5 design things to do Sept 21 - 27

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This week: Attend LA Design Festival 2020 - and hear ICON Award recipient Frances Anderton in conversation with Elizabeth Timme; explore video games that use virtual worlds to create communities and solve real world problems; see how artist Pierre Huyghe uses AI to transform thoughts into art; discuss how architects and designers can enhance communities with affordable housing; learn about meaningful mending.

Elizabeth Timme will talk to Frances Anderton at the LA Design Festival about the past and future of LA architecture, the legacy of CityWalk designer Jon Jerde, above, and more.

1) LA Design Festival: "Design for the Future"

LADF, the annual smorgasbord of store launches and design events centered on ROW DTLA, is here again, in online form, starting September 24. Its theme is Design for the Future. 

The LADF team has put together a packed and growing schedule of events. A ttractions include talks about connecting Black culture with modern architecture; creativity at the intersection of music, design, and technology; and a conversation between interior designer Jamie Bush and design editor Zahid Sardar about Bush’s brand of theatrical, organic Modernism.

Then there are video tours of new housing by Lorcan O’Herlihy Architects, MAD Architects' Gardenhouse, Little City Farm, and a 3D-printed ADU (also visitable in the flesh).

DnA's Frances Anderton will be the recipient of their 2020 ICON award, given to “singular women in design for their contributions to their industry, their city, and society at large.” At a keynote talk Thursday she will sit down for questioning from  Elizabeth Timme, architect and co-principal of LA Más, responsible for this ADU .

Expect to hear about their shared enthusiasm for the late Jon Jerde (Horton Plaza, Universal CityWalk, LA Olympics ‘84); how LA is redefining itself, post-Covid, post-car; and why change is essential (including for Anderton).

When: Thursday, Sept 24 - Sunday, Sept 27. Keynote talk with Frances Anderton in conversation with LA Más Co-Executive Director Elizabeth Timme, Sept 24, 5 pm.

Where: LA Design Festival online. You can find the schedule and register for events here. Links sent with registration.

Cost: Free. You can register for events here.

Pierre Huyghe, "Of Ideal", 2019 - ongoing. Photo courtesy of the artist, TARO NASU, Marian Goodman Gallery and Hauser & Wirth. Copyright Kamitani Lab/ Kyoto.

2) Pierre Huyghe's 'Of Ideal' works online in Video Iteration 

Pierre  Huyghe makes ‘mental image’ works through using "AI to transform thoughts into art ." You can see them online in a series of three videos made up of deep image reconstructions, real-time generated reconfigurations, and sound. This exhibition, first exhibited in Okayama, Japan in 2019, marks the first time that Hauser & Wirth will display a digital installation within the framework of an online exhibition and will be laid out in an entirely new format on screen.

The process for Huyghe's works starts with thoughts, memories and ideas that are given to a human to imagine while being scanned by an fMRI (Functional magnetic resonance imaging). These brain scans are then decoded by a neural network and reconstructed as ‘mental images’ which are played in sequences.  

When: Starts Monday, Sept 21

Where: Hauser &  Wirth online

Cost: Free

Photo courtesy of Textile Arts Los Angeles

3) Textile Month Los Angeles

Who would have thought that darning a sock or mending a jacket could have moral, artistic, and political implications - and even save the world! Kate Sekules, a historian of craft, puts forth just that premise in her book, "Mend!" Mending, she told DnA, is an "art-craft that melds so many spiritual-political-entrepreneurial-cultural-artistic influences. Endlessly fascinating.”

As part of Textile Month Los Angeles, Sekules will join Lesley Roberts and Carrie Burckle, co-founders of Textile Arts Los Angeles, in conversation about the book. They will share anecdotes about the history of mending, Sekules' mend-tend-lend-spend mantra, and the moral implications of repairing your clothing. 

When: Tuesday, Sept 22, 12:00

Where: Online. You can RSVP here.

Cost: Free

The Aetna Street Bridge Home, designed by Lehrer Architects LA for the City of Los Angeles, was opened by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti on Aug 10, 2020. The structure in an underused parking lot in Van Nuys has 70+ beds to provide temporary shelter for transient and homeless people.

4) Design for Dignity Roundtable: Addification – Adding Homes Without Displacing People

Five years ago AIA Los Angeles launched a conference entitled Design with Dignity Conference, bringing the crisis of homelessness front and center for LA's architecture community. This Wednesday, they will host a webinar on 'addification' (defined by the Urban Dictionary as: to increase value or Importance.)

The goal underlying the discussion is that adding homes is not enough. Food, jobs, and amenities have to be within reach. The round-table discussion -- featuring Ismar Enriquez, Neal Payton, Project Architects and Torti Gallas + Partners -- will address such questions as how to increase affordable housing in an area of prime real state adjacent to light rail; how to leverage opportunity zones to benefit developments with a high percentage of affordable housing; how to create jobs and to reverse the effect of food deserts in affordable housing areas.

When: Wednesday, Sept 23, 12 - 1 pm

Where: AIA Los Angeles Zoom Conference.  You can register here.

Cost: Free

Still from Plasticity Games puzzle-platformer where you explore a plastic-ridden world, created by students at USC's Games Program.

5) Designing Worlds: Re-envisioning Realities through Video Games

If there's one activity that has thrived during shelter-in-place it is video games. Many gamers stay in contact, paradoxically, with fellow human beings through playing online. This week, A + D Museum launches an exhibition "Designing Worlds: Re-envisioning Realities through Video Games." It focuses on indie video games designed - or that may be manipulated by players - to form new communities and worlds to escape, or tackle, real world circumstances. 

In these alternate worlds, players can work through real life issues by testing multiple approaches and aesthetic modifications that yield different outcomes. Like video games themselves, this exhibition is experienced as a fully digital space, reflecting the museum's new venture into virtual presentations. A + D Museum's Executive Director, Anthony Morey, says about the exhibit: "The role of video games has evolved. What began as a means of technological exploration and playful interaction has transformed into a medium of identity projection, world-building, and creative vitality. Video games combine a plethora of fields, disciplines and approaches to produce a glimpse of a  borderless field of creativity."

When: Launching Saturday, Sept 26, 

Where: A + D online. You can find the exhibit here.

Cost: Free