A 'radical alternative': how Reyner Banham changed the perception of Los Angeles
"it performs the functions of a great city, in terms of size, cosmopolitan style, creative energy, international influence, distinctive way of life, and corporate personality [proves that] all the most admired theorists of the present century, from the Futurists and Le Corbusier to Jane Jacobs and Sibyl Moholy-Nagy, have been wrong.”
— the guardian
"In the 1960s, British architectural critic Reyner Banham declared his love for the city that his fellow intellectuals hated. What Banham wrote about Los Angeles redefined how the world perceived it – but what would he think of LA today?"With a nod to Glen Small's Biomorphic Biosphere is... View full entry
Hippie Modernism: How Bay Area design radicals tried to save the planet
Hippie modernism focused not on rigorous form but rather on a kind of socially inspired bricolage. Hippie modernism has been not only misunderstood but also underestimated. Buckminster Fuller’s concept of a ‘design science revolution’ inspired the hippie bricoleurs to shoulder their generation’s emerging notion of environmental stewardship.
— PLACES JOURNAL
Greg Castillo pens a great article about one of the most overlooked and often dismissed role of hippies in what we have today greedily claimed by the millenials and known as "environmental movement."“Hippie Modernism” is published in coordination with the Walker Art Center... View full entry
The Digital Future of Architectural History
In creating associated descriptive metadata, in tagging building entries to describe their materials, types, and, perhaps most especially, their styles, the author of metadata is practicing the historian’s craft and engaging in the historian’s stock in trade. "Name it, then we’ll know what it is," Reyner Banham suggested at the end of “The Great Gizmo.” We can name it metadata creation, but we already know what it is: architectural history.
— Places Journal
For several years Gabrielle Esperdy has been part of a team working on the development of SAH Archipedia — an online encyclopedia of American architecture sponsored by the Society of Architectural Historians. Here she explores the critical challenge of creating structural and descriptive... View full entry
Peter Reyner Banham Fellowship 2013-2014
Peter Reyner Banham spent his time in Buffalo engaged in a scholarly project on the imaginary of American industrial architecture that took the form of historical research, hands-on engagement and seminar instruction, resulting in his landmark work, A Concrete Atlantis. In celebration of... View full entry
Reyner Banham on the Road
If you drove far enough, from Maine to Georgia, from the Midwest to Southern California, or simply from one end of Los Angeles to the other, you would start to notice that there were different ecologies, and that some were geographical and some were cultural, but that they intersected and collaged to form a vast, sprawling, layered network whose patterns were discernible only if you took the long view and just kept driving.
— Places Journal
In an essay for Places, Gabrielle Esperdy (of American Road Trip) follows architectural critic Reyner Banham out of Los Angeles and out onto the open road, placing him in the tradition of European travelers, from de Tocqueville and Dickens to Alistair Cooke and Stephen Fry, whose observations... View full entry