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Events

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.

Japanese Design Today 100
June 27–July 19, 2014
The Japan Foundation presents the World premiere of the exhibition Japanese Design Today 100, which opens at UCLA’s Department of Architecture & Urban Design at Perloff Hall. This exhibition showcases the Designscape of contemporary Japan through 100 objects of Japanese design: 89 objects created since 2010 that are well known in Japan, as well as 11 objects that represent the origin of Japanese post-war modern product design. These 100 product designs are displayed in 10 categories: Classic Japanese Design, Furniture & Housewares, Tableware & Cookware, Apparel & Accessories, Children, Stationery, Hobbies, Healthcare, Disaster Relief, and Transportation.

BAM/PFA New Building Topping Out Celebration
July 17, 2014
Construction is nearing midpoint at the downtown Berkeley site of the future home of the University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAM/PFA). Workers will soon be erecting the last of the steel beams that form the frame of this dynamic building. To celebrate this important milestone, BAM/PFA invites its Bay Area friends and neighbors to a “topping out” ceremony on Addison Street, between Shattuck Avenue and Oxford Street.

39th Annual American Craft Council San Francisco Show
August 8–10, 2014

The American Craft Council returns to San Francisco for its 39th Annual American Craft Council San Francisco Show this August 8-10, 2014 at Fort Mason Center. As the largest juried fine craft show on the West Coast, the 2014 San Francisco Show is expected to draw more than 12,000 fine craft collectors and design enthusiasts.

Conversations in Place 2014
August 10, 2014
ow in its third year, Conversations in Place 2014 begins another series of illuminating explorations of “Southern California – Yesterday and Tomorrow” at the historic Rancho Los Alamitos. The 4-part series begins Sunday, August 10 and continues through Sunday, November 2. The series begins with W. Richard West, Jr, President and CEO of The Autry National Center of the American West, Milford Wayne Donaldson, FAIA, chairman of the United States Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, and Pamela Seager, Executive Director of Rancho Los Alamitos, and Architect Stephen Farneth, FAIA, founding partner of the award-winning historic preservation firm Architectural Resources Group, in conversation about the place of museums and historic sites in shaping the story of Southern California. Can these institutions escape the straightjacket of the time to better interpret history to the 21st century?

NOW AND NEXT 2014 Symposium on Technology for Design and Construction
August 13–15, 2014
Meet thought leaders and colleagues interested in architecture, engineering, construction, open BIM Exchange, software trends and more. Learn about the innovations that are moving companies and people forward
including: where and how design and delivery is shifting; which software applications are transformative; best practices for collaborative project delivery; how to engage with the global BIM community. Connect with and hear from the best and the brightest such as Jordan Brandt, AutoDesk; Deke Smith, buildingSMART alliance; Ray Topping, Fiatech; Bill East, Prairie  Sky Consulting (formerly of the US Army Corps of Engineers).

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.

New Urbanism Film Festival
November 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. 

 

Competitions

Deadline: August 18
Fabric
Formabilio


Deadline: September 2
Hansgrohe+Axor Das Design Competition
Hansgrohe+Axor


Deadline: September 5

2014 Designer Dream Bath Competition
Duravit

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

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Tuesday
Aug062013

Exhibitions: Worst-Laid Plans: Design Disasters That Were ‘Never Built’


A rendering of the proposed Causeway, off Santa Monica. It's one of the more regrettable, and fortunately unbuilt, design ideas that appear in Never Built Los Angeles, the new exhibition at the A+D Museum. Image courtesy A+D Museum.

By Jack Skelley

Never Built Los Angeles, the A+D Museum exhibit co-curated by Sam Lubell and Greg Goldin and designed by Clive Wilkinson Architects, is the talk of the town. The project (plus a staggeringly comprehensive book) spotlights significant places and plans imagined for the city that couldn’t get off the drawing board.

There are many sighs of regret for excellence that might have been; the “visionary works that had the greatest potential to reshape the city,” as the curators state. In his thoughtful review, Los Angeles Times architecture critic Chris Hawthorne terms the show a “revelatory… attempt to corral the city's most beautiful architectural ghosts.”

Implicit in this lament is the truth that Los Angeles has far too often been an architectural and planning disaster. If only, for example, the powers-that-be had embraced the Olmsted Brothers proposal to unite the city through extensive new parks, we wouldn’t be one of the most greenspace deprived cities in the world. (That plan is an exhibit highlight.) Or, if only they hadn’t dismantled the Red Car streetcar system and erected those community-carving freeways, our neighborhoods might thrive much more dynamically.

But the show is as much “thank goodness” as “if only…” It proves the city wisely aborted a rogues’ gallery of hideous monuments to greed, ego or now-discredited design trends. 

Its most jolting examples include Santa Monica Causeway—a late 1960s scheme to span a freeway across the bay using 120 million cubic yards of fill from the Santa Monica Mountains. The only suitable response to such a monstrosity should be, “Are you freaking kidding?” But at the zenith of freeway worship and promoted by the city of Santa Monica and L.A. Mayor Sam Yorty, it took a veto by Governor Pat Brown to kill the thing.

Other misbegotten plans are dangerously cloaked in architecture du jour. Lloyd Wright's 1925 Civic Center Plan appears to be a Fritz Lang Metropolis–style fortress with the defective vision of many successive “improvements” of Downtown L.A.: Purporting to renew the city, it risks smashing an authentic urban fabric with mega monoliths. This is the same mentality that in the 1960s bulldozed the priceless Victorian neighborhood atop Bunker Hill to impose a financial and entertainment district (The Music Center) that already existed downhill on Spring Street.

During my decade as an editor of L.A. Downtown News, I was privy to a parade of such plans, large and small. Today, some more worthy ones still cling to the drawing board. Others may be, mercifully, “Never Built.” 

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