5 design things to do this week

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At Frogtown Artwalk on Aug. 13, check out Grant Davis (VJ Culture) and his

Film screenings under the Broadway Bridge, an elastic race car competition, a sand sculpture festival, an art walk in Frogtown, and a study of interactive architecture. Here are five design things to do in LA this week.

ArtCenter College of Design's Annual Formula E Race. Photo courtesy of Pasadena Now.
ArtCenter College of Design’s Annual Formula E Race. Photo courtesy of Pasadena Now.

1) Formula E (E for elastic) race at ArtCenter College of Design

It’s hardly the Daytona 500, but the competition will be just as fierce at this year’s 11th annual Formula E (E for elastic) race. Corporate teams from Honda, Mattel Hot Wheels and Axial Racing will face off against students from ArtCenter College of Design, Pasadena City College and two universities in Beijing in a rubber band-powered race car competition. The event will showcase design and engineering talent as well as give students experience in product development and fabrication. The final models are a culmination of ArtCenter’s 14 week graduate-level industrial design course. Go experience the thrill of victory and agony of defeat while cheering on these young race car designers. The winning student teams will share prize money, up to $2,500, with local nonprofits.

Where: ArtCenter College of Design, Hillside Campus, 1700 Lida Street, Pasadena CA 91103. Directions here.

When: Thursday, August 11, 4-7 pm

Tickets: Free and open to the public. More information here.


2) The 84th Annual Great Sand Sculpture Competition

Castles made of sand fall in the sea eventually, as Jimi Hendrix taught us, but their impermanence makes them all the more intriguing. Be amazed by the work of these internationally-known sand artists as they assemble intricate sculptures using nothing but sand and water. There will also be a food court, vendor gallery, live music, kid zone and bar on the beach. This annual event has been going on longer than most of us have been alive, so bring your family (but not the dogs, they’re not allowed) and take part in this staple of Southern California summer fun. Just watch where you step!

Where: 1 Granada Ave, Long Beach, CA

When: Saturday, August 13 and Sunday, August 14

Tickets: Free and open to the public. More information here.

At Frogtown Artwalk on Aug. 13, Grant Davis (VJ Culture) will install his KaLEDoscope that uses mirrors, LED tape & a camera to project images into an empty warehouse along the LA River.

3) Frogtown Art Walk 2016

The quiet river-side community of Elysian Valley (also known as Frogtown) has been in the spotlight recently as the latest front line of the gentrification battle. Longtime residents are pushing back against the forces of speculative land-grabbing and development fueled by the excitement around the Los Angeles River’s ongoing rehabilitation. Frogtown hasn’t seen the opposition to art galleries that Boyle Heights activists have expressed, but tension between NIMBYists and curious visitors will no doubt be present. Still, it’s worth checking out this yearly free tour of the studios of Frogtown’s artists and artisans, while catching some of the Current: LA Water public art installations at the State Parks Bowtie Parcel. There will also be three music stages, six illuminated art installations along the LA River Path, and food from local vendors. This year’s Art Walk is dedicated to Lewis MacAdams, cofounder of Friends of the Los Angeles River (FoLAR), and Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell. Parking will be tight, so biking or ride-sharing is recommended.

Where: 30+ venues stretching 1.3 miles from Fletcher St. to Eads St. See the map here.

When: Saturday, August 13, 4 – 10 pm

Tickets: Free and open to the public. More information here.

Behnaz Farahi, "The Living, Breathing Wall."
Behnaz Farahi, “The Living, Breathing Wall.”

4) “Interactive Architecture: Adaptive World” release party and book signing

What if buildings weren’t static objects that architects designed and then left alone, but rather sentient things that could observe and react to humans and the natural world? This may sound like the premise to a horror movie in which buildings eat people, but authors Michael Fox (FoxLin) and Miles Kemp (Variate Labs) see this brave new world as an exciting future for architecture. Their new book “Interactive Architecture: Adaptive World,” an update to their 2009 text, draws from the latest technological developments in biology, computation, cybernetics, engineering, industrial design, materials, and robotics to highlight eighteen inventive projects. These range from data-driven light installations and responsive sculptures to smart highways and adaptive buildings. There will be a panel discussion featuring several contributors to the book, and a Q&A starting at 5:30 followed by a reception. Read Michael’s thoughts on ‘Interactive Architecture’ on the built environment in the age of ubiquitous computing on Archinect here.

Where: Neutra VDL house, 2300 Silver Lake Boulevard, Los Angeles

When: Saturday, August 13, 5-7 pm

Tickets: Free and open to the public. More information here.

A still from "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari," which will be screened at The Viaduct on Aug. 13
A still from “The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari,” which will be screened at The Viaduct on Aug. 13.

5) Film screenings at The Viaduct with Live Scores by Dave Harrington of Darkside

Los Angeles is full of interstitial spaces, charming hidden nooks of underutilized space where urban explorers find solace. From mini-golf courses in empty lots to rooftop film screenings, creative event organizers are turning these places into exciting and unexpected venues. The latest example is The Viaduct, a dramatic space under the historic Broadway Bridge run by California State Parks. Surrounded by concrete walls underneath a Metro rail line, Kensington Presents and Wordless Music are taking advantage of this space to host film screenings, along with local musicians, delicious food and drink, and a fire pit. This weekend they’ll screen neo-Western thriller “No Country for Old Men” on Friday and the German silent horror film “The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari” on Saturday. Both films will feature live, improvised scores by Dave Harrington of the electronic ambient duo Darkside.

Where: The Viaduct, 1799 Baker Street, Los Angeles

When: Friday, August 12 and Saturday, August 13. Doors and pre-party at 6 pm, screening and performance at 8 pm.

Tickets: $20 per film. Get tickets here.