Rethink/LA Imagines The Future Los Angeles

Newsletter, West
Tuesday, August 2, 2011
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Architects Taalman Koch reimagine LA's Hyperion Sewage Treatment Plant as a recreation area and animal habitat. 

Architects Taalman Koch reimagine LA's Hyperion Sewage Treatment Plant as a recreation area and animal habitat.

Los Angeles is a shifty creature, ever-changing and re-inventing itself. As memories of the perfect weekend (aka Carmageddon)  fade into memory, a collaboration of creative professionals is looking to re-focus our collective consciousness on Los Angeles’ past, present, and what it might look like in fifty years. Opening this Thursday at the A+D Museum on Wilshire Boulevard, Rethink/LA’s Perspectives on a Future City captures the voices of local Angelenos—writers, city planners, policymakers, and artists—through sound installations, collages, and videos.

Shift Architecture rethinks the 105/110 Interchange.

Shift Architecture rethinks the 105/110 Interchange.

“We wanted to see what people in this city had to say,” said co-curator Kellie Konapelsky of Rethink/LA. “Most of the time, the people that live here don’t actually get to communicate how they would want to see the city. We wanted to get people talking and have them join the conversation.”

Perspectives on a Future City grew organically from Rethink/LA’s DNA. An idea on the minds of graphic designer Konapelsky and architect Jonathan Louie, Rethink/LA soon became very, very real. “When we started talking, people from different backgrounds wanted to jump into it,” said Louie, “All of a sudden, it wasn’t just architects and graphic designers, but multimedia artists, web designers, event planners, social marketing people started getting interested as well as planners and architects.”

Within a mere six months, a full-fledged exhibition came out of the chaos of activity. At the show: KCRW radio host Frances Anderton, TIME Asian bureau’s Kai Ma and AN‘s own West Coast Editor Sam Lubell ponder on a piece of Los Angeles; see photographs of LA now and collages of what those same locations could be in the future; play with interactive installations meant to provoke a new vision for Los Angeles.

Rios Clementi Hale's riparian plans for Wilshire Boulevard.

Rios Clementi Hale's riparian plans for Wilshire Boulevard.

“There’s a diff between a citizen and a consumer. I would argue that more people need to be citizens, more active in the city and interested in the issues of the city,” said Louie. Rethink/LA hopes this would be one step in the right direction.

What’s more, on August 11 Rethink/LA is challenging Angelenos to forget their precious cars for a night to attend its Moving Beyond Cars Party, a (hopefully) car-free celebration now on its second staging (here’s a description of the first party).

Join Rethink/LA in its opening exhibition August 4. Ditch your car and make your way to A+D car-free for the Moving Beyond Cars Party.  More details here.

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