Las Vegas Studio Images from the Archives of Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown


Las Vegas Studio.
Images from the Archive of Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown.
Edited by Hilar Stadler et Martino Stierli.
196 pages, 175 illustrations
Éditions Scheidegger & Spiess, Zurich
ISBN 978-3-85881-717-4

In 1968, American architects Robert Venturi, Denise Scott Brown and Steven Izenour together with students from Yale University made Las Vegas the object of their research. The group spent three weeks in libraries, four days in Los Angeles and ten days in Las Vegas. In 1972, their findings were presented and interpreted in terms of a general architectural theory in the seminal publication Learning from Las Vegas. This study dealt above all with the symbolic dimension of architecture and the question of communication in the contemporary city. With their work, they decisively influenced the way the modern, commercial city was seen and also the direction of urbanistic research projects in both methodology and questions of representation.

Photography and film were important instruments for urban analysis in this «research studio.» They were equally means of argumentation and representation. The original material has since been stored in the archives of Venturi, Scott Brown & Associates in Philadelphia. The firm has now opened its archives. The exhibition «Las Vegas Studio» presents the images and films that were taken during the legendary 1968 Las Vegas research, making a selection available to the public for the first time. The visual material provides a spectacular demonstration of how Venturi, Scott Brown and Izenour conceptualized the city in the medium of the image.



“Learning From Las Vegas” is arguably one of the most influential texts in theory of architecture of the 20th-century. Since its first publication in 1972 it has been reprinted again and again and translated to many languages. Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown’s treatise had, and still has, lasting effect and is regarded until the present day as the starting singal of postmodernism in architecture and urban planning. The authors’ thesis and arguments are essentially based on the media of photography and film, on the countless pictures Venturi/Scott Brown and Steven Izenour took during their field research of 1968 in the city of Las Vegas. Despite of this fact all editions but the very first one of 1972 use only small black and white images of poor quality to illustrate the text. “Las Vegas Studio” is the first to present a large selection of these iconic images and film stills in colour, large format and first rate quality. The essays complement the pictures and investigate how Venturi, Scott Brown and Izenour used images to contemplate the phenomenon of the modern city, and forge the link to the architectural practice of the past decades.




© Venturi, Scott Brown & Associates Inc., Philadelphia

Abelardo Morell


Camera Obscura Image of Santa Maria della Salute with Scaffolding in Palazzo Bedroom, 2007


Blurry Upright Camera Obscura Image of Santa Maria della Salute, 2004


Camera Obscura Image of the Coliseum inside Room #23 at the Hotel Gladiatori, Rome, 2007


Camera Obscura image of The Pantheon in Hotel Albergo Del Sole al Pantheon, Room # 111, Rome, Italy, 2008

Camera Obscura: View of the Grand Canal Looking Northeast From Room in Ca’ Foscari. Venice, Italy, 2008


Camera Obscura: View of Volta Del Canal in Palazzo Room Painted With Jungle Motif, Venice, Italy , 2008

Abelardo Morell

Carroll and sons

Peter Zumthor


ISBN/EAN : 9783764388416
175 x 240 mm, 76 p.


Dans cette publication basée sur une conférence donnée le 1er juin 2003 dans la Grange des arts au château Wendinghausen, Peter Zumthor définis en neuf chapitres le processus d’observation et les références qu’il a à l’esprit quand il crée l’atmosphère de ses maisons.
Les images des espaces et des bâtiments qui l’affectent sont aussi important que la musique ou les livres qui l’inspirent.
De la composition au choix des matériaux en passant par le traitement des dimensions et de la lumière cette poétique d’architecture permet au lecteur de récapituler ce qui importe vraiment dans le processus de conception.


La magie du réel


La lumière sur les choses

A post from Mrs. Deane





… We could not immediately find out where the depicted ruins are (or were) located. The Hungarian names might just have been that: Hungarian versions of geographical names (and they have some funny ones: Lengyelorzsag for Poland, no one has been able to explain me this), but they could also have been names for places that once belonged to the Austro-Hungarian Empire or parts of Trans-sylvania, now Romania. I did a short web query and found out that, yes, there are many many ruins in Romania (see e.g. this web-archive), but I could not locate these particular ones. Not that it really matters, we are not planning to re-photograph them, and it is the photographs we are interested in, and how they can transform a place and give it a new presence. I don’t how this is for other people, but for me photography is so little about the what of the image and so much about the how it lets appear things, people, situations. Perhaps that is why it is not a problem for me to see, for example, twenty different portfolio’s made in another recent ruinous place, New Orleans. What could be a problem, is if they all look the same to me. It simply cannot be [or perhaps I should say: I refuse to believe] that a certain place appears the same to each and every photographer that comes along. It would be the death of plurality if a thing or a place has a singular mode of being present in the minds of its beholders, and that, to me, would be the real ruin of our world.”

