5 design things to do this week

Written by

This week you can: get schooled by two architects; find yourself in stitches at QuiltCon; watch a movie about murals in early-’80s LA; experience the ‘ooh la la’ of French design; and see how the Main Museum is evolving with two new exhibitions.

A canopy of folded metal plates designed by Höweler + Yoon provides shade for an urban park in Phoenix. (The original image is no longer available, please contact KCRW if you need access to the original image.)

1) Two Lectures: Bryony Roberts at USC and Höweler + Yoon at MOCA

Bryony Roberts is an architectural designer and scholar. She started her own research and design practice, Bryony Roberts Studio, in 2011. Her practice combines methods from architecture, visual art, and preservation to produce transformations of existing architecture. She has created projects for significant architectural sites including the Piazza del Campidoglio in Rome, the Federal Plaza in Chicago, and the Neutra VDL House in Los Angeles. Her work has received a Graham Foundation Individual Grant and was featured in the Chicago Architecture Biennial of 2015, in addition to group and solo exhibitions in Rome, Berlin, Los Angeles, New York, Houston, and Boston. She’ll speak at USC on Tuesday, Feb. 21 from 6-8 pm.

Eric Höweler and Meejin Yoon founded the award-winning multi-disciplinary architecture and design studio Höweler + Yoon in 2005. The practice is based in Boston, MA and Munich, Germany, and works on academic, institutional, civic, and cultural projects. The married couple is known for working across the domains of architecture, urban design, public space, immersive experience, and design strategy. The two will speak at MOCA on Tuesday, Feb. 21 from 7:30-9:30 pm.

Bryony Roberts:

When: Tuesday, Feb. 21, 6-8 pm

Where: Bryony Roberts: USC, Gin D. Wong, FAIA Conference Center, Harris Hall 101, Exposition Boulevard, Los Angeles

Tickets: Free. More information here.

Höweler + Yoon:

When: Tuesday, Feb. 21, 7:30-9:30 pm

Where: MOCA, 250 South Grand Avenue, Los Angeles 90012

Tickets: Free. More information here.

A decorative quilt by Carolyn Friedlander, a featured artist at the show. (The original image is no longer available, please contact KCRW if you need access to the original image.)

2) QuiltCon

Quilting isn’t just for great-grandmas anymore.  What started as a utilitarian need to keep families warm has evolved into a popular art form which at once draws on tradition and yet at the same time can be quite modern. Presented by the Modern Quilt Guild,  QuiltCon brings together leading designers and quilters and fellow enthusiasts for four days of showcases, workshops, lectures and shopping. Over 550 modern quilts from around the world will be on display, including a special exhibition of quilts by Carolyn Friedlander.

When: Tuesday, Feb. 22 – Sunday, Feb. 25

Where: Pasadena Convention Center, 300 E Green St, Pasadena 91101

Tickets: $10 Daily Show Pass.  You can buy tickets here.

The documentary Mur Murs, by filmmaker Agnes Varda, uncovers the kaleidoscope of murals that decorate the walls of LA.(The original image is no longer available, please contact KCRW if you need access to the original image.)

3) Film screening: Mur Murs – The Murals of East LA (1981)

This loving documentary by filmmaker Agnes Varda takes viewers on a journey through the painted walls of Los Angeles circa 1981, and the community and diversity they represent.  Learn about the art (some of it commissioned, some of it illegal) and the artists who created them, including Judy Baca, Arno Jordan and Kent Twitchell. The screening will include guest speaker Harry Gamboa, Jr., the Chicano essayist, photographer, director and performance artist.

When: Thursday, Feb. 22, 7-8:30 pm

Where: LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes, 501 N Main St, Los Angeles 90012

Tickets: Free. More information here.

Also, through March 19, you can learn more about Los Angeles’ identity and community as expressed through mural art at ¡Murales Rebeldes! L.A. Chicana/o Murals under Siege at Plaza de Cultura y Artes, 501 N Main St, Los Angeles 90012

These egg cups by 5.5 designstudio celebrate the iconic Duralex Picardie glass, an example of French art-de-vivre. (The original image is no longer available, please contact KCRW if you need access to the original image.)

4) No Taste for Bad Taste

Notably, the French always seem to have an opinion about what is in bad taste.  Defining what is in good taste, or even French taste, is perhaps a bit harder.  So the curators of No Taste for Bad Taste invited 40 French and international art and design experts to consider the essence of French design, and then challenged each with the difficult task of selecting one lifestyle object to represent it. Le ‘French Design’, the group concluded, was a “perfect balance between savoir faire and audacity, sustainable innovation and a hint of luxury, elegance and panache, without ever falling into vulgarity.”

Under the art direction of Jean-Charles de Castelbajac, 40 style-defining pieces have been brought together with contributions from luminaries including Christian Liaigre, Pierre Yovanovitch, Paola Antonelli (MOMA), Chantal Thomass (fashion designer) and Gunjan Gupta (designer). Selected objects include designs by or for Ligne Roset, Fermob, Philippe Starck, Hermés. Très chic!

When: Open to the public Feb 24 — April 29

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

Tickets: Free; click here for more information.

Dora De Larios with one of her creations in the late 1950s. (The original image is no longer available, please contact KCRW if you need access to the original image.)

5) Opening Day: Dora De Larios + Rigo 23

As part of the on-going evolution and completion of the Main Museum, two new exhibitions open this week. Dora De Larios: Other Worlds presents works spanning the six decade career from the Boyle Heights native who sadly passed away in January 2018.  Influenced by her ancestral Mexico, as well as Africa and Asia, De Larios’ work ranged from large scale commissions to objects often based on mythical goddess-like figures and unplaceable yet familiar animals.  The exhibition inaugurates the new 2,750 square foot mazzanine gallery at the Main.  Rigo 23: Ripples Become Waves presents works by the Los Angeles-based Portuguese artist best known for his large-scale murals that call for social and political change in support of indigenous communities, most notably by calling attention to the incarceration political prisoners.  The exhibition is the first presentation of the artist’s statue of Leonard Peltier after its contested removal from American University’s campus in early 2017.

When: Sunday, Feb. 25, 2-5 pm

Where: The Main Museum, 114 W 4th St, Los Angeles 90013

Tickets: Free