Reyner Banham examined the built environment of Los Angeles in a way no architectural historian before him had done, looking with fresh eyes at its manifestations of popular taste and industrial ingenuity, as well as its more traditional modes of residential and commercial building. His construct of "four ecologies" examined the ways Angelenos relate to the beach, the freeways, the flat-lands, and the foothills. Banham delighted in this mobile city and identified it as an exemplar of the posturban future.
Reyner Banham (1922-1988) was Sheldon H. Solow Professor of the History of Architecture at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, and Professor of Art History at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Among his many books are A Critic Writes (California, 1996) and Theory and Design in the First Machine Age (1961). Anthony Vidler is Professor and Chair of Art History at the University of California, Los Angeles. His most recent book is Warped Space: Art, Architecture, and Anxiety in Modern Culture (2000).