Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Book of the Moment

L.A. Under the Influence by Roger Sherman is
A series of case studies in Los Angeles [in which] Sherman applies game theory to scrutinize the behavior of ... intersecting private and public interests, revealing an alternative logic of architectural composition. Making extensive use of diagrams, photographs, and a range of negotiation models employed within game theory, including pecking order, negotiated access, multilateral exchange, and tit for tat, he identifies the characteristic features and behaviors of this new spatial logic. Sherman contends that it is ... negotiations [between ... stakeholders over the use of property], rather than more commonly accepted factors like history, symbolism, and planning, that not only shape a city but also influence the development of its smallest common increment: the individual parcel. [University of Minnesota Press]
Here are some of the case studies presented in Sherman's book.


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An oil rig and single-family house buffeted by a pocket park (easement).


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Multi-family housing, a palm reader, and a billboard living in harmony with each other.


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A high-wire tower straddling two properties.


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Billboards "as shading device and privacy protector for second-floor apartment roof deck."


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A "no-man's land protruding into the street."


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Oil rigs, a bank, and Curly's Cafe coexisting harmoniously.


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An oil derrick in Beverly Hills camouflaged in a floral pattern.


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Why yes, that is a regulation wiffle ball court.

3 comments:

  1. Really interesting.

    But to play the game you have to have chips, and everybody doesnt have the same amount of chips. And only a few have any real chips at all. And the house is really running the game. (?)

    Maybe the book asks some questions like these?

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  2. The book addresses such in a case study not included in my post, that of a small retail shop -- Hugo's -- tucked next to Cesar Pelli's "Blue Whale." The shop was screened from the rest via some trees and shrubs, making it basically invisible. This resulted from a situation where the guy with most of the chips, if you will, did not negotiate with the guy with one chip, the latter using that chip to the end and forcing some redesign on the part of Pelli to deal with the shop's presence. Looking at Google Street View* Hugo's is now gone, something Sherman does not mention or explain, unfortunately.

    *All but the last Google Maps views embedded into the above post should be Street Views, though looking at it on the iPad only the maps appear, something I hope is not the case on laptops, desktops, etc.

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  3. Thanks.
    The google street views have posted.

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