5 design things to do this week

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Celebrate Day of the Dead in a cemetery, see how performance art gets made downtown, learn how LA shaped science fiction and vice-versa, and hear a costume designer discuss her strange upbringing.

by Elsbeth R. Juda, archival digital print, 1953
Kenneth Peacock Tynan with his daughter Tracy, by Elsbeth R. Juda, archival digital print, 1953 (The original image is no longer available, please contact KCRW if you need access to the original image.)

1) Wear & Tear – Tracy Tynan in conversation with Jim McBride

When Tracy Tynan’s literary parents, Kenneth Tynan and Elaine Dundy, weren’t writing with sparkling wit, they were fighting, drinking and having affairs that culminated in divorce, while always clad in dandified attire. The young Tynan grew up in 1950’s and ’60s London, and clothing served as a refuge from the chaos and loneliness. She went on to become a costume designer in Los Angeles. This Wednesday she sits down with her husband and sometime collaborator, the film director Jim McBride, to talk about her new memoir “Wear and Tear: The Threads of My Life.” Presented by The Last Bookstore and Rare Bird Books. You can listen to Tracy’s interview with DnA here.

When: Wednesday, Oct 26, 7 – 8:30 pm

Where: The Last Bookstore, 453 S. Spring St (main entrance around the corner on 5th St.)

Tickets: FREE; click here for more information.

Frank Lloyd Wright’s “Key Project for Ellis Island” (The original image is no longer available, please contact KCRW if you need access to the original image.)

2) Book signings: Never Built New York/Midcentury Modern Architecture Travel Guide

Imagine a New York subway system of airtight pods propelled by atmospheric pressure, a Frank Lloyd Wright dream city on Ellis Island or an entirely new neighborhood built atop the tenements of East Harlem. Greg Goldin and Sam Lubell’s follow up to Never Built Los Angeles paints a unique picture of New York through what never was and what could have been.  Learn about over 200 proposals spanning 200 years, that for better or worse never saw the light of day. Then, on Saturday Sam Lubell signs his other new book, the Midcentury Modern Architecture Travel Guide. That’s presented by L.A. Forum at Iron Triangle Brewing in DTLA.

Never Built New York:

When: Friday, Oct 28, 6 – 8 pm

Where: Hennessy and Ingalls, 300 S. Santa Fe Ave, Ste M., Los Angeles, CA 90013

Tickets: Never Built New York: FREE. RSVP here.

Midcentury Modern Architecture Travel Guide:

When: Saturday, October 29, 4 – 6 pm.

Where: Iron Triangle Brewing, 1581 Industrial Street, Los Angeles, CA 90021.

Tickets: FREE. RSVP here.

Originally built in 1961 by a team of architects and engineers headed by William Pereira and Charles Luckman, Encounter Restaurant at Los Angeles International Airport is a real world and enduring example of how Los Angeles imagines the future. (The original image is no longer available, please contact KCRW if you need access to the original image.)

3)  Science Fiction L.A.: Words and World Building in the City of Angels

From Ray Bradbury to Blade Runner, Los Angeles has had a symbiotic relationship with vibrant literary and cinematic genres of science fiction. This Saturday a conference called Science Fiction Los Angeles will explore the critical role of Los Angeles in the imagined worlds and landscapes of American science fiction writing and film. It’s presented by the Huntington-USC Institute on California and the West, USC Dornsife College, and the Sidney Harman Academy for Polymathic Study, and it was organized by literary critic David L. Ulin and historian William Deverell.  As part of the program, KCRW’s Madeleine Brand, along with Lynell George and Ayana A.H. Jamieson, will discuss the works of local sci-fi author Octavia Butler.  See the full schedule of events here.

When: Saturday, Oct 29, 9 am – 5 pm

Where: USC Doheny Library, Harman Academy, DML 241,  3550 Trousdale Pkwy, Los Angeles, CA 90089

Tickets: RSVP required.  RSVP here.  Code: SCIFILA

Dressed to kill in celebration of Dia de los Muertos. (The original image is no longer available, please contact KCRW if you need access to the original image.)

4) L.A. Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead)/Art of the Halloween Mask

Where do we recommend you go for Dia de los Muertos?  The Hollywood Forever Cemetery, of course!  Spend the day with the dead, with a traditional procession, musical performances, costumed dancers, a Cathedral art exhibit, and altar and costume contests. Ancient traditions and modern customs weave colorfully together at this visually stunning and, perhaps, soul-freeing event.  See the full details of the event here.

And for Halloween artfulness, check out the Art of the Halloween Mask, listed here, and still on display through November.

When: Saturday, October 29th, noon – midnight

Where: Hollywood Forever Cemetery, 6000 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90038

Tickets: $20 (please bring exact change). Dia de Los Muertos attire strongly encouraged.

Suzanne Lacy instructs Andrea Bowers at Beta Main. (The original image is no longer available, please contact KCRW if you need access to the original image.)

5) Beta Main Presentation and Opening Reception

Tom Gilmore, developer of many buildings in downtown’s historic district, has teamed up with architect Tom Wiscombe and museum director  Allison Agsten, to create a new art venue on Main Street called Beta Main. Wiscombe’s design for the new building is under construction, but the institution (it is called a museum but it will not have a collection) is opening with an inaugural installation Sunday focusing on performance art. You can watch that process in Performance Lessons: Suzanne Lacy Teaches Andrea Bowers Performance Art. Opening day includes a session On Teaching Performing Art from 1 – 2:30, followed by a reception from 2:30 – 5 pm.

When: Sunday, Oct 30, 1 – 5 pm

Where: 114 W. 4th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90013

Tickets: FREE. Click here for more information.

view of river from 6th street bridge
The LA river viewed from 6th Street bridge, shortly before its demolition (photo: Frances Anderton.) (The original image is no longer available, please contact KCRW if you need access to the original image.)

DnA goes on the road: Next Up: LA River, a Live-Podcasting Event

DnA’s Frances Anderton, Christopher Hawthorne (LA Times architecture critic), Steven Appleton (LA River Kayak Safari), Elizabeth Timme (LA-Más), and others will do back-to-back interviews about the future of the Los Angeles and its highly contested L.A. River revitalization project” for Archinect, at A+D Museum in DTLA. This is part of the Next Up series hosted by Archinect, a web publication whose goal is to “make architecture more connected and open-minded.”

When: Saturday, Oct 29, 5 – 8 pm

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

Tickets: FREE. Click here for more information.