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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.

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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Hidden
« Showroom: Dreaming in Plywood | Main | Book Review: Crucible of Invention »
Tuesday
Jan142014

Books: Digging into Dingbats

The outgrowth of an exhibition, a new book examines LA's ubiquitous dingbat apartment buildings. Image courtesy Dingbat 2.0.

If you’ve spent any time exploring LA, you’ve seen a dingbat. They’re everywhere—boxy apartment buildings with names like The Palms or The Tropics. Over the years, architects have had something of a love/hate relationship with them. On the one hand, “their relentless efficiency,” as architect Thurman Grant calls it, is noteworthy, while their grim aesthetics (out of step with the romance their monikers conjure up) have not helped their reputation. 

If not getting an image boost, exactly, a new book, Dingbat 2.0, will be the first to turn a critical eye to the dingbat’s place in Los Angeles’s urban fabric. It’s an outgrowth of a 2010 exhibition, competition and related panel discussions organized by the LA Forum for Architecture and Urban Design that explored the structures from a variety of perspectives. “Dingbats grew out of the margins,” explains Grant, who, with Joshua G. Stein, is editing the publication. “They weren’t really created by architects; they were developer driven.” Designed to maximize profits, dingbats packed as many units as possible under their roofs—on lots typically intended for single-family homes.

The publication will be divided into three sections. In the first, architectural critics, artists and urban theorists, among them Barbara Bestor, Wim de Witt and Judy Fiskin, will explore the building type from a range of perspectives. Section two presents a primer on the type. “There’s a lot of ambiguity as to what makes it a dingbat,” says Thurman. “We don’t think we’re giving an exact definition but are framing a vision.” The final section will examine the continued impact that the dingbat has on Los Angeles today as well as its future. As a jumping off point, the winning entries from the group’s Dingbat 2.0 competition will frame the discussion.

“Dingbats,” says Grant, “are very slippery creatures. That’s part of the reason we did this. They’re a really loaded building type and specific to LA and the southwest in general. This is what the LA Forum does: We look at things that aren not talked about as much as they could be—these are hiding in plain sight.”

To see the project through, Stein and company have turned to Kickstarter. To learn more about it and to contribute, visit their Kickstarter page.

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