Learning from Los Santos

Learning from Los Santos is an ongoing research project into the facsimile Los Angeles that underpins the best-selling game Grand Theft Auto V by Rockstar Games.

The project draws from Robert Venturi, Denise Scott-Brown and Stephen Izenour's analytical frameworks developed in their seminal book Learning from Las Vegas in order to interrogate Los Santos as an urban construct. Venturi, Scott-Brown and Izenour framed their study of Las Vegas as one of 'method not content,' and in a similar fashion my own research into Los Santos investigates the mechanisms by which the city is mediated to the player, rather than the deviant ideology of the city as presented in the story itself. This research utilises various tools of architectural analysis, from cartographic drawings and re-modelling of spaces, through to screenshots as documentary photography, to critical writing and the production of secondary texts and books.

Writings and works developed in this project have been featured in papers and articles in journals such as Architectural Research QuarterlyOFFRAMP: New LosangelismsInflection Journal and a number of forthcoming publications. 

This research is conducted by Luke Caspar Pearson as part of his PhD studies at the Bartlett School of Architecture. For more please visit www.alephograph.com