An Epidemic of Demolition

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The tearing down of the Ambassador Hotel earlier this month was a painful and high-profile demolition, but hundreds of buildings are disappearing daily. Frances Anderton looks at the epidemic of destruction with architectural writer Jeff Byles, author Rubble: Unearthing the History of Demolition. We look at presidential fashion with Tim Gunn of Parsons School of Design, advisor to the Bravo TV series Project Runway. Plus, a visit to the LA Department of Transportation's &quotmission control" where John Fisher clues us in on a new system that's designed to help ease traffic, and a conversation with Larry Bennett, production designer on the movie Crash, about his favorite building in Los Angeles.

Showing His Stripes Bolivian president Evo Morales has stirred up quite the global controversy with his casual attire for meeting with world leaders.
Remembering the Ambassador:
In the wake of the Ambassador's demise, several resources have been created to help commemorate the history of the grand hotel.The Ambassador's Last Stand, by the bloggers at Franklin Avenue, covers the final days of the hotelThe Ambassador Hotel gives a detailed history of the building and what's on tap for the futureCurating the City is an interactive tour of Wilshire Boulevard, part of the LA Conservancy's effort to celebrate the street's architecture. You can submit your story about demolished buildings to the site's memory book.Navigating LA Traffic:To find out congestion levels on surface streets in Los Angeles, go to site.Background on ATSAC, the Automated Traffic Surveillance and Control System NEW LISTINGS:
Please note that all calendar information is listed by closing date. Provided to us by presenting institutions, it can be subject to change or cancellation, so please confirm all information with presenting organizations.

What Would Dana Do? Wednesday, Feb 22
Dana Arnett, the designer behind Harley-Davidson and hundreds of other brands speaks about how a tiny Chicago boutique came to rule the design world.
MOCA, Grand Avenue, Downtown LA , 6:30pm

A Question of Balance: Gael Towey & Stephen Doyle: Tuesday, March 21
This husband-and-wife design team are both famous designers in their own right. She's head of Martha Stewart Omnimedia, he's head of DoylePartners. Together they launched the hit lifestyle brand Martha Stewart Everyday at Kmart
Skirball Cultural Center, Brentwood, 6:30pm.

Radical Craft: Stories from the Source: March 23-26
Some of the most legendary creative figures of our time headline this design conference, with cross-disciplinary appeal to those in the business, music, technology, and art industries. Chee Pearlman is guest program director, with moderator John Hockenberry. See site for registration details.
Art Center College of Design, Pasadena.

Isamu Noguchi: Sculptural Design, through May 14
The second exhibition at the Japanese American Museum featuring the famed Japanese American designer and sculptor. This show's inventive thematic settings were designed by the theater designer, Robert Wilson, and organized by the Vitra Design Museum. Japanese American Museum, LittleTokyo, Downtown.

Ettore Sottsass, Designer: through June 11
The iconic creations of this Italian designer and architect paved the way for the colorful, poppy furnishings and accessories that populate modernstores. Sottsass himself designed the exhibition. LACMA, Mid-Wilshire.

The Getty Villa: Ongoing
The recently restored Roman-inspired estate reopens as an educational center and museum surrounded by stunning gardens and grounds. Tickets tothe villa are free, but you must reserve them ahead of time online or calling 310-440-7300. Open Thursday through Monday, in Pacific Palisades.

Cameron Sinclair in conversation with Laura Moorhead: March 1, 7pm
Cameron Sinclair is Executive Director of Architecture for Humanity and author of Design Like You Give a Damn. Laura Moorhead is Senior Editor of Wired magazine. Together they explore the notion of disaster as an opportunity for sustainable development, rather than a temporary band-aid for those in crisis.
7pm at the Central Library's Mark Taper Auditorium, Fifth & Flower Streets, Downtown Los Angeles. For more information go online or call 213-228-7025.

Masters of American Comics: Through March 12
Two-part show featuring 15 of the last century's most influential comic artists is open at both MOCA Grand Avenue (Downtown) and the Hammer Museum (Westwood). On January 22, author Michael Dooley leads a tour of the MOCA exhibit. Several weeks of comics and graphic novel programming are scheduled at the Hammer.

Building for Bacchus: The New Wine Architecture: Through March 20
Thirty photographs by Erhard Pfeiffer, selected from Michael Webb's Adventurous Wine Architecture, feature exceptional new establishments from the major winegrowing regions of the world.
Copia: The American Center for Wine, Food and the Arts in Napa, CaliforniaLA Design Week: March 27-30
Five days of events, open houses, and exhibits showcasing the city's rich and varied design and interior decorating resources---plus a sand castlecompetition. See the website for a complete listing of events and prices of events in Downtown LA, Santa Monica and West Hollywood. The following day's events are FREE and only require pre-registration: Monday March 27: NeoCon West
10:00am: World-famous architect Rem Koolhaas
11:30am: Sustainable design expert Eva Maddox & Susan S. Szenasy of Metropolis
2:30pm: Industrial and graphic designers Katherine and Michael McCoy
4:00pm: Furniture and graphic designer Michael Vanderbyl
5:00pm: Edie Cohen of Interior Design and the West Edge design panel
6:00pm: Party at the LA Mart with guest DJ designer Karim Rashid

Dark Places: Through April 22
For this exhibit at the Santa Monica Museum of Art the architectural collective Servo has created a sort of high-tech octopus made of translucent molded plastic with luminous fiber optic veins. In its tentacles are video screens, each showing works by selected artists that explore the "dark" places in our relationship to the built environment. Curated by Joshua Decter. Santa Monica Museum of Art, Bergamot Station; Tuesday through Saturday

Ashes and Snow at the Nomadic Museum: Through May 14
Shigeru Ban built a 56,000 square-foot temporary structure for 100 large-scale photographic works and three 35-mm films by Gregory Colbertfeaturing poetic interactions between humans and animals. Hours and prices online; Santa Monica Pier

Links to other institutions offering public events in design and architecture:AIGA/LA, American Institute of Graphic Arts, the professional association for designArtCenter College of DesignCalArts, California Institute of the ArtsFIDM, Fashion Institute of Design and MerchandisingLA Forum for Architecture and Urban DesignLACMA, Los Angeles County Museum of ArtMOCA, Museum of Contemporary ArtOtis College of Art and DesignSCI-Arc, Southern California Institute of ArchitectureUCLA School of Art and ArchitectureUSC School of Architecture