Architect David Martin immersed himself in a millennia-old culture that has transformed over the centuries yet maintained an outsized and magical exuberance. Joy Ride reflects on and illustrates these visits to the ancient and colonial-era places of Mexico.
“Joy Ride is a journal of my travels through Mexico that uses my sketches, watercolors, photography, and observations recorded and gathered over an extensive sojourn across the country. I’m a native Californian and itinerant traveler and the book chronicles Mexico’s sophisticated cultural landscape through the eyes of an architect. My quest began with Mexico’s sacred Pre-Columbian cities in contrast to early Jesuit missions. I finally walked, mapped, and studied several colonial towns to understand how these urban centers shaped the placement of streets designed for pedestrian movement, sustainable planning, and the integration of public spaces with ritual.”
Most of David Martin’s architecture has been built in Southern California. No one can live in or visit Los Angeles without experiencing the myriad decisions he has made as AC Martin’s design principal—choices about building forms as well as their size, materials, public access, interior fittings, and much more. His structures, along with the influence he and his family’s firm have had on Los Angeles’s development as a pedestrian city, define friendly sequences of plazas so filled with bright flowers and art that the buildings themselves become a form of public art.