Mimi Zeiger

Critic, editor, curator and instigator.

Los Angeles, being the inclusive city that it is, developed in opposed directions at the same time: the downtowns, Wilshire Boulevards, and Century Cities grew along late modern lines, while the peripheries went their own heteromorphic way. This sixties split established what has now became two architectural codes: Mies of the classes, and hetero-architecture for the masses.”- Charles Jencks, 1996.

The collision of Real Estate speculation and political friction makes Los Angeles one of the most volatile development arenas in modern urbanism. Yet, after a half-century of under-building and spot zoning, an infusion of speculative capital, coupled with a dearth of available land, is driving Los Angeles to grow up, instead of out. Present debates about homelessness, housing affordability, and urban density suggest that L.A. could embrace vertical density in a decidedly different fashion than Chicago or Manhattan- cities which adopted skyscraper development primarily as a response to technological innovation or financial speculation. While L.A.’s metropolitan context largely consists of what architectural theorist Charles Jencks once referred to as “heteromorphic architecture,” its growth upward signals the potential to give birth to a new urban form of spatial democracy, eschewing a city of iconic towers in favor of sectional and programmatic complexity instead.

Join us for a Panel Discussion centered on L.A.’s future density led by Archinect’s Amelia Taylor-Hochberg and featuring architects Scott Johnson, Jimenez Lai, John Southern, Peter Zellner, and journalist Mimi Zeiger.

The panel coincides with John Southern’s exhibition, Hot on the Heels of Love: Sensational Speculations– Now on view at the Jai&Jai Gallery.

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To mark the launch of the exhibition Archizines in Los Angeles, a discussion moderated by Sylvia Lavin, UCLA architecture and urban design professor and director of critical studies and M.A./Ph.D programs, will bring together architecture, art and design publishers to explore the different approaches to subversive visual culture and how this relates to architectural criticism.

Panelists include:
Elias Redstone, curator of “ARCHIZINES”
Susan Morgan, editor of “Art Papers on Design and Architecture” magazine
Thomas Lawson, dean of the School of Art at the California Institute of the Arts and editor of the online art magazine East of Borneo
Jonah Rowen, founding editor of Project
John Southern, founding principal of Urban Operations
Leonard Koren, editor of Wet magazine
Mimi Zeiger, journalist and critic

Exhibition Opening: 8 – 9 pm
Perloff Gallery, Perloff Hall
UCLA A.UD is delighted to host the critically acclaimed international exhibition ARCHIZINES in the Perloff Gallery, the 18th stop on the world tour that has taken in cities from Tokyo and Osaka to New York, London, Paris, and Berlin.

ARCHIZINES celebrates the resurgence of alternative and independent architectural publishing around the world. The touring exhibition, curated by Elias Redstone and initiated in collaboration with the Architectural Association, now features 90 architecture magazines, fanzines and journals from over twenty countries that provide an alternative to the established architectural press. Edited by architects, artists and students, these publications provide new platforms for commentary, criticism and research into the spaces we inhabit and the practice of architecture.

The publications, all launched after 2005, vary in their style and approach to editing architecture. However, together they make an important and often radical addition to architectural discourse and demonstrate a residual love for print matter in the digital age. Each publication has selected one issue to be presented in the exhibition. These are all available to read alongside video interviews with their creators, revealing the people behind the publications and the shifting relationship between architecture and publishing today.

The ARCHIZINES collection continues to grow as more publications are discovered, and the full collection is being transferred to the National Art Library at the Victoria & Albert Museum, London.

If you’ve ever looked at an aerial view of Los Angeles via Google Maps or on decent into LAX then you know: L.A. is a city of houses. Precarious mansions climb up the hills and fill in the canyons. Detached single-family homes sit side-by-side on modest lots across the basin. “Miles and miles of little houses, wooden or stucco, under a Technicolor sky,” wrote Christopher Isherwood in his diary in May 1939, aghast. British expat viewed L.A. as ugly and unreal when compared to East Coast and European cities — New York, London, Berlin — are dense with skyscrapers, office towers, apartment buildings, and tenements. But the reality is that this condition makes the city rich with possibilities for how to live.

“The house was and continues to be the most predominant building type in the city. It was just the sheer numbers that made it so the experiment could happen,” explains architect Michael Maltzan on the phone from his Silver Lake office. Read More …

If there’s a common question to be answered by the dozens of projects collected in Spontaneous Interventions, it might be: “What is the role of a local project in a global age?” The individual projects represented—pop-up parks, community agriculture, ad-hoc street furniture, guerrilla bike lanes—are not necessarily overt as they position themselves against the effects of global capital. However, taken as a group, these interventions run counter to the unchecked boom-and-bust development of what David Harvey and others critically describe as the neoliberal city. Small-scale and socially engaged, spontaneous interventions use design to enrich public space and foster civic life at a time when the disparity between daily life and the governmental and corporate mechanisms shaping cities is at an all-time high. Read More …

his past December, just as retailers were making their holiday markdowns and non-profits issuing their year-end appeals, the Storefront for Art and Architecture was opening its last exhibition of 2011. Spurred by Occupy Wall Street, Strategies for Public Occupation featured “projects and strategies that offer a new, creative and productive way of spatial occupation for public demonstrations and actions in cities throughout the world.” In parallel Storefront hosted a week of workshops, performances and lectures in which artists and architects presented their own interpretations of the Occupy movement. Strategies for Public Occupation was, in short, intended to be a summation of interventionist practices and a wide-ranging discussion about the relationships among citizens, cultural producers and public space.

Unfortunately, Storefront got the title wrong.

Read More …