It begins with a sharpened pencil, a scrap of paper, and the germ of an idea.
On Thursday, September 22nd, the Downtown Film Festival LA introduced its 2016 Art+Architecture+Design programming (no relation) with a snappy and stylish film that raises some intriguing questions. The software startup InVision hosted a red carpet premiere for Design Disruptors, a documentary covering some of the prominent ideas and players on the current digital landscape. Reps from InVision and several featured tech companies were in attendance and held a quick panel discussion afterward.
Transportation is a key influence on what gets built and where. Los Angeles is notoriously the largest American city which grew up entirely within the embrace of 20th Century automotive culture. Now that California is grappling in earnest with climate change, transportation is bound to change quickly, and the architecture and design of LA are bound to change with it.
As the last shadows of summer draw long, gentrification and rejuvenation continue apace in Downtown Los Angeles. The storied Globe Theatre building at 740 South Broadway, developed by William Garland and first opened in 1913, will get a new lease on life courtesy of owners who have held onto it for decades and have recently embraced its future potential.
For the many millions of Los Angelenos, Wilshire Boulevard is the backbone of the city, a vital link from downtown Los Angeles to the city of Santa Monica. Of the countless iconic landmarks to line Wilshire Boulevard’s fifteen mile stretch, the unofficial proclaimed ‘gateway to Santa Monica’ has always been a most graceful, unobtrusive addition.
An entertainer entertains. An artist searches for and points toward the truth. Architects and designers create things that people use.
Go much deeper than that, and things get tricky. Go outside of the architecture and design professions, and into say, politics, and things get trickier still.
There’s nothing quite like watching Gone With The Wind on the big screen. Whether or not you’re a film buff or a giddy first-timer, the Aero Theatre of Santa Monica is the prime location to view your favorite classic films. The restored theatre, built by Donald Douglas of Douglas Aircraft Co., began its legacy in the 1940s, as the local theatre for Douglas Aircraft employees. Now it’s a beloved neighborhood joint, nestled in amongst Montana Avenue’s quirky boutiques and restaurants.
2016 will go down as the year that it became more convenient than ever for Angelenos to get sand between their toes in Santa Monica. The new Expo Line extension opened in time for Memorial Day, dropping ambulatory adventurers a few minutes from the peer. And the gloriously photogenic California Incline is set to reopen just in time for Labor Day, after a year off for construction.
Los Angeles-based architecture firm wHY and Argentinian conceptual artist Rirkrit Tiravanija, have recently collaborated together to design a temporary structure for CURRENT: LA Public Art Biennial entitled, “Waterfall Pavilion”. Enjoying its inaugural year, CURRENT is a citywide cultural event, which features designs that focus on issues affecting Los Angeles and aim to inspire and instigate civic discourse. CURRENT LA has re-envisioned the international biennial, by having all featured art set in outdoor locations. CURRENT believes this “democratizes the way people access art”, but more uniquely, forces Los Angelenos to leave their neighborhoods and explore other parts of the city.
The Los Angeles housing crunch is quite real, and it is brutal. Rents significantly have outpaced incomes across America for decades, particularly in LA, which Forbes ranks as the nation’s third toughest market for renters. Brent Gaisford is a developer, blogger, and organizer for the new advocacy group Abundant Housing LA, and he believes that those in the Los Angeles architecture, design, and urban planning spheres have a responsibility to communicate about the affordable housing crisis, in their work and in their lives.