The CLUI LIC Program

446 View of the Landscape Information Center at CLUI Los Angeles. CLUI photo

THE CLUI CELEBRATED IT'S LANDSCAPE INFORMATION Center development program with the creation of a regional exhibit at the Center’s Los Angeles display space last Fall. The exhibit focuses on some of the compelling and dramatic elements of the Southern California landscape, and includes several projects that have been produced by the CLUI on the subject over the past few years, including Emergency State: First Responder and Law Enforcement Training Architecture; Loop Feedback Loop: The Big Picture of Traffic Control in Los Angeles; One Wilshire: Telco Hotel Central; Curious Orange: Points of View of the Landscape of Orange County; Terminal Island; Ground Up: Photographs of the Ground in the Margins of Los Angeles; and Aerial Survey of the Inland Empire. More regional programs are being prepared for the space.

In order to fit a lot of information into a small space, the exhibits have been converted to an electronic format, with images and text presented on a collection of screens installed in kiosks. High resolution CRT monitors have been used, giving the digitally acquired imagery their best look in their native habitat.

Also in the space are displays that enable visitors to tour hundreds of points of interest in Southern California, letting their fingers to do the exploring on a touch-sensitive scalable map. Monitors and workstations also allow access to other CLUI programs and exhibits, and allow access to the Center’s Land Use Database, which covers the whole nation. A wall of brochures in the entrance provides information on points of interest across the country, as well as locally. The Center’s book shop has an extensive “regional” section, featuring titles about the southern California landscape, as well as selected notable titles that explore landscape issues in general.

At the heart of the Landscape Information Center program is the establishment of regional Landscape Information Centers, or “LICs,” at selected locations around the United States. In Troy, New York, the Center’s northeast office will be opening a LIC this summer. A building currently undergoing renovations at the Center’s Wendover, Utah complex will open as the LIC for the Great Basin area within a year’s time. And new displays are under construction at the Center’s Desert Research Station site, where, once completed, the publicly accessible building will be rechristened as the LIC for the Mojave Desert area.

The LIC program has been part of the conceptual framework for the Center for Land Use Interpretation since the inception of the organization. Though it has had a few different names over the years, the objectives have always been the same: to create a network of regional interpretive facilities that serve the public as a source of information about the built landscapes that surround all of us. The official announcement of the program comes at a time when the Center has finally secured the resources to perform the necessary work to implement the program. “Its been a slow process, but through the continued support of our friends and benefactors, we have been able to make the transition from just operating regional offices and assorted programs at disparate locations, to operating a network of Landscape Information Centers at these locations,” said CLUI Program Manager Matthew Coolidge. Announcements of the opening of other LICs will be made over the next few years.

The Landscape Information Center in Los Angeles is open to the public Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, 12-5pm. The conversion of the public storefront space in Los Angeles to a Landscape Information Center does not exclude the use of the space for periodic presentations and exhibits about other aspects of the American landscape. Occasional special programs will be presented, as scheduling and resources permit. And one display wall hosts periodically changing, timely exhibits about land use issues and themes, such as the exhibit Vacation: Dauphin Island, currently on view.