5 design things to do this week

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This week, you can: check out "salty urbanism" by Brooks + Scarpa; catch a theatrical interpretation of Joan Didion's The White Album; hear LA artists and historians discuss the creative inspiration drawn from LA freeways; see art by architect Scott Johnson; see LACMA's Bauhaus exhibition as the famed German art school hits 100.

Salty Urbanism, Ft. Lauderdale, FL. Brooks + Scarpa examines the problem of sea level rise and flooding in coastal cities.

1) Exhibition/Lecture: Salty Urbanism

A recent study by the California Coastal Commission projects that in 25 to 50 years, as the earth gets warmer and sea-levels rise, Venice Canals will experience frequent flooding from winter storms, making it one of the first neighborhoods in Los Angeles to experience the impacts of climate change. Salty Urbanism: Brooks + Scarpa examines the impact of sea level rise and flooding in coastal cities, using North Beach Village in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and Venice Beach, California as case studies. The exhibition offers alternative ways forward for these neighborhoods in response to climate instability and saturated landscapes, including best management practices, low impact development and green infrastructure.

When: Opens April 1; Exhibition runs through April 19.  Lecture and Reception April 10, 6 pm

Where: Verle Annis Gallery at USC,  850 West 37th Street, Room 125, Los Angeles, CA 90089.

Tickets: Free; click here for more information.

When the freeways came crashing through Boyle Heights, Chicano painter Carlos Almaraz turned them into art.

2) Context: Los Angeles Freeways   

Love it or hate it -- or both -- the freeway system is an integral part of LA’s identity and has inspired creative responses from the paintings by Frank RomeroDavid Boteo and Carlos Almaraz through Catherine Opie's photographs to the opening scene of the movie La La Land. This Wednesday the architecture firm Gensler will host a conversation about the freeway as artistic inspiration, featuring director and video artists Adam R. Levine and Peter Bo Rappmund -- makers of Communion Los Angeles, a documentary about LA's oldest freeway -- and urban historian and author Eric R. Avila, who has written extensively about the artists who turned the freeway interchange that destroyed Boyle Heights into a subject for art. KCRW is co-host of this event, and DnA’s Frances Anderton will moderate. Check out DnA's report on the future of freeways, here.

When:  Wednesday, April 3, 5:30 - 7:30pm.

Where: Gensler, 500 S Figueroa St, Los Angeles, CA 90071

Tickets: Free; click here to register.

Joan Didion's The White Album inspires a theatrical performance bringing together narrative and interiors, at the Freud Playhouse.

3)The White Album - Performance at CAP UCLA

The White Album is a multimedia performance inspired by Joan Didion’s seminal essay of the same name. The famed opening line of the essay -- “We tell ourselves stories in order to live” -- is the starting point for a piece of theater in which Obie Award-winning actress Mia Barron delivers the essay in its entirety, while behind her a parallel performance unfolds, bringing together storytelling, audience participation, choreography and architecture.  This genre-defying new work takes place live at the Freud Playhouse at UCLA.

When: Performances April 5, 8 p.m.; April 6, 3 and 8 p.m. ; April 7, 7 p.m. 

Where:  Freud Playhouse, UCLA

Tickets: $29-59; click here for more information.

Scott Johnson is a mixed-media artist and well-known Los Angeles-based architect.

4) It's art if I say it's art. Otherwise it's not.

When he is not designing tall buildings, writing books about them, or masterplanning cities, architect Scott Johnson -- principal, Johnson Fain -- is painting. A selection of his mixed media works are currently on display at Eastern Projects gallery in Chinatown.  Says Johnson: "This body of work chronicles a series of ongoing investigations in mixed-media art which formulate a dialectic between a universe of rationalized form and one of intuition." The art-making process of layering various materials, he adds, "allows for the creation of depth and dimension, a curation which both buries certain meanings while allowing others to emerge."

When: Now through April 27

Where:  Eastern Projects Gallery, 900 N. Broadway, Suite 1090 Los Angeles, CA 90012

Tickets: Free; click here for more information.

The Bauhaus building in Dessau. Photo credit: Lannguyen138 [ CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons(The original image is no longer available, please contact KCRW if you need access to the original image.)

5) The Bauhaus at 100: Modern Legacies

Germany's Bauhaus art and design and architecture school opened in 1919 and operated for only 14 years until the Nazis shut it down in 1933. From there, its students and teachers spun out worldwide, but especially to America, where artists such as Josef and Anni Albers, Mies van der Rohe and Walter Gropius joined faculty at the likes of Black Mountain, Illinois Institute of Technology and Harvard and trained an entire generation of new architects based on ideas that developed in the Bauhaus in the 1920s. The Bauhaus at 100: Modern Legacies excavates its own collection for this exhibition of prints, photographs, ceramics, furniture and graphic design. From LACMA’s Robert Gore Rifkind Center for German Expressionist Studies and the Departments of Decorative Arts, Modern Art, Photography, and Prints and Drawings come artworks and design that prompt reflection on the Bauhaus’s diverse and complicated legacy. Read (or listen to) more about the Bauhaus and its legacy here.

When: Now through May 5

Where: LACMA, 5905 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036

Tickets: Free with Museum Admission (admission is FREE for members, students, and M-F after 3 pm for LA County Residence.) You can get tickets here.