5 design things to do this week

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This week, you can: appreciate the ice box (and more modern sustainable design practices); explore East Los Angeles though the lens of Rafael Cardenas; learn about landscaping for a safer California; go to an exhibition about activism in the architecture and design community; and see quilted crafts from an African American Punk Rocker

1) Out of the Box: Architecture in a Changing Climate

Before electricity, there was the icebox for keeping things cool.  And so it makes sense that if we are to imagine a net zero emissions future, once again we would recognize the merits of the icebox. This event marks the launch of the Los Angeles Ice Box Challenge – a competition and public demonstration of high performance building.

The evening will open with a presentation on the Ice Box Challenge, including a video of the (dramatic) loading of 500 lbs. of ice earlier in the day into each of two structures that have been erected at the Net Zero Conference location, one built to Title 24 California Building Code and the other built to Passive House Standard optimization.  The challenge will be to see which unit has more ice remaining after seven days in the hot Los Angeles sun.

A roundtable discussion will follow, focusing on the future of design in L.A. and the principles of sustainable high-performance design.  Panelists from the architecture and development communities include: Andrew Michler, author and passive house consultant; Ignacio Fernandez, director of strategic partnerships at Climate Resolve; Kristen Pawling, sustainability program director at LA County’s Chief Sustainability Office; and NVision’s Mike Echol or Philip Hart, developer of the potentially first large passive house building in CA.

You can register here for the Net Zero Conference, the result of the LA Icebox challenge on September 13th and for a passive house workshop on September 14th.

When: Thursday, Sept 6, 6 – 9 pm

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

Tickets: Free. More information here.

Photo Credit Rafael Cardenas (The original image is no longer available, please contact KCRW if you need access to the original image.)

2) Landscapes and Land Dwellers: Photography of Place by Rafael Cardenas

Rafael Cardenas was born in Jalisco, Mexico, but grew up on the streets of East Los Angeles. As a self-taught photographer since 2010, Cardenas captures portraits, landscapes and architecture that allow him to explore his relationship with the city he loves. In Los Angeles, Cardenas finds just “traversing the city by bus, train, bike or car is in itself a study of cultures, people and nuances of our diverse neighborhoods,” which he attempts to represent and document through his lens.

The exhibition Landscapes and Land Dwellers: Photography of Place by Rafael Cardenas follows Cardenas on a journey exploring the Eastside neighborhoods of Los Angeles. Through new and rarely-exhibited photographs, Cardenas demonstrates the intimate relationship between people and place and the complicated legacies they create.

When: Opening reception Saturday, Sept 8, 5 – 7 pm. Exhibition runs through March 15.

Where: LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes, 501 North Main Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012

Tickets: Free. More information here.

The right landscaping can play a critical role in climate safety. (The original image is no longer available, please contact KCRW if you need access to the original image.)

3) Designing for Disaster

California in the 21st century is as much about its beauty and temperate climate as it is about the preponderance of natural disasters that plague the state.  This two-session seminar explores the ways home gardens and public spaces can be designed to reduce the risk of fires, floods and landslides. The seminar will be comprised of two sessions, which can be taken together or as individual classes. Advance registration required.

The first session – Creating Fire-Safe Landscapes – will discuss how to combat fire spreading to your home with plants and strategies to use and NOT to use. Speakers include: J. Lopez, assistant chief, County of Los Angeles Fire Department, Prevention Services Bureau; Kitty Connolly, executive director, Theodore Payne Foundation for Native Plants; James Carlson, management analyst, City of Sierra Madre; with moderator Cassy Aoyagi, president, FormLA Landscaping.

The second session – Utilizing L.A.’s public spaces – will discuss how public spaces can be used to combat fires, floods and landslides.  A panel of professionals who have transformed common spaces all across Los Angeles includes: Maria De Leon, Project Manager, From Lot to Spot; Suzanne Haller, Sierra Madre Gardening Club, Authentic Foothills Garden; Roger Klemm, rocket scientist, JPL, Sunland Welcome Nature Garden; Hilda Weiss, docent, Shotgun House Coastal Garden, Santa Monica Conservancy; with moderator: Cassy Aoyagi, president, FormLA Landscaping.

When: Saturday, Sept 8, 10:30 am – 2:30 pm (2 sessions: 10:30-noon; 1-2:30)

Where: Descanso Gardens, 1418 Descanso Dr, La Canada Flintridge, California 91011

Tickets: $15 per session (members $8).  More information and tickets here – note sessions need to be reserved separately.

Photo Credit Ben Erickson (The original image is no longer available, please contact KCRW if you need access to the original image.)

4) Now What?!

The civil rights, women’s and LGBTQ movements have impacted every facet of our society, and the architecture and design community is no exception.  The exhibition Now What?! Advocacy, Activism & Alliances in American Architecture since 1968 by ArchiteXX is the first exhibition to examine the little-known history of architects and designers engaged in the larger social and political movements of our times, placing design practice in the foreground and engaging viewers in critical conversations of history, progress, and the built environment. Now What?! highlights diversity and activism in the design profession since 1968 with content, conversations and stories meant to inspire a new generation to see themselves as agents of change.

When: Opening Reception Saturday, Sept 8, 6 – 9 pm. Exhibition runs through Oct 15.

Where:  WUHO Gallery  Woodbury University,  6518 Hollywood Boulevard,  Los Angeles, CA 90028

Tickets: Free. More information here.

Lydia Breckenridge Bloody Anarchists quilting & fabric appliqué 18×18″ (The original image is no longer available, please contact KCRW if you need access to the original image.)

5) African American Punk Rock Quilts

From ’80s rocker to mid-life quilter, Lydia Breckenridge has channeled her voice into this centuries-old craft to make pieces inspired by the early days of the L.A. punk rock scene. Breckenridge addresses contemporary issues as well, including the last piece completed for this exhibition which pays tribute to Heather Heyer who was killed a year ago when a car slammed into a crowd of people protesting against white nationalists at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, VA.

When: Artists Reception Sunday, Sept 9, 3-6 pm. Exhibition runs through Sept 30.

Where: Gallery 30 South, 30 S Wilson Ave, Pasadena, CA 91106

Tickets: Free. More information here.