5 design things to do this week

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This week, you can: follow bartenders to their favorite bars, have an immersive Björk experience, see a UFO (maybe), view the new frontiers of design and architecture, and check out posters that fuel housing revolutions.

Bartenders can make or break a bar, but where do they go when they’re ready for a break? (The original image is no longer available, please contact KCRW if you need access to the original image.)

1) Book Discussion and Signing: Where Bartenders Drink

Whether you like a classic cocktail or the newest creations, this book will point you in the right direction.  Featuring insider’s tips to L.A.’s dynamic drinking scene and a guide to the hottest spots around the world, “Where Bartenders Drink” features 700 of the world’s best watering holes and thoughts about what makes a great bar.  Join author Adrienne Stillman along with a panel of the city’s best cocktail experts, including Beau Du Bois of the Corner Door, Alex Day of Proprietors LLC, and Trevor Easter of the Normandie Club/Walker Inn to discuss this refreshing topic.  Cocktails (of course) and a book signing will follow the discussion.

When: Tuesday, May 16, 6 – 8 pm

Where: Arcana: Books on the Arts – 8675 Washington Boulevard, Culver City, CA 90232

Tickets: Free with RSVP

Also at Arcana: Books on the Arts, there’ll be a discussion and book signing for SOLID OBJECTIVES: ORDER, EDGE, AURA with Florian Idenburg and Jing Liu of Brooklyn-based architecture and design office SO-IL, architect Mark Lee of Johnston Marklee, and photographer Iwan Baan. That’s this Sunday, May 21st from 4- 6 pm.

From her innovative music to her curious fashion statements, Bjork is always pushing creative boundaries. (The original image is no longer available, please contact KCRW if you need access to the original image.)

2)  Björk Digital

From her innovative music to her curious fashion statements, we’ve come to expect the unexpected from Björk. In her latest exploration, Björk Digital, the Icelandic musician and visual artist has created an exhibition of groundbreaking VR video works featuring music from her latest album, Vulnicura.

When: Exhibit opens Friday, May 19 and runs through June 4.  Timed entry every 15 minutes, 10 am – 9 pm.  Exhibit takes approximately 90 minutes to view.

Where: Magic Box at the Reef, 1933 S Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90007

Tickets: $35.  Timed entry 10 am – 9 pm.  Select date/time and buy tickets here.

Hello, is there anybody out there? (The original image is no longer available, please contact KCRW if you need access to the original image.)


Will UFOs return again this year for the 5th annual Contact in the Desert conference?  There’s a good chance, considering the architectural appeal of the Joshua Tree Retreat Center where the conference will be held.  Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and his son, Lloyd Wright, the modernist gem sits on a sacred site amidst the natural beauty of Joshua Tree.  As scientists find more and more planets with ‘life-supporting properties’, even non-believers are starting to come around to the notion that contact with extraterrestrial life is more a question of when, not if.  For those who have already made contact, and for those who are just curious, this conference offers an opportunity to convene with fellow space travelers to discuss all things interstellar.  Dubbed “Woodstock for the Saucer Set,” this four-day series of panel discussions, lectures, movie screenings and natural beauty is the largest UFO conference in the U.S.  Click here to read DnA’s first-hand account of the conference from several years back.

When: Friday, May 19 – Monday, May 22

Where: Joshua Tree Retreat Center, 59700 Twenty Nine Palms Highway, Joshua Tree, CA  92252

Tickets: $250+ (pre-registration through May 18, on-site tickets not guaranteed).  Schedules and more information here. Get tickets here.

“SCI-Arc is where architects become mad scientists.” ~ Hernan Diaz Alonso, SCI-Arc Director/CEO (The original image is no longer available, please contact KCRW if you need access to the original image.)

4) SCI-Arc Spring Show 2017

Founded in the early 1970s, the Southern California Institute of Architecture, or SCI-Arc, is one of the nation’s few independent architecture schools and is still going strong. The school’s eleventh annual Spring Show comes to an end this weekend. Expect to see astounding models and renderings of buildings — whose purpose is not always entirely clear — from all school programs, including undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate design studio projects as well as coursework from the Applied and Visual Studies seminars.

When: Closing Sunday, May 21

Where: SCI-Arc Gallery, 960 E 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90013

Tickets: Free and open to the public.

Also taking place nearby on Saturday: One Night Stand L.A. A group of emerging architects and artists come together for one night to leave their temporary marks of imagination and exuberance upon the visitors of the affair.  

When: Saturday, May 20, 7 pm

Where: 2025 W 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90057

Tickets: Free and open to the public

Though a silent medium, posters have a loud history in the fight against gentrification. (The original image is no longer available, please contact KCRW if you need access to the original image.)

5 )  Reclaim! Remain! Rebuild! On Affordable Housing, Gentrification and Resistance

In light of the ongoing struggle surrounding affordable housing and shifting demographics in Los Angeles today, the Center for the Study of Political Graphics (CSPG) is opening a new bilingual exhibit presenting 75 powerful archival posters about housing.  The posters represent a silent, yet powerfully loud voice of opposition against the development forces that displace people and communities.

A related panel takes place at the opening Saturday; it will feature the following curators and housing rights activists: Nancy Halpern-Ibrahim, Esperanza Housing Corporation; Carol A. Wells, CSPG; Cynthia Strathman, SAJE; Channa Grace, WORKS; Isela Gracian, East LA Community Corporation; and Pete White, LACAN.

Then, on June 10th, 1-4 PM, printmaker Ernesto Vazquez will lead a linoleum cut workshop for participants to make their own political graphics. (Space is limited, please RSVP: cspg@politicalgraphics.org).

When: Saturday, May 20, 2 – 4 pm (panel from 3 – 4 pm).  Exhibit open for viewing through June 29.

Where: Mercado La Paloma, 3655 S Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90007

Tickets: All events free and open to the public; Click here for more information.

And while on the topic of gentrification. . . Venice Community Housing Hosts a Party

Venice Community Housing will host a fundraising event Saturday, May 20, to support their efforts in maximizing affordable housing and alleviating homelessness on the West Side. The dinner and tour takes place in the buildings that marked the “heyday of aviation” at Playa Vista — both Howard Hughes former corporate headquarters, now home to ad agency 72andSunny, and the hangar where the “Spruce Goose” was designed. Get information and tickets here.

72andSunny occupies the building at Playa Vista that was once home to Howard Hughes corporate headquarters. (The original image is no longer available, please contact KCRW if you need access to the original image.)

Want to submit an event for 5 Design Things?

5 Design Things is published Mondays and covers events Monday – Sunday the week of publication. If you want to submit an event for possible listing, send it to dna@kcrw.org to arrive no later than the Friday before the week of the event. Make sure to include date, day, time, location, description of the event, an image to illustrate it, and relevant links.