Los Angeles is a melting pot of diverse cultures and subcultures, scattered throughout a fractured city. The breakdown of race goes like this:
30% White (Red)
48% Hispanic (Orange)
11% Asian (Green)
10% Black (Purple)
1% Native American or Pacific Islander
Part of my research so far has developed into studying the static and the flexible. The static and over-bearing nature of mega-infrastructure and the potential flexibility of dead space.
The same thought can be applied to the territories dominated by certain ethnicities. While each race dominates certain territories, which can be seen as static in terms of stymying diversity, other territories in Downtown, Central LA and South LA are receptive to or flexible with diversity.
The race and ethnicity map above and the areas of diversity correlate with the two maps below showing income and population density:
So what we have is a diverse, dense, and financially accessible core that could be a prime spot for the interaction of the static and flexible components of the mega-infrastructure and dead space, as well as a breeding ground for experimenting with our technological aspirations.
A second distinction of class can be made between the core and the fringe areas. The less wealthy core is diverse not only in race and ethnicity but also in subcultures which includes gang culture, hipsters, lowriders, hip-hop, punk, ktown, ravers, and others that are more subcultures of identity than hobby. Within this diverse core, an argument can be made that a need for group identity is creating these subcultures of identity, which are generally more substantial than those of hobby.
There is also evidence that the fringe areas are slowly closing in on this diverse core. The hipsters in Silverlake are getting price out and forced to relocate towards the core from the north-east. Parts of the lowrider subculture in the San Fernando Valley are being pushed towards the core from the north-west as the suburbanization of the Valley continues. And with the limiting factor of the coast, Santa Monica, with its median income of $70,000, is encroaching from the west.
Division based on the factors of race, class, density, and subculture highlight the lack of “interaction infrastructure.” There are different types of division: for example, class separates the fringe and the core while subculture separates by identity but within a similar physical space. How do we accommodate these different types of division? Do we allow for a greater identity to be formed? How do we preserve the identities of current subcultures as well? And what techniques can we use to achieve interaction?