Through various media, including books, pamphlets, newsletters, online articles and artist portfolios, the Forum fosters and documents discourse about architecture, design, and the city.
Pamphlet Series, 2003-2010:
The LA Forum recently completed a series of six pamphlet-sized books, the ‘Pamphlet Series’, which consists of the following:
The Pamphlet Series project was made possible with support and funding from the Los Angeles Forum for Architecture and Urban Design, The National Endowment for the Arts, and the City of Los Angeles, Department of Cultural Affairs. The Pamphlet Series is available from R.A.M. Publishers. www.rampub.com.
From Print to Web – Forum Newsletters and Forum Issues:
In January of 1988, the Forum began to publish Forum Newsletter for its members and distributed to over 2,000 interested readers. The Newsletter reports on the activities of the Forum and includes commentary, criticism and members’ concerns. For its first four years, writer, planner, architect Natalie Shivers served as Newsletter Editor. During most of 1992 and 1993, Architectural Historian Sylvia Lavin edited the Newsletter and oversaw a major re-design executed by Whitney Lowe of ReVerb. In 1994, architect Chava Danielson assumed editorial responsibilities with Joe Day as her co-editor. In 1998/99, the newsletter was edited by Barbara Bestor. Jack Burnett-Stuart and Rachel Allen brought the newsletter to the web. After three years on the web, the newsletter was redesigned and renamed Forum Issues, whose editors included Alan A Loomis. Additional online articles focusing on topics and projects outside the bounds of specific Forum Issues were distributed as ‘Online Features’ .Forum Issues ran through the mid-Aughts, when the Forum shifted it’s focus back to publishing, with the Pamphlet Series. Selections from Forum Issues in 2004 were collected for the publication Forum Annual 2004.
An occasional series, the LA Forum Portfolios are limited edition prints by contemporary artists. Each portfolio is curated by an LA Forum board member, who solicits the generosity of local artists asking them to contribute a work. By engaging in the local art community, the LA Forum takes a step back to view architecture from a conceptual and visual perspective. The resulting prints provide a varied look at Los Angeles’ design practices and urban landscape.
Each portfolio is a limited small edition. All proceeds go directly to LA Forum programming, which provides lectures, discussions, tours, catalogues and events open to any with an interest in design. Before moving information distribution primarily online, the Forum would occasionally issue the Forumemo, where Forum members received a postcard with original work by artists included in the Portfolio Series on one side and annoucements of Forum events on the other.
Prior to the Pamphlet Series, the Forum’s publications included small essays, pamphlets, photographic series and books. Forum publications allow topical investigations and adventurous experimentation in keeping with the Forum’s overall mission. Previous Forum publications included Swimming to Suburbia, Los Angeles Boulevard: Eight X-Rays of the Body Public, Experimental Architecture in Los Angeles, Everyday Urbanism and Wrapper, as well as the previously mentioned Forum Newsletters, Forum Issues and the Forum Annual.
A brief description of the earlier publications (click on titles for more information):
[#1] SWIMMING TO SUBURBIA: Some Thoughts on the New City and How it Came to be That Way by Craig Hodgetts. An illustrated essay based on his talk to the Forum.
[#2] 35MM WORKS by photographer Grant Mudford. A book of Mudford’s black and white photographs of the every-day architecture of several American cities, including Los Angeles. Designed and handbound by architect Gary Paige.
[#3] THE ECOLOGY OF FANTASY by Margaret Crawford. A small essay describing the relationship between theme parks and modern American urbanism.
[#4] RECOMBINANT IMAGES IN LOS ANGELES by the Central Office of Architecture. A series of a dozen black-and-white photographs by COA “created through the super-imposition of found urban artifacts pulled from their functional context and treated as fragment and empty sign” with accompanying text.
[#5] LOS ANGELES BOULEVARD: EIGHT X-RAYS OF THE BODY PUBLIC written and designed by Douglas R. Suisman. A 72-page book divided into eight in-depth analyses of Los Angeles’ Boulevards (“the irreducible armature of the city’s public space) ranging from “The Pueblo/Rancho Landscars” to “Cross-Sections of the Public Realm.”
[#6] 33/ D6, E6. In the Fall of 1989, the Forum invited the design community to present investigations of emerging urban forms in Los Angeles, particularly at one confrontational site: the area defined in the Thomas Brothers systems as page 33, coordinates D6 and E6, which includes the Beverly Center, Ma Maison Hotel, Cedars Sinai, the Beverly Connection, numerous other corner malls and a complex street network. The investigation posed the question, “What is to be done?” Four design teams (Norman Millar and Sheila Klein; Lynn Batsch and Kevin O’Brien; Michele Saee; and Michael Sorkin) were selected to develop and publish their solutions.
[#7] ARCH INFO by Douglas MacLeod. Addresses architecture as information and takes the form of a HyperCard Stack for the Macintosh computer. Includes a computer diskette with all required software, duly licensed for personal use. Also included are 40 printed 4 1/2″ x 7″ cards that display the majority of the screen images that appear in the stack. ARCHINFO has sections on information, on paradigms, on Hypertext, unpredictability, and analysis of Los Angeles based on these concepts. Taking advantage of the non-linear and interactive forms of Hypertext, the primary text also includes comments by Aaraon Betsky, Christian Hubert, and Sanford Kwinter.
[#8] EXPERIMENTAL ARCHITECTURE IN LOS ANGELES by Leon Whiteson, John Chase, and Aaron Betsky with an Introduction by Frank Gehry. This book was published by Rizzoli International and features the work of 22 architecture firms presented during the Forum’s “Out There Doing It” lecture series. It was designed by Lorraine Wild of Cal Arts and the design firm ReVerb.
[#9] Publication by architect Neil Denari.(Not Completed)
[#10] LOS ANGELES AND THE L.A. SCHOOL by Marco Cenzatti accompanied by a reproductions of a painting series on Los Angeles, “Skycam,” by artist Peter Alexander. Designed by Christopher Vice. Cenzatti introduces the work of a group of urban theorists known as the “Los Angeles School,” a school of thought known for its analysis of Los Angeles’s economic characteristics and spatial development.
[#11] BUILDING PARANOIA by Steven Flusty with photographs by Benny Chan. Designed by architects/graphic designers Nicholas Lowe and Sheridan Lowrey. Case studies documenting the privitization of what was once public space though methods such as street barricades, fortification, security systems, etc.
[#12] EVERYDAY URBANISM edited by Margaret Crawford, John Chase, and John Kaliski (Monacelli Press, 1999, 2nd ed. 2008). This book contains essays and visual images which serve as a tool for understanding the “as-found” character of our cities. “Everyday Urbanism” is based on the daily experience of the city – trips to supermarkets, the commute to work, the journey along the strip passing by the mini-mall, the carwash, and the franchise food emporium.
[#13] WRAPPER by Mary Ann Ray and Robert Mangurian (William Stout, 2000). This book features a collection of drawings for the redesign of the facade of the Museum of Jurassic (William Stout, 2000). This book features a collection of drawings for the redesign of the facade of the Museum of Jurassic Technology in Los Angeles.