Frank Gehry moved to Los Angeles 75 years ago; it’s only now coming around to his brand of wily artistry

Here’s a mental exercise: conjure, if you can, the artistic milieu of mid-to-late 1960s Los Angeles. This is the city of Billy Al Bengston, of Ed Ruscha and Ed Moses, of people doing their own thing and factories in Manhattan Beach turning out surfboards one day and Finish Fetish sculptures the next. Now try to predict—forgetting, for an instant, anything that has actually happened since—how that heady West Coast cultural ferment could have been translated into design. If it had to be done all over again, what kind of buildings might have emerged from the conceptual irreverence and aesthetic zaniness of that seminal moment?

Would they have looked like

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