5 design things to do July 20 - 26

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This week: Learn about the work of Danish designer Øivind Slaatto; celebrate 50 years of 1970s architecture; enter a contest to design a better face mask - with $1 Million in prize money; learn from black designers about bias in the fashion industry - and what to do about it; check out the reopened stores at ROW DTLA.


1) From Copenhagen & New York: In Conversation with Øivind Slaatto

Danish designer Øivind Slaatto works hard to keep his designs simple - yet beautiful and poetic - often with inspiration from nature. Founder of Slaatto Design in Copenhagen, Slaatto begins each project with the premise "that at heart, people want to focus on their life without getting distracted by complicated products, services and unnecessary information." Learn about his design processes and lighting philosophies in a conversation followed by a Q& A, presented by Be Original Americas and Louis Poulsen Lighting.

When: Wednesday, July 22, 9 - 10 am

Where: Zoom connection provided with registration. You can register here.

Cost: Free. Click here for more information.

Pacific Design CenterDesigned by César Pelli and Norma Merrick Sklarek for Gruen Associates, the Pacific Design center erupted in all its colorful glory into West Hollywood in 1975. Unquestionably a landmark, it has always been both beloved and reviled by its neighbors. Photo: Los Angeles Conservancy

2) California in the '70s: The Mindset, the Materials, the Architects

In celebration of the 1970s turning 50, the Los Angeles Conservancy is commemorating the era with special events throughout the year. During the 1970s, Los Angeles gave rise to a hotbed of architectural ingenuity, as seen in the creation of its architectural institutions (SCI-Arc, Cal Poly Pomona, UCLA) by a burgeoning crop of ambitious architects such as Frank Gehry, Charles, Moore, César Pelli, and others. They pushed beyond Modernism to create something new, experimenting with untraditional materials and revolutionary techniques.

Learn more about them from a panel moderated by Alan Hess, architect and historian, with panelists including Emily Bills, coordinator of the Urban Studies Program at Woodbury University; Frederick Fisher, architect; and Daniel Paul, architectural historian. Following the panel, take a virtual tour of Westin Bonaventure Hotel with a Conservancy docent. This John Portman-designed structure evokes a 1970s vision of the future using circular shapes, massive forms, and the concept of space as experience. 

When: Wednesday, July 22, 6 - 8 pm

Where: Los Angeles Conservancy Online. Connection information will be provided with registration.

Cost: $25 (Members $20). You can register here.

Masks don’t have to look like this. Photo by Frances Anderton/KCRW

3) XPRIZE Face mask design competition

The XPRIZE Foundation is known for hosting lucrative competitions to solve some of the big challenges of our time. They have tackled space travel, the oceans and robotics. Now it is taking on face masks. XPRIZE has launched the “Next-Gen Mask Challenge.” One million dollars will go to three teams of 15 to 24 year olds who can design a mask that people want to wear. Competitors must make it fashion-forward and solve five of the many deterrents to mask-wearing, including these top answers to a survey of thousands of people around the world: “They're too hot; It's hard to have a conversation; They hurt your ears; They fog up glasses; and It's impossible to eat or drink while wearing a mask.” Team registration runs through Oct 22, 2020, with final winners to be announced in Feb 2021. You can find all the details here.

When: Team registration is open now through Oct 22, 2020. 

Where: You can register a team here.

Cost: No fee to enter.

User-added imagePhoto credit: FIDM

4) Amplifying Melanated Voices: A Conversation with Black Designers

Inherent biases permeate our culture, and the fashion industry is no exception. This conversation between FIDM faculty, alumni and student designers explores how the industry can make much-needed progress. Jonie Thomas, FIDM Assistant Chairperson of Fashion Design will lead the conversation with TJ Walker, Co-Founder of Cross Colours and the Black Design CollectiveOctavius Terry, CEO & Co-Founder of GROOM / Celebrity Fashion DesignerDevert Hickman, Costume Designer, and Illeana Guzman, Current FIDM Fashion Design Student. Read more about the panelists here. Catch TJ Walker talking about Cross Colours on this DnA.

When: Thursday, July 23, 5 - 6 pm

Where: Presented by FIDM on Zoom. You can find the link here.

Cost: Free. You can register here.

5) A+R and ROW DTLA reopens

Rose Apodaca, the fast-talking, walking style encyclopedia, and her partner Andy Griffith own the curated design store A+R. They were among pioneer retailers in ROW DTLA, the shopping and dining destination in converted, century old warehouses and manufacturing buildings. Like every store in town, they had to close up during the pandemic and are now gingerly reopening, with by appointment access, Monday thru Saturday, from 11am to 6pm. Their neighbors at ROW DTLA are opening too. ROW DTLA, which feels vaguely like a sunny, Soho-lite (albeit self-contained and you drive to get there), is always pleasant to walk around and window shop. CDC- and City of LA-recommended safety protocols are in effect throughout.

When: A+R, Monday thru Saturday, from 11am to 6pm

Where: 777 S Alameda Street, LA 90021

Cost: Free to wander (though you'll need to pay for parking if you drive there)