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

Spacey Times In Pasadena

Other
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
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Roland Halbe

Roland Halbe

Yesterday we toured Morphosis’ new Cahill Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics at Caltech. The 100,000 square foot, $50 million building’s most notable architectural features are its cracks, fissures, tilts, and expanding and contracting walkways and apertures; elements that seem to suit it more to a seismology building, but also work to represent the epic tumult of space. Read More

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Another Planner Down

Other
Thursday, January 22, 2009
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Just weeks after LA City Planning Commission President Jane Usher resigned, Southern California is down another major planner: The LA Times has reported that LA County’s chief planner Bruce McClendon (pictured) was just fired by County Chief Executive Officer William T. Fujioka.

McClendon told the Times that he believed the firing was likely in retaliation for becoming a whistle-blower against the Board of Supervisors. He said he had told Fujioka that supervisors’ aides often tried influencing hearing officers’ decisions on whether to permit development plans. “It was illegal, and they can go to jail for doing it,” McClendon told the Times. Read More

Your Chance To Fix LA’s Transit Mess!!!!

Other
Thursday, January 15, 2009
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image courtesy Benny Chan

Isn't she beautiful? NOT! (Courtesy Benny Chan)

What do Thom Mayne, Eric Owen Moss, Neil Denari, LA Planning director Gail Goldberg, and Aspet Davidian,  engineering director at the LA County Metropolitan Transportation Authority have in common? They’re all on the jury for The Architect’s Newspaper and SCI-Arc’s new competition, A NEW INFRASTRUCTURE: Innovative Transit Solutions for Los Angeles. Read More

The Scarlet Letter

Other
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
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The board of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) today made a formal proposal to merge with the financially struggling Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA). According to a press release (top portion, above) issued today by LACMA, the goal of the move would be to to “preserve the independence and integrity of both institutions while combining their operations and infrastructure.” To save money MOCA has already shut down its Geffen Contemporary for six months, and is said to be pondering the sale of some of its artworks.
According to the release if a merger were to occur MOCA’s collections would not only be exhibited at LACMA’s Grand Avenue location and at the Geffen, but also at the Broad Contemporary Art Museum (BCAM), and at LACMA’s planned Stewart Resnick Pavilion. LACMA’s $68.2 million budget is more than three times that of MOCA’s $20 million. According to the L.A. Times, MOCA’s trustees met today to discus proposals, including a $30-million bailout offer from Eli Broad. According to Curbed LA, LA City Council President Eric Garcetti and Councilwoman Jan Perry introduced a motion to allocate $2.8 million in Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) funds to the struggling MOCA, provided the museum adheres to its stipulations. Stay tuned….

Start Your Engines!!!!

Other
Thursday, December 4, 2008
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A high speed video game design by panelist Scott Robertson

A high speed video game design by panelist Scott Robertson

AN’s California Editor Sam Lubell will be hosting a panel about the creation of new and unconventional design at Gensler and USG’s Design Process Innovation Symposium this Saturday at 10:55 a.m. at the A+D Museum. Panelists will include none other than Gaston Nogues, of inventive Silver Lake architecture/art installation/sculpture firm Ball Nogues; Matthew Melnyk, of the omnipresent and hyper-advanced design and engineering firm Buro Happold; Richard Whitehall, whose firm, Smart Design, patterns everything from cool-looking thermometers to Serengeti sunglasses; Scott Robertson, a creator of ultramodern, books, bikes, and even the cars used in video games; and Tali Krakowsky, of Imaginary Forces, who co-designed the flashy set for this year’s Victoria Secret fashion show. Another talent-loaded panel, at 2:30 p.m., will be hosted by KCRW and Dwell’s Frances Anderton.

Tickets ($70, $45 for students) are still available: visit http://www.gensler.com/xtr/dpi2/

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LA Live! (ugh)

Other
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
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A hopeful rendering: L.A. Live excitement

A hopeful rendering: L.A. Live excitement

LA Times critic Christopher Hawthorne yesterday summed up the problems with L.A. Live!, the behemoth development in Downtown LA’s South Park district, whose second phase is now opening. Hawthorne decries its “placelessness,” its buildings that “have almost nothing to say to or about downtown Los Angeles,” and worst of all, its inability to help the rest of the area.

“When we trap the energy of an urban crowd inside this sort of self-contained world,” he writes, “and when we allow developers and their architects to heighten the differences between that world and the streets around it so dramatically, we help keep the rest of our blocks underused and, as pieces of the city, undernourished.”

Amen brother. While the development, with its mix of residences, hotels and entertainment venues, should certainly bring activity and money downtown in tough times, it is still a wasted opportunity.

Getting Schooled

Other
Monday, November 24, 2008
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Leo A Dalys

Leo A Daly's LAUSD High School #9

Last Thursday AN California Editor Sam Lubell (author… ahem… of this post) moderated the first in a series of panels hosted by the AIA/LA called Design Dialogues. The discussion centered around educational design, and panelists included Hraztan Zeitlian of Leo A Daly Architects, John Enright of Griffin Enright Architects, and John Friedman of John Friedman Alice Kimm Architects. Read More

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