The Skyscraper Museum is devoted to the study of high-rise building, past, present, and future. The Museum explores tall buildings as objects of design, products of technology, sites of construction, investments in real estate, and places of work and residence. This site will look better in a browser that supports web standards, but it is accessible to any browser or Internet device.
TALL BUILDING: Imagining the Skyscraper
(Balcony Press 2008)
The skyscraper, whatever it may be as physical fact, looms large in our lives
and as a figment of our imaginations carries with it ideas of wealth, ambition, and dominance.
The image of the skyscraper has been made and remade in the news, in literature and film, and now
in all forms of our now global media. Paradoxically, as the building type continues to become more
complex and is designed to address fundamentally different cultural conditions, the image, that is
to say, the idea, of the skyscraper in the public mind seems to become simpler, more omnipresent, and more consumable.
Scott Johnson is a partner of the distinguished Los Angeles architecture firm, Johnson/Fain, and is the newly appointed Director of the USC Graduate Architectural Program. A leader in the architectural discourse & issues of urban design in and outside of Los Angeles, he has worked on a wide range of projects including the MGM Tower, MET Lofts, and the Solano County Government Center. Johnson is also the author of Figure/Ground: A Design Conversation and The Big Idea: Criticality and Practice in Contemporary Architecture. In this book, he offers his approach to design development and neighborhood needs, his firm's decision to office in Downtown Los Angeles, and an educator's vision of architecture as culture.