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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

Industry Partners

  

  




















 

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Wednesday
Jul162014

FORM WEB Extra: A Conversation with Legendary Designer Richard Frinier

SWIM from Brown Jordan designed by Richard Frinier. Photo courtesy of Brown Jordan.In FORM’s new issue, our Showroom column features some recent outdoor furnishing designs. For our Web readers, we’re delighted to share our interview with Richard Frinier, a dean of contemporary design. Here, he discusses how he came to be in the business, how he approaches his work, what makes a good chair and some of his surprising sources of inspiration. 

How did you get your start?

I was originally a sculptor and lighting designer and came to design furniture many years ago when I was approached by a former California furniture manufacturer to design a case good collection for bedrooms. I gave it some thought and one of my ideas went into production and sold over 9,000 sets. Sets not pieces. This unexpected success led me to explore the possibilities of focusing on furniture design in my design practice.

One weekend, I discovered a picture of a chaise lounge on the cover of what was then The Los Angeles Times Magazine. It was made by Brown Jordan. In that moment, I had an epiphany about channeling my creative energy into outdoor furniture design for its sculptural qualities. I went on to join Brown Jordan as a staff designer in the early 1980s staying 21 years and evolving to become the Company’s Chief Creative Officer overseeing 14 brands in the areas of design and product development, brand stewardship, marketing, advertising and public relations. I generated hundreds of collections and thousands of individual designs during those years many with patents, and we also garnered over 60 design excellence awards.

In 2002, I launched my own creative consultancy, where I license my furniture, textile and accessory collections. It has been an exciting time for me over the past 12 years to evolve my work at large. Today, I am celebrating over 30 years of design and my designs for others have translated into nearly one billion dollars in sales. Along with my clients, we have received another 20 awards with many success stories around the world, including a Stars of Design Award from the Pacific Design Center and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Casual Furnishings Association. This is my passion and I hope to be working at my craft for many years to come.

How do you approach designing a chair?

My approach to design is deeply rooted in my passion for materials, either new materials or older materials used in new ways, and also my understanding of the importance of less is more—using a method of reductive detailing until I have edited the design down to its purist form, leaving only what is relevant and important for its style, function and comfort.

I am also very inspired by architecture and both interior and exterior spaces. The architecture and spaces inform me and serve as great inspiration for what will come next. I always keep in mind that furniture, especially outdoor furniture, is not simply used for dining, lounging and entertaining. Whether the furnishings and textiles are used in a residential or hospitality environment, they may be seen from all sides and from many different perspectives. How the back of a chaise or arm detail on a dining chair or the scale of a lounge chair or daybed are created —all become even more important, as they are seen from a living room or lobby area beyond glass sliding doors; from balconies looking down to a pool; or they are actually used for interior spaces and not just exterior spaces. The integrity of the form, frame, styling and materials—each carries a unique significance to the overall creation with intention by design.

ORBIT from Dedon designed by Richard Frinier. Photo courtesy of DedonWhat is your design process like?

I begin with quite a bit of interaction with my clients to learn what they would like, what they need. I also study what they already have, as for me it is always about what is missing that draws me into a project. It is important to fully understand the DNA of a client in order to incorporate the feeling of their company, while still designing something that is recognizable as one of my own creations. I have spent many years collaborating with my current clients. Twenty-one years designing in-house for Brown Jordan; and, since forming my own creative consultancy in 2002, I have enjoyed very successful design collaborations with Glen Raven/Sunbrella, Brown Jordan, Dedon, Century Furniture and others. I am celebrating well over 30 years of designing myself. So, it is never just about the design alone. It is about blending my client’s brand identity with my own. In this process, I have developed a body of work with each client and at large as an artist. The process itself is driven with passion and focus. In this regard, it is more similar to other creative processes. It requires dedication to a constant thought process surrounding the design and how it will be viewed and used, and also a commitment to the continual refinement of a design, which in total informs you when a design is complete.

How has new technology during the design stage and/or during production changed how you approach your design process?

While there are newer technologies, such as 3D printing, we have a way to go before that particular technology becomes mainstream in designing furniture.

I still prefer to draw by hand for its authentic and intuitive nature is very important to my design process. The making of one-off prototypes is still done by hand. The biggest thing that technology has changed in terms of designing products is that there has been a democratization of design—making it increasingly accessible because of the Internet. It has resulted in dramatic changes in how the A+D community and consumers alike inform themselves and learn about products and how these products are specified and purchased.

How has your aesthetic evolved over your career?

I design a very broad range of architectural styles of furniture, from modern and contemporary to transitional and traditional. My style is most commonly recognized and referred to as being classic and timeless by my colleagues in the design industry and also from the press. I am emphatic about using my design skills through the process of reductive detailing, resulting in finished designs that do not possess more embellishments than the design calls for, to be as purely authentic as possible. I have always been a futurist with a reverence for the past. I stay as true as possible to my designs from conception to production.

KYOTO from the Richard Frinier Collection for Century. Photo courtesy of Century Furniture.What are some of the particular challenges of designing good seating furniture?

It is actually pretty complicated to create a comfortable and distinctive chair that will also pull up to a dining table and allow the arms to go under that table just perfectly, so that your hands when placed on the chair’s arms will actually clear well under the table. In good design, sometimes achieving the obvious and simplicity becomes a complex proposition. Also, you never know where a chair may be used, whether for residential or hospitality spaces, so everything I design must pass the industry’s commercial testing standards.

The most important challenge for me in my own design process is to create something that looks exactly like something you have never seen before. I endeavor to create designs that allow the eye to rest easily upon them. It is extremely important to me that my designs are authentic, relevant and memorable.

What are some of the pleasures of doing it?

Working with people domestically and internationally to make it all come together. I also enjoy the story. Creating the name and sharing the inspiration. Working with photographers and directing photo shoots. Designing and creating marketing materials and ad campaigns. It is a more complete and satisfying creative process to influence and create the entire package in totality to ensure the understanding and success of my designs for my clients and myself.

My design concepts seem to possess and convey the passion that I felt during their creation. This helps to establish an emotional link with others. It really doesn’t get much better for me than to see a person’s expression change when they see a design I have created that they love. Making an emotional connection with people is personal. If my design can evoke this type of emotional response, it is really the highest compliment to me.

ORIGINS textiles using recycled-yarn content from the Richard Frinier Collection for Sunbrella. Photo courtesy of Pindler.What inspires you?

Architecture and the space architects create.

Nature.

Materials.

When I see something is missing.

When someone tells me, “It can’t be done.” I love a challenge and challenging others.

Quietude. My mind is creative when it is at rest. It wanders solving problems and generating new ideas.

Procrastination also motivates inspiration.

What are some of your favorite chair designs of others?

1952 Diamond Chair by Harry Bertoia; 1946 Van Keppel Green Lounge Chair and Ottoman; 1965 PK24 Chaise Lounge by Paul Kjoerholm; 1966 Lounge by Richard Schultz

Who are your favorite designers and/or architects?

Pierre Koenig, Richard Neutra, Killingsworth and Brady, Oscar Niemeyer, Claudio Silvestrin, Thiep Cung.

 

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