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WA/SA [waldrip architects/ s.a.] [architecture- los angeles]

Alberti, Sandro House-Housing-Home; 1 February, 2002 [text8]

Working 9-5, at...

‘WA/SA’, ‘Aloha8’, and ‘Working 9 to 5, at...’

For those of you unable or unwilling to attend (I myself almost missed it) LA Forum’s round table on ‘House-Housing-Home’, starring Julie Eizenberg (who for some reason, since I ‘re-met’ her again some 6 months ago at a cocktail party, has become one of my architectural ‘heroes’ here in LA), never fret, for it seems to have been more of a discussion on ‘pure’ Housing. Don’t get me wrong, I feel that the topic

of ‘housing’ is important, as it is not only Malibu clients who need a roof over their head, and it is ‘housing’ that is most interlaced within ‘urbanism’ (the other 2 alternate foci, ‘home’ and ‘house’, tend to emphasize the quality of living within a private space, quantitative and qualitatively, and ‘privately’). But I am designing residential architecture these days, and I never grow tired of discovering options for siding materials, lighting, and kitchen technology, or novel topologies, circulation patterns, and relationships to context. At any rate, at the forum: Julie Eizenberg: “The problem with non-profit architecture is funding.” JE: “The issue of density is a marketing issue. [There are places in the world] where many people enjoy urban living.” JE: “We continue to sell the single-family housing re-packaged… [But popular, mainstream ‘marketers’ like Dwell and Ikea] support alternatives about real people living real lives, making a real mess.” JE: “We’re selling density wrong [, trying to conceal it]… There is a market for modernity and the density that goes along with it… Modernism has more potential at this time than the revival of historic styles.” Other comments from panel members included the idea that the code IS changing (LA zoning seems to be ‘willing’ to undergo ‘radical’ changes now, for the first time since 1965), and the critique that New Urbanism tends to create communities out of nothing (idealized, gated, and removed from the city).

are fictions of fen-om: [www.fen-om.com]

Suggestions for the future: 1. Get rid of 2-car requirements. 2. Narrow street widths. 3. The City should promote home ownership. 4. Lots should be able to be smaller (less than the current ‘sub-standard’ minimum of 5000 sqft). 5. Private owners should be more flexible about the use of their personal property. 6. People should become more involved with the community. 7. The focus should be on existing urbanism and its ‘housing stock’. 8. JE: “I want to design good buildings… People who work with me waste hours and hours… It’s going to take a 9-11 incident, relative to housing, to make things change.”

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Julie Eizenberg at LA Forum's round-table on the topic of 'housing'.


Julie Eizenberg at LA Forum's round-table on the topic of 'housing'.

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