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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.

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.

RICS Development Series Los Angeles 2014: Wilshire Grand Center
November 20, 2014
Join RICS Southern California chapter for the launch of their Los Angeles Development Series seminar, which takes an in-depth look at the development and construction of the upscale, world-class Wilshire Grand Project in downtown LA.

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.

FOG Design + Art Fair
January 15–18, 2015
Benefiting the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA), FOG Design+Art is a four-day celebration and exploration of modern and contemporary design, architecture, and art with dynamic exhibits, custom installations, art galleries, lectures, and discussions with leaders in the art and design worlds.

 

 

Competitions

Registration Opens: October 1
Breaking New Ground
The California Endowment

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

Deadline: December 8

2015 Diversity Scholarship
Gensler

Deadline: December 15
2015 Preservation Awards
Santa Monica Conservancy 

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

Deadline: January 16
Ceramics of Italy Tile Competition 2015
Ceramics of Italy 

Deadline: February 23
I Like Design
Interiors & Sources 

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« Workbook: The Specifics at The General | Main | Workbook: Car Rental Rethought »
Thursday
Aug012013

Workbook: The Music of Architecture

Bamboo arches, designed by Portland State University Architecture students, form the threshold at Pickathon, a three-day music festival held just outside the city. Image courtesy Portland State University.Summer. The season of outdoor festivals and, it seems, innovative, temporary structures that seem to capture the fleeting pleasures of the season itself. At Pickathon, a three-day music event held just outside of Portland, Oregon, the two have converged. It all started last year, when the director of Portland State University’s architecture program, Clive R. Knights, and Zale Schoenborn, one of Pickathon’s key players, began talking about engaging PSU students in a design-build project for a structure that would serve as the event’s main entry point.

Enter Travis Bell, an assistant professor of architecture, who teaches design and sustainable architecture at the university (he also happens to be a regular PIckathon attendee). “We started brainstorming about how it would take shape in the fall,” explains Bell.  “In the winter studio class, we began to look at gates or thresholds and came up with the conceptual designs.”

By the time the summer term rolled around, things kicked into high gear. That studio class, which included a number of veterans from the winter session, started poring over the initial concepts, using those as a jumping off point and zeroing in on some of their most promising principles.

What followed is an evolution Bell describes as a magical: “We went through a consensus-based design process. The students shared their thoughts, had discussions and did a lot of drawing and modeling. There was no vote, and they all had ownership of the process.” At the end of three weeks, the students had a final design—and were simultaneously harvesting the bamboo for the structure at a local nursery.

With the festival opening today, the site has been transformed into a small city with people, lights and generators. A few weeks ago, though, it was an open field, where “we parked ourselves and started building,” says Bell. “Some students even camped there.” Once on location, the project evolved somewhat based on input from the festival organizers, as well as the reality of the site’s conditions and the condition of the bamboo itself (most notably that it got stiffer as it dried). 

The completed structure serves as a powerful counterpoint to the fabric installations that serve as one of the key visual elements at Pickathon. As the design of the structures took shape, “we wanted to do something sympathetic to them but wouldn’t mimic them,” says Bell. To that end, the bamboo has something of the sensuousness of textiles but still registers a solid materiality. The first structure festival-goers enter is a series of twisting, curving, wrapping arches composed of bundles of bamboo. The organic feel of the initial experience yields to “a more formal geometry,” says Bell, in the shape of an oculus that spreads out in waves.

In the end, "We wanted to make sure that it didn’t feel like people dropped off bamboo and built inutuively," says Bell. Instead, the finished structures balance a lyric sponteneity along with a structural rigor—almost like music. 

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