Design for the Younger Set

Other
Friday, March 13, 2009
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A page from Where Things Are From Near To Far

Perhaps one explanation for why there’s so much mediocre architecture and planning in this country is that we were never taught anything about it as youngsters. In fact most kids don’t even have access to an art history class until they reach college; and don’t even try asking them who their favorite architect is. But a few new kids architecture books could help change that, or at least inspire younger people to start appreciating the built world around them.

Where Things Are From Near To Far (Planetizen Press), by Tim Halbur and Chris Steins (with illustrations by David Ryan) introduces very young kids to basic concepts of urban planning, giving them an appreciation for the changing, dynamic urban environment. The colorful book follows the path of a young boy, Hugo, as he Read More

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LA Park Re-Revamped

Other
Thursday, March 12, 2009
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Curbed LA reports that designs for the 12-acre, Rios Clementi Hale-designed downtown Civic Park, connecting City Hall with the LA Music Center, have been updated (drawing above). The new designs, they find, will overhaul and lengthen the park’s fountain, remove a series of trellises, enlarge the park’s community terrace, and remove the “viewing bridge” at the foot of City Hall. Read More

Lessons From The Past

Other
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
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We just came across a story (above) by David Dunlap in the New York Times whose headline reads: Recession Is Ravaging Architectural Firms. In it architects bemoan the state of the industry and make claims like “it will never be the same again,” and “I’ve had the chance to see a lot of ups and downs. This one, to me, is without a doubt the worst.” Dunlap suggests that ‘Now, having shrunk, firms may decide to stay smaller.’ And one architect thinks this is the next Great Depression: “We don’t see a way out, a real turning point, until the end of the decade. If you’re talking about no significant work until the latter half of the decade, you’re talking about a situation that is somewhat similar to the 1930′s.”

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Old School

Other
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
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Last night we had the pleasure of attending Delab’s (Design East of La Brea) monthly gathering of creative types, this time at Cole’s, a legendary restaurant and bar in the Pacific Electric Building in Downtown LA. Open since 1908, Coles is known for its French Dip sandwiches (it claims to have invented the delicacy), clever–and strong–mixed drinks and “atomic” pickles. Read More

AN Celebrity Party #1

Other
Monday, March 9, 2009
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Since we’re in LA, it was only a matter of time until The Architect’s Newspaper got to visit a celebrity party. This Saturday we were invited to the launch of author Jerry Stahl’s new thriller Pain Killers, thrown by none other than Ben Stiller and his wife Christine Taylor. How did we get in? Thanks to voiceover artist-cum-architect-extraordinaire Janna Levenstein, who designed the 5,000 square foot Hollywood Hills pad (pictured above) that housed the festivities: 1615 Rising Glen. Read More

AIA SF Awards; aka Back When Architects Made Things

Other
Friday, March 6, 2009
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Aidlin Darlings 355 11th Street won both Merit and Sustainability Awards

Aidlin Darling's 355 11th Street won both Architecture and Sustainability Awards

Remember when architects actually built things? Oh yeah, that was last year. And to commemorate that fact in Northern California, the AIA San Francisco chapter just announced the winners of its 2009 Design Awards. Read More

Architecture Gets Its Close Up

Other
Thursday, March 5, 2009
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A home-made dwelling in Portland's Dignity Village, featured in the film "Adapt"

What is SMIBE? Is it a brand of paint? Or maybe a government agency? No, it’s something much more interesting: the Society for Moving Images about the Built Environment. The Los Angeles-based, volunteer-run organization just announced the winners of its inaugural “Story About a Place” competition, which looked for short films (less than 6 minutes long) that “reveal new sides or issues about a place told by memorable characters.” The competition, which launched last fall, received over 90 entries from 13 countries. Read More

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Will the Recovery Be Webcast?

Other
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
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If you take a look at the White House’s recovery.gov web site, dedicated to dispersing information about stimulus efforts across the country, you’ll notice a page dedicated to individual states’ stimulus spending sites. The page offers links to recovery sites from states like Ohio, Illinois, and, ahem, New York. But California is a big blank. Read More

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LA Solar Measure Trailing

Other
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
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Solar panels atop LAs Staples Center

Solar panels atop LA's Staples Center

It’s still too early to call, but right now Los Angeles charter amendment B, a.k.a. Measure B, which would authorize the creation of a Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) program to require the production of at least 400 megawatts of solar energy in the city by 2014, is trailing in the results from yesterday’s city election. Read More

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Industrial Chic

Other
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
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XRTs new home

Partygoers enjoy XRT's new home

Last Saturday LA’s new X Repertory Theater Company (XRT) celebrated the opening of its mammoth headquarters—which they call Location X— on 1581 Industrial Street in the city’s Arts/Warehouse District. Members of the company spent weeks prior to the party sandblasting  (yes, they did it themselves, respirators and all..) the 10,000 square foot former warehouse’s plaster walls to reveal gorgeous brick; Read More

Billboards: WAIT a minute…

Other
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
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A collection of LA signs from the site stopbillboardblight.com

A collection of LA signs from the site banbillboardblight.org

Today  AIA/LA’s Director of Government & Public Affairs, Will Wright,  testified to LA’s planning commission regarding a revised sign ordinance controlling the erection of billboards in the city. A moratorium on all new signs was passed by LA’s city council in December, while the city’s original sign ordinance—considered by many to be ineffective— was passed in 1986. Wright requested that the commission delay a vote and consider a revised  ordinance “until comprehensive visual analysis of the proposed regulations is completed.” A vote on the revised ordinance is expected in the next few weeks. Read More

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Transit + Art = THE FUTURE

Other
Friday, February 20, 2009
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Jake Loniaks Deus Ex Machina

Jake Loniak's Deus Ex Machina

This week Pasadena’s Art Center College hosted its summit, Expanding the Vision of Sustainable Mobility. Lots of interesting ideas, some of them making us realize that despite our financial ruin, science fiction has already arrived (even if we can’t pay for it). These include Leik Myrabo’s laser-powered rocket ship (no, we’re not making that up), Neville Mars’ constantly-moving subway, his plan for “dynamic density,” and his floating city, and Paul Wilbur’s plug-in, ultra-aerodynamic Aptera car. One of the most interesting ideas, though, came from an Art Center student… Read More

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