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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 

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Tuesday
Jul302013

Designing the Future: A Conversation with Richard Ong

Among his early career highlights, a bench of his design was featured at the Furniture Society's booth at this years ICFF. Image courtesy, Richard Ong.

As part of our on-going series of interviews with young architects and designers, we're bringing you a conversation with Richard Ong. Ong received his undergraduate degree in biology at Bowdoin college and is now at MIT, completing his M.Arch. This spring, a design of his—a bench—was included, along with other student work, in the Furniture Society's booth at ICFF. Not too shabby considering it's only the second piece of furniture he has designed. We're pleased to share his thoughts on biology, architecture and design.

How did you get interested in architecture and furniture design?

From a young age, I was always  interested in design. I really enjoy figuring out how things work and relating form to function. I was definitely the kid that liked taking things apart simply to see what was inside—much to the dismay of my parents, when I could not put them quite back together again. Hopefully, now that I am little older, I am a little more proficient at fixing than breaking.

I started college thinking that I was going to major in both biology and studio art, among my two passions. I ultimately decided to focus on biology and have art as something I just did for myself, because to be frank, college was academically kicking my butt, and I needed to be completely focused if I wanted any chance of succeeding. It was not until my senior year when I just happened to take an introductory architecture course that I even considered architecture/design as a career. Honestly, I took the class just because it sounded cool and interesting. I owe a very large part of my development to my teacher, Wiebke Theodore. Her passion and excitement for the field was incredibly infectious to say the least. She showed and inspired me to believe in all the good and amazing things that architecture/design could do for people, society and our planet. The only real desire I have for a career is to know that I can contribute to something meaningful; she made me believe architecture/design could do that. I have no doubt she was the catalyst for my future in design.

As for furniture design, again I saw a class being offered that sounded cool and interesting and decided to try it. I just took it because it was something new to learn and I missed working with my hands. I remember having to convince Chris Dewart to let me into the class because I missed the registration deadline. It seems like my philosophy for life has been, “Hmm, that sounds cool and interesting, let’s see where that takes me.”

What was the first piece of furniture you ever made?

The bench that was featured at the ICFF was actually my second piece that I made, prior to that I made a chair for Chris’ class. I liked it, but it did not turn out as nice as I would have liked it to. I am planning on doing a reinterpretation of it in the style of my bench and using similar techniques.

Did you have an “ah ha” moment in terms of your career, or did it happen more gradually?

I worked really hard in college but never pulled a true all-nighter, I just could not do it. While taking that intro architecture course I found myself working a lot. One night while I was working at my studio desk, I saw the sun rising. I remember looking over and thinking, “Huh, that’s nice,” then turning back to my desk and continuing my drawing.

What sorts of things inspire you?

I love science and biology, the natural world is so inspiring. Form and function is completely related; there is nothing superfluous. Things are just elegant.

Who are you favorite designers?

For architects I would have to say Alvar Aalto. His attention to detail is just stunning. Big monumental gestures are great and all, but I love details, especially ones that are well-crafted and executed as they relate to their intended purposes. It really is the little things that matter. It is simply amazing how Aalto describes the profiles of stair railings or door knobs and their relation to someone’s hand while grasping and experiencing the moments of interaction. I also love the works of Robert Maillart. His bridges are just beyond beautiful. He has a way of scripting things so effortlessly and simply that it just leaves you in awe. I am a pretty big science geek, so I also love how he manipulates moments. I really do enjoy a well-drawn moment diagram; especially ones that are highly sophisticated but come across as, “Oh duh, of course, I could have done that, maybe”. Did I prove my nerdiness?

What do you see as trends in your field?

Hmmm, can I say what I would like to see? I would really like to see a return to craftsmanship. With labor being expensive and materials being cheap, it seems like the trend is just to add material redundancy over redundancy. I think we should invest more in skills by emphasizing smart designs that take advantage of materials and appropriate forms that meet contextual demands rationally and intelligently. Rafael Guastavino’s tile vaults are a prime example of exquisite craftsmanship that employs minimal materials but demands experience and expertise. It would be great to see a shift towards people and skills rather than profits and resource wastes.

What is your design process like? Are you a sketcher, a tinkerer, a computer guy?

I definitely learn best through doing. I like the physical feedback of working with my hands and actually building something. Most of the time I will get an idea and then just harp on it in my mind while doing everything. The best ideas seem to come in the few moments just before falling asleep. Of course the problem then is that I cannot sleep, because, once I finally figured out how to do something, I need to get up and do it. It is usually fine when I just want to run to my computer and model a few things, but it can be frustrating when I want to get to the shop and just put something together. It is probably a good thing that they lock the woodshop at night; I do not think the neighbors would appreciate the table saw going off at three in the morning. My science background has me constantly looking for mistakes and wanting to make minor changes to every possible variable, seeing the results, evaluating, learning then repeating, then repeating, then maybe repeating a few more times. I have a love/hate relationship with making mistakes, because, as much as I hate being wrong, I love learning from them.

What is your all-time favorite object?

Growing up, we lived pretty modestly. We did not have much in the way of toys and such, so I really appreciated any little thing that I could get my hands on. I loved rainy day recesses at school because that meant I could play with the Legos! Those were amazing—I actually still want them, but they are so expensive. My dad noticed how much I loved playing with these blocks, but, of course, it was a luxury that we just could not afford, which I understood. I am not quite sure how I understood at the ripe old age of six or so, but I did. My dad, being as resourceful as he is, came up with an amazing solution. He would bring home the plastic crates that supermarkets used to stack sodas and—“ta da!”—I had giant Lego(ish) blocks to play with. From that, I have learned to appreciate the potential of the things that we have. My favorite object(s) are the things that we tend to overlook but have tremendous potential if given a little love—and who does not need a little love?

What has been your professional highlight so far?

I have a professional life? I feel like I have been in school forever, probably because I have. This summer is the first time I have worked 40 hour weeks—feels a little odd but it has been a great experience. My professional highlights definitely come from the people I meet and their reaction/experience of my work. Some of my favorite moments are when I stand by one of my pieces incognito and someone starts telling me how much they enjoy it. It is always a great reaction/experience when I tell them I am the designer. As for the critics, when I hear them whispering, I tend to two-step my way towards the shadows. However, I am greatly appreciative and humbled by all of the positive feedback that I have received. Heck, I appreciate the negative ones too, but maybe just a little less. 

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