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Brooks + Scarpa 
Commons Lab Residency:
October 19 – December 14, 2019

Brooks & Scarpa | DENSE-CITY: Housing for Quality of Life and Social Capital
Exhibition | October 19 – December 14, 2019
Reception | Saturday October 19, 2019 | 5-8 PM
Public Panel | Tuesday November 12, 2019 | 6-8 PM
Airport Gallery | 3026 Airport Avenue

*This exhibition has been extended until January 18, 2020!

DENSE-CITY: Housing for Quality of Life and Social Capital is an exhibition of projects by Los Angeles architecture studio Brooks + Scarpa exploring urban development, cultural equity, and access to public space. Housing supply has been slow to meet the demands of the market or respond to the needs of increasingly varied living conditions. The exhibition features models, plans, visualizations, and drawings from two decades of projects addressing sustainable compact housing development and creation of affordable, vibrant, healthy communities through advocacy, innovation and building. 

DENSE-CITY is a way of thinking about how we live. Many factors that come together to shape the built environment: how a building faces the street, its height, its spaces within and circulation patterns. None has a larger impact on neighborhoods and cities as a whole than density. Traditionally measured by population figures, density at the neighborhood level is best characterized by how buildings, transport, and ultimately people are arranged on the street. Throughout Los Angeles, a critical look at density, both how it is measured and how it is formed, is needed to create positive growth in our communities.

The effects of increased housing costs continue to cripple urban areas throughout the country, with the supply of new, affordable housing failing to keep up with demand. In Los Angeles, new housing models are needed to create livable, dense communities addressing the region’s need for affordable housing. Understanding density and its relationship to the city will begin to inform these new housing models in a manner that is sensitive to the need to house increasing populations without displacing existing communities. Only by making connections between disparate elements and working towards designing cities as a comprehensive whole can sustainable approaches to affordable housing be created. 

Interdisciplinary approaches that combine practiced solutions with innovative methods are needed to address the increasingly challenging issues of housing development today. Illustrating the possibilities inherent within the existing urban fabric, DENSE-CITY invites communities to rethink their neighborhoods and policy makers to tailor existing zoning to new uses and new ways of living.

In conjunction with the exhibition, 18th Street will invite the architects to participate in ongoing dialogue with local and international resident artists, Santa Monica city planning officials, visiting architects and LA-based artists, architects, and planners. A public panel on the future of affordable cities will take place on November 12 from 6-8 PM in the exhibition.


Brooks + Scarpa is a collective of architects, designers and creative thinkers dedicated to enhancing the human experience. Honored with the 2014 Smithsonian Cooper- Hewitt National Design Award, the firm is a multi-disciplinary practice that includes architecture, landscape architecture, planning, environmental design, materials research, graphic, furniture and interior design services that produces innovative, sustainable iconic buildings and urban environments. Awarded the 2010 State of California and National American Institute of Architecture Firm Award for nineteen years of consistently exemplary work seamlessly blending architecture, art and craft, Brooks + Scarpa has also garnered international acclaim for the creative use of materials in unique and unexpected ways. The firm has also been recognized for pioneering more holistic approaches to delivering award winning environmentally responsive designs. Brooks + Scarpa are recipients of the 2019 Los Angeles County Housing Innovation Challenge in partnership with Community Corporation of Santa Monica and Plant Prefab to build Nest, an innovative long-term housing solution for unsheltered citizens.

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(310) 453-3711 x104

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