Palmnameh : the epic of the palm tree in Los Angeles
Author(s)Quraishi, Alaa (Alaa Zuhra)
Epic of the palm tree in Los Angeles
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Architecture.
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The Palm Tree of Los Angeles is it's own entity. It is spelled with a capital P and T. It is also inherently contranymic. (A contranym is defined as a word with two opposite meanings.) Although referred to as "tree," it biologically is not. It is a monocot, similar to grass. Although it is completely embedded into the making of Los Angeles, it is not native to the city at all. Different palm trees from around the world, along with their stories, have participated in constructing myths continuously perpetuated in and by Los Angeles. Current myth making, however, perpetuates a flat, simple narrative. This thesis brings multiple dimensions of positive and negative narratives forward in one continual experience, collapsing these into an alternative mythology. The proposal moves from a flat representation to a collapsed representation. Flat representation is when the myth references only a single story, whereas collapsed representation allows the myth to reference multiple stories. This shift is a new approach on reading the city's history, creating an alternative mythology. By using an aesthetic of Persian miniatures, the thesis re-orientalizes representations of the palm tree. I use the term re-orientalize intentionally, also calling to a re-orienting of the interpreter. This thesis uses a flat aesthetic, but tells a collapsed mythology. The proposal is architecturalized through a series of interventions in the city that can be approached either on their own, or as a constructed loop. The series of interventions are put together as a "nameh," which is a book from a Persian tradition that tells a type of history through painting and verse. This is the Palmnameh: The Epic of The Palm.
Thesis: M. Arch., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Architecture, 2018.This electronic version was submitted by the student author. The certified thesis is available in the Institute Archives and Special Collections.Cataloged from student-submitted PDF version of thesis.Includes bibliographical references (pages 84-85).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Architecture.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology