One of my favorite projects out of all of those I completed in Architecture school, began in a studio entitled Disruptive Urbanism. I decided to revisit this project to see if and how I could build upon it, since there was still so much possibility, not all of which was explored in the five month period we worked on it. This is just a first look at some of the work I’m redoing, and I hope I can upload a series of improvements, and ultimately a complete publication with all the redone and new work. I’m also taking the opportunity to improve on my graphic sensibilities.


In his seminal manifesto S, M, L, XL, a collection of projects and essays from over 20 years of intellectual incubation and professional work published in 1995, Koolhaas critiques modernism’s failed promise of a new urban paradigm by provocatively declaring that urbanism is dead. He argues that the pervasive urbanization has modified the urban condition beyond recognition and that “The” city no longer exists precisely at the moment in time when the world is urbanizing. He faults the modern city’s inability to invent and implement at the scale demanded by its staggering and rapid multiplication in what he deemed a quantitative dilemma which could only be dealt with through rethinking and rescaling architecture and
urbanism as a singular conceptual agency. In essence, Koolhaas is instigating and [re] positioning the dichotomous disciplines of architecture and urbanism into a strategically aligned conceptual, operational and performative framework.


Fast forward 22 years, today we live in a period at an unprecedented rate of urbanization almost as if Koolhaas saw the future through a looking glass in the twilight years of the 20th century, with forces of globalization causing massive human migration into urbanized regions of the world – it is estimated that by 2050, three quarters of the world’s projected 9.7 billion population will be urbanized and the larger questions ware how will our cities need to change in order to accommodate the massive population numbers and how will the role of architecture and its affiliated (infrastructure, systems, technology, resources, nature, programs, etc.) actors influence that change? Los Angeles, the most populous city in Southern California, along with many of its neighboring cities, will see its own urban population grow in the ensuing decades and the city is itself already undergoing a steep morphological change with many new construction projects. While the growth is good for the city’s economy and is contributing to its ongoing formal/spatial evolution, it is nevertheless doing so in a “preserved and reconstituted” manner, simultaneously “dogmatic and evasive”.


All graphic content was designed by Shiku Wangombe unless otherwise specified.