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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.

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.

 

 

 

 

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 

FORM Event Images

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Monday
Feb242014

Book Review: Masterly Survey of a Master Architect 

By Michael Webb

Mies. Detlef Mertins. Phaidon, $150.

The late Detlef  Mertins distilled a lifetime of scholarship and research on Mies van der Rohe into this massive and authoritative survey of the master’s work and thought. Seven hundred drawings and photos illustrate the entire arc of a career that took Mies from Peter Behrens’ office in Berlin to a global practice in Chicago as the primary exponent of international modernism. “Less is more” and “God is in the details,” have become part of the everyday language of architecture. To some he was a god-like figure; others dismissed his buildings—even the best of them—as unlivable, dysfunctional, and authoritarian. It’s time for a reappraisal.

“Mies served to inspire a renewal of modernity after postmodernism,” declares Mertins. He portrays him as an autodidact who was at once progressive and conservative, a student of philosophy and science as well as art and architecture, drawing on a rich ferment of ideas, old and new.  He explores the masterpieces in depth, balancing contemporary and later judgments, while illuminating the socio-political context in which they were created. Links between Mies and the architects who inspired him—most notably Karl Friedrich Schinkel—are discussed. This lucid exposition is weighted down by an academic emphasis on philosophy, in an attempt to explain Mies’s quest for the sublime. At times, this verges on self-parody: An account of the dispute between the architect and Edith Farnsworth concerning cost-overruns and a lack of privacy segues abruptly into citations from Nietzsche, Aristotle, and Socrates. 

Illumination triumphs over pedagogy, and there are many fresh insights. The German commissioner for the 1929 Barcelona World’s Fair was an ideal client, declaring,  “we don’t want anything but clarity, simplicity, honesty.” Mies’s pavilion, which was reconstructed in 1986, succeeded in “capturing the new spirit of the nation and the times.” That success helps explain why the apolitical architect, who had earlier designed a memorial to two communist martyrs, delayed his departure from Hitler’s Germany, and persisted until 1937 in seeking commissions (as Le Corbusier did in Vichy France). Mertins quotes Thomas Mann, another reluctant émigré, who declared  “I don’t want politics. I want competence, order and decency. ” 

In Chicago, Mies quickly became a star, designing the entire campus of the Armor Institute of Technology (later rechristened IIT) and the hugely influential Lake Shore Drive apartment towers, which persuaded Phyllis Lambert to recommend him for the Seagram Building, his undisputed masterpiece. In postwar America, he could realize the glass towers he first proposed in Berlin in 1923, but those airy fantasies had hardened into a rigorous geometry that was widely copied and debased. He became a favorite of developers (even designing an innovative drive-in for a commercial strip in Indianapolis). There were a few more flashes of brilliance—the housing estate of Lafayette Park in Detroit and the majestic New National Gallery in Berlin—but Mertins’ hurried summary of later projects attests to a loss of inspiration, however meticulous the details.

Mertins completed the text just before his death in 2011, and an editorial committee brought it to publication. The valuable bibliography has been updated (Building Seagram, published in 2013, is here) though the committee has failed to add a comment on the successful restoration of the Tugendhat House, completed in 2012. There are 35 pages of citations, but no list of buildings and projects, a regrettable lacuna.  Even so, if you want to comprehend Mies’s genius and failings, this is the book to have.

 

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