Biography and Contradiction: Unpacking Denise Scott Brown’s ‘African View’ of Las Vegas
“I have an African view of Las Vegas” Denise Scott Brown, the co-author of the seminal Learning from Las Vegas has stated on a number of occasions, referring to her childhood experience growing up in Johannesburg, South Africa. How should we interpret this biographic statement, which has for the most part been left out from the annals that crowned this book as the birthplace of architectural postmodernism? This research situates Scott Brown’s gaze in relation to Apartheid’s scopic regimes, and the particular forms of urban ethnography they gave rise to.
Ayala Levin’s research is concerned with north-south and south-south architectural knowledge exchange, with a focus on building and urban planning projects in post-independence African states. She is currently completing a monograph on the export of Israeli architectural and planning models to Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Ethiopia, and the Ivory Coast in the 1960s-1970s. Levin completed her PhD at Columbia University. Before joining Northwestern University’s Art History Department, she was a fellow at the Princeton-Mellon Initiative in Architecture, Urbanism and the Humanities, a postdoctoral researcher in the European Research Council project “Apartheid: The Global Itinerary”, and a Visiting Assistant Professor at Pratt Institute.