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Asian Architecture Deans At the Bleeding Edge

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Why do non-local journalists always express surprise that LA actually has some damn good architecture? Fast Company begins an article on Asian architecture school deans with the same tired bromides: "At first glance, Los Angeles might seem like the last place anyone would visit for architectural inspiration: Patchwork quilts of parking lots and strip malls alternate with vast carpets of matching faux-Mediterranean subdivisions, all knit together by a web of eight-lane freeways." Once author Carolina A. Miranda concedes that LA is, indeed, worthy of architectural admiration, she identifies the recent influence of UCLA and USC's new directors as drivers of innovation. UCLA's architecture chair, Hitoshi Abe, is Japanese and USC's dean, Qingyun Ma hails from China. Why does provenance matter? Asian countries are now confronting rapid urbanization, the environment, and preservation issues. Sound familiar? Additionally, LA offers architects a less risk-averse atmosphere, more cross-cultural fertilization, and the ability to test new ideas. Take that, Yale. [Image of Hitoshi Abe's Miyagi Stadium in Rifu, Japan]
· What Hitoshi Abe and Qingyun Ma Are Teaching the Next Generation of American Architects [Fast Company]


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