5 design things to do August 17 - 23

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Gardenhouse designed by MAD Architects. Photo by Darren Bradley, courtesy of MAD Architects.

This week: Check out the new Graham Garden in DTLA; come to the Green Building Conference; go to a drive-in book launch on the Sunset Strip; drive by ArtCenter's window displays and Gardenhouse by MAD Architects.

Gardenhouse at the corner of Wilshire Boulevard and South Stanley Avenue in Beverly Hills. Photo by Nic Lehoux.

1) Gardenhouse on display

There has been a lot to worry about recently. Give yourself a reminder of how fun architecture can be by checking out Gardenhouse, a condominium development just completed in Beverly Hills. It's by architect Ma Yansong and his firm MAD architects. They are putting a big mark on Los Angeles with the forthcoming Lucas Museum in Exposition Park. This project, helmed by MAD associate partner Dixon Junliang Lu, is their first residential project in the US and even if you can't afford the $3.7 million or more sticker price for a unit, you can enjoy the view of the exterior from the street. In a new spin on the California dream of the cute house in a yard, 18 pitched roof dwellings sit atop a mixed-use structure with retail at ground level and a garden climbing up the walls. Interiors are by Richard Riveire, founding principal of Rottet Studio.

When: Viewable indefinitely; to see inside contact the owners

Where: 8600 Wilshire Boulevard, Beverly Hills

Cost: Free

Fountain Figure III, by Robert Graham, 1983. Photo courtesy The Rose Group

2) Graham Garden Debuts in DTLA to Honor Sculpture Robert Graham

Some sculptures by Robert Graham (1938-2008) will be unveiled Wednesday in a new "Graham Garden" on Bunker Hill.

Graham, Mexican-born and Los Angeles-based, created many works including the ceremonial gateway for the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, for the 1984 Olympics and the bronze doors at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in Los Angeles (2002).  

Starting this Wednesday, August 19th (Graham's birth date), "Fountain Figures l - IV" (1983-1987) will be on display in a new outdoor plaza named Graham Garden in the Wells Fargo Center on Hope Street, close to The Broad museum. It is part of the Halo Center, a food hall currently under construction

The sculptures were originally commissioned by the Wells Fargo Center for a space designed by landscape architect Lawrence Halprin, as part of CRA/LA’s mission in 1985 to incorporate public art in redevelopment projects. Current owners Brookfield Properties worked on the design of the Graham Garden with Graham's son Steven and a creative team including fine art advisor Karen Amiel, water feature designers Outside The Lines and landscape architecture firm, GGNSteven Graham talks about the sculptures and his father here.

When: Open to the public indefinitely from Wednesday, August 19

Where: Halo at Wells Fargo Center, 330 S Hope Street Los Angeles, CA 90071

Cost: Free

Green buildings, Singapore's natural ally in climate change fight ...Photo: USGBCLA.com

3) Municipal Green Building Conference & Expo

If we weren’t in the midst of a pandemic, it is likely climate change would still be top of mind. It most certainly is for the LA chapter of the US Green Building Council, which holds its annual municipal conference this coming Friday and Saturday, August 21 and 22 (online of course). 

The conference organizers had already been planning to make “equity” a theme this year, exploring how to widen accessibility to clean technologies, jobs in the green energy sector and more healthful living. Then came COVID-19 and the George Floyd protests, intensifying the focus on this topic. 

DnA's Frances Anderton will moderate a Friday lunchtime “Power Panel” with leaders of sustainability departments at the City of LA (Lauren Faber O’Connor), the County of LA (Gary Gero), the DWP (Dr. Cris B. Liban) and LA Metro (Nancy Sutley). 

There are also speakers offering advice on how to green ones home; for example Brandy Williams, founder of Garden Butterfly, a landscape design company that focuses on creating “pollinator habitats.” We could all use more butterflies in our lives. 

When: Friday, Aug 21 (industry) and Saturday 22 (general public and industry)

Where: Location provided with registration. You can register here.

Cost: $25 - $75. You can get tickets here.

LA "at the edge of forever." DTLA is barely visible through the haze from the mountains in Topanga Canyon; photo by Frances Anderton.

4) City at the Edge of Forever: Drive-in Book Event with Peter Lunenfeld

Los Angeles -- its ecology, its urban planning and its reasons to even exist -- is a topic of ceaseless fascination for cultural observers. The latest is Peter Lunenfeld, vice chair of UCLA’s Design Media Arts department and author of  a new book of essays, City at the Edge of Forever: Los Angeles Reimagined. He reinterprets the region from an alchemical perspective: earth (real estate), fire (growth based on oil), air (aerospace) and water (ports), plus a fifth "element:" LA's "quintessence." 

Now he's reimagining the book launch for the COVID era, with a drive-in, socially-distanced book event on the Sunset Strip. It will take place in the parking lot of the former Tower Records, just across from Book Soup. Book Soup will drop off signed, pre-ordered copies and a complimentary snack from Jeff’s Table in Highland Park. The reading starts at 7:30, audible via your car radio’s FM dial or on your phone at Facebook Live. Author's proceeds go to the LA Regional Food Bank.

When: Saturday, August 22; 7:30 – 8:30 pm

Where: 8801 Sunset Boulevard, West Hollywood, CA 90069

Cost: $28 (author’s proceeds will be donated to the LA Regional Food Bank). Click here for tickets and information.

Artwork by Joanne Petit-Frère is visible in the window. Photo of the artwork by Ian Gonzaga, courtesy ArtCenterCollege of Design.

5) Up All Night

Here's another fab thing to do while driving around Los Angeles at the edge of forever (see item #4, above): check out the art in the windows of three ArtCenter College of Design locations: ArtCenter DTLA, Mullin Gallery and the Hoffmitz Milken Center for Typography in Pasadena.

Up All Night consists of three video exhibitions: Face Time, Dream Time and Great Writers/Orators/Artists: A Typographic Narrative. “Face Time” features work by Brian Bress, Kent Anderson Butler, Nicole Cohen, Brent Everett Dickinson, Nina Katchadourian, Susan Lee-Chun, Isabelle Lutterodt, Marco Rios and Joanne Petit-Frère, above.

“Dream Time” features animated short films from students majoring in Entertainment Design at ArtCenter College of Design.

“Great Writers/Orators/Artists: A Typographic Narrative” are selected motion pieces designed by ArtCenter’s Graduate Graphic Design students under the instruction of Professor Tyrone Drake. He asked his typography students to create designs that pay homage to the work of an influential individual they select.

When: Through August 31, 2020

Where: ArtCenter DTLA, 114 West 4th Street, CA 90013 ; Peter and Merle Mullin Gallery, ArtCenter College of Design, 1111 S Arroyo Parkway, Pasadena, CA 91105; Hoffmitz Milken Center for Typography Gallery, 950 S Raymond Avenue, Pasadena, CA 91105 

Cost: Free. Click here for more information.