The 3rd L.A. Project: Conversation, Discussion, Debate

Feb 9, 2015

mission1“We need to create bridges—east-west, cross-cultural, cross-class. There are few existing platforms for discussing Los Angeles, the collective idea of the city,” says President of Occidental College Jonathan Veitch.

To launch and propel this desire, Occidental College is hosting conversations, which will be directed by Christopher Hawthorne—Professor of Practice in the Urban & Environmental Policy Department—and held in collaboration with KPCC. Hawthorne is also the artchitecture critic at the Los Angeles Times.

The result is “a series of conversations” that’s being called The Third Los Angeles Project. Guest speakers will include cultural critics, policymakers, historians, architects, and activists. The first conversation is Thursday, February 12th at Occidental College.

“We’re in a new phase in our civic development,” continues Veitch. “And this is the time to come together and discuss and debate the future of our city.”




For complete info, please visit Details of the six “conversations” may be found below, from the official press release…


The conversations are open to the public and are free to attend. Some will be held on the Occidental College campus in Eagle Rock, while a few are planned for other locations around the city including the MAK Center/Schindler House in West Hollywood, the Line Hotel in Koreatown and Clockshop Los Angeles near the Los Angeles River. The schedule is as follows:

1. Welcome to the Third Los Angeles – An introduction to the series and discussion of L.A.’s renewed attention to its public realm, and how the change relates to the architectural, urban and political history of Los Angeles. With UCLA’s Dana Cuff, REDCAT Gallery Director Ruth Estevez, Occidental’s Mark Vallianatos, historian William Deverell, writer Alissa Walker and others; moderated by Christopher Hawthorne.

February 12, 7:30-9 p.m., Occidental College, Choi Auditorium, 1600 Campus Rd., L.A. 90041. For more details and to rsvp, please visit



2. Post-Immigrant Los Angeles – How foreign-born residents, and their expectations about how cities work, shape the architecture and urbanism of Los Angeles. With Occidental’s Jan Lin and Kelema Moses and others. February 18th, Line Hotel in Koreatown.

3. City of Quartz at 25 – A critical view of the impact of Mike Davis’s City of Quartz: Excavating the Future in Los Angeles (published in 1990) and what it means for architects and writers a generation later. With Los Angeles Times book critic David Ulin, deputy mayor of Los Angeles Rick Cole and others. March 4th, location TBD.

Editor’s note: Reflecting on Mike Davis’ City of Quartz, L.A. Times critic Christopher Hawthorne wrote that though “Mike Davis’ 1990 attack on the rampant privatization and gated-community urbanism of Southern Calfornia—what he calls the region’s “spatial apartheid”—is overwritten and shamelessly hyperbolic.…Davis set out to produce nothing less than a grand unified theory of Southern California urbanism, arguing that 1980s Los Angeles had become above all else a landscape of exclusion, a city in the midst of ‘a new class war … at the level of the built environment.’ ”


4. The New LACMA – A discussion featuring Los Angeles County Museum of Art director Michael Govan, journalist and critic Carolina Miranda and others on the controversial plan by Swiss architect Peter Zumthor to remake the museum campus. March 25th, Choi Auditorium, Occidental College.

5. The Future of the Single-Family House: New Housing Models for Los Angeles – Can the city grow denser without losing the low-rise appeal of its existing residential fabric? With architect Barbara Bestor, MAK Center’s Kimberli Meyer and others. April 8th, MAK Center at the Schindler House, West Hollywood.

6. What Do We Want the L.A. River to Be? A walking tour along the Bowtie Project in the Glendale Narrows section of the Los Angeles River followed by a discussion of the river’s emerging role as public and park space for Los Angeles. With Clockshop’s Julia Meltzer, architect Michael Maltzan, Public Works Commissioner Barbara Romero and others. April 22nd, Clockshop Los Angeles.

Photo credit: Neil Kremer

Photo credit: Neil Kremer




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