Dennis Schiaroli

Dennis Schiaroli

London, UK



The city of Los Angeles has been targeted as ‘Creative Capital’ worldwide with a ratio of one to six of its residents working in a creative industry. Here there are more artists, film makers, actors, writers and musician than any other city in the world and at any time in history. Since it is throughout history, architects have been at the centre of imagining and creating cities. The twentieth Century gave rise to a whole host of theories, some realised, others not. Numerous seminal books emerged, such as ‘The image of the city’ (Kevin Lynch) ‘The death and life of great American cities’ (Jane Jacobs), and ‘Collage City’ (Colin Rowe), which for many years were the default approach to urban planning. What powers the L[A]rt_Demic Project lays in the necessity to represent the society and its cultural aspect, in this particular case, oriented towards the branching of the art disciplines. Once one of the major Industrial areas of Los Angeles, the Arts District has been subject to a shift which took place from 1970’s with the entry of the Artists in the District, due to the abundance of empty industrial buildings with large spaces at a low rent. It is the low economic condition which artists are usually facing that has also contributed to set the whole area in a condition of decadence attracting drug users and gangs and consequently putting on the whole area an ‘aura’ of unsafety. Due to the increase of urban populations, especially in cities like Los Angeles, The real estate market faces a quite substantial boom and the need for build is drastically increasing. The market, founded on a Neoliberal System will surely affect the most palpable areas within urban contexts, pushing gentrification and skyrocketing rent price at a fast pace. This is the phenomena that places like the Arts District faced and is still facing, where the Artists and middle-low income class have to relocate elsewhere to make space for big investment corporations which are erasing the character of the place in the name of dollars. Since this cannot be stopped, architecture can be used as counteract to this form of market to try to maintain a balance between development and cultural identity. Since architectural interventions are not only inscribed to the meaning of building itself but have a strong impact on its immediate surrounding, at a neighbourhood as well as at a Urban scale. Architecture also connects to the cultural identity of a place as well as to the social identity of the people of that specific place. It is for this reason that much attention should be paid in proposing architectural interventions: on the one hand, these should highly be connected to the roots/history of the place, on the other hand, as Eisenman quotes the work of Piranesi on Campo Marzio: ‘the project is an imposition to change the social structure. The form of a project, invents a new social structure that evolves out of it and not the reverse’. Hence architecture should not be a consequence of the social structure because it does not have any regards in the possible changes of what the future could be’. By introducing an architecture which stands for identity, a sense of power will be exercised to re-establish the cultural and social recognition. This Manifesto Architecture also strives to erase any social hierarchy which are often embedded in many projects by default. Art movements have also tried to erase this classism with the aim to blur the boundaries between high and low class like the pop art, where the concept that there is no hierarchy of culture and that art may borrow from any source. The example of the pop art could be also seen under a cynical perspective of both, architecture for everybody and as an enthusiastic endorsement of the capitalist market and the goods it circulated even if the latter is used as a pure critique of the actual economic system where it is produced in a capitalist way to strongly advocates against it, trying to decentralize the market and the power. Society and politic are at a very crucial point in history, where there is the urge for changes at an economic and political level. The anti-capitalism revolution as started with the name of ‘soft revolution’. The DIY fab typology of business and the cryptocurrency are just two of the examples which are supporting it but even more, drifting towards the decentralization of power. This is when the destruction of values (what society intends as values) can offer a wholly new type of rationality, capable of coming face to face with the negative, in order to make the negative itself the release valve of an unlimited potential for development. The knowledge needs to be spread amongst the commons and this is why, creating app icon like building as a statement will be a strong manifesto to the shift from capitalism to anti-capitalism. To the share of knowledge. To the social equality. To the social identity

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Status: School Project
Location: Los Angeles, CA, US
My Role: Individual project