FROM Craig Hodgetts
Utopia and Arcosanti It's been 500 years since Thomas More published his great work of social and urban philosophy, Utopia. More's vision inspired the ideal cities of the Renaissance, the garden city movement, Le Corbusier's modernist City of Tomorrow, as well as the Israeli kibbutzim and the hippie communes of the 1970s. It's also inspired the theme for this year's London Design Biennale. Meanwhile, Silicon Valley firms are thinking about future "smart cities." DnA learns about Utopian planning, future -- and past, with a visit to Arcosanti , an experimental community built in 1970 on a mesa in Yavapai County in central Arizona.
Zaha Hadid Zaha Hadid was just five years out of architecture school in London when she stunned her peers with her 1982 winning design for The Peak, a leisure club on Victoria Peak overlooking the Hong Kong Harbor. With this project, described by Joseph Giovannini as "an explosion or a geode or some kind of rock crystal that had been expelled from a mountainside", she "invented a new form of beauty," and she went on to become one of the most sought-after architects in the world, and a role model to many, especially women. Giovannini and others discuss her legacy.
Culver City Braces for Closure of Community Ice Arena The beloved Culver Ice Arena is closing because it can’t afford a new market rent. Today’s show explores the fight to save the rink, and what its demise says about the changing character of Los Angeles as buildings, and land values, rise and rise. With Culver City councilmembers Micheál O’Leary and Andrew Weissman, Calarts Norman Klein, Shannon Takahashi of Culver Ice Arena, and supporters of the rink. Renee DeAngelis, owner of Planet Granite, responds. Also, the movie Her depicts an LA of towers and public transit. But is that the LA we want? With Chris Nichols, Norman Klein, Craig Hodgetts, Evan Kleiman and Sam Lubell.
Hyperloop Craig Hodgetts is a professor of architecture and urban design at UCLA and starting next August he will co-lead a “Suprastudio” of graduate students to help develop the Hyperloop. On board with him are Marco Villa, the former director of mission operations for SpaceX, and Patricia Galloway, the first woman president of the American Society of Civil Engineers. The studio is part of a coalition that includes the newly formed Hyperloop Transportation Technologies Inc. and JumpStartFund, a crowdfunding site. The group reportedly has Elon Musk’s “blessing” if not -- yet -- his money.
A Last Stand for Grand Avenue? The Grand Avenue Project on LA’s Bunker Hill was first envisioned back in the 1960’s as a cluster of world-class cultural institutions along a broad, pedestrian-friendly thoroughfare. Ten years ago, architect Frank Gehry’s Walt Disney Concert Hall gave new life to the idea. Later, he designed a larger plan for the street that never happened. It was replaced by a downsized plan that recently was rejected by the Grand Avenue Authority, chaired by LA Supervisor Gloria Molina. The developer, Related, now has until early next year to come up with a scheme she likes better.
“Sculptural” Architecture at MOCA and LACMA In the last couple of weeks, two of the large-scale Pacific Standard Time Presents exhibits have opened; one at LACMA, showcasing Peter Zumthor’s design to replace four buildings on the museum site; the other is at MOCA. MOCA’s is an exhibit that stalled along the way, largely to do with the framing of the show, as “A New Sculpturalism.” About a month ago, architect Thom Mayne helped assemble a team to realize the installation. They maintained more or less the same designers, but changed the layout. So how does the show look and feel now? And more importantly what does the “sculptural” building actually proposed for LACMA mean for Los Angeles? We heard from architecture writer Sam Lubell, installation manager Anne Marie Burke, architect Peter Zumthor and LACMA director Michael Govan and architect Craig Hodgetts.
Can California Afford to Build High-Speed Rail? California’s High Speed Rail project and the California High Speed Rail Peer Review Group were created by state voters in Proposition 1A. The Review Group is a high-powered panel that provides the legislature with progress reports on the multi-billion dollar system to link the state’s major cities. But its latest report is a dire warning: the project represents “an immense financial risk to California” because there are no “credible sources of adequate funding.” The Rail Authority says the report is flawed—and that just releasing it will “create a cloud” threatening the very support the Review Group finds lacking.
A Pacific Standard Time Preview The big self-love fest that is Pacific Standard Time: Art in L.A., 1945-1980 is about to launch with many exhibits across Southern California. Part of the story of that creative period in postwar Los Angeles is the innovation in design, craft and architecture. Gloria Gerace, managing director of Pacific Standard Time tells how design was linked to the art experimentation of those "happening" years. One of the biggest design exhibitions opens soon at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and curators Wendy Kaplan and Bobbye Tigerman give a preview of Living In a Modern Way: California Design 1930—1965 . Then, architects Craig Hodgetts and Ming Fung walk through their exhibition design that includes the Case Study House program, open plan and indoor-outdoor living, Julius Shulman photographs, and the explosion of consumption that followed the deprivations of the Great Depression and World World II. The cover of the magazine Arts & Architecture, which published the Case Study Houses Top image: Swimsuits designed by the company Catalina, which were made in L.A.
de070918The_Incredible_Being Petals Ceiling Treatment Firm: Studio Lilica Designer: Carl Royce Skateboard Design by Geoff McFetridge TOPO Table Firm: NON Designs, LLC Designer: Scott Franklin Additional: MIAO MIAO TOPO Table Firm: NON Designs, LLC Designer: Scott Franklin Additional: MIAO MIAO Mike Andrews "hand on string" Firm: Champion Graphics Designer: Geoff McFetridge Client: Mike Andrews
Why did Jared Kushner want a back channel with Russians? News broke Friday that President Trump’s son-in-law and senior advisor, Jared Kushner, tried setting up a back channel between the Trump transition team and the Russian government. What are the consequences for Kushner, President Trump, and the investigation into Russian meddling?
George Saunders: Lincoln in the Bardo (Part I) Lincoln in the Bardo dramatizes a grieving President Lincoln as he visits the grave of his beloved son Willie, who died at age eleven. In the novel, the buried dead believe they're not dead -- "they're sick and refer to their coffins as "sick boxes."
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.”
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?