Introduction to the Forum

The primary purpose of the Forum is to provide a framework in which design professionals and members of the public can explore and evaluate the architecture and urban structure of the Los Angeles area.  The Forum seeks to promote and coordinate scholarly research, planning studies, artistic activities, and other endeavors which can affect and improve the build environment. We seek to disseminate the results of these activities to a larger public and to encourage informed evaluations of the physical environment of the city.  Through our programs, we hope to promote the establishment of an informed community of concerned professionals and members of the general public and to provide that community with a vehicle for dissemination of information to the public at large.

In its first six months of existence, the Forum sponsored two highly successful lecture and discussion series.  Material presented at these future events will form the basis for a series of publications devoted to Architecture and Urban Design in Los Angeles to be published bi-monthly.  The Forum has incorporated as non-profit public benefit corporation devoted primarily to educational purposes.  We are seeking to obtain Federal and State tax exemptions and to be recognized as a Public Charity by the IRS.

In 1988, we intend to coordinate and partially support a series of studies and proposals on public space, transportation, building types, and street patterns in Los Angeles.  We hope to obtain funding for these research projects from Federal and State organizations, to develop them in conjunction with the Forum’s meetings, and to present them to a wider public through symposia, exhibits, and publications.


Swimming to Suburbia: Some Thoughts on the New City and How it Came to be That Way
Craig Hodgetts

Suggestive Spaces

Themes no less than “Earth”, “Air”, “Fire”, and “Water” will be the Forum’s topics for investigation in a series of events entitled “Suggestive Spaces” to be held this Spring.  The cosmic elements will be transposed into the local vernacular via a range of discussions and tours that will explore the fundamental structure of Los Angeles. Each event will take place in a space evocative of the topic to be discussed, so please note the change in locations from meeting to meeting.  Events are free for member, $7.50 for non-members.

“Unveiling the Sky”, a discussion of the function, role, and place of tall buildings in Los Angeles with Richard Keating (Design Parner, S.O.M.), Scott Johnson (Design Partner, Pereira Associates), Mike Davis (Professor of Urban Geography, UCLA), and Thom Mayne (Partner, Morphosis; Professor, SCI-ARC). Tower Reception Room, Los Angeles City Hall, 200 N. Spring St. Monday, January 25, 7:30 pm.

Tour of Sylmar Aqueduct Filtration Plant and a discussion (tentatively scheduled) with Bill Morrish, Professor of Architecture at USC, whose investigations of the L.A. water system were published in Issue #16 of Modulus. Saturday, March  26, 1:00 pm.

Discussion of the Los Angeles landscape with Pamela Burton, landscape architect with Burton and Spitz. April 23, time and place t.b.a.

Tour of Union Oil Refinery, Wilmington. Limited number of places available. Call 389-6730 for information and reservations. Time and place t.b.a.

Theory Towards Architecture

The SCI-Arc Reading Group will meet biweekly to discuss the application of particular theories and modes of thinking to architecture.  Occasional guest speakers will be invited to discuss both their own work and interpretations of the relationship between theory and architecture.  Meetings will be held Monday evenings at 7 p.m. at SCI-Arc.  The cost is $20 for Forum members and SCI-Arc faculty and staff, $30 for non-members, and $10 for students.  Call Ann Bergrin (213-821-3494) or Aaron Betsky (213-938-6826) for more information.

Schedule (Tentative)
Discussion with Mark Wigley: “Derrida”. Monday, January 18.
Text: “Plato’s Pharmakon”, by Jacques Derrida. Monday, February 1.
Text: “Thinking”, by Hannah Arendt. Monday, February 15.
Selected texts by Svetlana Alpers, Donald Preziozi, Norman Bryson. Monday, February 29.
Text: The Order of Thing, by Michel Foucault. Monday, March 14.
Discussion with Cornel West: “Post-Modernism”. Monday, March 28.
Selected texts by Anthony Vidler. Monday, April 11.

Original Newsletter:

For a downloadable PDF copy of the original Newsletter with searchable text, click on the direct link below.

Newsletter_January – 1987