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Events 

Venice/Santa Monica Modern Home Tour
May 3, 2014

The Venice/Santa Monica Modern Home Tour gives L.A. residents a chance to explore and view some of the greatest examples of modern architecture right in their own area, via self-guided driving tour. Attendees learn from homeowners what it's like to live in a modern home and find out where the architects got their inspiration - directly from the architects themselves. The tour is self-guided and self-driven, allowing guests to explore these modern treasures at their own pace.

RICSSummit of the Americas Toronto 2014

May 4-6, 2014
RICS Summit of the Americas 2014 is for any real estate professional looking to draw from timely, in-depth market knowledge that will be shared by local and international experts in the land, property and construction sectors. The summit will provide an excellent opportunity to connect with top professionals from around the world and engage in educational seminars and premier discussion forums.

Heath Open Studio Events
May 9–11
The traditional Spring event, where Heath opens the doors to the factory and studio so visitors can explore both Heath's history, as well as current projects and collections, will be held at the company's San Franciso, Sausalito and Los Angeles locations.

Sonoma Living: Home Tours
May 10, 2014
AIA San Francisco and AIA Redwood Empire are excited to announce Sonoma Living: Home Tours, a new home tours program for 2014. Sonoma Living will showcase a wide variety of architectural styles, neighborhoods, and residences—all from the architect's point of view. The program provides design enthusiasts and the general public with an inside look into the world of distinctive residences in Sonoma county. Tour participants have the opportunity to see some of the area's latest residential projects from the inside out, meet design teams, explore housing trends, and discover design solutions that inspire unique Sonoma living.

de LaB Presents an Eastside Home Tour: Architects at Home
May 10, 2014
De LaB presents its second annual Eastside home tour, “Architects at Home,” on May 10th from 12:00-4:00 p.m. The popular tour will explore homes designed and built by architects for their own families. A sense of experimentation, playfulness, inspiration, and a creative approach to budget constraints pervade these homes.

The Venice Art Walk
May 18, 2014
The proud tradition of artists and volunteers providing health care to their neighbors in need and the celebration of Venice’s vibrant artistic culture continues today. This event is free and open to the public and features a highly anticipated 350 piece art auction, live entertainment, and an impressive lineup of gourmet food trucks. Participants can purchase tickets to highly regarded Architecture Tours that held throughout the year and/or view exclusive art studios that will be featured on the day of Venice Art Walk & Auctions.

Design for Social Impact
May 25–August 3, 2014
Based on the idea that design is a way of looking at the world with an eye for changing it, the Museum of Design Atlanta (MODA) presents Design for Social Impact, an original exhibition offering a look at how designers, engineers, students, professors, architects and social entrepreneurs use design to solve the problems of the 21st century.

Celebrate: Groundswell
June 28, 2014
A+D Architecture and Design Museum > Los Angeles (A+D) celebrates its 13th year of cutting edge exhibitions and progressive architecture and design programs with its annual gala and fundraiser.

 

Competitions

Deadline: April 25
Call for Entries (Student Awards) 
ASLA

Deadline: May 18
Imagine Hillandale
Imagine Hillandale

Deadline: June 1 
AIA|LA 2014 Design Awards Program Registration 
AIA|LA

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

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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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