5 Design Things to Do This Week

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Learning from Olympics past, envisioning a future without water, and the latest in automotive technology. Your week in design events from DnA.

The 1984 Olympics opening ceremony in Los Angeles, USA. Photograph: BTS / Popperfoto
The 1984 Olympics opening ceremony in Los Angeles, USA. Photograph: BTS / Popperfoto (The original image is no longer available, please contact KCRW if you need access to the original image.)

1) “Why History Matters: L.A. 2024 and the Lessons of Olympics Past” at UCLA

Now that Los Angeles is the US’s bid city to host the 2024 Olympics, city officials are ramping up their effort to convince the International Olympic Committee to choose LA in their 2017 decision over the other bidders: Budapest, Hamburg, Paris and Rome. The LA 2024 committee will spend an estimated $50 million over the next two years on the campaign. If Los Angeles wins, it could end up costing more than $6 billion. Goldman Sachs exec Gene Sykes was picked last week to be the new CEO of the committee, joining a board that also includes basketball legend Magic Johnson, labor leader Maria Elena Durazo and swimmer Janet Evans.

The UCLA Department of History will discuss what we can learn from past Olympics as part of their series “Why History Matters.” It’ll include former County supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, who has been vocal in his opposition to bringing the 2024 games to LA; Barry Sanders, the chair of the Southern California Committee for the Olympic Games; and several history department faculty and graduate students.

When: Tuesday, Nov. 17 at 6 pm with reception to follow.

Where: California NanoSystems Institute (CNSI) on the UCLA campus, 570 Westwood Plaza, Los Angeles, CA 90095 

Tickets: Register online here.

Interpretive signage at the Bowtie Project site on the LA River, by artist Rosten Woo. Photo: Gina Clyne
Interpretive signage at the Bowtie Project site on the LA River, by artist Rosten Woo. Photo: Gina Clyne (The original image is no longer available, please contact KCRW if you need access to the original image.)

2) “With & Without Water – A Conversation on Los Angeles’ H20 Future” at Clockshop

Meteorologists predict California is going to get hit this winter by a series of very big El Nino storms. But such predictions don’t mean the state will loosen its water restrictions put into place because of the drought anytime soon. A new executive order issued by Governor Jerry Brown calls for restrictions on water use in urban areas of the state to continue until the end of October 2016. Even if the state receives torrential downpours, it’s not expected to be enough to replenish water supplies depleted by years of drought.

Clockshop, a Los Angeles nonprofit arts organization based in the Elysian Valley (colloquially known as “Frogtown”), is convening a conversation on Los Angeles’ future, both with and without water. Panelists include Hadley Arnold and Peter Arnold of the Arid Lands Institute, Kevin McLaughlin of the Metropolitan Water District and artist Rosten Woo, who has been working on a series of interpretive signs in an 18-acre post-industrial lot known as the Bowtie, located along the LA River.

When: Wednesday, Nov. 18, 7-8 pm

Where: Clockshop, 2806 Clearwater St Los Angeles, CA 90039

Tickets: $5 suggested donation. Register here.

Rendering of ActionLab section of “A Path Appears” at the Skirball. Courtesy C&G Partners.

3) “A Path Appears: Actions for a Better World” opening at the Skirball

As we enter the holiday season of giving, many of us think about how we can donate our time and money in a meaningful way. A new exhibition at the Skirball Cultural Center aims to introduce visitors to people and organizations attempting to tackle issues of human rights and poverty around the world. And when people leave the galleries, they will be encouraged to turn their inspiration into action.

A Path Appears,” which runs Nov. 19 through Feb. 21, 2016, draws attention to grassroots campaigns in the fields of health, education, jobs and empowerment (meaning civil and human rights). Each issue gets its own section of the exhibition — the curators call them “pavilions.”

The show includes objects used in developing countries to overcome pressing problems. For example, a plastic drum used to transport water; a high-quality, low-cost prosthetic knee; a teddy bear handed out to comfort child refugees; and a center where young women and girls can go to feel comfortable talking about contraceptives in the setting of a beauty salon.

The show was designed in partnership with wHY Architecture, based in Culver City, and C&G Partners, based in New York. The two award-winning firms worked alongside exhibition fabrication firm Cinnabar to create what they describe as “a low-tech, high-charm approach” to the show. Each of the four pavilions uses a different genre of materials, including discarded automobile tires, compact discs, bubble wrap and newspapers. The materials relate to the content of each pavilion.

When: Sheryl WuDunn, co-author of “A Path Appears” will speak with guest curator Neal Baer on Tuesday, Nov. 17 at 8 pm. The show runs from Nov. 19 to Feb. 21, 2016.

Where: Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90049

Tickets: Tickets are $12 for the Sheryl WuDunn event. Buy them here.


4) “Pushing the Press” opening at A+D Museum

For over 100 years, the Pasadena-based commercial printer Typecraft has worked with artists and designers to bring their visions to life on paper. This exhibition at the A+D Museum in LA’s Arts District represents over 15 years of work collected from Typecraft’s collaborations, with over 600 pieces presented in the collection. The exhibition (organized by USC Roski School of Art and Design Special Projects Class) covers a wide array of graphic expression, from the work of artists Paul McCarthy, Tomory Dodge and Shizu Saldamando to corporate clients like Snapchat and SpaceX. For graphic design enthusiasts and the casual observer, Typecraft displays a mastery of techniques and technologies, such as “split fountains, die cuts, unique bindings, embossing, debossing, toothy papers, shiny foils and multiple inks.”

When: Thursday, Nov. 19 from 7-10 pm. The show is on view until Feb. 29, 2016.

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

Tickets: Tickets to the opening are $20, or $10 for students. Purchase them here.

5) Los Angeles Auto Show opens

Starting November 20, Angelenos will have ten days to explore nearly 20 acres of stunning vehicles during the 2015 Los Angeles Auto Show, one of the world’s top automotive events. Viewers will get a behind the scenes look at brand new cars and trucks as automakers hope to entice buyers with their latest offerings.

Buick will introduce the 2017 LaCrosse on an all-new chassis that is stronger yet lighter than the current model. GMC will introduce the newest members of the Denali midsize pick-up truck. Chevrolet has revealed five all-new cars this year – the Camaro, Cruze, Malibu, Volt and Spark, all touting new technologies that improve safety, performance, connectivity and fuel efficiency. Honda will roll out its two-door Civic Coupe, Cadillac’s eagerly anticipated XT5 midsize luxury SUV will make an appearance, as will the Fiat 124 Spider convertible. And Land Rover is introducing the convertible Evoque.

When: Nov. 20-29

Where: Los Angeles Convention Center, 1201 S Figueroa St, Los Angeles, CA 90015

Tickets: Buy your tickets for $12 or $15 here.