5 design things to do May 18 - 24

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"Obscured Hive", by Sanchit Mehta. Class: Dialogues Between Inside and The Outside; Instructor: Yo-Ichiro Hakomori. From USC Architecture EXPO 2020, Graduate Final Projects.

This week: Hear how California cities are leading the charge for clean building; watch a documentary about the iconoclastic architect Bruce Goff; see cool projects by graduating students at USC School of Architecture; watch two discussions about art and activism: one with Shirin Neshat about her exhibition at The Broad, and one with Emory Douglas about the exhibition Emory Douglas: Bold Visual Language; and join the conversation at LCDQ Strong.

California was on the road to cleaning up emissions like this. Can it continue? Photo taken on the 110 freeway 11/6/2019, by KCRW/Frances Anderton.

1) Pathways for California Cities to Tackle Climate Change

While quarantine orders and business lock downs may have reduced the pollutants in our air, climate change is far from solved. The Trump administration is rolling back numerous environmental rules, clean energy jobs have declined during the pandemic, and some experts worry that in the race to rebuild our economy, dirty fuel-powered industries may come roaring back, even in California.

So what does this all mean for the leadership taken by California cities in implementing new policies to promote clean and healthy buildings. Find out at round table discussion that will review the 30+ local reach codes or energy ordinances that have been passed by California cities and counties since 2019, and explain how they impact the design of buildings.

This panel is hosted by AIA/LA and aimed at folks in the design and construction industry, but all are welcome. Participants include: James (Jed) Donaldson, AIA, LEED AP BD+C – Chair, AIA|LA Committee on the Environment & Principal, Johnson Fain (moderator); Pierre Delforge – Senior Scientist, Building Decarbonization, Climate & Clean Energy Program, NRDC; Matthew Gough – Senior Campaign Representative, Sierra Club; Amy Rider, LEED AP  Principal Consultant, Archamy Consulting; Scott Shell, FAIA – AIA|CA COTE Advocacy Committee & Principal, EHDD

When: Tuesday, May 19, 4:00 - 5:30 pm 

Where: Hosted by AIA|LA. You can register here for Zoom access details.

Cost: Free

 Ford House exterior, by Bruce Goff. Aurora, Illinois, 1949. The house was recently honored with the 2019 Award for Landmark Stewardship, Illinois.

2) Online live screening of "GOFF," a documentary about Bruce Goff

Bruce Alonzo Goff (1904 – 1982) was an Organic architect, known for his eccentric designs that flew in the face of conventional architecture. His design philosophy came from the abstract term called, “continuous present,” coined by Gertrude Stein, which he described as living the past and present in one continuous stream.

"GOFF" profiles several of the architect's residential projects in the Mid-West, including the Ford House (1949), the Bavinger House (1955), Gutman House (1960), and the Joe Price House (1958). Price funded the building of the Bruce Goff designed-Pavilion for Japanese Art at LACMA. The documentary explores the life of an iconoclast and chronicles the events that led to the destruction and renewed interest in his memory and dwellings.

Goff started as an architecture intern at age 12, made partner at the same firm by age 26, was forced out of a teaching position at the University of Oklahoma in his early '50s - the film suggests this was because of his homosexuality - and continued to do some of his best work, including his last project, the Pavilion for Japanese Art at LACMA (completed after Goff's death by Bart Prince). This building will be incorporated into the Peter Zumthor-designed masterplan for LACMA. 

While his contemporaries primarily followed tight functionalistic floorplans with flat roofs and no ornament, Goff created idiosyncratic floorplans with no conventional beginning, middle or end. He sought spatial effect as well as recycled and/or unconventional materials - such as gilded zebrawood, cellophane strips, cake pans, glass cullet, Quonset Hut ribs, ashtrays, and white turkey feathers. However, though well regarded in his time by Frank Lloyd Wright and cited as an influence by both Frank Gehry and Philip Johnson, Goff never attained the same level of canonization in the architectural world. 

Special introduction by Alison Fisher, associate curator of architecture and design, The Art Institute of Chicago. After the film, a Q&A with the film’s director, Britini Harris.

