Smout Allen at the Chicago Architecture Biennial
14 October 2015
Smout Allen in collaboration with Geoff Manaugh, are one of three UK practices selected to participate in the inaugural Chicago Architecture Biennial, which opened in October 2015 and promises to be North America’s largest international survey of contemporary architecture.
The London-based architects are exhibiting a series of lightbox drawings illustrating a project titled 'LA Recalculated'. The work, in response to Manaugh's research at USC Libraries' historical archives, speculates on Los Angeles' future incarnations and reinstates LA as a site of astronomical observations and scientific experiments. Its natural history, shifting alignments and unstable ground conditions reinforce the proposition that Los Angeles is a place of both seismic risk and existential uncertainty, lending further metaphoric and even philosophical importance to the role architecture can play in such a landscape.
Mark Smout and Laura Allen are senior lecturers at The Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL. Together they run MArch Architecture Unit 11 while Mark Smout directs the Masters programme in Urban Design. Through architectural competitions and conceptual design projects, their work focuses on the dynamic relationship between the natural and the man-made and how this can be revealed to enhance the experience of the architectural landscape.
LA Recalculated is showing at the Chicago Cultural Centre as part of the Chicago Architecture Biennial until 3 January 2016.