FROM Avishay Artsy
Morphosis designs OCMA, is childhood overdesigned? Orange County Museum of Art gets new a museum designed by Morphosis Architects, and it tips its hat at Richard Serra’s “Connector.” Will it bring urban life to suburban Costa Mesa? And design critic Alexandra Lange explores “good” toys and playgrounds and wonders if children would be just as free and creative if left to play with a cardboard box.
Orange County Museum of Art gets a Morphosis-designed home The Orange County Museum of Art closes this weekend. But not forever. After 41 years in Newport Beach, it’s moving to its new permanent home in Costa Mesa. And one of LA’s best-known architects, Thom Mayne and his firm Morphosis, has designed it.
Big dreams for North Korea, Santa Monica takes on e-scooters A historic summit between President Trump and Kim Jong-un raises hopes among Korean-Americans. Could brothers and sisters reconnect? Could technology and infrastructure in the hermit kingdom make a great leap forward? And Santa Monica considers a pilot program for dockless e-scooters, as competition heats up between rival companies. Will it limit a popular, clean, first mile last mile solution -- or contain a public nuisance?
Celebrating LA’s “crazy, weird” design community Starting Thursday, LA’s design community will congregate at the four-day Los Angeles Design Festival (LADF), an annual celebration that celebrates our city’s rich design culture. It includes four days of conversations, studio tours, design shows, and parties all centered at ROW DTLA in downtown LA’s industrial district.
Even Santa Monica needs the car Autonomous cars will bring a utopian future: an end to car collisions, no need for parking lots, smooth-flowing less congested streets. But even as cities embrace those possibilities, they fear the loss of revenue -- from cars! The City of Santa Monica, famed for its commitment to sustainability, its bike lanes, parks and public transit, turns out to be as dependent as any other municipality on the human-driven car economy: sales tax from car sales in the city’s many dealerships, revenue from parking lots and garages, and from parking tickets and driving infractions. It is not only autonomous cars that are causing anxieties. Consider also the transformation in brick and mortar retail; the rise of online shopping is sapping street life and eating into sales taxes. All of this has the city’s director of Housing and Economic Development, Andy Agle, thinking ahead to how Santa Monica will continue to support its housing, schools, public transit and numerous other civic services. Tech, he says, is bringing “an Age of Disruption. So many of the elements of what we think the economy is about are undergoing pretty significant shifts and we want to take some time to think about how do we prepare for that economy.” Agle has assembled a group of leading thinkers for a forum on Disruption and the Economy. It will be live-streamed here. “Getting to that more utopian and equitable future requires us to have this discussion now,” says Agle, adding, “how do we help frame the not only the debate but also these technologies in a way that allows us to support equity, allows us to support sustainability, allows us to be true to who we are as a community?” Traffic in Santa Monica. The city derives much of its revenue from auto-related sources. Photo credit: Alex Proimos.
Kate Spade, Santa Monica’s little secret, Ruth E. Carter We remember fashion icon and handbag designer Kate Spade. The arrival of autonomous vehicles and online shopping has Santa Monica considering the way forward in a future disrupted by tech. Ruth E. Carter designed the costumes for "Black Panther" and tells DnA about creating an identity on screen for a community long left out of the picture.
Plastic straw ban takes effect in Malibu If you’re at a restaurant or cafe in Malibu and ask for a straw, starting June 1 you won’t be given a single-use plastic straw. The same goes for stir sticks or other plastic utensils. The environmentally-oriented beach town is just one of a growing number of cities outlawing single-use plastic implements.
Interview Magazine folds, Soviet Hippies We bid farewell to Andy Warhol’s Interview, and talk to artist and celebrity photographer Matthew Rolston about working for the magazine, and the creation of the “glamour- industrial complex.” And the hippie movement may have begun in California, but it spread across the globe - even beyond the Iron Curtain. We visit an exhibition of Soviet hippie culture at The Wende Museum.
The creative economy rises in California A decade after the Great Recession, how is Los Angeles doing? A new study out this week looks at creative economy jobs in California, and finds they now exceed the pre-recession peak in 2007. That’s just one finding from the annual Otis Report on the Creative Economy. But costs of participating in the creative economy are growing too.
Electric Jaguar, Venice Biennale, rethinking Yamashiro Saturday's royal wedding ended with the newly married Duke and Duchess of Sussex driving off in an electric car: a retrofitted 1968 E-Type Jaguar. Can all classic sports cars go clean? We also get a preview of the U.S. Pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale. And we hike up to Yamashiro, the faux-Japanese hilltop restaurant in Hollywood, as part of our ongoing look at identity in design.
A car-free bridge over the LA River This week officials broke ground on a $16 million bridge over the LA River that connects Atwater Village and Griffith Park. You can walk or bike, or even ride a horse over it. One thing you can’t do? Drive on it.
