5 design things to do Nov 9 - 15

Written by and

blokdesign founder Vanessa Eckstein will talk about her typography and branding design Thursday at a webinar hosted by The Hoffmitz Milken Center for Typography and Graphic Design department at ArtCenter College of Design. Image courtesy blokdesign.

This week: Catch Doris Sung talk about about reinventing window shading; hear Lorcan O'Herlihy on his new book, Architecture is a Social Act; learn about Green Hydrogen Energy at VerdeXchange and electrification of transportation at LACI; meet Vanessa Eckstein, typographer and founder of blokdesign; come to an event celebrating Paul R. Williams and his legacy for urban land use.

Biologist-turned Architect Doris Sung finds inspiration in nature for sustainable design.

1) Doris Sung: sm[ART]box and Sustainable Design

50 years ago, glass windows were single layered panels that let in the cold, let out the heat, and would shatter if you banged into them. Not so anymore. Glass has gone high-tech, consisting of multiple layers and materials that render it stronger, more structural and even thermally efficient.

But the layers of coatings that reduce heat gain and loss can also darken windows, giving them a brown or bluish tinge. Doris Sung, USC architecture professor and principle at DO|SU Architecture,  has created a new product called InVert, a layer of petal-like elements -- made of "thermobimetal" -- that sit in the cavity between the panes of glass and curl up and down through chemical reaction -- to let in or shade the light. 

Sung will discuss her invention this Wednesday evening at this online event hosted by Kleefeld Contemporary Art Museum. This is the first of three talks that comprise a fundraiser by the Long Beach-based museum to support the acquisition of art by "artists of difference" for the museum’s permanent collection. In the following weeks, hear from artists Maren Hassinger and Dyani White Hawk.

InVert will also be showcased in an installation at Cal State Long Beach opening in December.

When: Wednesday, Nov 11, 6:00 - 7:30 pm

Where: Online. Connection link provided with ticket confirmation.

Tickets: $75 for a three-part series. You can read more about the line-up and get tickets here.

2) Lorcan O'Herlihy: Architecture is a Social Act

Los Angeles-based Lorcan O'Herlihy Architects (LOHA) has long believed that you can confront the forces that are shaping today's world through the design of buildings that meld aesthetic appeal with social impact. His latest monograph, Architecture is a Social Act, explores 30-years of projects that demonstrate those goals, from civic-minded housing designs in Los Angeles for the unhoused and for the affluent to the reworking of city blocks in Detroit.

This Thursday Lorcan O'Herlihy will talk about the book with Robert Thiemann, founder of Frame Magazine, and publisher of Architecture is a Social Act. O'Herlihy will situate his thinking within the context of the pandemic, social unrest and the election of president-elect Joe Biden, who has promised to "build back better."

When: Thursday, Nov 12, 8 am

Where: You can register for the zoom conversation here.

Tickets: Free

4) Vanessa Eckstein: blokdesign

Vanessa Eckstein, alumnus of ArtCenter College of Design who now runs the highly-regarded design firm blokdesign, will talk about her work, as part of the designer lecture series presented by The Hoffmitz Milken Center for Typography and Graphic Design department at ArtCenter.

Eckstein will talk about how her experience living and working in Buenos Aires, LA, New York, Mexico City and Toronto have informed her designs for brands such as Nike, Pepsi, Nestle, and the Museum of Modern Art Miami, among many others.

When: Thursday, November 12, 1:00pm–2:00pm

Where: Online

Tickets: Free

Hydrogen fueling station. Photo by Shell Energy.

3) VerdeXchange Green Hydrogen Energy in LA/LACI's Virtual Night at the Campus

Is hydrogen the “game-changer” that will fuel zero-emission vehicles into a greener future? Or a network of EVs and chargers that support the electrification of transportation while providing jobs? Both visions get an airing Thursday.  At lunchtime VerdeXchange will gather experts for the first of three, once-weekly webinars focused on hydrogen fuel cell technology. In the evening, LA Cleantech incubator holds a fundraiser, with music and games, to raise funds for programs including a workforce training for underemployed and formerly incarcerated individuals to maintain and fix EV charging stations.

VerdeXchange Green Hydrogen Energy in L

When: Session #1 Hydrogen Energy in LA & Beyond, November 12, 10:00 am to 12:00 noon.

Where: Online

Tickets: Free

LACI's Virtual Night at the Campus

When: Thu, November 12, 2020, 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM PST

Where: Online

Tickets: $250 – $25,000

Paul R. Williams in front of his 1961 Theme Building at LAX. Photo: Karen Hudson

5) ULI Los Angeles Presents Paul R. Williams: Rediscovering an Architectural Icon

The archive of Paul R. Williams, consisting of thousands of original drawings, renderings and photos, magazines, and other records, was recently acquired by the Getty Research Institute and the University of Southern California (USC) School of Architecture. This Thursday Getty Research Institute curators LeRonn P. Brooks and Maristella Casciato will discuss the archive with Milton S.F. Curry, dean of USC Architecture School and Christopher Hawthorne, Chief Design Officer at the City of Los Angeles.

From early in life, Paul R. Williams beat all the odds to become one of the premier architects shaping Southern California in the heart of the 20th Century. In 1923, Williams became the first licensed Black architect west of the Mississippi. From then to 1973, he designed nearly 2,000 houses in Los Angeles alone, many for wealthy businessmen and Hollywood stars during a time when he was not socially welcome in their homes. He also designed affordable homes, public housing, and a host of civic, commercial, and institutional buildings.

You can read more about Williams here, and more about the speakers here. Listen to this DnA interview with Janna Ireland, photographer, about her recently published book Regarding Paul R. Williams: A Photographer's View.

When: Thursday, Nov 12, 5:00 - 6:30 pm

Where: You can register for the Zoom conversation here.

Tickets: Free.