5 design things to do this week

Written by

This week: discuss decarbonizing transportation in LA; celebrate fictional events from an invented parallel world; celebrate Venice artists while supporting a good cause; explore LA’s rail, storm, and pedestrian infrastructure; and see cultural artifacts from Soviet hippies and Cold War Hungary.

LA County plans full transit electrification by 2030 (The original image is no longer available, please contact KCRW if you need access to the original image.)

1) Conversations/Decarbonizing Transportation: Mobility in Los Angeles

According to the EPA, transportation is the second leading source of green house gas emissions, responsible for 27% of overall climate-warming emissions. As part of the series Future L.A.: Engineering a Sustainable Supercity, this conversation at the Hammer Museum explores L.A. County’s plan to shift its entire bus fleet to electric by 2030 and the potential for a decarbonized transportation future.

Río Oxas of Multicultural Communities for Mobility; Romel Pascual, executive director of CicLAvia and former Los Angeles deputy mayor for energy and environment; and urban planning professor Brian Taylor of the Lewis Center for Regional Policy Studies and the Institute of Transportation Studies at UCLA discuss how to create a decarbonized infrastructure that enhances access for pedestrians, drivers, bicyclists, and mass transit riders alike. Moderated by Jay Kim, assistant general manager of mobility management, Los Angeles Department of Transportation. Imagine a future with no exhaust!

When: Wednesday, May 16, 7:30 pm

Where: Hammer Museum, 10899 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90024

Tickets: Free.  Parking is available under the museum for a $6 flat rate after 6 pm. The event will also be streamed live here.

2) A+D Museum presents Cabinet: Young designers from the 2018 Graduate class at the USC School of Architecture/Kcymaerxthaere: The Story so Far

Cabinet refers to Cabinet of Curiosities, a cataloged collection of historical artifacts from around the world dating back to the Renaissance. For their thesis explorations, USC architecture students were asked to reach into the cabinet of curiosities, and engage with the architectural precedents. Opening Friday, the A+D Museum will showcase the results, by students in the 2018 Graduate class at the USC School of Architecture.

On Saturday, also at A+D Museum, Eames Demetrios, artist, writer and geographer-at-large (grandson of Charles and Ray Eames and director of the Eames Office) will talk about and sign copies of the two-volume limited edition Kcymaerxthaere: The Story so Far…(Folio 1). This is the idiosyncratic publication comprising writings, drawings, and other crafts that honor fictional events from an invented parallel world he calls Kcymaerxthaere.  Join Eames Demetrios for an intimate storytelling experience and signing.

When: Cabinet opens May 18, 2018 – June 17, 2018; Kcymaerxthaere: Saturday, May 19, 4 – 6 pm

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

Tickets: Free. More information here.

Google’s Headquarter in Venice, known as the Binoculars Building, was designed by Frank Gehry, with giant binoculars by by Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen at the entrance. The building was originally built for Chiat/Day Advertising in the late 1980’s. (The original image is no longer available, please contact KCRW if you need access to the original image.)

3) 39th Annual Venice Art Walk

This Sunday, the Frank Gehry designed Binoculars Building — and Google’s Headquarters since 2011 — turns into an art gallery for the Venice Family Clinic’s Venice Art Walk. This annual fundraiser features exhibitions, studio tours and a silent auction, along with engaging community activities from live art exhibits to guided art workshops.  Guests will have access to the work of over 250 local artists, including such luminaries as John Baldessari, Ed Ruscha and Alison Saar as well as LA’s emerging talent.  This year’s event celebrates three world-renowned Venice-based artists: signature artist Alexis Smith along with honorees Sam Durant and Ed Moses, posthumously (1926-2018).  Great for the whole family with live music, food and a craft beer & wine garden.

When: Sunday, May 20, 12-6 pm

Where: Google Headquarters, 340 Main St, Venice, CA 90291

Tickets: Free

Rafael Escamilla’s mural “Trains Shaping History” at Fletcher Drive / Casitas Avenue is one of the sights on the walking tour.  The artist will be on hand to give context to the work. (The original image is no longer available, please contact KCRW if you need access to the original image.)

4) Spatial Awareness Network: Railway, Waterways, Walkways

Join the new Spatial Awareness Network on this 6.5 mile walking exploration of some of Los Angeles’ rail, storm, and pedestrian infrastructure — some of it neglected, some revitalized. Initiated by Sean Deyoe (Betalevel) and Taylor Fitz-Gibbon (UCLA’s Interpretive Media Lab), this new organization is dedicated to supporting interdisciplinary creative work focused on space and place in Greater Los Angeles, fostering connections and collaborations amongst creators and bringing a multitude of viewpoints on Los Angeles into the public awareness.  Several guest speakers will join the walk, providing perspective and context along the way:

Rafael Escamilla, muralist/artist — Trains Shaping History
Noémie Despland-Lichtert & Brendan Shea, curators/designers/educators — Roundhouse Platform
Jenny Aleman-Zometa, environmental scientist — LA River State Parks Partners
Tom Carroll, journalist/interpreter — Tom Explores LA
Fabian Wagmister, professor — UCLA REMAP
Rosten Woo, artist/designer/writer/educator — This Park Is Made by People
Cheri Gaulke, artist/educator — Woman’s Building

When: Saturday, May 19, 2:30 – 7:30 pm

Where: Starting point: Glendale Transportation Center, Atwater Village.  Ending point: LA State Historic Park, 1245 N Spring St, Los Angeles, CA 90012

Tickets: Free.  For more details, please join their mailing list.

Soviet hippies were part of the global counterculture of the 1960s and 70s. (The original image is no longer available, please contact KCRW if you need access to the original image.)

5) Two Exhibitions: Socialist Flower Power and Art & Culture in Cold War Hungary

The Wende Museum tells the stories – through art, culture and history – of Soviet Bloc countries during the Cold War. It relocated last year from a nondescript office park to the historic Armory in Culver City. Beginning Sunday, two new exhibitions further this conversation by looking at hippies and Hungarians.  Like their counterparts on the other side of the iron curtain, peace loving Soviet hippies searched for enlightenment through sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll.  But they lived in a society that valued conformity above all else, and they were mercilessly persecuted for the way they looked and lived. In collaboration with the Archive of Modern Conflict and Dr. Juliane Fürst of the University of Bristol (UK), Socialist Flower Power: Soviet Hippie Culture displays photos, clothing, and memorabilia of several prominent Soviet hippies to provide a glimpse into the unexpected notion of a Soviet counterculture.

From 1956-1989, Hungarians lived under social, political and cultural conditions that sought to be both progressive and modern, but at the same time were shaped through manipulation, censorship and propaganda.  The cultural policy referred to as “Promote, Tolerate, Ban” was relatively liberal, yet anchored in government guidelines and censorship.  Promote, Tolerate, Ban: Art and Culture in Cold War Hungary brings together complementary collections from the Wende Museum and the Getty Research Institute to bring a fresh perspective to the art and culture that emerged from these competing forces.

When: Opening Sunday, May 20.  Tours 12-1 pm; Panel discussion 2-3 pm; Opening Reception 3-5 pm.  Exhibition runs through August 26.

Where:  The Wende Museum at the Armory, 10808 Culver Boulevard, Culver City, CA 90230

Tickets: Free