5 design things to do this week

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This week: See bamboo sculptures and colorful glass; breakfast with LACMA’s Michael Govan and discuss a new wave of affordable housing; celebrate the launch of LA Forum Reader; see things in 3D; and explore the art of narcissism.

1) Two shows at CAFAM: “Bamboo” and “Katherine Gray: As Clear as the Experience”


This exhibition could be called ‘The Taming of the Shrew’ for the intricately sculptural objects that can be tamed out of the fast-growing, weed-like shrew of a plant that can’t be contained.  Bamboo explores the evolution of Japanese bamboo basketry from a purely functional art form into complicated, distinctly Japanese sculptural forms of variable scale. A major selection of historical and contemporary works from the Los Angeles-based Cotsen Collection are central to the exhibition, as well as a large-scale, interactive bamboo installation by Japan-based artist Akio Hizume.  You can take a guided tour with Lyssa Stapleton, curator of the Cotsen Collection and CAFAM exhibitions curator Holly Jerger on Sunday, July 15 at 1 pm.

Katherine Gray: As Clear as the Experience

Since all the colors of the spectrum emerge when light travels through glass, it’s no wonder that artists find these elements an alluring ‘canvas’.  In Clear as the Experience, Los Angeles-based artist Katherine Gray creates conceptual installations of glass with unusual presentations and dramatic lighting. An interactive installation gives visitors an immersive experience of the sights, smells, and sounds of the glass blowing studio.

When: Bamboo Curator Tour Sunday, July 15, 1pm.  Both exhibitions run through September 9

Where: Craft And Folk Art Museum, 5814 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036

Tickets: General Admission $7. Space is limited, RSVP required: rsvp@cafam.org

2) Two AIA Events: “Breakfast with Michael Govan” and “Design for Dignity 3: Housing an Inclusive Community”

Breakfast with Michael Govan

Michael Govan, CEO and Wallis Annenberg Director, LACMA joins for a conversation with architects, designers, and community stakeholders at the AIA|LA Breakfast Series.

Since coming to LACMA in 2006, Govan has overseen the transformation of the 20-acre campus with buildings by Renzo Piano and monumental artworks by Chris Burden, Michael Heizer, Robert Irwin, Barbara Kruger, and others.  At LACMA, Govan has pursued his vision of contemporary artists and architects interacting with the museum’s historic collections, as evidenced by exhibition and gallery designs in collaboration with artists John Baldessari, Jorge Pardo and Franz West, and architects Frank O. Gehry, Fred Fisher, Michael Maltzan, and Johnston Marklee. In addition to acquiring more than 27,000 works for the permanent collection, by donation or purchase, Govan has also pushed for mammoth change at the LACMA: the demolition of four of the older structures to be replaced by a new structure spanning Wilshire Boulevard, designed by Swiss architect Peter Zumthor. The project design by Zumthor has garnered mixed reviews from the architecture community. Govan is also leading the expansion of the museum into satellites in less affluent parts of LA.

When: Thursday, July 12, 8:00 – 9:30 am

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

Tickets: $25 – $35.  You can get tickets here.

Design for Dignity 3: Housing an Inclusive Community

There are over 58,000 homeless people in Los Angeles County and the complicated problem keeps getting worse.  Catalyzed by this crisis, the AIA|LA Design with Dignity Conference formed in 2016 serves as a forum for architects, designers, urban planners, civic leaders and community activists to share insights and best practices for addressing housing shortages and affordability.

This year’s conference will discuss recent developments in funding sources, planning policies and legislative opportunities, including Prop HHH with $1.2 Billion in funding for permanent supportive housing over the next 10 years, ordinances to streamline the processes for affordable housing developments, motel conversions and ADUs, and 15 housing related bills passed by the California legislature for more affordable housing.  The multi-disciplinary community represented at the conference is determined to be part of the solution, with solutions that enrich our neighborhoods for all.

When: Friday, July 13, 8 am – 3:30 pm

Where: Studio-MLA, 251 S Mission Rd, Los Angeles, CA 90033

Tickets: $95-$135.  You can register here.

3) LA Forum Reader Launch Party

Formed in 1987 to bring together architects, artists, designers, urban thinkers, and the public, the Los Angeles Forum for Architecture and Urban Design has since hosted 30+ years of public events, exhibitions, pamphlets, newsletters, publishing projects, catalogs and books.  The launch of the L.A. Forum Reader brings together three decades of discursive writings and publications culled from the group’s archives, creating an historical context for the evolution of Los Angeles into an architectural and urban leader and telling an uneven and lesser-known history of experimental architecture, postmodern geographies, and alternative urbanism.

You can join LA Forum editors, designers and contributing writers to celebrate the new publication and discuss the future of Los Angeles urbanism and experimentation. Hear Archinect’s interview with the LA Forum Reader editors Mimi Zeiger, Chava Danielson and Michael Sweeney here.

When: Thursday, July 12, 6 – 9 pm

Where: MAK Center at the Schindler House Garden, 833 N Kings Rd, West Hollywood, CA 90069

Tickets: Free.  More information here.

Simone Forti, Striding, 1975–78 (The original image is no longer available, please contact KCRW if you need access to the original image.)

4) 3D: Double Vision

Long before objects could be physically ‘printed’ in 3D, people have searched for the ultimate representation of the illusion of three dimensions.  Starting with the invention of the Stereoscope in the 1930s, this pursuit has driven creative innovation across the arts, sciences and entertainment, including contributions to mass culture such as 3D movies, View Master, holograms, and virtual digital imaging.

Curated by Britt Salvesen, Head of the Wallis Annenberg Photography Department and the Prints and Drawings Department, the artworks in 3D: Double Vision aim to provoke the imagination and ask questions about the nature of perception and the technologies we use to create the effects.  The exhibition is designed to “dazzle” the eye.  You can read an interview with Salvesen here.

When: Opening Sunday, July 15.  Exhibition runs through March 31.

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

Tickets: Free with Museum Admission

The Reign of Narcissism (1988-89) (The original image is no longer available, please contact KCRW if you need access to the original image.)

5) Barbara Bloom and Rebecca Matalon in Conversation

While great art is the deepest form of creative expression, at some point, does the need to reveal oneself become a narcissistic endeavor?  In The Reign of Narcissism (1988-1989), New York based artist Barbara Bloom created a personal museum devoted to her own likeness, which is emblazoned on all of the objects in the collection in a hexagonal parlor-style room that evokes the private museum.

On view at MOCA Pacific Design Center for the first time in over twenty years as part of Décor: Barbara Bloom, Andrea Fraser, Louise Lawlerthe work is meant as a commentary on the sometimes obsessive nature of art making and collecting. Barbara Bloom joins Curatorial Associate Rebecca Matalon to discuss the history of the work and, more broadly, her conceptually minded approach to art making.

When: Sunday July 15, 3 pm. This is also the last day of the exhibition.

Where: West Hollywood City Council Chambers, 625 N. San Vicente Blvd., West Hollywood, CA  90069 

Tickets: Free; priority for MOCA members