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Title:ENSHROUDED PERCEPTIONS OF PLACE: A Reverie of the Imagined Cityscape in Los Angeles
Author(s):Miller, Keith A.
Abstract:Recently added to the Los Angeles Westside, the planned community of Playa Vista houses over 7,500 residents within 1.3 square miles of land. Known colloquially as “Silicon Beach” due to many tech-sector companies located here, this wealthy neighborhood was developed with New Urbanist social goals in its design. The New Urbanist design approach results in a physically compressed and walkable setting which naturally fosters “sense of community” – the key variable of my research. Captured during an ethnographic stay at Playa Vista, this photograph offers a rare pedestrian-scale glimpse of this community’s heavily articulated street presence, as reflected off a glass facade 150 feet away. Commonly seen in New Urbanist architecture, such contrived articulations in building masses are often criticized for presenting a false front of differentiation where none actually exists beneath the surface. Seeing it reflected in a truly undifferentiated canvass of glass spurs questions of architectural honesty and dishonesty, of simulacra and the hyperreal (especially given its setting in the Entertainment Capital of the World), and what effect such contrivances have on a resident’s perception of place, and how this might begin to affect sense of community.
Issue Date:2018-04
Rights Information:Copyright 2018 Keith Miller
Date Available in IDEALS:2018-04-19

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