5 design things to do this week

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This week, you can: catch a soon-to-close show of art about architecture; hear architect Craig Hodgetts opine on changes in the profession; celebrate the legacy of master puppeteer Bob Baker; see how the stories of Santa Monica's Pico neighborhood are channeled into an art project; and marvel at the work of motion design artists.

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Timothy Robert Smith, Map of Los Angeles, 2019 Mixed Media

1) Architexture

Just as there is architecture imbued with artistic form, contemplation and beauty, there is conversely art informed by architecture. This is the last week of Architexture, a group show of just that: art about architecture. If you can still get a hold of the January issue of Form Magazine, there is a pullout map of Los Angeles with its greatest architectural highlights.  The map is a reproduction of an original painting/assemblage by Timothy Robert Smith, which is the centerpiece of the exhibition.  In addition to Smith, the exhibition features three other Los Angeles area artists: Linda Arreola, Carol Bishop and Paul Paiement. Each artist incorporates architecture as a central theme in their fine art.

When: This is the last week; show closes Feb 23.  Gallery open Thurs - Sat, 1 - 6 pm and by appointment.

Where: Coagula Curatorial, 974 Chung King Rd, Los Angeles 90012

Tickets: Free. More information here

2) Swimming to Suburbia: A Reception, Lecture, Book Launch, and Discussion with Craig Hodgetts

UCLA architecture professor Craig Hodgetts (FAIA) is "known for employing an imaginative weave of high technology and story-telling to invigorate his designs, producing an architecture that embraces contemporary ideology, information culture, and evolving lifestyles." Co-Founder of Hodgetts and Fung, Hodgetts has not shied away from commentary, speculation and critique on the major projects and personalities of the field. You can join the architect in discussion about his new book, Swimming to Suburbia this week at the Helms Bakery District.  The book features rare materials from Hodgetts' archive and "cuts a revealing cross-section through a turbulent period during which architecture's confidence in the Modernist project was shaken, its intellectual energies redirected, and its cultural agenda re-imagined in the face of environmental challenges, technological opportunities, lingering disciplinary traditions, and revolutionary new ideas."

When: Thursday, Feb 21, 6:30 - 8:30 pm

Where: Helms Baker District, 8745 Washington Blvd, Culver City 90232

Tickets: Free. More information here.

3) Bob Baker Days

Just as the Bob Baker Marionette Theater announces its new home in Highland Park, the beloved theater is throwing a 95th birthday party for its late founder and namesake with a festival at Los Angeles State Historic Park. You don't want to miss this once-a-year chance to experience the puppets and puppeteers of the historic Bob Baker Marionette Theater; it's truly a unique experience.  In addition to the show, the celebrations will include live music and entertainment, puppet-making workshops with the Los Angeles Guild of Puppetry, carnival games, educational and exhibition booths from the local art community, food trucks, walk around entertainment and more.

When: Saturday, Feb 23, 10 am - 5 pm

Where: Los Angeles State Historic Park, 1245 N Spring St, Los Angeles 90012

Tickets: Free. More information here

4) Maj Hasager | Iterations

The Pico neighborhood of Santa Monica is home to many cultures, and visiting Danish artist Maj Hasager has made it her journey to collect stories from the people she encounters there.  Immersed for six months as an artist in residence at 18th Street Arts Center, Hasager is investigating the varied histories to create Iterations, her multifaceted installation consisting of video, sound compositions, text and photography. As an alternative to official archives, Hasager drew on the contents of 18th Street’s locally-based Culture Mapping 90404 to create an archive-through-process in the form of interviews, digitalization of private images, and field recordings. 

Also on view during the opening event: Clarissa Tossin will present a new body of work in the Main Gallery titled 21st Century Wisdom: Healing Frank Lloyd Wright’s Textile Block Houses centered on her ongoing research into US collections of pre-Columbian artifacts, and their relationship to appropriated pre-Columbian artifacts and motifs. Plus Open Studios of other artists in residence.

When: Opening Reception Saturday, Feb 23, 5 - 8 pm; Exhibition runs through April 5.

Where:  18th Street Arts Center, 1639 18th St, Santa Monica 90404

Tickets: Free. More information here.

5) Motion Plus Design

The Motion Plus Design festival has held sold-out events in Paris and Tokyo. It now comes to LA in the week leading up to the Oscars. Hear from leading motion design artists Beeple, Jr.canest, Kyle Cooper, Karin Fong, Joyce N. Ho, Andrew Kramer, Marti Romances and Min Shi. These are the artists who bring graphic design to life, in everything from graphic user interfaces and websites to advertisements and TV shows. 

When: Saturday, February 23 (all day)

Where: The Montalbán, 1615 Vine Street, Los Angeles, CA 90028

Tickets: $75 per ticket. More information here.