L.A. Looks at Itself

Click here to download an Aesthetic Spectrum Map

Above is a map that attempts to represent an aesthetic spectrum of Los Angeles. Revisiting Reyner Banham's three habitable ecologies of Los Angeles, the Aesthetic Spectrum Map analyzes three sites: The Valley (The Plains of Id), Beverly (The Foothills), and Venice (Surfurbia) Through a flat totality of resourcing of high & low-brow multimedia representations of L.A., I came to the determination of three aesthetic categories: Valley Kitch, Beverly Glam, and Venice Absurdness.

My research continued through a methodical cataloging of urban forms, elements, and materials at the site of my three interventions. Where the Aesthetic Spectrum Map analyzes and detects patterns in the cultural landscape, this urban sampling develops the aesthetic palette even further by providing a deployable concrete urban lexicon.

In 2014 the L.A. City Planning Department proposed a new zoning code allowing for an "accessory unit" that exempts the mini-malls from the minimum 10-foot front setback in attempt to create pedestrian engagement. Accepting the paratactic character of Los Angeles' urban fabric would therefore contests a one-size-fits-all urban accessory across L.A. As one would wear accessories to communicate one's character and persona, this thesis questions what the urban accessory would mean in such a multi-faceted cultural landscape.