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Nicolas Grenier - Projects - Luis De Jesus Los Angeles

The installation Vertically Integrated Socialism was built inside the old church of the Grootseminarie in the city of Bruges. The first large room contained the model of a micro-apartment, the second room the model of a building, and the third a single-channel video.

Somewhere in between PowerPoint presentation, 3D animation, and audiobook, the video takes the viewer into Vertically Integrated Socialism through the story of a homeless person climbing the social ladder in an experimental housing concept.

Using the social and economic disparity of Los Angeles as a point of departure, this housing concept imagines the integration of all social classes in a closed architectural, economic, and social environment. The building is populated with strangers found on Google Street View, in neighborhoods that correspond to the different economic strata of the building. Here they become the residents of the building, united by the interdependence imposed by the built environment: at once welcoming and oppressive, inclusive and sharply competitive, allowing maximum upward mobility in accordance with the individual shortcomings of each resident. 

Ultimately, the building itself is neutral: it simply provides a design for social processes. Whether the proximity of social extremes in a stratified architecture is morally better or worse than the current reality in a contemporary metropolis, the viewer can decide.


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