The Spanglish Turn
The Production of Architectural Hybridities in Los Angeles
The relevance of contemporary architectural design is intrinsically dependent upon it’s being instep with the aesthetic and spatial sensibilities of its time. Within Southern California, one of the most dramatic contemporary influences on aesthetic and spatial sensibilities is that of Latinization, in particular, Mexican/Chicano cultural practices. This research speculates on the emergence of an architectural hybridity autochthonous to Los Angeles informed by a theoretical framework termed the Spanglish Turn. The development of this framework begins with an analysis of visual arts, and material and popular culture in Los Angeles. Drawing upon a theory of language called systemic functional linguistic theory (or functional grammar), we adapt this system of analysis to work as a translating system to an architectural context. This strategy aims to ‘stretch’ the relationship between architecture and specific forms of popular and material culture by speculating on the behavior informing them. Then guided by a formulation of this emergent spatial logic, it looks for tangential inroads and alternative patterns to begin to articulate a new ‘grammar of translation’ for LA’s popular and visual culture into the realm of architecture.
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