It’s been about a year since the Los Angeles Department of Transportation (DOT) took the reins over MyFigueroa, a project that hopes to remake the 4-miles in and around Figueroa Street from LA Live to Exposition Park, near USC. But things are quickly wrapping up, because the $20-million Proposition 1C funds it was awarded need to be spent by 2014. On April 9, DOT hosted a community meeting in downtown LA to unveil updated designs for this crucial connective corridor, which when finished, would be the city’s first implemented complete street.
Once considered downtown LA’s central park, the problematic 4.5-acre Pershing Square may soon be slated for a few welcome changes. Councilman José Huizar of District 14 recently told LA Downtown News that sports and entertainment company Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG) has committed $700,000 seed funding to re-think the 164-year-old park. The money is part of a community improvement package AEG had agreed to in order to create a football stadium in Los Angeles.
Before the show closes on Monday, head over to the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery’s COLA Visual Arts Awards Exhibition to view artist/architect Heather Flood’s Wonder Wall, an intriguing application of graphic design principles in 3D construction. Inspired by the visual color effects of the tartan—a plaid cloth where interweaving thread colors give way to the appearance of a new blended color— Flood turned strips of perforated colored aluminum into a gyrating wall of mesmerizing color.
Wonder Wall is composed of interlocking vertical and horizontal anodized aluminum strips that gently rotate. Rendered in high-contrast colors (blue, yellow, and green), the piece tricks the eye for a moment to reveal new colors where the aluminum strips overlap, similar to the visual play where weft and warp threads cross each other at right angles in tartans.
“I’ve always wanted to work on a project where I could really explore the visual effects produced by a graphic means of construction,” said Flood. She is looking to extend the concept into her architectural practice, perhaps as an architectural facade, enclosure, or fencing system. The exhibition features seven other talented local artists, so make sure to visit this weekend.
Known for his bright, modernist pieces, Venice designer and fabricator Ilan Dei gets up close and personal at his eye-catching pop-up on 1650 Abbot Kinney Boulevard. Made out of three converted shipping containers rendered in brilliant colors with an emphasis on indoor-outdoor living, the installation exudes an inviting appeal even on this busy, uber-trendy street. “1650 Abbot Kinney has been an empty lot and a site for pop-ups for many years. I drive or cycle by everyday to and from our design studio,” said Dei, who quickly pounced when the site became available.
If all goes well, Venice Beach’s latest attraction could be you, screaming in delight across a 600-foot long zipline. In consideration since May, a proposal to build a temporary zipline by the beach has been slowly making its way through the public process.
As proposed, the zipline would be in place for a three-month trial period. Operated by Canada-based Greenheart Conservation Company, the zipline could potentially generate revenue for the city. Part of the profits would go toward improving maintenance in public restrooms and trash clean up along the boardwalk.
Angelenos might soon see a “silvery orb” roving around their neighborhood. Don’t worry, it’s not an alien visitation, it is radio station KCRW’s newest portable sound booth for Sonic Trace, a new media and radio series project that charts the Mexican and Central American immigrant experience in Los Angeles. After a few weeks of deliberation, KCRW chose California-based Mat-ter Design+ Build Studio’s La Burbuja as the winning entry. Translated as “the bubble,” the design is a highly reflective orb that encloses its subjects in “a non-space that is elegant but not intrusive,” said Hugo Martinez, who co-founded the studio with Christin To.
Video rendering of the Bay Lights (courtesy TBL)
“What if the West Span [of San Francisco’s Bay Bridge] wasn’t a bridge and instead were a canvas?” asked Ben Davis, founder of creative agency Words Pictures Ideas and man behind the The Bay Lights (TBL) some time ago. That question soon became the foundation for San Francisco’s latest high-tech public art project that’s got even Silicon Valley abuzz. With the support of San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee and major Silicon Valley bigwigs, TBL is planning to put up an ethereal light show 1.5 miles wide and 230 feet high covering the west span of San Francisco’s Bay Bridge.
At first glance, visitors might think that the house from Disney’s Up managed to crash land atop UC San Diego’s Jacobs School of Engineering building. What they’re actually staring at, however, is Korean artist Do Ho Suh’s latest installation, Fallen Star, a 15-by-18-foot New England cottage suspended off the edge of the seven-story Jacobs building at a disconcerting 10-degree tilt from the building’s flat roof. Suh said that the installation recalls his own experience of moving to the U.S. to study at the Rhode Island School of Design. He felt “as if he was dropped from the sky.”