Inside SCI-Arc

APRIL 2010

LECTURES: 2010.04.15

How Many Billboards? Panel Discussion: The Visual Ecology of Advertising and Architecture

Thursday, April 15, 7pm
W.M. Keck Lecture Hall

Co-presented by the MAK Center for Art and Architecture at the Schindler House, SCI-Arc and the Goethe Institute in Los Angeles.

The panel comprised of outdoor media, art, architecture, and planning experts, will focus on current architectural signage and surface strategies to review the city's relationship between consumer ads and urban structures. The discussion will be facilitated by How Many Billboards? panel series curator Anne Bray of Freewaves.

The event hosted at SCI-Arc is a component of the public programs calendar accompanying the How Many Billboards? Art In Stead exhibition at the MAK Center - a large scale urban exhibition debuting 21 new works by leading contemporary artists. The event at SCI-Arc wraps up a series of public programs, film screenings, discussions and tours to investigate the visual field of the city.


Anne Bray, Freewaves
Panel Series Curator and Facilitator

Anne Bray has been working at the intersection of public art and media art since the mid '70s as an artist, art teacher and curator. The public space, normally occupied by advertising, information and public relations, is also a potential site for creative free speech. Billboards, TV, bus benches, shopping malls, gas stations, signs, movie theaters, parks, streets, subways, buses, parking lots, etc could be places to integrate the arts. Anne Bray is an artist, teacher and Director of Freewaves, a media arts organization and festival in Los Angeles. She developed the concept of the multicultural network of media artists and venues in 1989 and has continued to see the organization through the technological, social and aesthetic changes of the 1990s to now. As an artist she exhibits her work as temporary installations in public sites and art venues combining personal and social positions via video, audio, stills and 3-d screens at gas stations, malls, movie theaters, on TV, in department stores, and on billboards. She teaches public art and multimedia at Claremont Graduate University and USC.

Bill Roschen, Principal, Roschen van Cleve Architects
Bill Roschen’s career manifests the new paradigm of "citizen architect" as civic leader who can engage communities in the sometimes difficult conversations required to advance infill and redevelopment projects that make neighborhoods sustainable, affordable and livable. His recent appointment as president of the City of Los Angeles Planning Commission culminates two decades of practice and occurs as a significant body of his work – more than 2.5 million square feet and 1,500 housing units – comes out of the ground near the famous intersection of Hollywood and Vine. Bill opened a storefront office there in 1989 and immersed himself in the community, serving on the boards of local arts and youth leadership organizations, and establishing a "place-based" urban architectural practice working on affordable housing, historic preservation and mixed-use transit-oriented development projects that are providing density, gravity and vitality to revivify Hollywood's once magnetic downtown. It is work that has provided Bill with a critical skill set at a time when Los Angeles and the nation are turning away from suburbanization and privatization and toward urbanism, collectivism and a renewed interest in and recognition of the value inherent in the public realm.

Mirjam Struppek, President, International Urban Screens Association
Mirjam Struppek works as urbanist, researcher and consultant in Berlin. She is President of the newly formed International Urban Screens Association (IUSA) and a member of Public Art Lab, Berlin. With a background in Urban and Environmental Planning, she has internationally lectured and published essays with a special focus on the livability of urban space, public sphere and its transformation and acquisition through new media. Since 2002 she has been developing the online-information-platform interaction field about the relation of interaction, new media and public space. In this context she organizes the monthly discussion evening 'Urban Media Salon.'

Alan Bell, Senior City Planner, City of Los Angeles
Alan Bell is currently the Senior City Planner in the Department of City Planning’s Office of Zoning Administration, where he manages the code studies, case management, zoning investigations, and revocations units. Prior to his current assignment, he was a case manager assisting customers with complex entitlements. For ten years he worked on amendments to the municipal planning and zoning code. He was the Project Manager for the Adaptive Reuse Ordinance (ARO) that has facilitated the development of thousands of new lofts citywide since its initial adoption in 1999. In addition to the ARO, other code amendments he has authored provide incentives for historic preservation and residential construction along commercial corridors. He was a staff planner on the Los Angeles General Plan Framework, a citywide strategy for managing the city’s long-range growth in population, housing and jobs. The Framework provides policy direction for the City’s 35 community plans and such citywide elements as Air Quality, Housing, and Transportation. Alan has a master’s degree in urban planning from UCLA and is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners.

Dennis Hathaway, President, Coalition to Ban Billboard Blight
Dennis Hathaway is president of the Coalition to Ban Billboard Blight, a registered non-profit organization representing individuals, community groups, and civic associations committed to defending citizens’ rights to drive, walk, and otherwise congregate in the city’s streets and public spaces without a constant assault of commercial advertising messages. The Coalition’s mission includes educating the public and lobbying for meaningful laws and regulations governing outdoor advertising. More information can be found at the Coalition’s website at


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