5 design things to do this week

Written by and

This week: discuss the role of architects and developers in building supportive and affordable housing; admire the modernist architecture of Escher GuneWardena; explore dream schemes for real Detroit sites by a dozen American design firms; watch Jane Jacobs battle New York’s ‘master builder’ Robert Moses in a new documentary; and learn to weld, woodwork, forge, and fuse glass at Makelympics Weekend.

Rendering: Shimahara Illustration (The original image is no longer available, please contact KCRW if you need access to the original image.)

1) Design for Dignity 2: A Conference to Focus on Solutions to Homelessness

The Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority reported recently that nearly 58,000 people live on the streets. This Friday, the American Institute of Architects/Los Angeles will explore the region’s current homelessness crisis, its causes, ways to prevent new waves of displacement, the impacts of Measures H and HHH, and the role of architects and developers in building supportive and affordable housing. Speakers include architects, supportive housing providers and policy makers from the county and city, among them Alisa Orduña, Homelessness Policy Director, Office of LA Mayor Eric Garcetti; John Arnold, Partner, Killefer Flammang Architects; Mike Alvidrez, CEO, Skid Row Housing Trust; Tara Barauskas, Executive Director, Community Corporation of Santa Monica; and Sofia Borges, Acting Director, MADWORKSHOP.

When: Friday, July 14, 8 am – 3 pm

Where: McCarty Memorial Christian Church, 4101 West Adams, Los Angeles, CA 90018

Tickets: AIA Members: $95/Non members: $135; for registration and more information, click here. KCRW members are eligible for a discount; contact Will Wright, will@aialosangeles.org

Slade, Alex, b. 1961; Sola/Wright House, Los Angeles, CA (EscherGunewardena Architects), 2017; Digital Chromogenic Print; 28 x 35 in. (The original image is no longer available, please contact KCRW if you need access to the original image.)

2) Clocks and Clouds: The Architecture of Escher GuneWardena

Clocks and Clouds: The Architecture of Escher GuneWardena is an exhibition that accompanies the newly released monograph of work by the Silver Lake-based firm founded 20 years ago by Frank Escher and Ravi GuneWardena. The firm extends the modernist tradition with projects ranging from restorations of midcentury classics — such as the Chemosphere and Eames Houses — to newly built, austerely elegant private homes and art spaces realized in collaboration with artists such as Olafur Eliasson, Sharon Lockhart, Steven Prina, Mike Kelley and others. Essays by writers including Martino Stierli, Barbara Lamprecht, Nicholas Olsberg, Mimi Zeiger and Paulette Singley focus, say the publishers, on “recurring concepts in the architects’ work ranging from ideas of ‘order’ and ‘system,’ to ‘accidental form,’ and the subtle manipulations that lie between these positions, or what philosopher Karl Raimund Poppers categorizes as ‘clocks and clouds.'” The exhibition is supported by the Museum Council and Edward Cella Art & Architecture. Ravi GuneWardena is also a practitioner and teacher in the Sogetsu School of Ikebana, and will demonstrate the making of three ikebana flower arrangements on July 29 (see Cloud, 7.7.17, by Ravi GuneWardena, in photo at top of page.)

When: Through August 20th, 2017; Wed–Sun, noon–5 pm (open until 8 pm on Thursdays)

Where: Art, Design & Architecture Museum, UC Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, CA 93106-7130; get directions to museum here.

Tickets: Free. More information here.

Greg Lynn tackles Detroit. (The original image is no longer available, please contact KCRW if you need access to the original image.)

3) The Architectural Imagination

At last year’s Venice Architecture Biennale, the primary focus was on craft-based and community-led design solutions to global shelter. The U.S. Pavilion, however, curated by Cynthia Davidson and Monica Ponce de Leon, chose a more top-down approach, showcasing dream schemes for four real Detroit sites by 12 American design firms, among them LA’s Greg Lynn, Andrew Zago and Florencia Pita and Jackilin Hah Bloom. These projects emphasized, say the curators, “the importance and value of the architectural imagination in shaping forms and spaces” that can “address the social and urban issues of Detroit in the 21st century.” That exhibition traveled to Detroit and has now come to the A+D Museum in the Arts District and opens Friday. The curators will be there.

When: Opening reception Friday, July 14, 7:30 pm; exhibition is open July 14 – September 23, 2017; Wednesday, 2-6 pm; Thursday and Friday, 2-8 pm; Saturday and Sunday, 12-7 pm.

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

Tickets: General adult: $7, students and seniors: $5, A+D members and children under 12: Free. More information here.

4) Hammer Screenings: Citizen Jane: Battle for the City

Cities, said Jane Jacobs, “have the capability of providing something for everybody, only because, and only when, they are created by everybody.” Matt Tyrnauer’s film celebrates the work of the renowned Greenwich Village resident, activist and urbanist, with a look at Jacobs’ epic struggle with Robert Moses, New York’s powerful “master builder,” over the planning of her beloved city. Tyrnauer will be present for a Q&A following the movie, which also makes the case that the top-down versus bottom-up approaches to city building staked out by Moses and Jacobs continue to play out today. The film is co-presented by the American Institute of Architects/Los Angeles.

When: Wednesday July 12, 7:30 pm

Where: Billy Wilder Theater, 10899 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90024; find directions here.

Tickets: Free but tickets are required and available at the Box Office one hour before the program. Members receive priority ticketing (until 15 minutes before the program). Get more information here.

5) Makelympics Workshop Weekend

Put on some goggles and learn to weld, woodwork, forge, and fuse glass. Four teaching shops in Los Angeles are getting together to collaborate on a weekend of workshops designed to give you a taste of locally grown industrial arts. Participants will create parts of a bar set– a forged steel bottle opener at Adam’s Forge, fused glass coasters at the Glass Studio, a hardwood tray at Community Woodshop, and a bent steel frame at Molten Metal Works. Classes will run in three different locations (depending on the craft) on Saturday and Sunday, concluding with a happy hour Sunday afternoon. No experience necessary.

When: Saturday, July 15 and Sunday, July 16: two on Saturday (10 am-1 pm, 2-5 pm) and two on Sunday (10 am-1 pm, 2-5 pm); happy hour at 5 pm.

Where: Location varies according to the craft: Molten Metal Works and Community Woodshop are located at 3617 San Fernando Rd, Glendale, CA 91204; Adams Forge: 2640 N. San Fernando Rd. Los Angeles, CA 90065; The Glass Studio, 5668 York Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90042

Tickets: $320 for the weekend (six students per class session.) For more information click here.