Localizing the Elusive
Spring 2012, Jackson Studio
Justin Tien’s thesis, Localizing the Elusive, argues that the overwhelming commercialization of urban space renders the city global and generic in nature, and relegates any remaining idiosyncratic “local culture” to elusive and marginal sites within the city, such as alleys and parking lots. Consequently he contends that architecture can provide a means to monumentalize and catalyze this spontaneous and highly temporal cultural production, and to cohere it into unified—albeit constantly changing—physical embodiments that will allow this cultural production to remain present in the public consciousness. Justin Tien’s thesis project demonstrates this possibility in a prototype for a series of temporally-programmed local cultural arenas located in downtown Los Angeles—which is developed as part of a downtown network of distribution and parking structures for shared lightweight inner-city electric vehicles.
This thesis project was awarded a Thesis Award for being selected as one of the most outstanding thesis projects in the 2011-2012 academic year.