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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.

Archtoberfest San Diego 2014
October 1–30, 2014
Archtoberfest San Diego 2014 is a collaboratively-operated initiative aimed at establishing an annual, month-long program of public events and activities pertaining to architecture, design, planning and sustainability.

ACADIA 2014 Design Agency Conference
October 23–24, 2014
DESIGN AGENCY will bring together the spectrum of research and creative practice currently occurring within the ACADIA community through the combined support of the research networks of the University of Southern California, University of California Los Angeles and Southern California Institute of Architecture. Questions the capacity for computation to inform or challenge traditional design processes; computation as design operation - the capacity, condition, or state of acting or of exerting power, and/or computation as design instrumentality - the design mechanism through which power is exerted or an end is achieved.

ASLA SoCal Chapter Quality of Life Design Awards
October 23, 2014
The Southern California chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects holds its biennial awards, honoring excellence in designs originating in one of the nation's largest chapters and executed across the globe. 77 Projects were submitted and over 40 were awarded by our esteemed jurors in the categories of Design, Planning and Analysis, Communication, Student, and Concepts, Ideas and Theories.

2014 Design Awards Gala
October 29, 2014
The 2014 AIA|LA Design Awards location and date has been set for this year. We are excited to host you at the Heart of Downtown Los Angeles with the ceremony at the Million Dollar Theater and the reception at Grand Central Market. Join us at this amazing and historic venue to honor our winners and honorees.

LA Conservancy Presents "We Heart Garden Apartments!”
November 1, 2014

Imagine living in a garden oasis in the middle of America’s second-largest city. Thousands of people do, and it’s a unique and endangered way of life in development-prone L.A. Here’s a chance to see what life is like in historic garden apartments, “villages in the city” that could never be built today.

New Urbanism Film Festival
November 6–9, 2014
The primary goal of the New Urbanism Film Festival is to renew the dialogue about urban planning with a broader audience. The Festival brings in movies, short films, speakers, on the topics of architecture, public health, bicycle advocacy, urban design, public transit, inner-city gardens, to name a few.

de LaB's Making LA Conference

November 7, 2014
During the conference, we'll be exploring the themes of Water, Transportation, Density and Community. Our hope is to hear from a diverse range of practitioners, city officials, makers and artists who are deeply involved in/committed to these themes. We're looking to include conversations, videos, slideshows and presentations about projects that are currently in development and recently completed that are promising to shape the future of Los Angeles. Our goal is to showcase ideas, visions, projects and more that explore how Los Angeles can make huge strides in terms of water conservation, transit richness, urban density and important community initiatives. Current confirmed speakers for the water section include: Deborah Weintraub, Deborah Deets, Carol Armstrong, Omar Brownson, WeTap, among others. Other conference speakers include Moby, Mayor Aja Brown, and representative from Side Streets Projects and Resilient Cities, among many others.

What's Out There Weekend Los Angeles—The Public Landscapes of Ralph Cornell
November 8–9, 2014
This What’s Out There Weekend focuses on the built legacy of Los Angeles-based landscape architect Ralph Cornell, who studied at Pomona College and Harvard University, and opened one of the city’s first landscape architecture practices in 1919. Considered by some "the Olmsted of Los Angeles," Cornell is known for his design restraint and thoughtful use of indigenous plantings. His work can be seen throughout Southern California, including Beverly Gardens Park, the UCLA campus, Hillside Memorial Park, downtown LA’s Civic Center, and the restoration of the historic grounds at the National Historic Landmark-designated Rancho Los Cerritos. This What's Out There Weekend features free, expert-led tours of more than a dozen significant Cornell-designed landscapes in greater Los Angeles. 


USGBC-Los Angeles’10th Annual Green Gala

November 13, 2014
The Los Angeles Chapter of the nonprofit U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC-LA) will host the Chapter’s 10th Annual Green Gala on Thursday, November 13, 2014, from 6:30 – 10:30pm at the Avalon Hollywood in Los Angeles, CA. The Green Gala is recognized as the single largest annual vehicle for communication, celebration and bridge-building among those who think, act, design and build greener throughout the County of Los Angeles and its metropolitan areas.

DIEM: Design Intersects Everything Made

November 14, 2014

West Hollywood Design District presents the 3rd annual DIEM: Design Intersects Everything Made, a one-day design symposium that offers culturally resonating discussions, panels and keynotes from leaders in the fields of design, decorative arts, fashion, architecture and fine arts.

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.

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.

 

 

 

 

Competitions

Registration Opens: October 1
Breaking New Ground
The California Endowment

Deadline: October 31

Show Us Your Baldwin
Baldwin

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

Deadline: December 8

2015 Diversity Scholarship
Gensler

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

Deadline: February 23
I Like Design
Interiors & Sources 

FORM Event Images

Industry Partners

  

  




















 

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Thursday
May302013

Building Your Business: A Conversation with Meg Touborg

A conversation with Meg Touborg kicks off a new series on building and managing your design business. Image courtesy Meg Touborg/Metworks Inc.Your ideas are great. Your projects are spectacular. But, when it comes to the nuts and bolts of running a business—any kind of business—all of us can always use a little guidance. From marketing and public relations to intellectural property and employment law to human resources and finance, maintaining and growing a successful firm means a lot of moving parts. We're pleased to present the first in a series of conversations with experts outside of architecture and design whom we've asked to weigh in with tips, suggestions and ideas on the ingredients that go into a building a thriving practice. Our hope is that each one will get you thinking big and strategically.

