Architecture Everywhere: Architecture and Language - Webinar

  • Date

    Tuesday, October 26 2021

  • Time

    6:00pm - 7:00pm

  • Location


Surprisingly, a building and a language share revealing commonalities. In architecture, well-built and flexibly designed buildings can be revitalized to meet new needs over time. In language, existing words may take on new meaning and new words may enter the lexicon with cultural transformations. Each seemingly disparate subject is rooted in a set of basic rules and conventions, and each evolves with the changing times. In this presentation, Ann Friedman and Rebecca Roberts talk about this unexpected connection while sharing insights into the renovation of the historic Franklin School as an immersive language experience.

Presented by: 



Ann Friedman — Founder and CEO of Planet Word

Ann B. Friedman is the Founder and CEO of Planet Word and the developer behind the restoration of the Franklin School, the museum’s home. She was a beginning reading and writing teacher in the Montgomery County Public Schools for 9 years. From 2010-2016, she served as the Chair of the Board of the SEED Foundation, the parent body of the nation's only public, inner-city, college-prep boarding schools, where she currently serves as Vice Chair. Ms. Friedman is a new director of the American Alliance of Museums and a founding board member of the Downtown DC Foundation. She is on the board of the Aspen Music Festival and School and serves on the board of the National Symphony Orchestra. She is on the Advisory Board of Ascend, the Aspen Institute's program that promotes a two-generation approach to ending family financial insecurity. She and her husband, Thomas L. Friedman, the New York Times foreign affairs columnist, live in Bethesda, MD, and have two adult daughters.


Rebecca Boggs Roberts — Curator of Programming, Planet Word

Throughout her career, Rebecca Roberts has held many titles, among them journalist, producer, tour guide, forensic anthropologist, event planner, political consultant, jazz singer, and radio talk show host. Currently, she is Curator of Programming for Planet Word, a language arts museum that opened in October 2020 in the historic Franklin School in Washington, DC. In this position, Rebecca is helping to create a new institution that will become part of the intellectual and cultural life of our capital city. Roberts lives in Washington, DC with her husband, three sons, and dog.

Organized by: Washington Architectural Foundation

This program is part of Architecture Everywhere, a monthly series exploring how architecture comes to life in unexpected ways through other arts and humanities disciplines. Join us each month as we focus on a new theme or topic. Guest speakers present a visual talk, followed by creative exchange with the audience.

Learning Objectives:

  • Identify unexpected connections between language and architecture
  • Explore buildings and text as a basic set of rules, signs, and symbols
  • Examine the correlation between the expression of language of architectural design
  • Describe how the historic Franklin School was reimagined as an immersive language experience