11/28/18 Assistant Professor Alison B. Hirsch Published in JAE
The Journal of Architectural Education (JAE) recently published “Restoring Los Angeles’s Landscapes of Resistance,” an article authored by assistant professor of Landscape Architecture + Urbanism Alison B. Hirsch, in its 2018 “Preserve” Issue. In an issue of the journal largely concerned with the role and implications of preserving human history within the stubborn medium of architecture, the article focuses in on South Los Angeles, formerly known as South Central, to demonstrate the social impacts of preservation as well as transformation.
Investigated through a landscape architecture studio course that Hirsch led for two years at USC, the study questions how to recognize and confront difficult or conflicted pasts in the built environment. The course was meant to provide an alternative to the traditional “community design” studio, in which community engagement might limit students’ speculative and risk-taking capacities. By bringing students into a community plagued by media-inflicted misunderstanding, it taught them to transgress conventional strategies for ordering the city instead in order to restore spaces of resistance while responding to the community’s immediate needs.