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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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Thursday
Jun062013

Set Design: An Exclusive Chat with Photographer Jenny Okun

Jenny Okun's photographs are the backdrop for LA Opera's production of Dulce Rosa. Image courtesy the Broad Stage.After reading Michael Webb’s review of Dulce Rosa, a new LA Opera production at the Broad Stage adapted from Isabel Allende’s story “Una Venganza,” a few weeks back, we were intrigued about not just the opera. His description of the set, on to which Jenny Okun’s hypnotic photographs are projected, piqued our interest. So we went right to the source to find out more about Okun’s process of creation.

The project took shape over several years—a collaboration that included Okun, her husband, Richard Sparks, and Lee Holdridge. “Lee, Richard and I talked about all the possibilities for years,” recalls Okun. “Then I started working on the images when we got the go ahead with the LA Opera. Richard and Lee worked out the story, then Lee wrote the music, then Richard and Lee edited and refined both story and music together, as I was out roaming the globe to get the shots.”

Roaming the globe in this case for Okun meant crisscrossing Latin America to capture images that would create a mood and tone evoking a South American country in the 1950s. Her travels took her to Costa Rica and Peru, where, in order to get a shot of the docks in Lima, “I needed to hire a car to get into a dangerous area but couldn’t find one,” she says. “Eventually, a driver said he’d drive in one street and out another but wouldn’t stop. I had to roll down the window and shoot from there.”

Once she returned, Okun spent another four months making artworks from the photos she took (ultimately, for the opera’s 14 scenes, she wound up with 200 image changes). “We brought Yael Pardess [the media art director and set designer] into the mix and decided on which images to use,” Okun reports. “She then designed the wall shapes and windows, and I then spent another couple of months rejigging all the images to work with the wall designs.”

Then Okun and the team workshopped the opera three times with singers, piano accompaniment and Holdridge’s digital orchestra tracks, which gave her the outline of the opera to work with as she painstakingly edited and arranged the images to create the final projections. 

In the end, says Okun, “I spent 1,500 hours over two years working on this project.  I have listened to the opera at least 700 times, and now when I see one of my images in the studio, I hear music.”

There’re still two performances remaining at the Broad Stage: Thursday, June 6, and Sunday, June 9. Craig Krull Gallery in Santa Monica is showing Okun’s photographs from the performance through July 9. 

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