Shelly Kappe, who is off-screen, interviews architects Craig Ellwood, Jerrold Lomax and Dan Dworsky individually, asking each about his approach to architecture and his architectural influences.
Video Archive | Los Angeles (175)
This video contains more local TV broadcasts about the SCI-Arc Urban Odyssey project, interspersed with bits of documentaries and TV coverage of marathan at the Montreal Olympics. In the first segment KNXT-TV reporter Bill Applegate speaks with Glen Small about the “modernistically designed and colorful futuristic community.” In the next clip from 1975, Bob Dunn reports on the pneumatic tent community designed by SCI-Arc students. The last clip is an extended interview with Small from 1976, on the “Saturday” program, focusing on the 1976 student work at the Habitat Forum in Vancouver. He goes on to discuss Century City and his view of urbanism in Los Angeles.
Harwell Hamilton Harris responds to questions from Shelly Kappe. Harris describes growing up in an idealistic and progressive early 20th century Los Angeles. He considered himself a sculptor until he saw Frank Lloyd Wright’s Hollyhock House in 1925. An attempt to contact Wright’s assistant, Rudolph Schindler led to meeting with Richard Neutra. Harris describes working for Neutra in the 1920s, along with Gregory Ain. Harris describes how his own practice began when Neutra left to tour Europe in 1930. His first built work, the Lowe House in Altadena, 1934, was published in House Beautiful, and led to more residential work. In his own work, he sees the idea of prefabrication informing his use of interchangeable units, like a musical scale, to create a rhythmical composition. Harris describes how he assumed the immediate post-war period would be bad for practice, so in 1951 he accepted an offer to head the architecture school of the University of Texas at Austin. The possibility of doing more work, while teaching, led him, in 1962, to the School of Design at North Carolina State University. Asked about the difference between his California work and his work in Texas and North Carolina, Harris sees more continuity than difference. He argues that both wood and stucco have interesting characteristics that he uses “joyfully.” Asked about new architecture being built, Harris describes his discomfort with megaprojects and vast urban plans. He characterizes his architecture as a means of discovering what can be.
Rick Davidson presents a rapid slideshow of images of Los Angeles, while describing how after an unsatisfactory architecture education, he arrived in Los Angeles and began filming and photographing the city. This led to his company, International Environmental Communications, Inc., which sells still and moving image documentation of the Los Angeles urban environment, mostly to architecture and planning schools.
Glen Small talks about his childhood and being taught the value of work from his first jobs. He discusses a selection of his work including a project for Detroit that involved large office towers connected by skiing stadiums. His Biomorphic Biosphere project is a self sustaining system that grows when needed and would return Los Angeles to a natural state.
In this 17 minute clip, Herb Kahn discusses questions of circulation in Los Angeles, focusing on the relationship between land use and transportation, and the possibility of responsive circulation routes. His mapping technique includes forms of transportation which are yet to be determined and are open to technological change. Kahn describes the difficulty in implementing land use plans, but argues that transportation can be used to define the urban form.
This video contains three broadcasts about the SCI-Arc Urban Odyssey program, a one week urban camping trip in student-built tents at various locations around the city. In the first segment, the hosts of KABC-TV’s “A.M. Los Angeles” morning show poke fun of the students and ask if they’d like to remove all buildings and replace them with a tent city. Those interviewed respond that their interest is in taking advantage and connecting with the city in a new way and to work within its context rather than continue a push toward the boundaries of the urban area. Adhe Lathi and student Bambi Moise are interviewed more sympathetically on KCAL-TV’s “The Morning Show.” The last clip is a brief report on the project by reporter Dick Garton for the KTLA-TV evening news.