5 design things to do this week

Written by

This week: hear local authors discuss The Big Sleep’s gritty depiction of LA, join designers considering privacy and privatization in Echo Park, talk about whether LA’s development is balancing growth and quality, play tennis at a stunning architectural landmark, and catch Hockney’s 82 portraits at LACMA before it closes.

A gritty and seductive Los Angeles set the scene for Raymond Chandler’s many novels starring private eye Philip Marlowe. (The original image is no longer available, please contact KCRW if you need access to the original image.)

1) LA writers discuss the Annotated Big Sleep

Raymond Chandler’s first novel The Big Sleep, set in Los Angeles in 1939, launched a quarter century of mystery and intrigue. The hero, iconic private eye Philip Marlowe, solved crimes in gritty LA, a place Chandler described as “no worse than others, a city rich and vigorous and full of pride, a city lost and beaten and full of emptiness.”

On Tuesday, a group of LA authors, including Judith Freeman, David Ulin, Steph Cha, Kim Cooper and Gary Phillips, will read favorite passages from the novel, followed by a talk by the annotators.  The Annotated Big Sleep (2018, Owen Hill, with editors Pamela Jackson and Anthony Rizzuto) reveals fascinating insight into the worlds of both Chandler and Marlowe, including an historical context of Los Angeles and issues of gender, sexuality, race and ethnicity that permeate the story and the times.

When: Tuesday, July 17, 7:30 pm

Where: Skylight Books, 1818 N Vermont Ave, Los AngelesCA 90027

Tickets: Free; click here for more information.

The Long Beach Planning Commission approved the redevelopment of the SeaPort Marina property in November 2017. (The original image is no longer available, please contact KCRW if you need access to the original image.)

2)  Emphasize Talk Series: Urban Design

Urban poet DJ Waldie told DnA recently that Long Beach is “urbanizing in a relatively attractive way and is still retaining a certain beach town vibe.” That’s compared to downtown LA, in his view. So how are Long Beach, LA and other Southland cities “urbanizing” in the face of a building boom that is bringing dramatic changes to the LA lifestyle and residential living? That will be the topic of discussion at a lunchtime conversation between architect Scott Parker of Long Beach-based Studio One Eleven and DnA’s Frances Anderton. Long Beach journalist and bicycle activist Brian Addison launched the series of talks. Thursday’s talk will address whether Los Angeles, as it densifies and re-embraces public transit, can still claim to be an innovator in architecture and urban design.

When:  Thursday, July 19, 11:30 am – 1:30 pm

Where:  Studio One Eleven,  245 East Third St., Long Beach, California 90802

Tickets: Free; click here for more information.

3) Materials & Applications:  Privacies Infrastructure

Walk around most neighborhoods and you’ll see fences, landscape hedges, window bars and screens, and security gates.  These barriers are so ubiquitous in a city’s urban fabric that they often go unnoticed, yet they are integral to the ways we define individual and collective access to land, housing, and property, reflecting the city’s building codes, zoning policies and laws delegating property ownership and access.

In a summer series of outdoor installations, performance, and public programming, Privacies Infrastructure asks artists and architects to consider the physical structures of privacy and privatization in Echo Park. The multifaceted program was organized by guest curator Aurora Tang with Materials & Applications director Jia Gu, and includes four new commissions by Besler & Sons, Tanya Brodsky, Fiona Connor, Gwyneth Shanks and Sarah Lewis-Cappellari.

When: Program launches at an opening Saturday, July 21, 5 – 8 pm.

Where:  1601 Park Avenue, Los Angeles 90026

Tickets: Free; click here for more information.

4) The MAK Center is holding its Fourth Annual MAK Games!

Get your tennis game on for MAK Games 2018, taking place this Saturday, July 21. The  annual tennis contest/fundraiser will again be held at the eye-popping Sheats-Goldstein Residence in Beverly Hills, a landmark house designed by John Lautner. Afternoon matches will be followed by a Pro-Am match, followed by a dance party in “Club James,” an addition to the Lautner property by present owner James Goldstein, that is hidden below the court.  Guided tours of the Lautner-designed residence will be conducted throughout the event and artist Millie Brown will perform.

When: Saturday, July 21, 4 – 8 pm

Where: Beverly Hills, address disclosed with ticket purchase.

Tickets: Tickets are $250 for single admission; click here for more information.

5) David Hockney: 82 Portraits and 1 Still-life

If you haven’t yet seen 82 Portraits and 1 Still-life by painter David Hockney, now’s your chance to catch it before it closes. Starting in 2013, Hockney, now 81 years old, painted 82 portraits of friends. Each sitting took place over the course of three days, each in the same yellow chair, each against a canvas split into blue and turquoise planes. These portraits, along with a bench with some fruit on it, are hung on terracotta walls on the third floor of BCAM. The march of blue, turquoise and yellow splashes on red makes for a dazzling immersion in vibrant color,  especially compared to the typical white box gallery space or the low-lit rooms of the other shows currently at LACMA. Go closer and you’ll see LA faces you might recognize: Frank Gehry, Benedikt Taschen, LACMA senior curator Stephanie Barron, and many more.

When: Through July 29; closed Wednesdays

Where: Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles 90036

Tickets: $16-$25; children 17 and younger free; click here for more information.

Otis MFA GD Art Book Fair (The original image is no longer available, please contact KCRW if you need access to the original image.)

And one more for good measure: 

The Second Annual Book Fair for the MFA Graphic Design program at Otis College of Art and Design will be held July 21-22 from 12-5 pm. Held on campus in the Galef Fine Arts Building, the fair will feature national and international exhibitors and design studios and lectures by visiting international designers. More information here.