Up first is a chat with Meg Touborg, of Metworks Inc., a strategic advisory firm that provides marketing intelligence to architects, designers and companies serving the design industry. She is also the co-founder of the Leaders of Design Council, a membership organization for the top architects and designers in America. We're delighted to have had the chance to chat with her about the benefits of getting published and how building a comprehensive marketing strategy still relies on the human touch. 

Why are designers focused on getting published? What are the benefits?

Having design work appear in print or online is such a well-regarded form of both professional publicity and personal recognition. This achievement virtually guarantees that lots of eyes (depending on the medium that could be over tens of thousands!) might see images of your ideas brought to life with your name attached. In addition to the broad exposure, you can use the content on your Web site and in your social media forums with the tacit endorsement of an esteemed third party—the editor. And, when presenting to a prospective individual client, your work is perceived to be enhanced by its publication, without having to brag! There is great impact to having a beautiful magazine on the presentation table. Finally, these days, being published in a print national or regional magazine is even more of a “coup” than ever before as the number of publications is directionally half what it was five years ago; and, among the survivors, there are even fewer issues. So the competition for print exposure is fierce and being included is an impressive statement about the quality and novelty of your work. 

You mention increased competition for print coverage. What about online?

For every action, there is a reaction—and as print vehicles contract, online forums have not only expanded in numbers but also improved dramatically in content, graphics, popularity and format. Designers can now seek coverage in a variety of forums and build enduring relationships with online editors. In the digital versions of print publications, while there is still a rigorous selection process, editors have more leeway with digital page counts. And, lead times are considerably shorter than with print issues allowing for less delay between installation and exposure. The “pass on” value is considerable when you consider how easy it is for an online magazine or blog to forward the article an infinite number of times, or to store it in a electronic file for future reference—even easier than “swiping” pages used to be in the olden days.  Also, there are dedicated digital magazines, which have gained considerable clout with their advances in quality content and increased circulation. And, with digital content, adding links to your own Web site and social media is both easy and tidy; even more directly, links can also be incorporated to prospective client letters or digital marketing collateral. In this way, online media coverage of your design work offers the same third party endorsement benefits as print coverage—yet, with even more convenient pass-along capabilities.

Your comments have been oriented to designers/architects, but what about manufacturers?

Exactly the same constraints for editorial coverage in print vehicles, and the same opportunities within digital media. In fact, there can be the ability to more rigorously trace an on-line referral or enquiry by identifying the source of click-thrus, thus verifying the usefulness of exposure (whether by free editorial coverage or by paid advertising).

For all this attention and effort to get published, does it really lead to new business?

 In my experience, the answer is . . . Unknown! As we discussed before, having your work published is important and attractive for credibilty and broad market exposure, and I would add for a sense of “posterity” for those of us on the “older” side. These elements may also assist with other aspect of business development, such as establishing credibility in obtaining partnerships, business collaborations, and even employee recruiting. However, regarding actually gaining a new paying client for design services, it is hard to say. As the reader audience is broad, you have no way of knowing if your exact target client is reading that exact target publication and will notice your feature and your name and contact you and sign on! So many factors.

So what does?

In my work with many individual architects and interior designers, and in confidential surveys I have conducted, I have learned over and over that “personal referrals” are the number one source of new clients, by a wide margin. Successful businesses, regardless of industry, thrive on personal relationships developed with mutual trust and chemistry and held together with shared interests both economic and cultural.

In practical terms, what does this mean for designers’ marketing strategy?

It means that the client you have today is the greatest possible lead to the client of tomorrow. Their friends, colleagues and family are all likely prospects—and also they are a chance for repeat business for a new project (renovation, second or multiple home, commercial versus residential et cetera). More broadly, the successful client you have today can also be a model for the new, unknown clients you seek. What are the special aspects of their needs, and your design services, and that made you a good all-around match with your client? Where can you find more people with these specific profiles? For instance, if your best and most profitable projects have been renovating beach cottages, identify ways to penetrate similar coastal communities to find homeowners in need of your specialty. Publications—yes, as we have discussed—but also through networking with other professionals of your caliber (architects, builders, landscapers, realtors, and other specialists) through speaking or other public engagements and through civic associations where you could volunteer your time (doing well by doing good too!).

How does social media play into this communication strategy?

It is an increasingly important component. Earlier in our conversation, we discussed all the benefits of digital publications—and these are true for social media, which are, in effect, “self-published” forums! No matter your age or experience, in today’s business world, if you do not participate in social media, you do not “exist.” Brutal, but true. What is critical to understand, and to implement, is that you are in control of your online image and forums, exactly as you are in print and in person. What this means is use the vehicles that suit your professional goals. Pinterest is a great one, Instagram and Tumblr too, for designers to show their work and personalities to prospective clients. Have an entry on Linked In with your years of experience and education posted to demonstrate your professionalism to other tradespeople as well as to clients. You might consider simple videos taken of your work, or of yourself describing your firm’s specialties and experience, and post these through Vimeo links to your Web site. 

Enroll in all social media to “own” and thus control your own firm name, but do not feel obligated to post anything beyond firm contacts. Never publish any content that does not reflect your values or your aesthetics, or delegate to a staff member who has not demonstrated the “authentic” voice of your firm or company. You wouldn’t ask a junior designer to write a client letter and send it without your approval, so treat your on-line persona with the same old-fashioned standards of care.

How do you get designers and architects to “think different” re: the ingrained model of publish or perish?

One of the legacies of the recession, for many of us, is that the pipeline of new business can never be full enough! Only the firms and companies with sufficient momentum going into that economic storm survived. So, I think many designers and design-driven companies are alert to thinking strategically about their new business development efforts, and to realizing that marketing your talents means communicating your skills and attributes aggressively wherever your target clients are likely to read, research and network for their professional design resources.

 

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