ISSUE 01 – WILD
LA+ WILD explores the concept of WILD and its role in design, large-scale habitat and species conservation, scientific research, the human psyche, and aesthetics.
This issue of LA+ includes contributions drawn from disciplines as diverse as evolutionary ecology, biology, visual arts, bio engineering, landscape architecture, planning, architecture, climatology, environmental history, philosophy, and literature.
For more, see: http://laplusjournal.com/ISSUE-01-WILD
ISSUE 02 – PLEASURE
We design cities, landscapes and products for many reasons but as much as anything we do so for pleasure. From the new horizons of global tourism to the design of your local park, from the acceptable to the illicit, this issue of LA+ charts the economy, psychology, and spatiality of pleasure. LA+ PLEASURE includes contributions drawn from disciplines as diverse as neuroscience, philosophy, visual arts, geography, landscape architecture, aesthetics, planning, architecture, marketing, tourism, urban studies, cultural studies, historic preservation, archaeology, and history.
For more, see: http://laplusjournal.com/ISSUE-02-PLEASURE
ISSUE 03 – TYRANNY
From the first utopian impulse of Plato's Republic to today's global border controls and public space surveillance systems, there has always been a tyrannical aspect to the organization of society and the regulation of its spaces. Tyranny takes many forms, from the rigid barriers of military zones to the subtle ways in which landscape is used to 'naturalize' power. What are these forms and how do they function at different scales, in different cultures, and at different times in history? How are designers and other disciplines complicit in the manifestation of these varying forms of tyranny and how have they been able to subvert such political and ideological structures?
LA+ TYRANNY has an exceptional lineup of global authors from disciplines as varied as landscape architecture, architecture, semiotics, history, geography, political science, urbanism, art, sociology, and human rights. Topics include the architecture of protest, the impact of surveillance technologies on public space, the tyranny of speculative urbanism, the history and role of public squares, the connections between landscape architecture and the military in respect of design methodologies and technologies, and the ways in which we express and memorialize certain traumatic events through art, design, and erasure.
For more on this issue and for a sneak peek inside, see: http://laplusjournal.com/ISSUE-03-TYRANNY
Issue 04 - SIMULATION
Our epoch has been dubbed the Anthropocene Era to mark the significance of human activities as the greatest force of environmental change. The distinctions between biology/technology, organic/synthetic, and natural/artificial are increasingly impossible to maintain. Cloned sheep, climate models, digitally-printed tissue and lab-grown meat – this is not the nature of our predecessors. This issue of LA+ addresses the theme of SIMULATION in terms of how recent technologies have changed how we understand the nature of nature. From Plato’s Cave to Baudrillard’s “Simulacrum,” simulations were historically understood as counterfeits or facsimiles and were based on the distinction between a model and its copy. Simulations remain central to mediations between reality and its representation; however, the latest forms of simulation—whether genetic manipulation or computer modeling—are not seen as impediments to truth and knowledge but as tools to uncover the complexities of nature.
A diverse list of contributors critically investigates the theme through a myriad of lenses including biology, computer sciences, engineering, environmental science, industrial design, philosophy, planning, among other fields.
In a brief snapshot of the LA+ SIMULATION issue:
Through an historical analysis of land use classification systems, architect and planner Robert Pietrusko examines the fallacy of “raw data” by examining how representational techniques become reality;
historian of science Paul Edwards elucidates the making of ‘control earths’ in climate models;
philosopher Etienne Benson tracks the making of the ‘minimal animal’ in ecological modeling;
architect and civil engineer Eduardo Rico and architect Enriqueta Llabres Valls reveal the power of models as surrogates in shaping the material world;
historian Gideon Fink Shapiro finds the function of fiction in the landscape imagination;
by interrogating synthetic biology, theorist Pablo Schyfter demonstrates the interdependency of representational systems and the knowledge they produce;
artist Mark Nystrom sumptuously captures the hidden patterns of our ever-changing environment; and
interviews with philosophers Koert van Mensvoort and Eric Winsberg illuminate the role of simulation in how we understand the nature of reality.
LA+ SIMULATION is guest edited by Karen M’Closkey and Keith VanDerSys.
ISSUE 05 - IDENTITY
Ever since the 18th century when Alexander Pope advised his peers to “consult the genius of place,” the idea that designers could interpret and then express the essential identity of a place has been venerated in landscape architecture. This issue of LA+ is devoted to critically exploring the nexus between place and identity with contributions from disciplines as varied as landscape architecture, architecture, philosophy, literature, ethics, marketing, anthropology, history, politics, and visual arts.