Los Angeles, refractions of the American Dream
by Jonathan Franklin
This series is an exploration of myth embedded in both mundane and celebrated Los Angeles architectural movements. The most fascinating thing about living in Los Angeles is the blatant performance that architecture plays in peoples' lives. While it can be argued that we all use design to reflect who we think we are and who we want to be, Los Angeles shamelessly expresses itself and its people through design. The architecture of Los Angeles is futuristic, weird, and eclectic but truly represents the diversity of people, dreams, and aspirations that make up the fabric of America. Even structures that seem to manifest a bygone era have in fact been constructed in the recent past: they are facades that announce, In Los Angeles, you can be anything you want to be. This series of selected photographs, taken through a controlled medium, a disposable camera, tries to capture the myths of Los Angeles, refractions of the American dream.
Water and the Myth of Power
Municipal Light Water Power Building
The Art Deco style reflects the prominence and power that the LADWP once held in the development of Los Angeles.
Choose Your Fairytale
Los Feliz Neighborhood
In the neighborhood where Walt Disney began creating movies, residential development romanticized eurocentric architecture of the past.
Myth of Immigration
Building Materials As Myth
La Miniature Millard House, Frank Lloyd Wright
Wright took a mundane building material, the concrete block, and transformed it into an expression of permanence and beauty.
Garden Walls of Pasadena
Clinker bricks—bricks that are deformed and leftover from the firing process—create the illusion of happenstance, irregularity, and a timeworn aesthetic.
Myth of the Future
Union 76 Gas Station
Myth of Film Industry
Academy Museum, Foster & Partners
Myth of Finding Yourself
Swimming on top of buildings
Jonathan Franklin is a designer and artist living in Los Angeles, California. He is interested in the ways that urban spaces reflect the character of residents and of the city at large. As an urban designer at The Olin Studio, Jonathan's work focuses on revitalizing cities and landscapes with an eye towards future climate pressures and close attention to the existent context and demographic needs. He holds a BLA from the University of Georgia, and an M.Arch from Georgia Tech.