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Remembering the Future with Herb Greene

During the mid-20th century International Style and Organic Architecture offered diverging approaches to architecture, ideas about humanity and the world at large. As Organic Architecture came to be misrepresented and diminished it resulted in a loss that extended beyond the creative expression it offered to lasting ramifications for environmental responsibility, cultural legacy, and individuality.

This full length documentary film project reflects on the misunderstood and overlooked history of the Organic Architecture movement coming out of 1950’s Oklahoma by exploring the work of visionary organic architect, thinker and painter Herb Greene.

The documentary film Remembering the Future with Herb Greene is an exploration of a future not chosen and how to reconnect to what is possible.

What’s happened so far:

Phase 1 – California shoot : September 2021

Initial filming began the fall of 2021 in Berkeley, CA as Herb Greene and historian Alan Hess poured over Greene’s architecture drawings discussing Greene’s recollections on the ideas and history behind his iconic works at Greene’s studio.


Alan and Herb continued their conversation in Big Sur, California where Greene and Hess visited the work of organic architect and Herb Greene student Mickey Muennig to explore the organic architecture and surrounding nature of the Post Ranch Inn as well as Muennig’s home on Partington Ridge.


Finishing the 3 day shoot was a visit with renowned ceramic artist John Toki’s studio in Richmond, CA where Greene and Toki looked at their past collaborations and envisioned how public spaces using organic and collage thinking could be realized today.


Phase 1- Oklahoma shoot : October 2021

A collaboration with the Norman Arts Council and funded by the Kirkpatrick foundation Herb Greene is filmed returning to Norman, OK for his first major solo exhibition of paintings and visited three of his most well-known and iconic buildings.


Greene reflects on his time in Oklahoma 70 years ago while remembering what these buildings meant and how it feels to experience them now in their distressed state.


Architect Stephanie Pilat & art historian Francesca Gianni were interviewed to share their knowledge of the context and relevance of Greene’s work.


Phase 1 – California shoot round 2 : July 2022

Herb Greene is filmed with great niece and architect Lila Cohen as he shares the values he’s carried throughout his life and what matters to him most as he narrows in on turning 93. Greene expresses his hopes as he remembers the 9 decades of his life.


An interview with Cohen provides her personal views and perspective of her uncle’s legacy that she’s become dedicated to preserving and sharing.

Phase 1 – goals accomplished:

  • A 15 minute film work sample/sizzle reel and a 3 minute trailer have been completed compiling the 25 hours of footage that’s been captured so far.
  • The 3 minute trailer will be debuted at the Monterey Design Conference where Herb Greene will be speaking on 10/29/2022 launching a public announcement for the film project
  • A film web page and social media pages have been created positioning the project to begin awareness and fundraising
  • $50,000 was raised during phase 1 that allowed the completion of the work to date.

What’s next:

$85,000 needs to be raised to generate a promotion and fundraising campaign and complete Phase 2

Phase 2 – some next steps highlights

  • The 3 minute trailer will be debuted at the Monterey Design Conference where Herb Greene will be speaking on 10/29/2022 launching a public announcement for the film project
  • The 15 film sample will be shared through private events and through larger public events as venues are confirmed to garner attention and support for the film project
  • A fundraising campaign will take place starting in December with in-person & online events as well as social media
  • Film interviews of additional contributors across the humanities and across multiple regions between March 2023 – September 2023
  • Research for relevant archival materials
  • Issue a call for materials from colleagues, former Herb Greene students, professionals, and institutions
  • Materials acquisition for archival and historic footage and images
  • Ongoing editing
  • Ongoing archival and materials management
  • 3D animation of unrealized work
  • Increase film team for additional support needed to accomplish broad range of responsibilities

$87,000 needs to be raised to engage to complete Phase 3

Phase 3 – some next steps highlights

  • Continue social media campaign
  • Research and development for future screening and film festival submissions
  • Film collaborate performance piece at a Herb Greene building, September 2023
  • Film restoration of the Prairie House and Joyce Residence, September 2023
  • Film upcoming exhibitions and other public presentations
  • Compile original music
  • Edit the full length feature documentary
  • December 2023 release

We are grateful for any support you choose to donate to this project and help us create something special

Official website:


Associated Members

Lila Cohen, Producer


We are grateful for the generous support of our sponsors:

Massachusetts Cultural Council
Lowel Cultural Council
Cabot Family Charitable Trust
Liberty Mutual Foundation
City of Boston Arts and Culture