for presentation : download here
for presentation : download here
a car and trailer activating public space…
Notes w/ one of my advisors Jennifer Krasinski
How do you consider for people to come closer?
From afar do people approach? You will have cars on one side and pedestrians on the other? How do communicate at different speeds?
social media? Little Blue Trailer
? LBT ? twitter and wordpress?
February 16 2012 (7 days prep!)
- first experiment
- pick up truck!
- locations: MacArthur and Koreatown?
- assistance with documentation
- plan materials
- simple message
- simple execution
drawing out the lines
parking day resemblance
documentation of car / pedestrian relationship
drawing plans and sections
responsive system can be the proposed for the future growth of this project
This past week, I worked with a good friend of mine Alice — who graduated from University of Southern California (USC), MArch, Architecture and Building Science. She has an expertise with Rhinoscript and CATIA, but more importantly, a very knowledgeable take on generative and parametric design. We worked on a few sketches of spine structures and the possibilities of how they can make not only a dynamic skin structure, but how they can be seen as a new kind of architectural ornament.
In my last line of references, I have been reading Henrik Reeh’s analysis of Sigfreid Kracauer’s research and fictional work on architectural ornaments during early part of modernism in the 20th century. Reeh’s take on Kracauer’s work illuminates the idea of how ornament and the everyday life is a relationship that encompasses image, memory and narrative. This book goes into detail of how architectural ornaments have a two-dimensional spatiality that allow them to have different forms of abstraction. This was heavily reflected in Kracauer’s novel Ginster, where the main character begins to imagine ornaments around him drastically transform before him.
One aspect that I realized is that soft structures/ornaments designed for urban space are or can be called media because they posses a two-dimensional feature from those who view and approach them. They are not program heavy and can be almost too nostalgic and really speak about aesthetic beauty. They are for interpretation, re-constituting and re-negotiating.
Current updated thesis paper can be found below: (01/16/2012)
sign obstruction courtesy of Road View Ads
via their website:
Road View Ads offers owners and agents worry-free facilitation and management of their outdoor advertising space. This includes the research and labor necessary in obtaining, constructing and maintaining these structures and spaces. RVA is active in contracting and negotiating with both public entities and private organizations, and will ensure the security of your property from start to finish. This includes, but is not limited to, obtaining the necessary licenses, permits, consultation, and litigation on your behalf. RVA also interacts with advertisers to sell and manage the space and content on the property. From scheduling, managing, and selling ad space Road View Ads does it all.
According to the current LAMC (Los Angeles Municipal Code) and recent ordinances passed by the LA City Attorney office, advertised trailers pose a current hindrance to drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists. LADOT (Los Angeles Department of Transportation) can only cite when these ‘hitched trailers’ are parked over the designated parking time. In a recent conversation with the North Hollywood LADOT branch, Road View Ads are experts in these trailers as they once outlawed for having 10 foot frames with wheels and an attachment for hauling. Now they evolved the forms of these to be have a smaller width and be attached by chain to small mo-ped vechicles. By doing this, these trailers are in a grey area of the LAMC and LADOT officers are unable to cite or impound these vehicles because there is no present law to enforce.
Road View Ads is a clear example of how companies been able to strategically manipulate public space for financial gain. They advertise that they have the litigation power for permits and can protect their clients wants for advertising. How can publics respond to these kinds of situations? What are tactics that can be done to only reclaim streetscape for public need but also establish a dialogue/ response to private companies taking advantage of municipal codes ?
What is interesting is that Road View Ads predominately have their sign located in the southern part of the San Fernando Valley. The large width of the boulevards have never been viewed as a contested space. However, with this small litigation battle between LADOT and Road View Ads, what are values of street scape? The definition of public space for Los Angeles is now being questioned because parks and beaches aren’t sufficient. Streets and sidewalk are being manipulated by private enterprises – can publics respond? Or do certain publics need to be created to respond?
1. Recently passed in August 2011, AB 1298 specifically authorizes cities to define minimum distances illegally parked vehicles with hitched advertising trailers must move within a 72-hour period. If not moved the requisite distances, the vehicles may be impounded. link : http://atty.lacity.org/NEWS/ssLINK/LACITYP_015391
Local Code: The Constitution of a City at 42 degrees North Latitude by Michael Sorkin was published in 1996 by Princeton Architectural Press. In this creative writing exercise, Sorkin uses the mundane techniques of policy and municipal code writing to illustrate an urban condition ideal for its citizens. It has been described by Lebbus Woods as a “landmark manifesto on an urban dwellers’ bill of rights“. That part of the book is what is striking about this writing (please see image below).
