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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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« 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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