5 Design Things to do This Week

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Celebrating young architects and designers, harvesting rainwater, and a sneak peek at the new Petersen Automotive Museum. Your week in design events from DnA.


1) “Fifty Under Fifty” book signing

Unlike many other professions, for architects age 50 is about when they get in their stride. So anyone under that age tends to be considered “emerging.” The new book Fifty Under Fifty explores the work of a select group from this generation, picked by a jury including Stanley Tigerman, Jeanne Gang and LA’s Qingyun Ma from a long-list assembled by author Beverly Russell along with Eva Maddox and Farooq Ameen.

A quarter of these innovators are women, reflecting an increase in women at the top ranks of architecture and design, several are based in Asia, and 14 have an office in LA, reflecting either the ongoing influence of the Southland on architectural ideas or the fact that authors Russell and Ameen as well as Ma are based here. Hear Ameen and Ma discuss the selection, and get a copy of the book at a signing at the A+D Museum.

When: Thursday, Dec. 3 from 6-8 pm

Where: A+D Museum, 900 E 4th St, Los Angeles, CA 90013

Tickets: RSVP to rsvp@alplusd.org.


2) “Shop the Block” at the Arts District this weekend

Downtown LA’s Arts District continues to grow and get cooler at a breathtaking pace – and SoHo Warehouse hasn’t even opened yet. Now two pop-up fairs will team up with retailers for a weekend of holiday shopping.

Traveling men’s wear market Northern Grade sells craft apparel from domestic makers along with complimentary refreshments. Some top brands in designer apparel, footwear and fashion accessories are included. The fair on 405 Mateo St. is free and open to the public. Hours are Friday 3-8 pm, Saturday 11-7 pm and Sunday 11-5 pm.

Acclaimed design fair Parachute Market features collectable objects from local artisans who produce fine art, furniture, fragrances, surfboards, rugs and textiles, and more. The fair is at CntrlStudios, 836 Traction Ave. Hours are Saturday 11 am – 7 pm and Sunday 11 – 5 pm.

And all weekend, Arts District businesses will offer deals, drinks and bites. Retailers include Alchemy Works, Apolis, Blacktop Coffee, Cafe Gratitude, Cerveteca, Grow, Hammer & Spear, Lot Stock + Barrel, Malin + Goetz, Matteo, The Pie Hole, Poketo, Voyager, Van Leeuwen, Wittmore, Warby Parker, Woo and Wurstkuche.

When: Northern Grade is open Friday 3-8 pm, Saturday 11 am – 7 pm and Sunday 11 am – 5 pm. Parachute Market is open Saturday 11 am – 7 pm and Sunday 11 am – 5 pm.

Where: Northern Grade is at 405 Mateo St. and Parachute Market is at 836 Traction Ave.

Tickets: Northern Grade, Parachute Market and Shop the Block will be free and open to the public.

Ten racing simulators at the Petersen offer a custom version of Forza Motorsport 6.

3) Petersen Automotive Museum Preview

We’ve already gotten a preview of the exterior facade of the Petersen Automotive Museum. Now it’s time to see what they’ve done with the interior. The museum is marking its 21st anniversary with a complete redesign, adding 25 new galleries totaling over 100,000 square feet. Among the latest additions are ten Forza 6 racing simulators and eight stand-up consoles in the Forza Motorsport Racing Experience, which visitors will be able to take for a (simulated) test drive. The Disney/Pixar Cars Mechanical Institute will also be open, allowing kids to build their very own virtual race car from initial sketch to custom paint job. The $200 ticket comes with food, beverage, and an open bar. There’ll also be hourly giveaways of prizes from Xbox, Beats by Dre, Singer Vehicle Design, Tesla, and more. KCRW’s Jason Bentley provides the tunes.

When: Sunday, Dec. 6 from 10 am to 4 pm

Where: 6060 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036

Tickets: $200 per person. Buy tickets here.


4) Earthworks and Rain Harvesting workshop

El Niño is coming, whether you like it or not. And after you’ve cleaned your roof and gutters, why not take the next step and learn to harvest all that rainwater? TreePeople is offering a workshop for techniques to use berms, swales and native plants​ to create ​easy, “do-it-yourself” solutions​ for capturing and reusing rainwater​. The event is also tied to Clockshop’s ongoing Bowtie Project, a partnership with California State Parks to activate an 18-acre post-industrial lot known as the Bowtie, located along the LA River in Northeast LA.

When: Sunday, Dec. 6 from 9 am to noon

Where: Glassell Park / Atwater Village

Tickets: You can buy tickets here.

A laser light show on water. Photo by Avishay Artsy. (The original image is no longer available, please contact KCRW if you need access to the original image.)

5) L.A. Zoo Lights

Whatever your thoughts on zoos, it’s hard to find anyone who doesn’t appreciate a beautiful light show. From now through the beginning of 2016, the L.A. Zoo has been decked out with thousands upon thousands of LED lights and stunning 3-D animated projections set to music (KCRW’s own Eric J. Lawrence curated the playlist for a section of the tour). It’s an enchanting setting for a multicultural animal-themed holiday celebration and a popular destination for families and young people in the area. DnA’s favorite attractions are the laser light water show and the elephant sculptures on which video is projected, turning them into candy canes, gift-wrapped objects, toy train sets, and urban landscapes.

If you want to see the lights, but avoid hordes of children, the zoo is offering two “VIP Experiences,” including a Holiday Happy Hour on December 10, and a New Year’s Eve party on December 31. The higher ticket price comes with express entry, a heated lounge and complimentary drinks and hors d’oeuvres.

When: L.A. Zoo Lights is open now through Sunday, Jan. 3, 2016, every night except Christmas Eve (Dec. 24) and Christmas Day (Dec. 25), from 6 to 10 pm Mondays through Thursdays, and 6 to 11 pm Fridays through Sundays and December 21 through 23.

Where: Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens in Griffith Park at the junction of the Ventura (134) and Golden State (5) freeways. 5333 Zoo Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90027.

Tickets: Tickets are $13-16 for adults, $11-14 for children, free under the age of 2. Tickets for Holiday Happy Hour are $75 per person. Family New Year’s Eve tickets are $65 for adults and $40 for children. Contact (323) 644-4200 or visit their website.