The use of this writing methodology requires a keen understanding of how municipal codes are self referential. In my previous work with architectural firms in Los Angeles, one of the biggest lessons with understanding these kinds of city code was that you had make sure your drawings interpret without doubt what specific part of the code (building,zoning, neighborhood ordinance) they were referencing. When it comes to creating spaces in cities, one has to understand how certain code systems overlay each other. For instance, one part of the zoning code may say that you are required to have ‘two’ new streetlight posts on the sidewalk for your new building. The building code helps define what constitutes as a streetlight post requirement (location in sidewalk, powers of lumens and specific heights of the structure). However, another layer that finesses these streetlights even further might be a neighborhood ordinance. These site specific plans can determine an specific manufacture and a certain aesthetic of the streetlight- it may even increase the number required!
Yet, Sorkin’s Local Code is another take of how this kind of policy writing can be more fruitful in terms of the possibilities of what one can build in the city of 42 Longitude. He creates generic terms such as ‘Party Walls’, ‘Edges’, ‘Nubes’ and ‘Cuts’ and creates specific definitions for what they are in terms of basic structure. Yet, for all of these he give certain allowances and variances that advocates a sense of play with constraint. Again, the further you read, you find also that Sorkin has these structures connect to each other depending on where they are geographically in 42 Longitiude.
So many reports. I keep thinking to myself that with all of these, I can design a home of with no identity – it just would be collapsing all time. Imaging that- where I live can be easily tucked away. Scrubbing through all the ones I made in the last twenty-four hours has made my teeth grind. Capt. Larsen says I can’t leave until I match one with the perp sitting the holding cell.
- Can I get out ? What’s going on?
- Just sit there! Martinez can you find that damn report? Why didn’t you take and upload this idiot’s picture when you were giving out those citations?
Capt. is losing his mind…
-…Can I make a phone call!??
-WAIT! We’re almost done.
-Martinez, my patience is wearing thin.
Dammit, he’s just another occupier/ dialectic junkie – that was given a citation with the other 300 today near the Parkers Building. Sometimes I don’t understand why we take them in. I make about twenty-something reports a day with today being the exception. Sidewalks aren’t what they used to be. I grew up think they were just concrete with a random tree or two. I missed how my mom would walk me to the academy every morning. It was such a cold building. Dark glass tower that just pierced the sky is what I saw five days a week.
Fortunately the sidewalk had beautiful palm trees that lead you into an open square infront of the building. That is where I met all the other kids. We were all part of a private school sponsored by Parker Investment Management. Sharing the same building with men and women in suits, ties and heels was always common.
Growing up to study mechanical and media engineering was one thing- ending up as a code inspector was never in the plan. I remember my first project where my professor showed how digital media can be blanketed in something as thin as plastic. Watching an old stream of President Obama’s exit speech and then scrubbing through the footage by just treating the plastic as if it were a blanket. I could remember my hands going across as if I were 5 year old again.
Now every raging liberal is out in the banking district creating a make shift city in Parker Plaza. It only started two days ago. The palms no longer linger in the wind. Artificial duplicates that are too perfect have replaced all of the palm. You can’t tell the difference between them. They all have vertical thin surfaces that stretch out from the plastic palms leaves. Yes they are for cellphone signals.
-Martinez!?! Do you have it yet?!
-Just wait sir, I narrowed it down to three.
Sometimes, I feel the city gives us anti-tools that prevent us from having a relationship. I am going to be late?I will just buzz Marcus on his email that I’ll be there in an hour. My fingers can only flicker so much across this god-forsaken screen. Ok. These three are close to the search query of “UNIDENTIFIED MEMBRANE STRUCURES, ILLEGAL USE OF FRAME, SCREENING MEDIA, DISRUPTION OF PUBLIC RIGHT OF WAY, 22 YRS, CAUCASIAN
Date of Violation: 04/23/2023 Time: 11:47 HRS Location: 633 Plaza Way
Name: GARY LOCKE Age: 22 ID Number: D2345321
Code and Section: 3102.2 MS Misdemeanor : [X] Felony : 
Description: Illegal use of membrane structure. Cable Restraints used were used as the support structure for media. No permit for broadcast media in a non-broadcasting zone C-2A.
Date of Violation: 04/23/2023 Time: 15:11 HRS Location: 633 Plaza Way
Name: RENE EINAUDI Age: 22 ID Number: D998633
Code and Section: 3102.2 MS Misdemeanor : [ ] Felony : [X]
Description: Illegal use of a membrane structure. Air inflated structure used. No permit for broadcast media in a non-broadcasting zone C-2A.
