Whatever Happened to LA?

Whatever Happened to LA?


July 26, 2005

Whatever Happened to LA? Architectural and Urban Experiments 1970 1990
29 July - 11 September 2005

Curated by Jeffrey Inaba and Peter Zellner

Opening reception: 6-8 pm on Friday, July 29
Symposium: 7pm on Wednesday, September 7

SCI-Arc Gallery
960 East 3rd St., Los Angeles, CA 90013.
T. 213.613.2200


The SCI-Arc Gallery is pleased to present Whatever Happened to LA? Architectural and Urban Experiments 1970 1990, curated by SCI-Arc faculty members Jeffrey Inaba and Peter Zellner.
Whatever Happened to LA? will display archival material showcasing the distinctive sensibilities of Southern California architects whose early works defined Los Angeles as a contemporary city during the last quarter of the 20th century. The exhibition will include works by Frederick Fisher, Hodgetts and Fung, Coy Howard, Koning Eizenberg, Anthony Lumsden, Moore Rubell Yudell, Morphosis, Eric Owen Moss, Cesar Pelli, Studioworks and others.

These architects put Los Angeles on the map as the testbed of experimentation in the U.S. and upgraded LAs status to a bona fide cultural and design capital. While this work established a clear identity for the city to the wider architectural profession at the time, disappointingly, LA today lacks a coherent set of ideas about its future. Assembled together for the first time these projects will chronicle LA’s genesis as a site for architectural experimentation- shedding light on invaluable, unrealized architectural and urban opportunities for the city’s future.

A distinguishing characteristic of architectural production in LA during the period was that it was made up of a combination of mostly realized designs for houses and mostly unrealized urban proposals. To the visitor and resident alike, Los Angeless architectural scene at the time was set in a city of houses a stunning display of domestic architecture designed by young architects spread across the LA basins low-rise fabric. A closer examination of these projects reveals a consistent pursuit of daring forms and an unending fascination with detail. The cumulative body of works and the growing expertise of these architects illustrated a new, unique realism in architecture. As realized constructions, their architecture was palpable and literal. At the same time, a parallel set of experiments took place at an urban scale. Largely unbuilt and (overly?) ambitious, they embodied speculative visions for LA a fantasy urbanism for the post-war city. Whatever Happened to LA? will exhibit works simultaneously occurring at the polar ends of the scale spectrum– presenting the benefits of thinking big, and thinking small.

A public symposium will be held on September 7, 2005 at 7pm in SCI-Arcs Main Space. A publication of important experimental projects, new interviews and historical texts will accompany the exhibition.
Jeffrey Inaba is a partner of HOLA, a firm that specializes in cultural research, media concepts, planning and architecture, based in Los Angeles and New York. He is the Program Director of SCI-FI (the Southern California Institute for Future Initiatives), a post-graduate degree program at SCI-Arc. He and Peter Zellner are the founders of Val-Des, an ongoing non-profit project dedicated to the study of suburbs worldwide.
Peter Zellner is an architect, writer and curator. He is the author of Hybrid Space New Forms in Digital Architecture and the curator of EmpireStyle, a group exhibition that was recently shown at Art2102 in East Los Angeles. Zellner is a member of the design faculty at SCI-Arc.

The SCI-Arc gallery is open daily from 10am-6pm. Admission and parking are free. SCI-Arc is located at 960 East 3rd St., Los Angeles, CA 90013. The parking lot entrance is at 350 Merrick St., between Traction Ave. and 4th St. Please check our website, www.sciarc.edu, for additional programming.

SCI-Arc is a non-profit, private institution dedicated to the perpetual redefinition of the education of architects. Founded in 1972, the school is located in downtown Los Angeles in a quarter-mile long

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July 26, 2005

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