The studio concerned itself with the area in and around MacArthur Park in the neighborhood just west of downtown Los Angeles. MacArthur Park is one of the oldest parks in the city in a neighborhood that has seen dramatic changes throughout its history – from an area of neglect, to an upscale neighborhood for the rich and powerful, to the birthplace of violent gangs, and now a vibrant neighborhood under intense gentrification pressures. The final project imagines a new topography for MacArthur Park that will support the cultivation of a new forest.
This course builds upon the skills acquired in ARCH 541a furthering the ability of students to think spatially and design at multiple scales. Students not only investigate physical conditions but also become familiar with the less tangible aspects of our urban environment – including but not limited to social, cultural, and economic issues – and how they effect the urban environment. Students develop their skills through a series of tasks that culminate in a comprehensive proposal for a strategic urban intervention.