5 design things to do this week

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This week, you can: join a conversation at the intersection of surfing, writing and art; see how Michigan made its mark on Modernism; go to a dinner party at a Mid-century gem in the Hollywood Hills or a Masquerade Ball to mark Culver City’s 100th birthday; also, view the “POPcalyptic” art of D*Face, an exhibition that transcends borders and one that explores colors that you can taste and smell.

Barbarian Days author William Finnegan as a young surfer. (The original image is no longer available, please contact KCRW if you need access to the original image.)

1) Endless Waves, Barbarian Days: Surfing, Writing and Art

In “Barbarian Days,” Pulitzer-Prize winning author and staff writer for the New Yorker William Finnegan tells his story of life through the refraction of a wave.  As part of the Malibu Speaker Series and the Depart Foundation’s exhibit “Sea Sick in Paradise,” you can hear Finnegan in conversation with artist Barry McGee, moderated by Jon Christensen, professor at the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability and a founder of the Laboratory for Environmental Narrative Strategies at UCLA.  

When: Tuesday, Sept 19, 7 pm (Talk begins at 7:20 promptly, followed by Q & A.)

Where: Depart Foundation Malibu Village, 3822 Cross Creek Rd, Ste 3844, Malibu 90265

Tickets: Free.  RSVP to angelica@lynwinter.com

General Motors Technical Center, Warren, MI; Architect: Eero Saarinen. Photographer: James Haefner (The original image is no longer available, please contact KCRW if you need access to the original image.)

2) Authors on Architecture: Michigan Modern

In the early days of American Modernism, Michigan’s “synergy of industry, prosperity, and educational leadership produced and attracted some of the most important Modern architects and designers of the twentieth century.” That’s according to Amy Arnold and Brian Conway, authors of the new book “Michigan Modern: Design That Shaped America,” which explores Michigan’s contributions to modern design in architecture, automobiles, furniture and education. The book acknowledges some interplay between Detroit and Los Angeles, noting that General Motors’ head of design, Harley Earl, came by way of Los Angeles, and that the Eames House in Pacific Palisades used pre-fab steel joists developed in Detroit.

This Saturday, join authors Arnold and Conway, along with contributing authors Alan Hess and Emily Bills, for a discussion about their book, with a book signing to follow. Presented by the Society of Architectural Historians, Southern California Chapter.

When:  Saturday, Sept 23, 2-4 pm

Where: Herman Miller, 3641 Holdrege Ave, Los Angeles 90016

Tickets: Free.

After its midcentury boom years, Detroit fell into decline. “The Architectural Imagination” is a display of architectural proposals for its revitalization. Catch this show before it closes Saturday at A+D Museum, 900 E 4th St, Los Angeles, CA 90013.  Listen to our segment about the show here.

Reserve your seat at the table for this Foodshop Architecture Dinner Party at the MAK Center’s Fitzpatrick-Leland House (The original image is no longer available, please contact KCRW if you need access to the original image.)

3) Foodshop Dinner Party at Fitzpatrick-Leland House

Pop-up dinner parties are all the rage and the food tastes even better in an intriguing location. This series of MAK Center fundraisers is held at the 1936 Rudolph Schindler-designed Fitzpatrick-Leland House in the Hollywood Hills and mixes up a mouth-watering menu with mood lighting, modernism and music.

When: Sept 23, 24, 28, 29 and 30.  Start time is 7 pm EXCEPT for Sunday, Sept 24 which starts at 6 pm.

Where: Fitzpatrick-Leland House, 8078 Woodrow Wilson Dr, LA, 90046

Tickets: $95.  Menu and reservations here.

Also at the MAK Center in the Schindler House on King’s Road: “How to Read El Pato Pascual: Disney’s Latin America and Latin America’s Disney,” a Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA exhibition of over 150 works by 48 Latin American artists who investigate and challenge nearly one hundred years of cultural influence between Latin America and Disney.  More information here.

The “Velvet Lounge” at the renovated Culver Hotel. (The original image is no longer available, please contact KCRW if you need access to the original image.)

