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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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Tuesday
Jul092013

The FORM Questionnaire: A Conversation with Vivian Kwok

Vivian Kwok's work at MBH include a Neiman Marcus location in Walnut Creek, California. Image courtesy, MBH.

As part of our ongoing series of interviews with designers and architects, we speak to Vivian Kwok. She's a senior designer at MBH in San Franscisco, where she's worked on projects including a recent Neiman Marcus in Walnut Creek, California. An intensely private person, as you will see below, we're delighted to have her share her thoughts on architecture—and music. 

What direction do you see the profession heading?  

Today, we are seeing more technological advances which directly impact our lifestyle. If it’s through carrying your life in your pocket with your iPhone, connecting with friends and clients on social media, or even tracking down your favorite food truck; it seems that everything is mobile and everything is shared. We see this innovation in architecture as well. The process itself is more collaborative, and clients want mobility and freedom in their architecture to suit the needs of their customers or staff. We are also seeing a wave of modular architecture, which capitalizes on the industry’s ability to design with flexibility in mind. These increasing pushes for mobility and connectivity are very exciting, as they demand innovation in architectural form from the designer.

What buildings inspire you? 

Growing up, one was the Sydney Opera House. As a visual person, I was drawn to the poetic, sculptural architecture of the building, and its incredible use of geometry to create a beautiful performance space. I was inspired by the fact that it was immediately recognizable, an icon known around the world, based not only on its location and importance to the people, but also on its architecture.  

Another place is Louis Kahn’s Salk Institute in San Diego. My appreciation of this building is not only the clean lines and the simple materials that stand the test of time, but also the experience of being in the space. Kahn created an incredible experiential environment, where one walks through the built space into a breathtaking plaza that opens onto the water. This is a structure that uses the surroundings and the coastline in a way that complements and enhances its natural beauty, rather than imposing architecture over the environment.

Recently, I have been fascinated by Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia Cathedral. I am so struck by the fact that it is still under construction today, and that Gaudi had the faith to start a building that would need to be finished by technologies not yet invented. It is an incredible monument to the continuing evolution of architecture, and a beautiful example of architecture as an evolving and living structure.

Where else do you find inspiration?

I grew up playing classical music, so I often find inspiration and reflection in music. Listening to the rhythmic, melodic patterns in the composition of classical music is beautiful and calming to me . . . a great emotional outlet. Additionally, I love nature; forests and ocean beaches are incredible spaces that allow me to relax and think.

Courtesy MBHWhat are your three favorite objects? 

My violin: Through all the years having played the violin, a hobby passed down from my dad, it has become almost like a companion in life, your trusted instrument or voice to channel your emotions. Unfortunately, it has been several years now since I’ve last touched my violin, but I do wish one day soon to be able to pick it back up, to share this passion with the next generation of my family.

My camera: I love taking photos, although these days I take a lot of iPhone photos, because it’s so convenient to use.

My triple insulated stainless steel EcoVessel water bottle! I know it’s strange, but this thing is amazing. I carry it everywhere with me. I love coming back to the car after a long hike baking in the heat and having water that’s still ice cold! 

Who are some of your favorite young architects?

Not necessarily “young,” but I really admire the work of Tod Williams and Billie Tsien; the thoughtfulness behind the materials they use and forms they construct are inspiring. I love the American Folk Museum and was so sad to hear that it may be demolished. As a Cal alum, I enjoy experiencing the majestic UC Berkeley East Asian Library, where their design not only elegantly balanced a mix of materials (stone, concrete, wood, bronze and other metals), but also integrated the use of natural light throughout.

Another favorite is Maya Lin. Although she’s in her 50s now, I think that in my mind she will forever be preserved at the age when she designed the Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial. She was such an important role model to me growing up, as a young Asian woman who challenged everyone’s assumption of who could create a timeless war memorial during a very heated period in history.

Another is Thomas Heatherwick. He came to my attention when he designed the UK Pavillion for the expo in China. His whimsical “Seed Pavilion” had such incredible artistry and naturally inspired design. I recently looked him up and saw that he also designed the flower petal Cauldron for the London Summer Olympic Games! I remember watching in awe during the opening ceremony, the convergence of the separate flames representing each nation into one unified flame, symbolizing the Olympic spirit of peace and togetherness.

If you could live anywhere, where would it be (a location or specific structure)?

I love living close to the ocean, so I’m happy that the Bay Area is my home. Although it’s a little bit cliché, I would love to live in the paradise of Kaua’i. The natural beauty and the ocean are incredible there, and I find it very peaceful.

A decade from now, what trends will be cringeworthy?

There’s no specific designing trend that jumps to mind. I suppose that I dislike faux-material like the decorative exterior foam insulation that is on some buildings now. I like it when designs stay true to the material, rather than finding synthetic substitutes. 

What currents trends will stand the test of time?

The movement towards sustainable green design is gaining more and more momentum. I think that in the future it will become normalized and standard in our industry to build sustainably. As peoples’ impact on the earth becomes increasingly severe, we are going to have to develop more innovative ways of creating green and sustainable buildings.

Color—yes or no?

Yes! There is so much personality in color; it makes people happy.

What are you reading?

I just started Sheryl Sandburg’s Lean In. She’s a very inspiring figure for women, and I’m excited to read it.

What are you wearing? 

Blue jeans, a persimmon colored shirt, a flyaway grey sweater, and a floral scarf that my sister gave me.

What are you eating? 

I’m really bad at eating breakfast, but this morning I had some of those Trader Joe’s coconut chips.

Do you listen to music while you're working?

Yes, when I can, but as I manage more projects, I have to be aware of what is going on around me. If I need to focus in, I like to listen to soundtracks. Joe Hisaishi is one of my favorite classical soundtrack composers—he’s done Nausicaa and Spirited Away among many.

Are you a sketcher or a computer person? 

A mix of them both. If I’m generating ideas, I begin by sketching to draw from any inspiration and to look at the big picture. However, a computer allows you to get into the details, and so much of our work is technologically focused these days.

Social media—yes or no? 

Yes, I use social media to keep in touch with friends and to keep up on the news. However, I am a very private person, and try to minimize what I publish about myself on the internet.

 

 

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