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The Architecture of Four Ecologies

Banham’s Four Ecologies Revisited: A series of images revisiting Reyner Banham’s view of Los Angeles thirty-five years after his seminal book Los Angeles: The Architecture of Four Ecologies (1971) was published. The book was considered not only one of the […]

Architect Ted Kane takes a critical look at how city life predicated on total mobility and utterly dependent upon the corporate-controlled wireless world is expanding the meaning of urbanity while constricting the bedrock virtue of citizenship.

By reviewing Los Angeles through Banham’s now historic ecological categories (Autopia, Surfurbia, the Foothills, and the Plains of Id: each coined to lend clarity to an undefined, post-urban city), this year’s Portfolio artists present the ecologies one generation later, how both the city and the word “ecology” itself have evolved since the 1970s.

An essay describing the relationship between theme parks and modern American urbanism. This essay discusses how Reyner Banham’s autopia acts as a device for facilitating the melding of Jean Baudrillard’s hyper-reality, as embodied by themed environments such as Disneyland’s Main Street, into the true reality of urban Los Angeles.