March 23, 2002 BEYOND SPRAWL: NEW DOMESTIC TOPOGRAPHIES CONFERENCE
In California, only one home/new apt is built for every 3.3 jobs created. In L.A. last year, 65K people were added to the population, with only 1900 housing units Fewer than one in five low-income families in L.A. benefits from a housing subsidy 48% of L.A. renters pay over half their income for rent or live in extremely inadequate housing L.A. has the third-highest rate of overcrowding in U.S. L.A.'s 39% home ownership rates compares with 67% in U.S.
SCI-Arc's response to the crisis in affordable housing in the Los Angeles area is a three-part program of a conference, exhibition, and publication/exhibition catalogue. The conference, "Beyond Sprawl: New Domestic Topographies" will examine the state of multi-unit housing in Los Angeles, and present new architectural prototypes and strategies for medium- and high- density urban dwelling.
Similar in spirit to John Entenza's Arts + Architecture Case Study Program of the 1940s, the program has two objectives. By focusing on affordable housing, one of the most challenging problems of society and architecture, it will initiate design research. In linking academic research and professional practice by connecting a young and diverse group of emerging architects with local, regional, and national governmental agencies and housing authorities, it will produce a set of design proposals or demonstration projects for public housing that respond to the changing social, cultural, economic conditions of Los Angeles and other major American cities.
One of the program's primary objectives is to demonstrate that research into public housing and socioeconomic issues is compatible with advanced or experimental research into the theory and design of spatial form. SCI-Arc's program is part of a national effort to address the challenge of designing affordable housing, which includes The Architectural League of New York's sustainable housing design study in Arverne, Queens, and international survey of urban housing to be exhibited in fall 2002; The Museum of Contemporary Art in Miami's "Scattered Houses: Little Haiti Housing" competition on display fall 2001; and the recently completed City of Chicago/Chicago Housing Authority mixed income housing competition.
Thom Mayne will serve as the conference keynote speaker, and confirmed participants include Michael Bell, Dana Cuff, Albert Pope, and Roger Sherman. The conference is free and open to the public. Hours are 10 am to 6 pm. Additional information will be posted to www.sciarc.edu