I have chosen to bring to light a person who has had a great impact on the documentation of architecture and city planning research. Reyner Banham, a British born historian who made a name for himself through his personal explorations of Los Angeles, a city which he fell in love with. In his book entitled “Los Angeles: The Architecture of Four Ecologies“, he dissects LA into four distinct enclaves. I would like to remark on the style in which he wrote about the city. Banham developed his book with a simple story-telling method, sometimes called “New Journalism”, or “Psychogeography”, his colloquial approach makes this book a fantastic read. Reyner Banham wrote “Los Angeles” over 40 years ago, but its non-stuffy style makes it extremely captivating even to a non-architect reader.
I bring this up to make the point that architecture is not only just for architects, but it can, and should, be experienced by everyone on a daily basis. Below is a link to a on hour video Banham created during his observational research for his book. The video explores Los Angeles through Banham’s eyes as he drives from LAX to Watts, Malibu and back again.
Banham work is an inspiration to me and to the creation of this blog. I encourage everyone to pick up his book or watch his movie and see for yourselves that architecture is all around us in many forms. From highway infrastructure to art galleries, the impact of design is accessible to all who choose to engage it.