Once the greatest American example of a modern city served by infrastructure, Los Angeles is now in perpetual crisis. Infrastructure has ceased to support architecture's plans for the city and instead subordinates architecture to its own purposes. This out-of-control but networked world is increasingly organized by flows of objects and information. Static structures avoidOnce the greatest American example of a modern city served by infrastructure, Los Angeles is now in perpetual crisis. Infrastructure has ceased to support architecture's plans for the city and instead subordinates architecture to its own purposes. This out-of-control but networked world is increasingly organized by flows of objects and information. Static structures avoid being superfluous by joining this system as temporary containers for the people, objects, and capital. A provocative collection of research through photography, essays and maps, this is book looks at infrastructure as a way of mapping our place in the city, remaining optimistic about the role of architecture to affect change.A project by Network Architecture Lab in collaboration with the Los Angeles Forum for Architecture and Urban Design. Kazys Varnelis teaches at Columbia University (New York)....
|Title||:||The Infrastructural City: Networked Ecologies in Los Angeles|
|Number of Pages||:||251 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
The Infrastructural City: Networked Ecologies in Los Angeles Reviews
The subtitle is clearly a polemic against the longevity of Reyner Banham's popular Los Angeles: The Architecture of Four Ecologies as the supreme endemic study of the Southland. While Banham's love letter to the culture of L.A.'s beaches, canyons, freeways, and basin plains was unprecedented in 1971, it now reads (to me, at least) as too optimistic and myopic and limited by its pedestrian view of the city and its amalgamation of suburbs.Certainly, not all of the essays (each by a different author) are as fun to read as Banham's prose, but this is the most evenhanded and pragmatic analysis of L.A.'s built environment I have stumbled across -- and with no shortage of fantastic pictures, to boot!I am surprised by how obscure this book has become and maybe that is because it isn't as chippy as Banham or as dystopian as Mike Davis' City of Quartz. Regardless, this book is an indispensable first step toward the solution of all of L.A.'s afflictions from its success.
A book dealing with infrastructure in a way that is accessible & interesting for a general audience, along the lines of the work done by the Center for Land Use Interpretation (to which the essays make numerous references). Some of the essays I found insightful and well-written, others fell flat. It's a field I'm not really familiar with, so I can't compare it to other books with the same thrust, but it does seem to take a fresh perspective on the issue of infrastructure. The topics range from the Los Angeles River (a huge drainage ditch that runs through the city), to gravel pits, to the hidden oil economy of Los Angeles, to the city's prop houses (places to rent props for movies and TV shows).
I am a contributor to this book, having written the essay "Consumers Gone Wild." I am grateful to our superb editor, Kazys Varnelis, for his insight and guidance and for having the foresight to gather these essays together just months before the entire country began talking about "infrastructure" following Hurricane Katrina. It continues to be a rich discussion that new researchers and writers add insight and data to each year, such as Jesse LeCavalier and his writing about Walmart in the journal MAScontext and Clare Lyster's Learning from Logistics.
Seriously, the best textbook on L.A. as place. Conceptualizes the city. The essay on the L.A. river is brilliant. Freakology is my new favorite word.
I found the opening essays on water, oil, and traffic really interesting, but when it devolved into preaching about the evils on consumerism I sort of lost interest.
Reminded me that I still kinda like LA despite no desire to ever be there.