How to Live in Irvine: Model Cities and Master Plans

Catherine Liu
Film and Media Studies
UC Irvine

This project built on a year-long collaboration between Catherine Liu and Irvine-based filmmaker Lev Anderson, exploring the politics and history of place-making within the context of Anderson’s documentary-in-progress about the City of Irvine. Anderson’s film draws on UC Irvine’s archives and faculty, community members, Irvine Company planners, religious institutions, and city leaders, creating a powerful link between the Irvine community and UC Irvine. Creating contexts for discussion about urban planning, local culture, and environmentalism, the grantees explored the history and future of one of America’s most successful master-planned cities. Setting Irvine in the context of post-World War II corporate modernism by organizing film screenings, field trips, roundtables and social media platforms, they explored the shifting social and cultural identity of Irvine and its relationship to the commons and to the University of California that anchors it.