5 design things to do this week: April 15 - 21, 2019

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This week, you can: learn about the trans-media career of a pioneering digital designer; appreciate keshiki in Japanese ceramics; track down wildlife in Los Angeles; discuss re-building after disaster; and head out to the desert for music and art.

1) Roski Talks: April Greiman

When you think back to the colorful New Wave look of Los Angeles in the late '70s and early '80s, chances are you're envisioning some of April Greiman's work or that of somebody influenced by it. 

Born in New York, Greiman studied at the Basel School of Design in Switzerland before making her way to Los Angeles in 1976.  Recognized as a pioneer and 'radical experimenter' in the use of computers, specifically the Apple Macintosh, as a creative tool in graphic arts, Greiman established the practice Made in Space to explore new paradigms in communication design, blending technology, science, word and image with color and space.

Notable projects include work for the 1984 Olympics, Los Angeles Wilshire/Vermont Station, MAK Center for Art and Architecture, AOL/Time Warner and Microsoft, and trans-media campaigns for  PacTel, Esprit, US West, and SCI-Arc.  Greiman was also commissioned as the first woman to design a US postage stamp: the 1995 Commemorative Stamp for the 19th Amendment, giving women the right to vote. Today, the AIGA Gold Medal Lifetime Achievement Award recipient continues to helm her firm and teach at Woodbury University and SCI-Arc.

When: Tuesday, April 16, 6 pm

Where: USC Roski MFA Design Studios, 1262 Palmetto St, LA 90013

Tickets: Free

Oversized Sculpted Platter (Detail), Oribe-ware, Shigemasa Higashida (b. 1955)

2)  KESHIKI | The Landscape Within:  Contemporary Japanese Ceramics

Keshiki, which translates literally as landscape, is a term that refers to the glaze, scorch markings, cracks and indentations on the surface of ceramics. It's long been celebrated by Japanese artists and collectors as adding beauty, depth and singularity to a piece. The exhibition KESHIKI, The Landscape Within: Contemporary Japanese Ceramics showcases over sixty pieces from Gordon Brodfuehrer’s collection, highlighting the incredible diversity of styles and techniques found in Japan’s contemporary ceramic work, with a focus on regionality and keshiki.  Guests attending the opening reception will have the opportunity to meet Gordon Brodfuehrer as well as Hollis Goodall, curator of Japanese art at LACMA and guest curator for this exhibition. You can read more about the exhibition here.

When: Opening reception Tuesday, April 16, 7:30 (VIP preview starting at 6:30); Exhibition runs April 17 - June 9

Where: Japan House, 6801 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles 90028

Tickets: Free. RSVP required.

3) Wild LA: Book Talk and Signing (2 events)

While many people think of the urban sprawl and pretzeled freeways, Los Angeles is also a city bordered by oceans and mountains and bursting with amazing wildlife. Equal parts natural history, field guide, and trip planner, Wild LA looks at the factors that shape local nature - including fire, floods, and climate - and profiles over 100 local species, from easy-to-spot squirrels and praying mantises to more elusive green sea turtles, bighorn sheep and mountain lions. Also included are descriptions of day trips that help you explore natural wonders throughout the region, on hiking trails or right in your own backyard. You can meet the authors and hear about the book and some of their wild LA adventures at two separate events this week.

When: LA Breakfast Club April 17, 7 - 9 am; Angel City Brewery April 18, 6 - 8:30 pm

Where: LA Breakfast Club, 3201 Riverside Dr, Los Angeles 90027; Angel City Brewery, 216 S Alameda St, Los Angeles 90012

Tickets: The LA Breakfast Club has a $15 general admission at the door and includes a full breakfast. You can RSVP here by 11 pm on April 15. Business Casual attire, please. The gathering at Angel City Brewery is free.

4) Westside Urban Forum: Burning Down | Building Up: Wildfires and Resiliency

Wildfires can quickly reduce homes and even whole communities to ashes, turning the lives of the displaced upside down; recovery and rebuilding their daunting task ahead. But some of the bigger questions rarely get asked, much less thoughtfully discussed: where we should even be building, how we can build smarter and the gentrifying effect of fire.

This Westside Urban Forum conversation proposes a candid dialogue on how we can support a balanced approach to development in high risk areas, and what will be required to align this approach with the environmental realities of a warming climate and continued population growth in Southern California.  Panelists include:  Bonnie Blue, Planning Director, City of Malibu;  Joshua H. Haffner; Attorney, Haffner Law (specializing in insurance claims from property damage); and  Malcolm V. Williams, Senior Policy Researcher, RAND Corporation. Moderated by Jacob Maroglis, KPCC Science Reporter and host of The Big One podcast.

When: Friday, April 19, 7:15 - 9:00 am

Where:  Helms Bakery District, 8800 Venice Blvd, Los Angeles 90034

Tickets: $10 - $65. You can register and purchase tickets here. This is a Westside Urban Forum event and includes breakfast. 

Sterling Ruby's installation for Desert X 2019

5) Coachella Music and Arts Festival | Desert X

The desert will be decidedly un-deserted this weekend. Out in the Coachella Valley about 2.5 hours from Los Angeles, the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival will be in its second (and last) weekend and Desert X will be finishing its two-month residency. With the desert landscape providing the backdrop, both Coachella and Desert X have met the land on its terms, infused artistic resonance into the space, and waited for the people to come; the 'magic' happens at the intersection between the art, the audience and the public space. So if you're 'Coachella-ready' or still thinking about it, consider taking the time to see the evocative installations and performance art at Desert X while you're out there.  After all the crowds and Coachella fashions, Desert X might be just what you need. You can learn more about Coachella here and more about Desert X here. And as you drive to the desert make sure to listen to the Desert X Podcast, produced by the DnA team.

When: Ending Sunday, April 21

Where: Coachella Valley. The Coachella Music Festival is held at the Empire Polo Club, 81800 Avenue 51, Indio, CA 92201. You can find an interactive map for Desert X here. 

Tickets: Tickets may still be available on the Coachella 2019 website and through re-sale sites, prices vary; Desert X is free, however bus tours are also available for $75.