Going to the AIA/LA Design Awards is a totally different experience when you’ve been on the jury, as I was this year. For one, you get to see the entire spectrum of the awards program, the behind-the-scenes production and the staging of what seemed like a thousand projects flashing before you in a darkened room. Not only do you have the heavy responsibility of judging all of these, but also you then have to champion and defend the ones that really speak to you. There was a lot of debate and discussion—and even some yelling and throwing of chairs involved. And probably way too much caffeine.
In 2018, San Francisco plans to give Market Street a serious facelift. But first the city wanted a way to gather community input and include citizens in the design process. This was the beginning of the Market Street Prototyping Festival, which in April will unveil the work of 50 design teams up and down Market’s sidewalks. The 50 teams were selected from more than 200 submissions by a jury made up of experts from local design firms, community organizations, technology companies, and government. Read More
Home Matters, a national movement dedicated to raising awareness about the need for affordable housing, has launched a competition called “Re-defining Home: A Design Challenge.” As the name suggests, the competition (partnered with AIA chapters around the country, and funded in part by the Wells Fargo Housing Foundation) seeks to re-define the home of the future, with a focus on solutions for affordability and a new conception of home, beyond “four walls.”
I love going to Downtown Los Angeles. It’s changed. A lot. And what a fantastic way to celebrate the AIA/LA Design Awards: down on Broadway, choreographed by the Awards Committee to triangulate the historic Million Dollar Theater, the iconic Bradbury Building, and the revamped Grand Central Market for the closing party. In fact, it was so well-choreographed that it was difficult to pull people from the Bradbury (all those fantastic wood, iron, and marble details were lit up in the vertigo-inducing atrium like some movie set) to the actual theater and get them in their seats for the awards presentation. That was the vibe. It was a good time, spilling and tripping out into the street from one venue to the next.
When Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti came into office in 2013, his first Executive Directive was to establish the Great Streets Initiative, intended to make many of the city’s streets more neighborhood friendly, bike friendly, pedestrian friendly—friendly all around. If it were up to film producer Michel Shane, Pacific Coast Highway (PCH), specifically the 27 miles that run through Malibu, a stretch known as the Malibu Corridor, would be at the top of Garcetti’s list. In 2010, Shane’s thirteen-year-old daughter, Emily Rose Shane, was struck and killed by an out-of-control driver as she was walking along the side of the highway. In fact, this section of PCH is one of the most dangerous highways in the country, where hundreds of accidents, many of them fatal, occur annually.
USC School of Architecture has announced that Hadrian Predock will serve as its next director of undergraduate programs. Starting this fall he will take over the position from Alice Kimm, who served for four years. “I’m thrilled,” said Predock. “This is an exciting time as architecture continues to pull out of the recession, and I’m looking forward to helping position the school in larger conversations about where the profession is going.”
If you live or work in one of LA’s many older concrete buildings and happened to read the Los Angeles Times recent story, “Concrete Risks,” your building, as swanky and detailed as it may be, may never be experienced in quite the same light. The report sounds the alarm on over 1,000 concrete buildings in the city and throughout the region that “may be at risk of collapsing in a major earthquake.”
When Elon Musk makes plans he makes no little ones. And he feels California shouldn’t either. This is the rationale behind Hyperloop Alpha, a supersonic, solar-powered, air-cushioned transit system (and future “Never Built”?) he views as the bolder alternative to conventional high-speed rail. It’s not a train, exactly. It’s more a hybrid between high-speed rail and the Concord.