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The largest public construction program in the United States is changing the face of Los Angeles, California. With a plan to construct over 150 new schools, the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) has embarked on one of the most courageous and compelling acts of public construction in American history. With over seventy-three new schools already completed by some of the most innovative architects in the world, contemporary architecture is changing the lives of millions of young Americans throughout the greater Los Angeles–area. In an effort to survey the impact LAUSD's massive building program is having on architecture and everyday life in Los Angeles, photographer Monica Nouwens and Stephen Phillips conduct focused research and original documentation on new Los Angeles schools.
Stephen Phillips, AIA, is Director of the Los Angeles Metro Program in Architecture and Urban Design and Associate Professor of Architecture at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo; he is Principal of Stephen Phillips Architects (SPARCHS) and Faculty at the Southern California Institute of Architecture. Phillips has received numerous honors, including fellowships from the Getty Research Institute and the Smithsonian American Art Museum, a CCA Research Grant, an ACSA/AIAS Faculty Teaching Award, and an AIACCC Design Award. He has published in Grey Room, ArcCA, Brownbook, Elemente, Thirty Four, Cold War Hothouses, Surrealism and Architecture, eVolo, and in the forthcoming Getty Research Journal; he is author and editor of Studio Ambition, Research Practice Symposium, and forthcoming Toward a Research Practice: Frederick Kiesler, Biopolitics, Elasticity, and Architecture. He received his BA with distinction from Yale, his MArch with award for best studio thesis from the University Pennsylvania, and his PhD from Princeton.
Monica Nouwens is a Dutch artist who has photographed Los Angeles for over a decade. Never mistaken for illustration, her photographs produce intimate and provocative portraits amidst continuously synthetic landscapes. Her work is highly collaborative, and has accompanied texts by Arjen Oosterman, Rem Koolhaas, Aaron Betsky, Ole Bouman, Stephen Phillips, and John Weich. She is published in Volume, Blueprint, Al Manakh, Icon, Wallpaper, Frame, Brownbook, Archis, Surface, and Re-Magazine. Nouwens exhibits her work widely, which includes shows at Netherlands Architecture Institute, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, and MAK Center in Los Angeles. She teaches at University of California, Irvine, and Southern California Institute of Architecture, and has received private commissions from the Getty, OMA, and mOrphosis. Nowens received her MFA from the Willem de Kooning Academy in Rotterdam and a postgraduate fellowship from the Rijksakademie in Amsterdam. Her first monograph 'Look at me and tell me...' is forthcoming by Nai Publishers, 2009.
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