4) Culver City turns 100

100 years ago, barley fields grew in the flatlands between Santa Monica and downtown Los Angeles. But Harry Culver had bigger ideas — for a new Tinseltown — and created Ince Studios (now Culver Studios) and MGM Studios (now Sony). In 1924 Culver built the flatiron Culver Hotel, which still stands as the tallest building in the downtown area. Over the years the hotel was owned by Charlie Chaplin and John Wayne (who is said to have won the hotel for a dollar in a poker game) but fell into disrepair. Ten years ago Maya Mallick bought and reinvigorated Culver Hotel and this Saturday will host a ticketed Masquerade Ball at the hotel to celebrate Culver City’s Centennial. Among attractions, guests can get to play blackjack at a table in Harry Culver’s office (shown, top of page.)

This Wednesday September 20 the city will celebrate its official 100th birthday with events including the unveiling of six commemorative benches gifted by the CCUSD elementary schools to Culver City High School. The dripping water mosaic designs were inspired by 4thand 5thgraders response to “What does the Centennial mean to you?”

When: Saturday, Sept 23, 8 pm

Where: The Culver Hotel, 9400 Culver Boulevard, Culver City, CA 90232

Tickets:  $110.00; click here to purchase tickets.

D*Face (aka Dean Stockton ) adding finishing touches to a mural. His work often derides the state of romance in the age of social media. (The original image is no longer available, please contact KCRW if you need access to the original image.)

5) Opening this Saturday: “D*Face: Happy Never Ending”/”Tu Casa Es Mi Casa”/”Synaesthesia”

D*Face: Happy Never Ending

With his subversive, comic-book style characters in their “POPcalyptic” scenes, UK-based multi-media street artist D*Face has been at the forefront of his craft since his breakthrough in 2005.  While bright and eye-catching, his murals are intended to be a dark critique of consumer culture, fascination with celebrity and the”inauthentic life we create via social media.”  Inspired by pop-masters such as Roy Lichtenstein, D*Face wants the public to look beneath the surface at the satire exposing the dysfunction of our culture.

When: Opening Reception, Saturday, Sept 23, 7-11 pm.  Exhibit runs through October 21.

Where: Corey Helford Gallery, 571 S Anderson St #1, Los Angeles, 90033

Tickets: Free

Frido Escobedo’s La Tallera Siqueiros, Cuernavaca, Mexico.(The original image is no longer available, please contact KCRW if you need access to the original image.)

Tu Casa es mi Casa

Timed to coincide with the Getty’s Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA, Su Casa es mi Casa brings together two modernist houses in Los Angeles and Mexico via the exchange of narrative texts, industrial objects, and installations by contemporary architects/artists.  The collaboration, between the Los Angeles Forum for Architecture and Urban Design, Mexico City-based gallery Archivo Diseño y Arquitectura and the Neutra VDL House, grapples with questions about architectural space, mass production, and domesticity within the legacy of modernism, with site-specific installations created by Mexican-based design teams Frida Escobedo, Pedro&Juana, and Tezontle. The designers, along with Mimi Zeiger, Sarah Lorenzen, David Ulin, Aris Janigian and others will take part in a discussion Friday night, September 22, at SCI-Arc about “issues of cross-border exchange, the exigencies of domestic modernism, and contemporary Mexican design practice.”

When: Opening Reception, Saturday, Sept 23, 6-9 pm.  Exhibition runs through January 17, 2018

Where:  Neutra VDL Research House,  2300 Silver Lake Blvd,  LA 90039

Tickets:  Free


Synaesthesia is the phenomenon in which one sense impression stimulates another sense or part of the body. For example, synaesthetes may sense a taste when touching an object, or see colors when hearing music. The opening art reception for “SYNAESTHESIA: What is the Taste of the color blue?” will include art by top synaesthete visual artists including: Marcos Lutyens, Anne Patterson, Raewyn Turner, and Jon Adams. There will be interactive art and music installations, and a synaesthete taste event with dishes and music composed from tastes, words, and colors.

When: Opening Reception, Saturday, Sept 23, 7-10 pm

Where: Building Bridges Art Exchange, Bergamot Station, 2525 Michigan Avenue, Unit F2, Santa Monica, CA 90404

Tickets:  Free