5 design things to do June 1 - 7

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Sunday morning, May 31: protestors gather at Ocean and Montana Avenue in Santa Monica to register their support for an end to racial injustice. Photo by Frances Anderton.

This week: Help design pedestrian amenities surrounding the new Purple Line coming to Beverly Hills; honor FoLAR founder Lewis MacAdams by submitting public art ideas; explore the impact of color in architecture and design with Gillian Rose and Frances Anderton; remember Christo; and join the art community in taking action for the times.

Beverly Hills Is Negotiating to Get a Bathroom at the Rodeo Drive ...

1) Connect Beverly Hills Digital Walking Tour + Survey

The Purple Line is coming to Beverly Hills and the city wants to be ready with a streetscape plan including upgraded pedestrian amenities such as landscaping, lighting, and bus shelters. And the city is looking for your help in designing it. The  two new subway stations at Wilshire/La Cienega in 2023 and Wilshire/Rodeo in 2025 are expected to bring a significant increase in foot traffic along the two corridors. 

The Beverly Hills Community Development Department is working with Community Arts Resources (CARS), Toole Design and RCH Studios to solicit community input for the project. Though the original plan was for onsite group walking audits, the team has pivoted and created "virtual walk audits" for the public to engage with the space. "[We're] looking forward to getting community and stakeholder feedback in this way and hope that we might possibly reach an even broader audience using these [online] tools," says CARS President Aaron Paley (catch Aaron talking about creating public space, on this DnA). "I’m really excited for this project which is looking at these boulevards not just from curb to curb, but from building façade to façade, with the hope that we will create a safe space to rethink these streets for a new generation."

The goal is to create a site-specific character. “Connect Beverly Hills is an opportunity to promote the new Metro stations as destinations that are uniquely Beverly Hills,” said Beverly Hills Mayor Lester Friedman. 

You can find the virtual walk and survey here.

When: Available now

Where: Connect Beverly Hills

Cost: Free

In honor of Lewis MacAdams (1944–2020), founder of Friends of the Los Angeles River, the LA River Public Art Project is launching The Lewis MacAdams Prize.

2) LA River Public Art Project Announces The Lewis MacAdams Prize

Realizing its potential for habitat restoration, open space, and recreation, Lewis MacAdams (1944–2020) founded Friends of the Los Angeles River (FoLAR) in 1986 to work to change the cultural perception of the River and restore its identity as an amenity to its communities. MacAdams didn't ask permission, he just started working - as he recalled poetically when he said, “We ask if we can speak on its behalf in the human realm. We can’t hear the river saying no, so we get to work.”

In memory of MacAdams who died from Parkinson's disease in April at the age of 75, the Lewis MacAdams Prize is being initiated by the LA River Public Art Project with the prompt to imagine the LA River as a public art destination. Through an open call, artists, designers, and makers of all ages and levels are invited to submit their ‘blue sky’ ideas for the River as a public art destination. Anything goes - projects won't be produced by the LA River Public Art Project, so money is no object, permits are not required, and sites can be anywhere along the 51-mile length of the river. This is an ideas competition and the river is not saying 'no'.

The winner will be awarded $500, with a special prize of $150 going to an emerging artist 18-years-old and younger. Three honorable mentions will be recognized. All proposals will be publicly presented. Deadline is July 20, 2020. You can find more details, including submission information and qualifications of the judges here.

When: Accepting submissions through July 20

Where: More details and submission information here.

Cost: Free

3) The Science of Color: Gillian Rose in conversation with Frances Anderton

"Our responses to color are written into our DNA," says Gillian Rose, "they are not learned." The aptly named Rose is an environmental designer and founder of The Science of Color. She consults for designers and companies on the impact of color, which she says forms 80% of our visual perception. But those feelings differ, she says, depending on whether we are outgoing or reserved, extrovert or introvert. Color has a deep, physical and psychological effect on us - especially within the built environment - and greatly impacts how people function in their spaces. This Wednesday, Gillian Rose will present an AIA/LA webinar about 'color' with Gillian Rose, with a Q and A to follow, moderated by KCRW's Frances Anderton. One of the topics under consideration is why so much Modern architecture today is white, and what architects might learn from interior designers.

When: Wednesday, June 3, 5:00 - 6:30 pm

Where: Webinar details provided with ticket confirmation

Cost: $20 (AIA members $10). You can get tickets here.

Christo in front of The Floating Piers on Italy's Lake Iseo, circa 2014

4) Christo (1935 - 2020)

Christo, known for massive public arts projects around the world - both in concept and scale - has died at the age of 84.  According to a statement from the artist's office, “Christo lived his life to the fullest, not only dreaming up what seemed impossible but realizing it”. The statement went on to say, “Christo and [his late wife] Jeanne-Claude’s  artwork brought people together in shared experiences across the globe, and their work lives on in our hearts and memories.” 

Beginning in the 1960s, Christo and Jeanne-Claude redefined public art and what it meant to 'think big.' Their work attracted attention at their sites around the world for their eye-catching (temporary) disruption to well-known buildings and other sites - often including miles of colorful fabric. Think the wrapping of the Pont Neuf bridge in Paris, islands in Biscayne Bay, and the Reichstag in Berlin; The Floating Piers on Italy’s Lake Iseo so people could 'walk on water'; and the Running Fence, his nearly 25 mile long project in Northern California.

A wrapping of Paris’s Arc de Triomphe in 269,097 square feet of fabric is currently scheduled for Fall 2021.

Part of the attraction to works by Christo and Jean-Claude was often the shear audacity of their concepts, that were not without controversy and usually steeped in permitting challenges. The process was part of the art.

You can take a self-guided retrospective of the couple's work on their website - including virtual tours, videos, sketches, photos and detailed commentary by the artists.

When: Available now

Where: Christo and Jeanne Claude Website here

Cost: Free

Kazimir Malevich's 1915 Black Square was an 'emptying out, of all the habits, tricks, skills, clutter and values associated with painting'

5) Join the art community in taking action

When: Now

Where:  Here

Cost: Whatever is right for you

Note: Beloved design books store Hennessey + Ingalls has reopened with regular shopping hours. Arcana: Books on the Arts (also a favorite) is scheduled to open next week.