Vertical Design Studio, SCI-Arc Spring 2016
The LA River is undergoing a major transformation. What was once natural is now a hardscape of concrete that spans 51 miles. The potential of this “river” to shift from infrastructure to public space could transform the city of Los Angeles and provide a new model of reuse. The “Los Angeles River Revitalization Master Plan” is an extensive proposal that takes into consideration the entire 51 miles of the LA River. The proposals presented below take a more narrowly focused approach, addressing only the stretch located in the Downtown Los Angeles Arts District between the 1st Street and 4th Street bridges. They are student projects from a design studio taught by Florencia Pita at SCI-Arc during the spring of 2016. Recognizing the distinction between architectural and engineered strategies for infrastructure, this studio took on the topic of water in a painterly manner. More specifically, the paintings of Gerhard Richter served as a reference point for creating “artificial landscapes,” which alternate between figuration and abstraction.
Florencia Pita is a partner and founder of Pita & Bloom, a design and research collaborative based in Los Angeles. She is also principal of FPmod. Pita graduated in 1998 from the National University of Rosario in Argentina, with a licensure degree. In 1999 she was awarded the 2000 Fulbright-Fondo Nacional de las Artes Scholarship to pursue studies at Columbia University, and in 2001 she received her Master's Degree from the MSAAD Program at Columbia University. Pita's work experience includes the offices of Greg Lynn FORM in Los Angeles, Eisenman Architects in New York City and Asymptote in New York City. Her independent projects have been part of several museum collections, such as MoMA, MAK Vienna, and the Art Institute of Chicago, and have been recognized through publications and awards. She currently teaches Design Studios and Visual Studies courses at the Southern California Institute of Architecture and was recently appointed Graduate Thesis Coordinator.