I do a lot of complaining about Irvine, and it is 100% deserved. I think people often assume I’m exaggerating, or else simply don’t understand how the town could have ended up this way–in Berkeley over the weekend, I talked to someone who couldn’t understand how Irvine could be a planned community and yet have no downtown. I’ve tried to make use of vignettes to exemplify how barren UCI is aesthetically (judging from photos around campus, it’s the one UC campus that Ansel Adams couldn’t make look good) and socially (the pub is closed on weekends, or it was when it wasn’t closed for renovations). But I’ve never found an example quite as effective as this quote from the UCI library’s temporary exhibit on UCI architecture:
“The Engineering Tower (1970) and the original Computer Science building (1971) are hallmarks of the Brutalist era. As documented in campus photographs, UCI was chosen as a location for the futuristic film The Conquest of the Planet of the Apes in 1972 because the architectural style and barren landscape fulfilled the director’s image of a post-nuclear future.”
Yes, that’s right. I’m enrolled in a university that bears a strong resemblance to a ruined world ruled by apes.