Los Angeles Apartment
of a Metropolis
& Joshua G. Stein
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Dingbat 2.0 is the first critical study of the most ubiquitous and mundane building type in Los Angeles: the dingbat apartment. Often dismissed as ugly and unremarkable, dingbat apartments have qualities that arguably make them innovative, iconoclastic, and distinctly “L.A.”
Praised and vilified in equal measure, dingbat apartments were a critical enabler of Los Angeles’ rapid postwar urban expansion. While these apartments are known for their variety of midcentury decorated facades, less explored is the way they have contributed to a consistency of urban density achieved by few other twentieth century cities.
Dingbat 2.0 integrates essays and discussions by some of today’s leading architects, urbanists and cultural critics with photographic series, typological analysis, and speculative designs from around the world to propose alternate futures for Los Angeles housing and to consider how qualities of the inarguably flawed housing type can foreground many crucial issues facing global metropolises today.
Essays by Barbara Bestor, Aaron Betsky, James Black, John Chase, Dana Cuff, Thurman Grant, John Kaliski, John Southern, Joshua G. Stein, Steven A. Treffers, and Wim de Wit. Photographic series by Judy Fiskin, Paul Redmond and Lesley Marlene Siegel.
Dingbat 2.0: The Iconic Los Angeles Apartment as Projection of a Metropolis
DoppelHouse Press, 2016
Published in cooperation with The Los Angeles Forum for Architecture and Urban Design
Book Design: Jessica Fleischmann/still room