leo Castelli, New York; Center Pompidou, Paris; Minalo Triennale; the German Architecture Museum, Frankfurt.
Her authored books include The Sex of Architecture, Agrest & Gandelsonas: Works, Architecture from Without: Theoretical Framings for a Critical Practice, and A Romance With the City: The Works of Irwin S. Chanin. Her work and essays have been widely published nationally and internationally in journals and newspapers. She is also featured in several encyclopedias of architecture in the USA and Europe.