April 20, 2003
It appears that Sylvia Lavin, head of UCLA's department of architecture and urban design, never designed any buildings or urban spaces that were actually built and recognized for their quality ("Lab for Discontent?", April 13). What qualifies her for her post? Her students are either cowed into surrender or, wisely, hit the road. Those who rebel but stay will be "road kill," since Chancellor Carnesale seems tolerant of this circus in the name of "progressivism." I think Lavin is the one who should hit the road along with Carnesale and others of the new order at UCLA who are bringing disgrace to what was a great school.
April 20, 2003
In the extraordinary article on the chairwoman of the UCLA architecture program, Sylvia Lavin is praised for recruiting extraordinary and elite faculty, embracing cutting-edge theory and technology, setting high performance standards, and maintaining a posture of toughness and intellectual rigor ("Lab for Discontent?," April 13). Critics, some of whom are described as accomplished professionals in their own right, paint a picture that is a caricature of architectural education: an already exaggerated crucible of critical intensity, humiliation, emphasis on theory removed from "clinical" reality, nepotism, and coerced retirement.
December 10, 2001
Re "L.A. Art Museum Decides to Radically Reshape Itself," Dec. 6: It is incomprehensible that for the final selection of the architect for the Los Angeles County Museum of Art there was not a single California architect on the assessment and advice committee to the board of trustees (architectural selection committee). The three advisors, Richard Koshalek, Neil M. Denari and Sylvia Lavin, are not California-licensed architects. Is the profession of architecture now so redundant that it is not involved in any important decisions regarding the selection of the architect for such an important commission?
October 22, 2003 |
On Thursday, Walt Disney Concert Hall, Frank O. Gehry's architectural fusion of fantasy and high tech, formally opens atop Bunker Hill. At the least, it will provide the city with a home for the Los Angeles Philharmonic, an experimental theater space and a new meaning for the word "Disneyfication." But some of its backers promised more: a signature for a city without a symbol. Are its stainless steel waves and sails up to the task?
March 8, 2013 |
There's sure to be much to pore over in "Overdrive: L.A. Constructs the Future, 1940-1990," the ambitious anchor show of the Getty's Pacific Standard Time series on modern architecture in and around Los Angeles. But it's on the periphery of this giant undertaking, which is funding nine major exhibitions and will sprawl across the calendar from early spring to midsummer, where the real surprises are most likely to be found. That's especially true of the shows aiming to look beyond well-known midcentury landmarks and reassess the work of the L.A. architects who emerged in the 1960s and '70s and challenged orthodox modernism in a range of ways.
HOME & GARDEN
October 17, 2009 |
Since curating Frank Gehry's first major retrospective, an exhibition at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis in 1986, Mildred Friedman has written extensively about the master architect. For her latest book, she has selected 21 of Gehry's most significant, mid-career residential buildings from the 1960s to the late 1980s. The houses predate Gehry's best-known works and, with a couple of exceptions, are free of computer-aided-design structures. Friedman's choices underscore the organic nature of Gehry's early experimentation with form and materials, and they illustrate the creative spirit of the houses.