5 design things to do: Nov 14 - 20

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Coming up: discover the effects of border art at the Annenberg's W|ALLS; meet Gilbert & George; learn who gets Shortlisted for major architecture projects and why; explore the blurry lines - and design - between fact and fiction; and celebrate transportation at CoMotion LA and L.A Forum Fest.

Photo by: Tanya Aguiniga

1) Convivencia: Art Making at the U.S.-Mexico Border

The debates over US-Mexico border policies are loud and divisive. But some artists and architects are working directly at the border to better understand the complexities of the landscape, and inspire transformative effects. Two of those creators are Ronald Rael, chair of the department of architecture at UC Berkeley, who co-created a vivid pink teeter-totter at the border, and artist-craftsperson Tanya Aguiñiga, founder of Art Made Between Opposite Sides (AMBOS). This Thursday they'll meet on stage for Convivencia: Art Making at the U.S.-Mexico Border, a conversation about coexistence, representation, and community-based art along the border. It's part of W|ALLS, the current exhibition at the Annenberg Space for Photography.

When: Thursday, Nov 14, 7 - 9 pm

Where: Annenberg Space for Photography, 2000 Avenue of the Stars, Los Angeles 90067

Tickets: Free; click here for more information.

2) Opening Reception and Art Talk: Gilbert & George Paradisical Pictures 

Graphic art meets performance art in the prolific work of Gilbert Prousch and George Passmore, partners in art and life. Since the late 1960s, the British duo have worked as one artistic entity, known simply as Gilbert & George, creating mostly large scale photo works known as The Pictures. These often feature themselves in a black and white grid splashed with bright color. Gilbert and George have described their "pictures" as a sort of "visual love letter from us to the viewer" that also explore provocative subjects including religion, patriotism and sexuality.

You can attend the opening of their show at Sprüth Magers on Friday, and then on Saturday join art critic Jonathan Griffin in conversation with the artists. 

When: Opening Reception Friday, Nov 15, 6 - 8 pm; Talk Saturday, Nov 16, 4 pm; Exhibition runs through Jan 25.

Where: Sprüth Magers, 5900 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles 90036

Tickets: Free. Seating for the talk is limited; please RSVP by emailing rsvp.la@spruethmagers.com or calling (323) 634-0600.

la-et-cm-natural-history-museum-expansionFrederick Fisher and Partners Architects' conceptual proposal for a new glass cube entrance to the Natural History Museum. The plan aims to better connect the NHM to its neighbors in Exposition Park (Photo courtesy of Frederick Fisher and Partners Architects)

3) Shortlisted!

Los Angeles cultural institutions are ringing the changes -- and tapping design talent from around the world to bring those plans to life. How do architects make the cut for these career and culture-defining projects? Who best interprets local conditions? And should global cities like LA try and maintain regional character by nurturing local talent or invite the brand of the world’s most talented designers to our high profile sites?

Get some answers when Dr. Lori Bettison-Varga, head of the Natural History Museums of Los Angeles County, and Christopher Hawthorne, LA’s Chief Design Officer, headline a line-up of architects, design journalists and teachers for an all-day forum at A+D Museum. DnA host Frances Anderton is co-host of the forum, which was prompted by the realization that no LA architects had made the cut for any of the recent redesigns of buildings on Wilshire Boulevard’s Museum Row, and will take place against the backdrop of the current exhibition at A+D Museum: The Los Angeles Schools. 

When: Saturday, Nov 16, 9:30 am - 5 pm

Where: A + D Museum, 900 E 4th St, Los Angeles 90013 

Tickets: Free; click here for more information.

4) Fear and Wonder 3; Stranger Than Fiction: SCI-Arc and UCLA explore fictional worlds

One of the most popular courses at SCI-Arc is futurist Liam Young's EDGE MS Fiction and Entertainment program. For the past three years, Young has invited creators of imaginary worlds to participate in Fear and Wonder, a symposium exploring contemporary representations of artificial intelligence in film, television, and global culture. This year's outing takes place next Tuesday, November 20, and features a line-up of speakers including Her production designer K. K. Barrett; Deborah Harrison, one of the original architects of the personality for Microsoft's digital assistant, Cortana; and George Hull, concept artist for Blade Runner 2049 (see image, above.)

Meanwhile, UCLA's IDEAS Entertainment Studio at the school of architecture and urban design will explore similar terrain Saturday, November 16, with a symposium and display of student work that "will take you on a journey through the worlds and narratives that straddle the increasingly blurry line between fact and fiction – the Stranger Than Fiction worlds that we all inhabit every day." Click here for more information.

When: Fear and Wonder 3: Tuesday, November 20, 2019 at 6:00pm – 10:00pm

Where: W.M. Keck Lecture Hall, SCI-Arc, 960 East 3rd Street
Los Angeles, CA 90013

Tickets: Free; click here for more information.

5) Forum Fest Fundraiser

Transportation is cause to party at Sunday's big bash for L.A. Forum for Architecture and Urban Design. The nonprofit cultural forum hosts it bi-annual fundraiser with the theme of ON THE GRID, exploring the radical impact public transit will have in Los Angeles. Hosted at Self Help Graphics, the iconic community arts center on the Gold Line in Boyle Heights, this party will be the perfect place for the extended L.A. Forum community to celebrate the future of our city. Enjoy great music, live performances, projections of light and sound, signature food and drinks, and compelling conversations. And you'll learn about the many exciting projects the L.A. Forum is taking on.

When: Sunday, Nov 17, 6 - 10 pm

Where: Self Help Graphics, 1300 E 1st St, Los Angeles 90033

Tickets: General Admission $125 / Students $50. You can get tickets here.

While on the topic of transportation: CoMotion LA is back!

Want to learn more about the future of transportation and the urban mobility revolution and how it will change L.A. and global cities? Find out at CoMotion LAthe annual conference and exhibition taking place at ROW DTLA this Thursday and Friday. DnA's Frances Anderton will host a panel Thursday lunchtime on the intersection of architecture and transportation infrastructure with Christopher Hawthorne and Andrew Byrne, who runs Grimshaw Architects' LA studio. Thursday-Friday, Nov 14 - 15, ROW DTLA, 777 Alameda St, Los Angeles 90021, $750-$1,000. You can get tickets here.