The inaugural issue of the online relaunch of SCI-Arc’s journal Offramp, “New Losangelesisms,” includes a selection of visions of Los Angeles presented at lectures from 1974 to 2013:
Urban Odyssey On Local TV compiles three broadcasts about a one week urban exploration camping trip in student-built tents at various locations around the city. While the KABC reporters are frivolous, the KCAL interview is more engaged, as is the KTLA report.
When the SCI-Arc audience interrogates Rayner Banham (March 26, 1976) about Los Angeles’s ecologies, and he responds with a discussion of the development and planning of the infrastructural layering of Los Angeles’s Downtown buildings, freeways system, and pedestrian habits.
Ed Soja (February 5, 1997) frames Los Angeles as an image of American cities as a whole, and proposes the concept of “Third Space,” an alternative critical spatial awareness in which everything social, historical, imagined, experienced, and spatial comes together.
The Beyond Sprawl Symposium (March 23, 2002) discusses the issues of sprawl and density as they relate to affordability. They call for a comprehensive analysis of transit, zoning and population in Southern California, and discuss the general plan for Los Angeles that lays out a macro-scale framework.
The Make It New Downtown Symposium (September 16, 2002) discusses Los Angeles and the culture that defines the city, contrasting “revitalization” as it is understood by architects and as it is understood by communities. The group talks about the availability of open, “fill-in” space in downtown Los Angeles, and the importance of a reliable public transit system. They conclude with a discussion of the experimental work of SCI-Arc students, stressing the importance in continuing a passionate pursuit of the art.
Eric Owen Moss, Los Angeles we have only just begun (April 12, 2004), talks about redevelopment plans for Grand Street and SCI-Arc, and defines SCI-Arc’s principles, belief systems, and ongoing influence in redefining its neighborhood and Downtown Los Angeles.
The SCI-Arc’s Future Initiatives program hosts Other new urbanisms (November 14, 2009) on the possibilities and pitfalls of innovative and contemporary approaches to city making. The panelists discuss their recent L.A. River competition entries which map local conditions to generate design elements, trying to predict the future.
At the Cleantech Corridor Competition Symposium (October 9, 2010), Antonio Villaraigosa outlines his administration’s sustainable policy initiatives, and encourages continued input, especially from students, to refine them. A brief award ceremony acknowledges the Cleantech Corridor competition’s student and professional winners. The professional entrants describe their entries. The jury discusses Los Angeles’s infrastructure, the shifting political atmosphere and how public support is integral for creating positive change.
Tom Gilmore (February 13, 2013) characterizes cities as civilization’s repositories of information, and discusses various cities around the world in terms of being ascendant, declining, bi-polar, and faux, while stressing that cities evolve constantly and they evolve incrementally. He describes the shock of arriving in Los Angeles, and being particularly astonished by the downtown as a place with little relevance to anyone’s work, and no evening or weekend life.