5 design things to do this week

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This week: see into the future of mobility; learn how new housing laws will impact LA; discuss the intersection of art, engineering and architecture; attend a screening of LA-themed short films; and walk through Pasadena’s architecturally-rich Madison Heights neighborhood.

Left: The “ride-roid” CanguRo, created by Professor Yamanaka and his team at the Chiba Institute of Technology; Right: Gita, the cargo droid created by Greg Lynn at Piaggio Fast Forward (The original image is no longer available, please contact KCRW if you need access to the original image.)

1) Reimagining Mobility in Los Angeles

While we’re still not getting around with personal jet packs or flying cars, mobility is quickly finding its real life version of the future.  Imagine personal robots that “go home” – or to someone else – when you’re not using them and come back when you’re ready for pick up.  Consider the convenience of luggage that rolls itself.  Angelenos know more than anyone how mobility is an intrinsic element of city living, with a profound impact on livability, productivity and environmental quality. Today in Los Angeles and Tokyo, both hotbeds for the development of new types of mobility, the future is now.

On August 15, Japan House Los Angeles and the Petersen Automotive Museum present  Reimagining Mobility for Los Angeles ,  an evening of insight into the next stages of mobility. University of Tokyo professor Shunji Yamanaka and UCLA studio professor Greg Lynn will share their visions for Los Angeles with Seleta Reynolds, the head of LA’s Department of Transportation, linking technology, transportation, and urban development.  This event will mark the premiere of the “ride-roid” CanguRo, created by Professor Yamanaka and his team at the Chiba Institute of Technology and a demonstration of Gita, a cargo droid designed by Greg Lynn at his firm Piaggio Fast Forward.

When: Wednesday, August 15, 6:30 – 9 pm

Where: Petersen Automotive Museum, 6060 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036

Tickets: Free.  Please RSVP here.

Adams Terrace in the West Adams neighborhood is hailed as a model affordable housing development by Los Angeles City Planning Commission. (The original image is no longer available, please contact KCRW if you need access to the original image.)

2) American Planning Association ( APA) Los Angeles Presents: State Legislation and Housing in Greater LA

According to the California Department of Housing and Development, the 2017 Housing Package passed by the California State Legislature will “provide an injection of new regulatory and financial resources, and with it, an opportunity to innovate in the way housing is developed throughout the state of California.” The package provides funding for affordable housing, streamlines the approvals process to accelerate development and increase housing supply, holds cities/counties accountable for addressing housing needs in their communities, and strengthens the city/county’s legislative role in requiring new or preserving existing affordable housing.

Find out what this all means for Los Angeles County when the APA LA brings together a knowledgeable panel to discuss the local impact and implementation of these new measures.  Panelists include: moderator Veronica Tam, housing specialist; Melinda Coy, policy specialist with the California Department of Housing and Community Development; Matt Glesne, city planner with the City of Los Angeles; Julie Romey, senior principal at Keyser Marston Associates; and Shashi Hanuman, directing attorney of community development at Public Counsel.

When: Thursday, August 16, 6 – 8 pm

Where:  Los Angeles City College Student Union Multi-Purpose Room B, 855 N Vermont Ave, Los Angeles, CA, 90029

Tickets: $20.  Discounts for members and students.  You can get tickets here.

3) Panel Discussion | Poetic Structure: Art + Engineering + Architecture

Poetic Structure showcases a series of intersections between art and engineering, conceived by SOM (Skidmore, Owings & Merrill) in collaboration with various artists and architects, including: Janet Echelman’s Dream Catcher, James Carpenter’s Hope Tower, Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle’s Weatherfield, Jaume Plensa’s World Voices, and additional work by Pablo Picasso and Peter Zumthor.

The Scale and Form Pavilion, measuring at 8′ tall by 12′ wide by 27′ long, is “a doubly curved kinematic structure with stiffened wood panels hinged together. Inspired by the mathematical relationships between force and motion, the hovering pavilion will be suspended off aluminum trusses and braced with steel wires, and morphed into an expanded or contracted version of the original geometry with minimal effort.”

The exhibition also includes a panel discussion this week at the Schindler House.  The event will take place in the home’s beautiful outdoor courtyard, and bring together a variety of experts from the Los Angeles area to explore the relationship between art, engineering, and architecture.

When: Thursday, August 16, 6 – 8 pm.  Exhibition runs through Sep 2.

Where: MAK Center – Schindler House: 835 N Kings Road, West Hollywood, CA 90069

Tickets: Free. More information here.

Brian Smee (The original image is no longer available, please contact KCRW if you need access to the original image.)

4) Establishing Shots: Visions of Los Angeles on Video

From documentary to experimental animation to performance and video art, this outdoor screening at the Los Angeles State Historic Park in Chinatown presents a diversity of short videos reflecting a multitude of perspectives on Los Angeles’ places, people, and history. The newly-formed Spatial Awareness Network (SPaN) is presenting this performance before the group’s official launch.

Featuring works by Tom Carroll, Gregorio Davila, Form follows Function, Will Geary, Jimmy Marble & Adi Goodrich, Natasha Masharova, Anna Luisa Petrisko, Zachary Tate Porter, Christina Novakov-Ritchey, & Mari Beltran, Arturo Romo & Sesshu Foster, Brian Smee, Sara Suarez and more.  Bring a blanket and a friend. The whole program will last about 90 minutes.

When: Thursday, August 16, 8 pm

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

Tickets: Free. More information here

Greene & Greene’s 1909 Crow-Crocker House stands as a Craftsman landmark on S. El Molino Ave in the Madison Heights neighborhood of Pasadena. (The original image is no longer available, please contact KCRW if you need access to the original image.)

5) Madison Heights Neighborhood Walking Tour

Originally laid out in the nineteenth century – a home from 1890 still stands – Madison Heights is one of Pasadena’s most historically and architecturally significant neighborhoods.  In 1906 lots cost $1,500 with a stipulation that houses to be built should cost at least $3,000, setting a standard for good design and construction. 

Developed largely between 1910 and 1917, many of Pasadena’s most famed designers are still represented here.  Greene & Greene, Frederick Louis Roehrig, Sylvanus Marston, Reginald Johnson, Heineman & Heineman, Hunt & Grey, and Louis B. Easton all designed homes in Madison Heights.

Contractor-built homes are also common here, demonstrating considerable skill and craftsmanship. As a result, a wide variety of architectural styles can be found in this popular historic neighborhood. 

When: Saturday, August 18, 9:00 – 11:15 am

Where: Directions and parking information will be given to ticket-holders with their confirmation email. If you have mobility issues please contact the office.

Tickets: $18 (Heritage House members $15).  You can get tickets here.