my easement to cross through,” or “I like the color blue,” and the like), it becomes inflected and acquires complexity over time.
D26: After reading L.A. Under the Influence, we were particularly intrigued by the representational choices you made for the project. The diagrams and photographs you use to expose and unpack the eccentricities of Los Angeles seem to parallel the work of Robert Venturi and the 1968 Yale studio. How do you position your book in relation to Learning From Las Vegas? RS: I’ve been very interested over the last year in issues of representation, specifically urban representation, because I feel as though our limited pal-
RS: The design approach that the book suggests is yet to be tested to some extent; the subject is as yet unexcavated by my design work. The Target project can’t be seen as a true manifestation of the research because it’s really driven from the inside out. While the proposal is informed by the surrounding context in a general way through its scripting, it doesn’t deal head on with issues of property law—who’s immediately next door, and so on. What I’m interested in is the formal complexity that evolves with respect to these forces, creating spaces that are inexplicably odd but undeniably new. Fenway Park’s “Green Monster” is a great example of this kind of space, where externalities pushing inwards impact how baseball is played there in a way that fundamentally affects the nature of the sport. Fenway is not a piece of high architecture, but I think it’s illustrative of the logics that can produce it.
D26: To that end, how do you start to use the project you articulate in L.A Under the Influence as a launching point for your design work? Based on your lecture, the Thinking Outside the Big Box project you did for Target seems to be the most closely aligned with the book.
At the same time, architecture cannot be meaningful as purely an index, so there needs to develop a series of techniques by which you translate those desires in ways that advance the singularity of the project as opposed to its dissolution. In the book, I argue for utter and complete transparency throughout this translation, which is exactly what the case studies illustrate in their hodge podge of elements. But in fact, the role of the architect needs to be asserted. The singularity we achieve in the built artifact is how you understand that it’s architecture doing the work. That’s the kind of substance the discipline can and must work towards.