Los Angeles is a city developed around and defined by houses rather than large architectural monuments. The singular residential unit is an elastic object, having long nurtured experimental pursuits and critical inquiry. Participants in On the Road 3 have selected an existing house located West of downtown Los Angeles to engage with and respond to through the medium of drawing. The chosen house may be an iconic work of architecture – one that has been overly saturated in the discourse of modern architecture in Los Angeles – or one that is part of the vernacular landscape. The drawing format is a standard 4”x6” postcard reproduced 150 times and placed inside the house’s mailbox on the morning of November 17.

While this container was once an essential component of the house, digital forms of communication have all but rendered the letterbox obsolete. Emphasizing a distribution system outside of the institution, On the Road participants will engage this traditional format of communication. A map is posted online for visitors to navigate the various sites from 10am-4pm. The public will move at will between some or all of the sites, pulling postcards from the various mailboxes and curating their own collection — simultaneously engaging both the physical and representational object of the house. The day’s event will culminate in a discussion about contemporary modes of communication within architectural production moderated by Hammer Curatorial Fellow Ellen Donnelly. The topics of representation, circulation/distribution, and audience within the field will be sited at a location on the Westside to be announced soon.

Participants include Andrew Akins; Clark Thenhaus; Heather Flood; Heather Peterson; James Leng; Mark Ericson; Jessica Colangelo; and Wendy Gilmartin.

Artists Bryne Rasmussen-Smith, Jaime Kowal, Leon Henderson Jr., and Maya Santos of FORM follows FUNCTION will capture and ultimately tell the story of the evening’s activities through photographs and video projects.


1. A yearlong series of architecture, art, and design programs intended to frame a moment in time within the contemporary context of the city of Los Angeles. Each program will take place at a distinct venue throughout the city.

2. A vehicle for advancing the positions of young architects, artists, and designers, and at times blurring their distinctions and encouraging them to carpool.

3. An extension of the rich history of experimentation in Los Angeles for artists and architects alike, with a focus on exploiting potentialities within current lines of investigation and processes.

4. A platform for new ways of thinking and making in Los Angeles that engages both a discipline and culture with contemporary ideas about architecture, design, and art.

5. A movement in direction with a conversive group of colleagues; acknowledging that there are shared interests and overlaps, but also distinct personalities and pursuits. The series is invested in dialogues.

While history does not authorize the work, nor do we intend to live in the past, On the Road acknowledges Thom Mayne’s series of 10 exhibitions at “Architecture Gallery” in 1979, The Charlottesville Tapes conference and the founding of Storefront for Art and Architecture in New York in 1982, as important and influencing projects that have propelled us to want to go On the Road.

Organized by Danielle Rago / Curator, Courtney Coffman / Editor, Jonathan Louie / Protagonist, and James Michael Tate / Instigator.



Event Details:

  • When: 

    Sunday, November 17, 2013
    10:00 am

  • Where: 

    On the Road
    West of La Brea Avenue
    Los Angeles, California

  • More information: 

    Event website.

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