When: Wednesday, May 20, 8 - 10 pm

Where: Access information provided with ticket confirmation

Cost: $1.99. You can get tickets here.

3) LCDQ Strong

The La Cienega Design Quarter has been the heart of the interior design profession since the 1950s, says Tamar Mashigian, Executive Director, LCDQ. However, the legendary interior design strip has been facing the same challenges as other retail districts, with further stresses from COVID-19. In a show of strength, the community will host its annual LEGENDS design festival online, with a Zoom screen gathering, featuring conversations and special appearances by top designers and editors. Enthusiasm for this event was so high that it got moved from its previously scheduled date, last week, to this Thursday. Get more background here.

When: Thursday, May 21. Online events throughout the day starting at 9 am.

Where: You can register for the discussions here.

Cost: Free.

'A muralist and his curves', by Christian Calma. Class: "The Fundamentals of Architecture and Narrative"; Instructor Sandra Yum.

4) USC Architecture Virtual EXPO 2020

The show must go online and in this case it's the USC School of Architecture's annual end-of-year exhibition of student work, EXPO 2020. Browse virtual galleries of undergraduate and graduate work from their architecture, landscape architecture and building science programs. See student visions for Los Angeles in classes titled "The 'L.A. School' School", "Co-Location Community Library + Housing Prototype for Los Angeles", and "House Tour: Ten New models for Domestic Life in LA". Graduate students have created designs to reforest MacArthur Park and re-imagine the Los Angeles River. There's even a class about the architectural design of dinner parties - where we can look at the work and dream of the day we can once again open our homes and share food and friendship. And much much more. Be sure to check back for updates throughout May as additional final projects are posted.

When: Available now

Where: USC School of Architecture online here

Cost: Free

SHIRIN NESHAT, Offered Eyes, 1993. © Shirin Neshat/Courtesy the artist and Gladstone Gallery, New York and Brussels

5) Two conversations about Art and Activism

Frieze x Human Rights Watch: The Broad Curator Ed Schad in Conversation with Shirin Neshat

Frieze New York, an annual art fair which is taking place online this year, partnered with Human Rights Watch to present discussions about art and activism. In this conversation, the Broad's curator, Ed Schad, spoke with Shirin Neshat, a contemporary Iranian-born visual artist who has lived and worked in the U.S. since before the Iranian Revolution. Her photographs and videos address individual freedoms under attack from or repressed by social ideologies (read more about her work here.)  Schad curated the critically acclaimed exhibition of Neshat's work, at The Broad through Feb. 9, 2021. He talks to Neshat about dreams and politics, parallels between contemporary America and her native Iran, and how the Coronavirus pandemic is creating a universal human experience. 

When: Available now

Where: Frieze online here

Cost: Free

Fifty Years Later, Black Panthers' Art Still Resonates - The New ...Emory Douglas’ vision of black radical politics contributed to the long artistic conversation of global struggle, in a distinctive graphic style. 

Video of Emory Douglas in conversation with LACE curators Daniela Lieja Quintanar and Essence Harden

The 2018 exhibition Emory Douglas: Bold Visual Language considered the legacy and diasporic impact of the visual artist Emory Douglas, Minister of Culture and graphic artist for the Black Panther Party.

To keep the conversation going during this time of online discourse, LACE has created newly edited content related to the exhibition. The 90 minute video features the legendary artist himself in conversation with the exhibition curators, Daniela Lieja Quintanar and Essence Harden. 

To round-out the video experience, check out visuals from the exhibition here. It featured examples of Douglas’ bold, highly graphic posters and paintings tackling anti-black police brutality, economic/housing discrimination, American Imperialist projects and anti-colonist struggles happening around the world. You can see Black Panther Party Newspaper’s from Southern California Library, posters of remixed images by Emory Douglas, and in addition, works by contemporary artists responding to Emory Douglas: Sadie Barnette, Juan Capistrán, Patrick Martinez, the Woman’s Zapatista Embroidery Collective, Caleb Duarte and Mia Eve Rollow.

When: Available now

Where: Courtesy of Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (LACE) on vimeo here. You can also listen to a 2018 KCRW interview about the exhibition here and find an article here.

Cost: Free