Date of Violation: 04/23/2023 Time: 21:55 HRS Location: 633 Plaza Way
Name: DARIN LEE Age: 22 ID Number: C096732
Code and Section: 3102.2 MS Misdemeanor : [X] Felony : 
Description: Illegal use of membrane structure. Membrane-covered frame structure used. No Permit for Group Performance in a Public Right of Way. No permit for broadcast media in a non-broadcasting zone C-2A.
Now, which one? This perp has no ID on him. Yet, he’s in a holding cell.
– I have three sir!
- Well, let’s finally take a look.
Captain briefly looks and enlarges the second report C240 on the screen.
- There! That’s it.
- Wait? He has no ID, how can we be positive?
- Martinez, witnesses on site saw him an air-inflated in-structure that quickly expanded to nearly 30 feet tall. Once it was up it projected all those anti-Parkers images. He’s the one PIM want to take legal action against. Now set the perp up to see a judge for sentence and bail.
- Yes, sir.
Finally, I can just wrap this up. Take the perp to upstairs holding cell for transfer and arraignment in the morning.
- Wow, you found my name. Now, I need a new ID card.
- You will be arraign in the morning on one count felony of Code Section 3101.2 illegal use of a membrane structure. You will have an attorney meet with you in the morning. You can make one phone call now to whomever you wish.
– That won’t be necessary-
- I thought it would be…but no need.
- Are you sure?
- Yes, my AIS served me well.
- It is illegal to use them in private area without a permit.
- Do you think you really know the definition of private verses public in city streets?
- Don’t question me! I don’t have time for this.
- What you saw was not protest but an exercise of speech. It was about the aesthetics of the everyday banal coming into fruition as a media object. My object.
Nov 7 2011 // Committee Members :
Molly Wright Steenson : Writing
don’t worry its going to take awhile to cypher through…
Publics and Inorganic Chaos:
How does a group come together with a shared motivation. Occupy Movement shows a public activating a space because there is a level of resources is being shown. There is also display of power within the temporal and deployable. For
Tent is Media // Tarp vs Tent
The committee commented that there has been many soundscape and imagescape projects that operate on urban scales from 2002 that . However do these precidents activate the spectrum of organic vs structure. Is the third condition that the research was looking for a design quality? Are there multiple variations and plot points of structured verses organic?
Space and the Structures of
Laws and ordinance have determine the temporal, Occupy LA are not only for political and social dialogue but also what are the small vs big issues for use of public space.
Pulling the Spectrum of Organic vs Structured
Soft isn’t just inflatable, less material, or. How will the media I will create facilitate negotiations? If the media is architectural, how will create the negotiations the public need to communicate with each other?
There has always been codes – they are judicial, parametric, and soft. We are trying to figure out the margins of all these occupation movements that are currently happening as of Nov 2011 across public urban spaces in major cities. However, the research of Strange Quotidian is negotiating objectivity with those have personal stake within the Occupy LA movement. A network of soft structures should be able to not only find loopholes in building codes and zoning codes – but use those tools to create media events of the everyday. There is without a doubt a conversation about reclaiming public space for free speech. As a media designer, the research approach should not only be objective in providing tools that enable those negotiations for those participants. Media is taking on architectural language to playout what can publics do in urban spaces by using temporal structures that focus on drawing out the lines and boundaries of city code for public space. The goal is to not only operate in the margins in this type of ‘code-breaking’ but also tease out tensions of organic happenings and structured movements in these reclaimed spaces.
new references: http://www.raumlabor.net/
The past Halloween 2011, the 2011-2012 thesis class presented their current research of their individual thesis projects to the Media Design Program. On hand were current faculty and adjunct faculty. For Strange Quotidian, its research was presented in three parts : three interviews, experiments and three mapped sites. Within the background was my current thesis statement with photos from StrangeCam conducted in Occupy LA and Mid Wilshire.
For the three experiments, the feedback from different faculty members centered around opportunities of permeability verses the theme of just using objects in space. The LightCatcher and StrangeCam objects create space with a specific constraint and negotiation. Due to the LightCatcher being work in progress, its folding apparatus along the one shared with StrangeCam highlight negotiations of participant movement pretty well. Yet, the feedback of where participants receive photos a few days later is a real stretch of the imagination on their part.
The LightCather still needs to be tested in a public space. However, the feedback loop is different here since silhouettes and shadows will be cast on surfaces in plazas for others to see.
The Line Game was presented as a conversation between myself and Matt Manos about shared spaces within a board game. Every iteration a rule was added to this maze game. However, the specificity of the rules was not my main interest but how the format of rule making allowed for the forms of the gameboard to evolve into intricate spaces.
