Graduating M.Arch student Stefano Passeri characterizes Los Angeles as the most productively weird spot for SCI-Arc to inhabit, and describes his educational experience as learning how to change, and learning from each other, in a community where it’s impossible not to share.
Video Archive | Los Angeles (183)
A 8.5-minute film by Rebecca Méndez Studio to accompany the exhibit A Confederacy of Heretics, consisting mostly of Coy Howard’s 1979 recitation of Peter Schjeldahl’s poem “To Pico,” accompanied by quotes from the original 1979 Los Angeles Times reviews by John Dreyfuss, manipulated video clips, still photographs and work by exhibit participants Eugene Kupper, Roland Coate Jr, Frederick Fisher, Frank Dimster, Frank O. Gehry, Peter de Bretteville, Studioworks, Morphosis, and Eric Owen Moss. Creative director: Rebecca Méndez; Producer/Writer: Adam Eeuwens; Designer: Pauline Woo.
Peter Zellner begins by thanking the SCI-Arc administration, his SCI-Arc colleagues and students, and his office crew. He presents quick overviews of three different Los Angeles artists–Ed Ruscha, Doug Aitken, Akina Cox–whose work documents and creates taxonomies and categories. He feels this is what his own work, seen as a whole, is doing. Zellner discusses several art galleries he has designed in Chelsea, San Francisco, Culver City, and UC Riverside. He argues that with art galleries circulation is much more important than the plan. Zellner discusses residential projects, including the Martin house in West L.A., the Vielmetter house in Altadena, a speculative project to renovate foreclosed suburban homes, a treehouse, and the HDJ20 house in Tijuana. Zellner discusses some large-scale projects, including the For Your Art World Headquarters at Wilshire and Normandie, over the Metro Red Line. Peter Zellner concludes with a discussion of the genesis and construction of the Matthew Marks Gallery building on Santa Monica Boulevard in West Hollywood, emphasizing its engagement with the ordinary, and the facade sculpture by Ellsworth Kelly.
Hernan Diaz Alonso reminds the audience that there will be a special lecture by Jeffrey Kipnis lecture the next evening. Eric Owen Moss introduces Peter Eisenman by asking if his aspirations, freedom, and self-invention might mean he is really a Los Angeles architect. In rhymed couplets he praises Eisenman’s dedication to deriving work from what architecture sits on.
Southern discusses landscape within the city. He references Karl Friedrich Schinkel, and shows examples of some overlooked public city spaces his office has revitalized.
Moss describes SCI-Arc’s role in promoting innovation and resisting codification of forms, techniques, styles, and methods. Moss stresses that SCI-Arc’s strength is its ability to pull from different practices as a means to inspire. He describes the importance of architecture engaging urban environments. He characterizes Los Angeles’s “lack of vision” as its secret for success, arguing that this creates the opportunity to reinvent the city’s image. Moss responds to questions, discussing the role of the architect in big infrastructural projects, negotiating public interest, and civic desires. He describes how SCI-Arc promotes such investigations.
Moss describes the importance of architecture engaging urban environments. He describes the urban issues surrounding Los Angeles, characterizing its “lack of vision” as its secret for success. Moss argues that this creates the opportunity to reinvent the city’s image.
David Bergman proposes thinking about cities in terms of five parameters: the generic point, area “as signifier of culture,” volume as “the power of the state exercised on a building,” time as “a pathway for development,” and capitalism as “a technology for development.” He discusses the contemporary city as a construction of economic policies and zoning regulations designed to increase capital investments. He discusses the urban mapping achieved by Nolli’s map of Rome. Bergman talks about the parameter of time as a pathway for urban development. When speaking about the parameter of volume, Bergman stresses how floor area ratios and zoning envelopes are manipulated by capital and commerce. He contrasts urban growth over time in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Butte, and Detroit. Bergman describes capital as the fifth dimension of urban development, and the force that creates cities and spurs economic growth. Bergman argues that all architectural proposals are economically evaluated accoding to four measures: net operating rate, capitalization rate, rate of return, and total rate of return.