Learning from... Los Angeles

Talk, in English, Paul Desmarais Theatre, 28 May 2009

Los Angeles-based historian and tour guide Richard Schave examines developments in Los Angeles in the 35 years since the landmark urban tour film Reyner Banham Loves Los Angeles (UK,1972).

Schave, a former student of Banham, elaborates on his professor’s research by showing excerpts of the film in comparison with his own documentary photography. In particular, he explores signage, contextual environments, pop culture, and industry as driving force of environment. He touches on the modern architecture of Los Angeles, including the work of Richard Neutra, R.M. Schindler and Irving Gill.

Richard Schave is a guide for Esotouric Bus Adventures, a company that reinvents the guided bus tour by providing half-day excursions into the layers of history, culture, architecture and literature of the modern city of Los Angeles. He is incoming Director of the Downtown L.A. Art Walk, a successful grassroots event that revives long abandoned public spaces.

The Learning from… series takes its title from Learning from Las Vegas (1972), Robert Venturi, Denise Scott Brown, and Steven Izenour’s influential publication, which analysed the commercial strips and architectural symbolism of Las Vegas in order to understand urban sprawl. In this spirit, the series brings together experts to explore specific urban conditions and their relevance to the future development of cities.

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