Three Sites represented three types occupation within the given contexts: Red Line Station of Vermont/Wilshire, LA City Hall Front Lawn and Alvarado St adjacent to MacArthur Park.
These were mapping exercises of how certain frameworks of occupying activated public spaces in Los Angeles. Storefront communities of Alvarado Street will use vertical racks and blankets to layout merchandise and extend their retail space on a 5-10 foot sidewalk. The Occupy LA movement has reclaimed the City Hall front lawn as decentralized community clusters. However, the Farmers Market to the Vermont/Wilshire station adhere to strict location grid for booths. Certain comments and questions that struck with me are : How do physical structures represent our digital cultures? If tent is a media – is that a meta-term for media? How can this analysis also address graphic design, print and sound in public spaces? Another reference give was Lucy Orta ‘s work for refugee groups in the 1990s.
Strange Quotidian has benefited from interviewing an activist implementing more public parks in Los Angeles, an urban designer that works in LA and Morocco and urban designer that works a specific Downtown neighborhood. These three have spoken to me a common thread of frameworks and agency in urban design. How do everyday pedestrians feel a sense of ownership with in public space? How does even something as banal as a doorway activate streetscape? How do you use design to de-layer a neighborhood and reveal communities with goals of growth?
For now, the focus is now seeing the current body work as objects of specific analysis that can be used as a framework for making. Strange Quotidian seeks to operate a scale that is way bigger than its experiments (StrangeCams, Line Game, Light Catcher) and yet small than the analyzed sites of City Hall and Alvarado. Soft, temporal structures speak about digital cultures and can be used by pedestrians to not only create new everyday occurrences but to also reveal new potential of public spaces in Los Angeles.
photo courtesy of Jeremy E. !
Recently, my writing advisors Elizabeth Chin and Molly Steenson introduced me to eruv - a structure erected around orthodox Jewish communites throughout the world. They are erected with the permission of local authorities and in accordance with the lengthy and complex set of architectural laws set forth in the Talmud. The construction of eruvin (or eruvim, plural for eruv) stems from the observation of Shabbat, the weekly day of rest (Friday sundown to Saturday sundown) that includes a prohibition against carrying objects outside of one’s home, or private domain. Religious law forbids one from carrying objects outside the home on the Sabbath, but the eruv extends the home, with a symbolic doorframe, allowing women to carry their children outside the home. The wire or string must form a continuous boundary and may be strung along telephone poles or buildings. A natural boundary such as a river bank or steep hill can also be used as part of the eruv, as can an actual wall of a building.
Daniel Beauregard of the The Champion Newspaper of DeKalb County, GA discussed of Orthodox Jews in Delkalb have developed the eruv’s to be in sync with power line and black string. Thus, the process of creating an eruv doesn’t just create a boundary – but an extension of personal space for a cultural group. Click photo for article.
Photo courtesy of Daniel Beauregard
One translation into the digital realm for eruv was done by Elliot Malkin of New York Times. Click the photo below for the article.
Here is the project description:
eRuv is a digital graffiti project installed along the route of the former Third Avenue elevated train line in lower Manhattan. The train line, dismantled in 1955, was more than just a means of transport; it was part of an important religious boundary – an eruv – for a Hasidic community on the old Lower East Side. Using semacodes, the former boundary is reconstructed and mapped back onto the space of the city, and pedestrians with camera phones can access location-specific historical content
Photo courtesy of Elliott Malkin
These two particular articles reveal that the aesthetics and practice of eruv structures enable a cultural group with to create extensions, not boundaries, within the public domain. In DeKalb County, GA, the eruv has merged with telecommunication structure (telephone wires, etc) that it has create roles of preserving and maintaining a cultural practice – since the eruv needs to be certified. Within Malkin’s project, the eruv identified in that Manhattan community was discovered also built from city infrastructure. The 3rd Ave train line was parallel along the eruv. Once it was dismantled in 1955 – so was the trace. The semacode done Malkin doesn’t just try to rebuild that part of eruv but also use technology to reveal the infrastructural history of that train line.
Within in my own neighborhood of Van Nuys, CA, many pedestrians casually pass by infrastructure that tie peculiar part os the street together. Also, few unusual object pop up as well- temporary CCTV systems. Below are a few snapshots of these conditions. They are not eruv – and may even seem irregular in terms of form relating to streetscape. However, they are regular because they blend a soft condition (the need for telecommunication) with hardscape. The space in between is enough to pass by- knowing that I have basic cable for the night.