Research

  • New L.A. Schools: A Site of Massive Change
  • GRANTEE
    Stephen Phillips & Monica Nouwens
    GRANT YEAR
    2009

The largest public construction program in the United States is changing the face of Los Angeles, California. With a plan to construct over 150 new schools, the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) has embarked on one of the most courageous and compelling acts of public construction in American history. With over seventy-three new schools already completed by some of the most innovative architects in the world, contemporary architecture is changing the lives of millions of young Americans throughout the greater Los Angeles–area. In an effort to survey the impact LAUSD's massive building program is having on architecture and everyday life in Los Angeles, photographer Monica Nouwens and architect Stephen Phillips conduct focused research and original documentation on new Los Angeles schools.

Stephen Phillips is principal in the firm Stephen Phillips Architects (SPARCHS). He is professor of architecture at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, and director of the Cal Poly Los Angeles Metropolitan Program in Architecture and Urban Design. He has taught at Universities of California, Berkeley and Los Angeles, and Southern California Institute of Architecture. Phillips received his BA (with distinction in architecture) from Yale University, his MArch (with the award for best thesis) from the University of Pennsylvania, and his PhD in architectural history and theory from Princeton University. Phillips publishes and lectures widely on modern design, technology, media, and contemporary urban culture. He is the recent recipient of awards, grants, and fellowships from the Getty Research Institute, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Graham Foundation, and the Bruno Zevi Foundation. He is author of L.A. [Ten]: Interviews on Los Angeles Architecture 1970s-1990s by Lars Müller Publishers, among other writings.

Monica Nouwens is a Dutch artist who has photographed Los Angeles for over a decade. Never mistaken for illustration, her photographs produce intimate and provocative portraits amidst continuously synthetic landscapes. Her work is highly collaborative, and has accompanied texts by Arjen Oosterman, Rem Koolhaas, Aaron Betsky, Ole Bouman, Stephen Phillips, and John Weich. She is published in Volume, Blueprint, Al Manakh, Icon, Wallpaper, Frame, Brownbook, Archis, Surface, and Re-Magazine. Nouwens exhibits her work widely, which includes shows at Netherlands Architecture Institute, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, and MAK Center in Los Angeles. She teaches at University of California, Irvine, and ACI-Arc, and has received private commissions from the Getty, OMA, and Morphosis. Nowens received her MFA from the Willem de Kooning Academy in Rotterdam and a postgraduate fellowship from the Rijksakademie in Amsterdam. Her first monograph Look at me and tell me... was published by Nai Publishers.