Koreatown residents: "No Hearing No Tent" Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has a $20 million campaign called “A Bridge Home” to open temporary homeless shelters in each of the 15 council districts. Resistance is growing in Koreatown, where there are plans to put a shelter on a city-owned parking lot at 682 S. Vermont. An estimated 400 homeless people live in Koreatown. The temporary facility will be open for a maximum of 3 years. Dozens of people gathered at the Wilshire/Vermont Metro station plaza on Saturday afternoon to speak out against the proposed 65-bed shelter. “What's the justification for not having a public hearing? We want to help. We want to be part of this decision making procedure. That's all we want,” said Jake Jeong, an attorney and community leader. Residents also expressed concerns about drugs and crime, with several schools within a mile of the shelter site. Officials counter that the housing will have 24/7 LAPD and Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) surveillance. It’s not clear what the temporary facility will look like. Garcetti’s campaign includes different kinds of emergency shelters, including tents, trailers, storage units and safe parking facilities. “There are different visions of what it can look like,” Wesson said. “There's a trailer vision where you would have a configuration of trailers connected together… and then there's also this military-ish membrane type.” San Diego has experimented with a big tent. The nonprofit service provider Alpha Project put up a sprung structure that has heating, air conditioning and other amenities. Jason Yeo and Angela Joo both say that homeless services and housing should be concentrated in downtown LA, rather than in neighborhoods like Koreatown. Photo by Avishay Artsy. Some Koreatown residents support the idea of installing a temporary homeless shelter. “We've never had so many homeless encampments in Koreatown that I've known. I've never seen so many before. And I’d love to see something be done about that,” said Johnny Lee, a restaurant owner in Koreatown. “I know a lot of business owners in Koreatown want to see something done about that too.” The shelter is bringing up some deep-seated anxieties within the Korean-American community that they’re not being listened to. “Maybe people think we are selfish [because] we [are] against the homeless shelter. We are not selfish. We're just asking, they have to respect us, ok? We work hard, we pay taxes, and they are not hearing us. They are not respecting us. That's not fair,” said one of the protesters, Karen Lee. That feeling goes back to the 1992 riots/civil unrest and the feeling that law enforcement didn’t do enough to protect Korean store owners. “After 1992 when this community was burned to the ground, it was built up by the blood, sweat and tears of Korean Americans. And it's just finally been revitalized and has actually been improving for the past couple of decades,” said protester Emmanuel Han. There’s also a stereotype that Koreans are more focused on family and business and uninterested in local politics, and are expected to go along passively with the city’s plan. “Koreatown has a history of being disenfranchised and has a history of marginalization because they think that Koreatown residents don't vote and they don't complain,” said Angela Joo. There’s also a belief among Korean-Americans that homelessness is not an issue facing their community. According to LA homeless statistics, LA County is 14 percent Asian/Pacific Islander, but that group makes up just 1 percent of the homeless population. Raymond Kim, who runs the Facebook page that opposes the Koreatown shelter, raised the issue of support structures between families and friends. “Everyone in Koreatown has a friend or a family that's been in terrible condition, they've been down on their luck and they've housed them. I've done that,” Kim said. There would be way more homeless if we didn't take care of our friends and our family.” But there is also a hidden Korean American homeless community that sleeps in 24-hour spas and local churches. That’s according to Joon Bang, the executive director of the Korean American Coalition-Los Angeles. The protesters say they’ll come back to this location every weekend until Councilman Wesson grants them a public hearing. Wesson says there will be a council committee hearing but it hasn’t been scheduled.
Homeless in Koreatown, Deconstructing Kanye Koreatown residents are fighting to keep homeless housing out of their neighborhood. What does this mean for efforts to build a shelter in every LA council district? And hip-hop mogul Kanye West has huge ambitions that include his own design and architecture businesses. But could his recent controversial statements about race and politics derail these ambitions?
Solar panel installations will soar under new rules Starting in just two years, any new homes built in California will have to include solar panels and other energy-efficiency measures. Those are among the new energy standards that The California Energy Commission unanimously approved Wednesday.
Baja Funk, Women Cyclists As tensions simmer along the US-Mexican border, we look at cross-border design collaborations between San Diego and Tijuana. And does gender determine where you ride a bike? We’ll hear about efforts to get more women into cycling, and whether "bro culture" affects the planning of bicycle lanes.
Could an aerial tram solve Dodger traffic jams? If you've ever been stuck in traffic trying to get to Dodger Stadium, there's a possible end in sight to your frustration. Metro officials are considering a proposal for an aerial tram that could take you from Union Station to the stadium in 5 minutes.
Terrorism in London: Lessons for the US This weekend’s terrorist attack in London left seven people dead and almost 50 injured. London police fatally shot the attackers, and ISIS claimed responsibility.
How do Trump supporters feel about the Paris Accord? Globally and around the U.S., there are strong opinions whether or not the Paris Climate Accord is a good idea. The American exit is either a horrifying abdication of American leadership or a forceful and long overdue statement about U.S. sovereignty.
Farewell LA freeways, Peter Shire is back Angelenos don't want more freeways but we seem not to want mass transit either. Metro has killed the 710 freeway extension, and bus and train ridership is down across the region. What's the future of getting around in LA? And, Peter Shire is having a comeback. What attracts a new generation to his playful ceramics and furniture?
Securing Public Spaces, Super Wealthy Asians Vehicles are increasingly being used as weapons, as seen in the London Bridge attack over the weekend and in New York’s Times Square last month. The Compton-based company Calpipe is designing security bollards to help make public spaces safer. And novelist Kevin Kwan satirizes the “crazy rich” Asian jet set and their luxurious tastes in his latest book, “Rich People Problems.”