5 design things to do this week: May 20 - 26, 2019

Written by

The book "A Colorful Life," by designers Louise Sandhaus and Kat Catmur, offers a fascinating look at Gere Kavanaugh’s seven decades of work that represents a popular version of spirited California design. (Fritz Taggart Estate)

This week, you can: Meet the colorful designer Gere Kavanaugh; hear about how architects slay dragons (and other reasons why you should hire one); listen to the art of acoustic architecture; join a discussion with Sylvia Lavin and her latest thoughts on the atmosphere; and catch the opening of the newest UCLA Urban Humanities salon.

Fantasy Flowers, 1971, Los Angeles.  Super-sized sculptural elements, three to eleven feet tall headed for Highland Mall in Austin, Texas.

1) Conversation and Book Signing | A Colorful Life: Gere Kavanaugh, Designer

A force behind mid-century California style, a maker and “influencer”, Gere Kavanaugh was somewhat overlooked as a design icon - that is until she won a 2016 AIGA Lifetime Achievement Award.  Since then, the design world has been remembering her work and her vast array of contributions in products, textiles, furniture, toys, exhibition design, restaurant interiors, public art and more. Originally from Tennessee and an original GM 'Damsel of Design,' Kavanaugh arrived in Los Angeles in the mid-1960's where she befriended and shared studio space with Frank Gehry. Along with the move to sunny, bright California came a new sense of color that became her trademark. Her new book, a colorful life: gere kavanaugh, designertells Kavanaugh's stories in the hues of her unique and fascinating personality and style. You can join co-authors Louise Sandhaus and Kat Catmur in conversation with the Los Angeles design fixture.

When: Tuesday, May 21, 6:30 - 8:30 pm

Where: Helms Design Center, 8745 Washington Boulevard Culver City 90232

Tickets: Free. Limited seating, please RSVP here.

2) Slay That Dragon!: What Architects do and how to hire them

Is an architect that knight in shining armor you've been waiting for all your life, or at least since you decided to remodel? Beyond the obvious aesthetic and technical skills architects offer, they can also save clients from project pitfalls that can derail dreams and empty bank accounts.  Borrowing from the mythology of knights slaying dragons, architect and former professor William Hogan will demystify what architects actually do, with playful analogies, case studies, and beautiful imagery.  As part of his presentation, Hogan will illuminate when, how, and why to hire an architect, along with what to expect should you ever choose to work with one. Part of AIA LA 2x8:Exchange. Refreshments, including beer and wine. Q & A to follow.

When: Wednesday, May 22, 7 - 8:30 pm

Where: Helms Design Center, 8745 Washington Boulevard Culver City 90232

Tickets: Free. RSVP here.

Image result for disney concert hall insideInside the Disney Concert Hall - Los Angeles' iconic example of architecture designed for music

3) Architecture for Music:  High Concept Takes Center Stage

Close your eyes and hear the perfect pitch; open your eyes and see the visually stunning surrounds that contain music in space. The best architecture for sound design elevates the multi-sensory experience of a live music performance. This evening will feature an inquisitive and thought-provoking conversation exploring the art of building architecture designed from an acoustic perspective, heightening the impact music can create in an artful space. Taking the stage will be Council Member Thomas Small (former Mayor of Culver City) as the moderator and panelists: Craig Webb (Gehry Partners), Steven Ehrlich (Ehrlich Yanai Rhee Chaney Architects), Whitney Sander (Sander Architects, LLC) and Anthony Poon  (Poon Design Inc). Hosted by Communication Arts + Design, Inc.

When: Thursday, May 23, 6 pm

Where: Wende Museum, 10808 Culver Blvd, Culver City 90230

Tickets: Free. RSVP (required) here.

4) Reception, Lecture, and Discussion with Sylvia Lavin on "Trees, Mountains and Clouds - Preliminary Notes on Atmospheric Perspective"

Architecture historian, critic and curator Sylvia Lavin shares her latest thinking on the architectural language of the atmosphere. Moderated by Stephen Phillips, AIA, Ph.D., Principal of Stephen Phillips Architects (SPARCHS) and professor, director, Cal Poly L.A. Metro Program in Architecture and Urban Design (California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo.) Presented in collaboration with Cal Poly L.A. Metropolitan Program in Architecture and Urban Design.

When: Thursday, May 23, 6:30 - 8:30 pm

Where: Helms Design Center, 8745 Washington Boulevard Culver City 90232

Tickets: Free. Please RSVP here.

5) Salon 02_Plan Launch Party

SALON 02 is organized and curated by a group of alumni from the UCLA Urban Humanities Initiative. Its aim is to foster continued engagement with urban humanities theory, pedagogies, and community both within and outside the academy. Part symposium, part exhibition, part celebration, SALON 02 showcases the making of urban humanities in Los Angeles, presenting projects blurring the edges of our respective disciplines in the humanities, urban research, and design. An event spanning three days, SALON 02 collectively represents the ongoing work of urban humanists engaged in remaking and reimagining the city. Friday evening will include gallery talks, refreshments and live music. You can see more details about the evening's presentations here.

When: Friday, May 24, 6 - 9 pm; Exhibition runs through Sunday, May 26

Where: UCLA Urban Humanities Initiative, 1317 Perloff Hall, Room B215, Los Angeles 90095

Tickets: Free. You can RSVP here.