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Free Thinking In L.a.

May 11, 1997

As a young architect and former Frank Gehry employee, I take exception to Nicolai Ouroussoff's assertion that during the early '90s, "Unlike the East Coast scene . . . there was no clear theoretical center here" ("Basic Instinct," April 6). Most of the architects he mentions--including Buresh, Lubowicki, Mayne, Moss and Rotondi--were teaching at the Southern California Institute of Architecture, better known as SCI-Arc. As a graduate student at London's Architectural Assn. in 1990, all I heard about was the Los Angeles scene and SCI-Arc. While the West Coast has arguably always been less theory and more building-oriented than the East Coast, I found my return to SCI-Arc in 1991 to be as rich with discussions and debates about architectural theory and meaning as any I had heard in London.

SCI-Arc has always been the freest thinking, most experimental, innovative school in Los Angeles, if not the country. It has most clearly captured the spirit of Los Angeles.

Kevin Southerland

Playa del Rey

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