Edwin Zwackman

It will certainly one day become evident, if it is not already the case, that photography’s claim on objectivity, as an index to the “real”, was nothing but an anormaly, a growing pain in the history of the medium’s legitimisation process. For Edwin Zwakman, the justification of constructed photography is no longer dependent on its subtle fractures with “photographic evidence”. That critical front, initiated over 30 years ago in conceptual photographic practises and finally synthesized and popularised in the large scale photographs of Cindy Sherman and Jeff Wall, has run its historical course.


For Zwackman and other young photographers emerging in the digital age, there is an absolute acceptance of the constructed image at every level of cultural production, and a celebration of its visual effects over claims to its genealogy with the “real”.

Zwakman pulls his camera back to reveal the lights and stagecraft behins his elaborate sets, not out of a self-conscious modernist disposition, but to demonstrate the absolute equivalence between the scene depicted by the the maquette and the instrumentality of the photographic act the business of the constructed image as usual.


What is unique to Zwakman’s photographs is the way in which his laborious construction methodology re-enacts the overdetemined environmental design processes particular to the Dutch landscape he depicts. It is this doubly constructed effect that give his images their critical edge. The residue of utopian modernist ideals that permeate the sujects of his photographs are slowly and critically undone through their obsessive reconstruction as images.


The problematic inherent in the effect of Zwakman’s laborious production method is that it solicits a slow and allegorically paced reading that may no longer be ready accessible in a globally modelled universe immersed in fast image turnovers and the depreciation of the complex layered languages bases of cultural specificity. In this regard, his photographs are resistant to the constructed photographic methodology of advertising. In response, they register a desire for a symetry between the labor of artisitc production and the labor of receivership. “Time”, with all its false starts, delays and expenditures, is their ultimate subjects. For both Zwakman and his viewers no stone should be left unturned.

Dennis Adams, 1998.

Galerie Akinci

Mathieu Pernot


Le grand ensemble renvoie à la fois à l’architecture des quartiers d’habitat social construits en périphérie des villes françaises entre 1950 et 1970, et au travail de l’artiste à partir de cartes postales, d’agrandissements de quelques-uns des personnages qui y apparaissent et de photographies d’implosions d’immeubles.


Il invite à repenser de façon poétique cet urbanisme qui, avant d’être stigmatisé, symbolisa la modernité technique et le progrès social. 
La vision fantasmée véhiculée par les cartes postales laisse peu à peu la place aux images violentes de démolition faisant table rase de l’histoire des habitants de ces quartiers. Devenus des silhouettes imprécises surgies de la trame des images, ceux-ci demeurent la mémoire de cinquante ans d’histoire urbaine, entre la promesse du meilleur des mondes et la fin d’une utopie.


Un catalogue des œuvres de Mathieu Pernot autour du Grand Ensemble paraît en mars 2007 aux éditions Le Point du Jour (Cherbourg-Octeville).


Soleritown is a photo reportage project of the Architecture of Paolo Soleri (Turin, 1919). 
Conceived by the cultural association plug_in, it is also supported by the Cultural Institute of the Province of Turin and Fondazione Ordine Architetti PPC in Turin. For the first time, the American works of Paolo Soleri are represented in the photographs of two Italian photographers : Emanuele Piccardo and Filippo Romano.

Filippo Romano
Soleritown is a visual and critical reflection of the idea of « city » as expressed by Paolo Soleri in the two city fragments, Arcosanti e Cosanti, located in the desert of Arizona. The arcology, a concept synthesized from the union between architecture and ecology, has been Soleri’s central idea since the 1950’s, starting from tabula rasa with the shapes and typology in the desert. The photographs are a tool to see and critically analyze these places. In turn, these images are part of new iconography that is itself connected to the tradition of American photography. Arcosanti and Cosanti are two places that have been represented only in sketches and models. From this gap, arises the idea of giving actual visual representation to Paolo Soleri’s architecture and work.

Filippo Romano

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