For the last year of my architecture school, my teammate and me were given Los Angeles as a landscape and a source of inspiration to work on our thesis. We used the typology and mutation studies to explore the fabric of the city and researched the culture through the lens of cinema.
team of 2
what i worked on
Research, ideation, concept development, rhino 3D modeling, model building, graphic design, presentation design.
study of Los Angeles
Los Angeles was a desert, a blank pre-existing environment into which everything was imported, including it’s culture and architecture. In a place where every architecture is artificial, artificial meaning not native to the city’s vernacular or landscape, the city was advertised as a model for the real estate capitalism, thus inviting more people and cultures to come into the city and further change/establish Los Angeles’ identity through means of artificiality. Identities are manufactured through the use of artificial architecture.These identities glamorized through pop culture are contrived from the seemingly artificial and misplaced architecture that’s intrinsic to the city.
Los Angeles offers a lot of different topographies, and hence varied lifestyles. Four types of residential architecture were studied to identify the type of lifestyle they represented.
California Bungalow represents a quaint, simple and good lifestyle that one can enjoy while relaxing on the front porch.
Dingbat is a multiple dwelling building and is built for efficiency for the inhabitant and their car.
Case Study House offers a totally new, designed and invented lifestyle for it’s inhabitants.
Beverly Hills Mansion embodies a lifestyle of excess and insinuated success.
It takes a certain person to live in each of these residential types and in that way an individual can identify with their architecture. The architecture serves as another mode of self expression for the inhabitant.
An amalgamation of identities (mutated residential types) revealed similarities to plastic surgery. Plastic surgery is the attempt to artificially alter one’s own facade to create one more intrinsic to themselves. Plastic surgery and gender reassignment surgery, though different extremes, were similar and both resolved in a patient further exposing their intrinsic identity. Through artificial means, the patients were achieving intrinsic results. The artificial architectural identity gives non binary individuals something to relate to.
Site is located in the hills because it represents a sense of splendor created by pop culture. This is needed because pop culture has the ability to glamorize anything and eventually making it accepted by all which is needed for LGBT in crisis.
study of the user
LGBT young adults, 15 - 23 years of age from all over the country, to come into their identities and thereby, become strong and confident individuals.
The current residential types studied in Los Angeles, antiquated due to their formatic rigidity and strict programmatic organization, need to be re-crafted and mutated to better serve the (in crisis) transient LGBT demographic. We propose an architecture with a range of boundaries, indeterminacy of program, where notions of (in) formality and privacy are tested. The speculation is that identity in flux can be crafted through a malleable, fluid architecture where one’s sense of self is not “selected: but acquired over time through experience, the same way one would in a supportive domestic condition while growing up. The tenuous relationship between inside and outside, precision of variation in topography, slope and surface porosity/vegetation variation and anonymity of surfaces all further question the conventions of housing and the strict dichotomy (separation) of architecture and landscape.
The city is lacking a type for a temporary residency community center that’s intended to create a community of strength and support; a community that some LGBT youths long for and need. This center would provide a home and acceptance to the LGBT community struggling to accept and come into their own intrinsic identities. The center proposes two programs for young adults from all over the country:
2-and-a-half-month summer program catered to queer young adults of 15 - 24 years of age.
1-year program designed for high schoolers of 15 - 18 years of age.
These programs push and engage the individual to enjoy and learn more about themselves in a judgement-free environment.
Key features of the program
Advisors to support participants during and after program.
Therapy sessions, physical tests and exercises.
Socialization between participants.
Applications for sponsorship for those who cannot afford the cost of the program.
4 beds left available for those in the same age group in dire need of shelter.
A queer space that has no identity onto which others can impose their own. We imagined a single strip of paper as a facade and began manipulating it to create new identities. This revealed an indeterminate program that tested privacy through ranges of boundaries and layered spaces. The architecture itself allowed the inhabitants to be introspective. Spaces without assigned/specific program gives way to the pre-existing notions of a nuclear family which in turn allows for inhabitants to project and formulate their identities. In this queer space, scared, insecure and vulnerable young individuals learn about themselves in a supportive and safe community that the program provides. Through gradual progress, they grow into their unique identities.
what I learned
Hypothesis based research.
Identify criteria/key elements to easily move from research to ideation.
Communicating your concepts using different media.