Wild Ways 2.0: A Fifth Ecology for Metropolitan Los Angeles

Playing off Reyner Banham’s classic Los Angeles, The Architecture of Four Ecologies, the studio will explore themes of connectivity, resilience and landscape infrastructure under the twin challenges of climate change and biodiversity loss in the Anthropocene. The work will interrogate and explore what a system of landscape infrastructure for connectivity and habitat across Southern California’s biodiversity hotspots might look like—in the face of growing urbanization and climate change. Proposals will embrace regional networks of wildlife movement and potential re-imaginings of infrastructural spaces for habitat and public use, layering in humans as both users and kin; and that account for intensifying threats of wildfire.  The goal is to invent the basis for a new metropolitan ecology—a mix of culture, geography, environment, and lifestyle (in Banham’s terms)—adapted to a rapidly evolving and warming climate. We will draw on work by Donna Haraway, Jennifer Wolch, Mimi Zeiger, Julian Aguon, Winona LaDuke, Richard Weller, Reyner Banham, and more, and we will have the opportunity to learn from ecologists, urbanists, and designers on the ground in Los Angeles during our studio trip. In Jennifer Wolch’s words: “To allow for the emergence of an ethic, practice, and politics of caring for animals and nature, we need to renaturalize cities and invite the animals back in, and in the process re-enchant the city.”