Gregory Ain: Low-Cost Modern Housing and The Construction of a Social Landscape
6518 Hollywood Boulevard, Los Angeles
Through April 26
Gregory Ain was a pioneer in the development of low-cost modern housing, and many of his efforts fused radical, left-wing politics and cooperative living with architecture. And a new exhibit in Los Angeles spotlights five of the architect’s most innovative housing projects.
Projects included in the exhibit at Woodbury University’s WUHO Gallery in Hollywood are Dunsmuir Flats, Park Planned Homes, Avenel Cooperative Housing, Mar Vista Housing, and Community Homes Cooperative. The show consists of classic black and white photographs by Julius Shulman and contemporary color shots by Korean artist Kyungsub Shin.
Shin’s photos—first commissioned for the 2011 Gwangju Design Biennale in South Korea—document how Ain’s small-yet-well-resolved houses—clustered to lower costs, share resources, and create social connections—can still accommodate contemporary lifestyles.
“People are highly attracted to these houses today,” said show curator Anthony Fontenot. “There’s something very comfortable about them, but they’re still strikingly modern.”
The show also includes original materials, such as Ain’s “manifesto” of the planned community, fleshed out with drawings, documents, letters, and other archival materials.
“We could learn a lot from looking at his ideas,” said Fontenot. “Our own ecological, economic, and political climate demands that you cannot exist on your own.”