5 design things to do this week

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Lots of opportunities to embrace the season with holiday lights, music and shopping, including the annual studio sale by ceramicist Peter Shire; the upcoming Desert X puts large-scale art in the desert; architect Thom Mayne discusses and signs his new book “M”; and Lewis MacAdams gets a big send-off as he steps down as president of FOLAR.

Lights and the holiday season at the Los Angeles Music Center. (The original image is no longer available, please contact KCRW if you need access to the original image.)

1) Lights, Camera… Christmas!

Christmas Tree Lighting at the Los Angeles Music Center

‘Tis the season… for lights!  Come out for the official lighting of the L.A. County Christmas tree and enjoy festive chamber music by Brass Pacifica and a performance by the Antelope Valley Master Chorale.  Afterwards, take a stroll through Grand Park amidst the magic of its holiday décor.  Free hot chocolate to warm you up.

When: Monday (tonight!), Nov 28, 5 pm

Where: Music Center Plaza, 135 N. Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA  90012

Tickets: Free and open to the public.

Postcard Perfect: A Victorian Christmas at The Bembridge House in Long Beach (The original image is no longer available, please contact KCRW if you need access to the original image.)

Victorian Christmas at the Bembridge House

Once again, the Long Beach Heritage Coalition, along with local volunteer community groups, have decorated The Bembridge House to dazzle and enchant.  Come experience a Victorian Christmas from the days of yore and learn about holiday traditions of Christmas Past.   The experience is complete with caroling by the South Coast Chorale, crafts for children in the carriage house and a visit from Santa.  The adults-only evening event will showcase the yuletide spirit.

When: Sunday, Dec 4, 11 am – 3 pm.  PLUS, a second showing added for adults only: Friday, Dec 9, 6 – 8 pm.

Where:  The Bembridge House, 953 N. Park Circle, Long Beach, CA  90813

Tickets: $10.  Get tickets here, reservations required.

The artistry of a breathtaking sunset in the California desert (The original image is no longer available, please contact KCRW if you need access to the original image.)

2) Conversations: Desert X Preview

You may have heard buzz about Desert X, the upcoming public art event to take place in the Coachella Valley from February to April 2017. This week at the Hammer, Desert X artistic director Neville Wakefield and executive director Elizabeta Betinski are joined by participating artists Will Boone, Glenn Kaino, Sherin Guirguis, and Tavares Strachan to give a taste of what’s coming and chew over the cultural and philosophical issues that make the desert vibrant and exciting.

When: Wednesday, Nov 30, 7:30 pm

Where: The Hammer Museum, Billy Wilder Theater (courtyard level), 10899 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA  90024.  You can also watch the event via LIVESTREAM.  Click here to get a notification.

Tickets: Free and open to the public.  Tickets are required and available at the Box Office one hour before the program. General admission tickets are available one per person on a first come, first served basis following member ticketing. Early arrival is recommended.

The Thom Mayne-designed Administration Building at Diamond Ranch High School in Pomona. (The original image is no longer available, please contact KCRW if you need access to the original image.)

3) Thom Mayne – Discussion, Q&A and Booksigning | “M”

Pritzker Prize-winning LA architect Thom Mayne has had a decades-long career spanning design, research, collaboration and academia.  He built a reputation as a maverick with sculptural, “fractured” forms but has gone on to build many federal and civic projects.  This Saturday he will discuss and sign his new book “M”, a survey of his work, his philosophy and his passionate, irascible engagement with buildings and ideas over the last fifty years. It’s a story that Archinect refers to as one of “jazz, sex, and the alienation of singular genius. It’s about growing up alone and then embracing a society that was blossoming with artistic possibility.”

When: Saturday, Dec 3, 2 – 4 pm

Where: Hennessey + Ingalls Bookstore, 300 S. Santa Fe Ave., Ste. M, Los Angeles, CA 90013

Tickets: Free.  RSVP hereAdvance purchase books here.

The eclectic originality of Peter Shire pottery will be on sale this Sunday at his studio. (The original image is no longer available, please contact KCRW if you need access to the original image.)

4) Peter Shire’s ECHO x PARK ARTIST STUDIO Annual Sale

Since the 1970s, Peter Shire has been working at an intersection of craft, fine art, and industrial design. Along the way he was invited to join Milan’s influential postmodernist design group Memphis but has spent most of his highly prolific career in Echo Park. There he maintains a studio, Echo Park Pottery, based, he says, “on the art potteries of the 1880s,” with the goal of producing affordable hand-made work, as well as teaching locals and children of friends to make pottery. He has had forays into architecture, furniture, and fashion, but he keeps returning to ceramics. This Sunday he will open his studio for its annual tour and sale of work.

When: Sunday, Dec 4, 1 – 4 pm

Where: Peter Shire Studio, 1850 Echo Park Ave, Los Angeles, CA  90026

Tickets: No door charge.

Find more local arts and crafts at these weekend holiday shopping pop-ups:

Just around the corner – 1.2 miles from Peter Shire Studio is the Sunset Blvd Holiday Block Party (east Echo Park), Sat and Sun, Dec 3 and 4, 12 – 6 pm.

Come shop small this season and find your holiday gifts with local vendors, artists, designers and more. This is a free event so all are welcome. It will be held on the sidewalk of the entire block so bring your family, friends and pets for this awesome weekend extravaganza.  Sponsored by Pop Up Shop in collaboration with Eightfold Coffee and neighboring shops, 1294 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, 90026.

In DTLA you’ll find UniqueLA 9th Annual Holiday Party, Sat and Sun, Dec 3 and 4, 11 am – 6 pm.

At UNIQUE LA you’ll meet the designers themselves and discover one-of-a-kind goods, while taking part in community and supporting the local economy! Plus DJs, free drinks & DIY projects, free photobooth fun, lounges, a kids play area and more. 350+ designers & artists.  California Market Center, 110 East 9th Street, 13th Floor, Los Angeles, CA 90079Tickets: $15, good for both days (12 and under free).

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Marsh Park, LA River (photo: Caroline Chamberlain) (The original image is no longer available, please contact KCRW if you need access to the original image.)

5) Lewis MacAdams Passes the Baton at FOLAR

Thirty years ago Lewis MacAdams and friends wire-cut their way through fence blocking access to the concrete flood control channel now known as the LA River. MacAdams tells DnA they “asked the river” if they could “speak for it in the human realm and it didn’t say no.” That led to the founding of the Friends of the Los Angeles River, an advocacy organization with a mailing list of 40,000 “friends.” This week MacAdams, the organization’s president, will formally pass on the torch to its new Executive Director, Marissa Christiansen, at a press conference and public celebrate taking place the LA River Center. All are invited. Hors d’oeuvres by Rickey Smith of Urban Green LA.

When: Thursday, Dec. 1, 4 – 6 pm

Where: The Los Angeles River Center & Gardens, 570 West Ave 26 Los Angeles CA, 90065

Tickets: RSVP here and if you need more information contact FOLAR at 323.223.0585 or contact@folar.org.