FROM Erin Cullerton
Venice Part of LA's vigorous architecture culture was the work of the maverick architects who made their mark in Venice in the 1970s and 80s – among them Fred Fisher, Frank Gehry, Stephen Ehrlich and Brian Murphy. These architects were exploring alternatives to stringent Modernism that differed from the post-modern experiments on the East Coast. Erin Cullerton says that an LA Conservancy tour of such buildings shows that the recent past is now history.
Shopping Locally for LA-Made Goods The design enthusiasts Marissa Gluck, Alissa Walker, Haily Zaki and Erin Cullerton together run de LaB , aka Design East of La Brea—a part-party, part-culture club that introduces Angelenos to LA contemporary design. Last week Frances caught up with them at their last event of 2011, a tour of LACMA's California Design: Living in a Modern Way 1930-1965 exhibition. Since their events have taken them all over the city for sneak peeks of products made by the region's designers, the four ladies each gave their picks for the best made-in-LA designs of the year. If you're still looking for presents this year, their selections would each make a perfect locally produced design-centric gift. The Dustbin by Brendan Ravenhill : This ingenious trash can not only keeps a dustpan and brush at-the-ready, all of its parts were manufactured in Los Angeles by companies ranging from a 60-year-old metal stamper to a brush maker who produces parts for the Mars Rovers. $220 at BrendanRavenhill.com California Design: Living in a Modern Way 1930-1965 designed by Michael Hodgson and Ph.D : The gorgeous catalogue for the definitive exhibition on California design includes hundreds of objects produced in the state during the midcentury modern movement. $60 at the LACMA Shop Rodarte by Laura and Kate Mulleavy, Catherine Opie and Alec Soth : This art-fashion photo book is a collaboration between the Mulleavy sisters, renowned Pasadena fashion designers, and photographers Opie and Soth. It features the Rodarte clothes against the California landscapes which inspired them. $80 at Hennessey + Ingalls toHOLD designed by Kara Bartelt : Part modern art, part terrarium, Bartelt's delicate pieces use succulents and airplants to create beautiful living sculptures that look right at home on a desk, a coffee table, even as a unique necklace. Starting at $8.50 at Etsy and other LA locations Design your own present at KnowHow Shop LA : Visit this Highland Park workshop with your own gift ideas and their skilled proprietors will help you navigate their fabrication wonderland filled with laser etchers and CNC milling machines to bring your creation to life. Contact for prices Geoff McFetridge's collection at Heath Ceramics : The Los Angeles designer and illustrator dabbles in clay for the first time with a limited-editon line of custom-painted dinnerware and accessories covered in McFetridge's signature doodles. Various prices at Heath Ceramics , 7525 Beverly Boulevard Top image: Kara Bartelt's toHOLD piece features an airplant inside a pink sea urchin
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.”
Revisiting showrunner Steven Bochco on his memoir Steven Bochco, the writer-producer behind record-breaking Emmy winners Hill Street Blues, LA Law and NYPD Blue, fought battles with everyone from out-of-control actors to network censors in his long career. He isn’t afraid to tell those tales in his memoir, Truth Is a Total Defense. This week we revisit the conversation where he shared some of his favorite stories with us.