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Events

Barton Myers: Works of Architecture and Urbanism
September 12–December 12, 2014
With works as varied as a Vidal Sassoon Salon from 1968, the U.S. Expo Pavilion in Seville, Spain in 1992, and his steel houses, this exhibit will present an overview of almost fifty years of architecture. Barton Myers first attracted attention in the late 1960s for his civic buildings and urban projects in Canada. He returned to the United States in 1984 to open a Los Angeles office and became known for his performing arts centers, campus buildings, and steel houses among many projects. 

The Barton Myers papers were donated to the Architecture and Design Collection of the AD&A Museum, UC Santa Barbara in 2000.  The archive covers Myers’s work from 1968 through 2002 and includes sketches and computer drawings, watercolors, images by well-known photographers, detailed study models and models of blocks-long sections of cities, as well as research notes, correspondence, lectures, and writings.

The West Hollywood Design District Presents Decades of Design 1948–2014
November 19, 2014–February 2015
The first-ever retrospective exhibition uncovering, examining and celebrating six decades of rich design history in West Hollywood. The curated ­­gallery will showcase design pioneers and present tastemakers through bold graphics, photographs and original product.

RICS Development Series Los Angeles 2014: Wilshire Grand Center
November 20, 2014
Join RICS Southern California chapter for the launch of their Los Angeles Development Series seminar, which takes an in-depth look at the development and construction of the upscale, world-class Wilshire Grand Project in downtown LA.

Innovation and Design Excellence in Healthcare Facilities Design: Today and Tomorrow
November 21, 2014
Hosted by AIA Los Angeles and AIA San Francisco, Future Care: Design for Health is a one-day healthcare symposium featuring the top minds in healthcare planning, design and construction. Speakers will address the rapidly changing healthcare environment and how these changes impact what healthcare providers need from the design and construction community.

Heath Ceramics Annual Sale
November 21–25, 2014
Heath's annual sale at their locations in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Sausalito offer deals on merchandise along with special presentations.

FOG Design + Art Fair
January 15–18, 2015
Benefiting the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA), FOG Design+Art is a four-day celebration and exploration of modern and contemporary design, architecture, and art with dynamic exhibits, custom installations, art galleries, lectures, and discussions with leaders in the art and design worlds.

 

 

Competitions

Registration Opens: October 1
Breaking New Ground
The California Endowment

Deadlne: November 30
Sir Geoffrey Jellicoe Award
International Federation of Landscape Architects (IFLA)

Deadline: December 8

2015 Diversity Scholarship
Gensler

Deadline: December 15
2015 Preservation Awards
Santa Monica Conservancy 

Deadline: December 31
Kitchen Design Contest
Wolf and Sub-Zero 

Deadline: January 16
Ceramics of Italy Tile Competition 2015
Ceramics of Italy 

Deadline: February 23
I Like Design
Interiors & Sources 

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Monday
Nov042013

Book Review: The Building Impulse

By Michael Webb

Why We Build: Power and Desire in Architecture. Rowan Moore (HarperDesign, $30).

Rowan Moore is the outspoken architectural critic of The Observer, one of the last serious newspapers in Britain—a market increasingly dominated by tawdry tabloids. His commentaries on new buildings can be found on the Web site of The Guardian, a liberal daily owned by the same non-profit trust. In Why We Build, he has stepped back to reflect on a broad swathe of architecture and the forces that shape it.

These 10 essays are written in a deceptively quiet tone. In contrast to Ian Nairn and Reyner Banham—earlier British critics who took a holistic view of architecture—Moore rarely expresses an opinion, which makes his deadpan descriptions of the construction frenzy in Dubai, the vulgarity of a mega-mansion in Atlanta, and a decaying park of Soviet achievement in Moscow all the more damning. He analyses a baroque church in Munich and the Pompidou’s exposed ducts as exercises in set design. He punctures inflated reputations and gently mocks the shameless bragging of dictators and developers. But he recognizes merit in unlikely places: the underrated Lina Bo Bardi in Brazil, the speculative development of West London in the mid-19th century, and Bijlmer, a planned community in Amsterdam, which was widely derided but is now making a comeback. I’ve had the good fortune to see many of the places Moore describes, and I am dazzled by his insights. 

What makes Why We Build so engaging is the way Moore leaps from one example to another, finding common threads that link seemingly unrelated projects. And he’s a master of description, as in this recollected encounter: “A handbag is placed on the table in front of me, white and gold and tsarist, Fabergé in its intensity of ornament, but also futurist. By this I know that Zaha Hadid, possibly the most famous living architect, is arriving. The bag-carrying assistant melts away, and as I look out of the first-floor window of the Victorian schoolhouse where she has her office, I see the architect emerge into spring sunshine out of a pearly Chrysler Voyager. She has just been driven from her airy, all white rooftop flat, two hundred yards away.” Moore segues into a self-deprecating account of his unsuccessful effort to realize Hadid’s first building in Britain, an ambitious home for the Architectural Foundation, which he then headed. That provokes a discussion of other costly overruns—from the Casa Mila to a Palladio church in Venice, and how often these are justified by the chance of creating an enduring masterpiece. The chapter is titled "Form Follows Finance" and it embraces a dozen other instances of extravagance, frugality and short-sighted economies.

The breadth and depth of Moore’s commentary are inspiring. Though it’s cheaply produced, the book is well-illustrated and a bargain at the price. One should be grateful that at least one commercial American publisher is still commissioning intelligent books on architecture. It will make be a welcome gift for any thoughtful architect or a friend who wants to understand how the profession works.

 

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