Fire On The Mountain

West
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
.

It’s not every day that a scary fire burns within a few miles of a major cultural institution. Well in LA it sort of is, but that’s beside the point. A recent drive on the 405 Freeway revealed to us what all the news reports are saying: There is a biggish blaze burning just one hill over from the Getty Center on LA’s west side. The smoke is thick and brown, and on first look bulged out at the top, not unlike a mushroom cloud. Yikes. Helicopters are running regular passes over the thing, which is spreading in thin lines along the mountains facing the Getty, moving southward down the Sepulveda Pass. But fortunately it appears that firefighters have it under control (in California terms a 10-acre fire is only a mini conflagration), despite a forced evacuation of the Getty and nearby Mount St. Mary’s College. Stay tuned… We hope we don’t have to see if all that marble and granite will hold up to a good ol’ California disaster. And for now, the biggest concern of drivers on the 405 is the threat of imminent traffic. Now that’s scary.

FOGA Cut by How Much?

West
Thursday, July 2, 2009
.

A model of Gehry's new offices in El Segundo

We knew that Gehry Partners had trimmed its staff recently due to the recession. But according to a story in Architectural Record, the cuts are much worse than we thought. Tony Illia writes that the company has reduced its staff from 250 a year ago to 112 now. That’s more than a 50 percent chop! Many of the cuts are due to the losses of projects like Atlantic Yards in Brooklyn, and the delay of projects like Grand Avenue in Los Angeles. Still the firm is still set to move into roomier new digs in El Segundo (pictured above)  later this year. Should be.. spacious. Still the story says the firm is working on new projects like a Guggenheim in Abu Dhabi,  the Beekman tower in Lower Manhattan, and the Eisenhower Memorial in Washington.

Saturday Night Live (At Dwell)

West
Monday, June 29, 2009
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Food truck mania

We don’t always give props to other design pubs, but after a great weekend at Dwell On Design, how can we not? After the expo, the panels, and the awards, on Saturday night the Dwellistas hosted a wonderful evening at the Geffen Contemporary in Downtown LA that started with LA’s first ever mobile restaurant row (Apparently the Kogi taco truck has helped spawn a phenomenon), and then became a night at the movies. Read More

Not Just Invisible, Earthquake Invisible

West
Monday, June 29, 2009
.

Architects have, for obvious reasons, been fascinated with earthquakes for as long as they have been knocking over buildings. Lots of structural systems and building materials have been explored, but what about invisibility? Capitalizing on recent advances in invisible cloak technology, scientists in France and Britain think they can hide buildings from those damning shockwaves coursing through the earth. New Scientist explains the tech thusly: Read More

America, Headed Down the Toilet

West
Friday, June 26, 2009
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Yes, its coming out of the wall. (Photos by Scott Groller)

Yes, it's coming out of the wall. (Photos by Scott Groller)

Demand Management, a new show by L.A.-based artist Olga Koumoundouros opens at the REDCAT gallery in Los Angeles today. Curated by Clara Kim and Ryan Inouye, the show serves as a social commentary on class and the grossly unbalanced wealth distribution in America. Read More

Korean Rainbow

Other
Thursday, June 25, 2009
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Thanks to our friends at Curbed LA, we learn that LACMA has wrapped its Ahmanson Building in a rainbow of fabrics for its upcoming show, “Your Bright Future: 12 Contemporary Artists from South Korea (June 28-Sept. 20). Read More

Up on the Roof

East Coast, Other
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
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The party is definitely pool (noodle) side. (Photos by Matt Chaban, except where noted)

The party is definitely pool (noodle) side. (Photos by Matt Chaban, except where noted)

Last night was the opening party for No Soul For Sale a (very) temporary show (it closes Saturday night) at the old Dia space on West 22nd Street organized by X Initiative. The crowning achievement–literally–is a lounge designed by LA-based architect Jeffery Inaba and his eponymous firm. An amusing if uncertain follow-up to Dan Graham’s former installation, the new piece, entitled Pool Noodle Roof, is meant to provide both comfort and unease. Read More

Winning Combination: Dumplings and Design

Other
Monday, June 22, 2009
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Photo courtesy Masterson

What do we love more than Dim Sum? Not much… But how about design and biking and Dim Sum? This Saturday LA arts incubator De Lab (Design East of La Brea) put together this genius combination, with a bike tour that left from LA’s Highland Park neighborhood and wound up in Chinatown. Read More

In da COOLHAUS

Other
Thursday, June 11, 2009
.

What happens when an ice cream-obsessed design writer meets two ice cream slinging architects? She makes a video! Our dear friend, colleague, and (now) hero Alissa Walker (aka Gelatobaby) recently swung by the COOLHAUS truck, where she chats with the two proprietors about the inspiration, construction, and popular explosion of their architecturally delicious desserts. One Cinnamoneo, please! (To find out where the truck’ll be, follow COOLHAUS on Twitter.)

Eavesdrop: Conventions Go CABoom

Eavesdroplet
Thursday, June 4, 2009
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As promised, here’s Sara’s inaugural Eavesdrop ALERT. Have at it.

CA Boom, which grandly bills itself as “North America’s Only Multi-Discipline Non-traditional Design Show,” will be exhibiting for the sixth time over the last weekend in June at a larger venue this year in Beverly Hills. That very same weekend, Dwell Magazine will return to the Los Angeles Convention Center with its own heavily branded trade show, Dwell on Design, billed less grandly as “The West Coast’s Largest Modern Design Event.” An embarrassment of riches or a conundrum for vendors who can’t be in two places at the same time? Read More

P!LA: SynthE-sizing Dinner

Other
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
.

On Saturday, before we headed over to the Standard for my star turn on the media panel, Sam Lubell and I first swung by the Flat, home to celebrated LA restaurant Blue Velvet. We were there for an event hosted by colleague and co-panelist Alyssa Walker, part of her de Lab (design east of LaBrea) series. SCI-arc professor and hunk Alexis Rochas had installed easily the coolest green roof we’ve ever seen on top of the condo, and two dozen or so people had shown up for a tour, followed by a most-interesting lunch. Read More

P!LA: By Car

Other
Sunday, April 5, 2009
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Downtown. (All photos Matt Chaban)

Downtown. (All photos Matt Chaban)

What better way to see LA than the way she was intended, by car. My colleague Sam Lubell was kind enough to chauffeur me around the city from time to time–when he wasn’t, the buses were surprisingly nice, far more so than in New York, I must admit. While Sam drove, I did my best to take a few pictures. Read More

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