“Mike Davis is getting increasingly vociferous about development and climate change, and in a way this is one of his milder books. I found City of Quartz when I went to Los Angeles for first time. In its angry and political way, it describes how cities arise out of an incredibly complex and difficult set of uncontrollable forces. When I first arrived in Los Angles, before I read the book, I was completely and utterly bamboozled by the place. I was thinking what the hell is going on here? It wasn’t just to do with the freeways and the smog, and Hollywood – there was something very strange about it. Whilst I was there I picked up a copy of City of Quartz, which had just come out, and read it all in one session. It made sense of things; why the railways have gone and why freeways had proliferated for example (the railways in LA were brought up by a conglomerate made up of companies in the car industry, who just shut them down because they were competition, which in time meant the freeways popped up). It’s a book about understanding the relationship between the built and the un-built, the physical fabric and social fabric.” Read more...
The best books on The Context of Architecture
Architects & Architectural Historian