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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.

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.

Provocations: The Architecture and Design of Heatherwick Studio
February 20–May 24, 2015
This February, the Hammer Museum will present the West Coast debut of Provocations: The Architecture and Design of Heatherwick Studio, featuring the imaginative work of British designer Thomas Heatherwick and his London-based studio. Heatherwick is known for his unique design concepts ranging from products, such as a handbag for Longchamp, to large-scale structures like the new distillery for Bombay Sapphire Gin.

 

 

Competitions

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 

FORM Event Images

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Wednesday
Nov192014

Exhibitions: Becoming a Design Mecca

The history of the West Hollywood Design District gets an exhibition at the West Hollywood Public Library. It features rare archival material. Image courtesy West Hollywood Design District.

“They came because the rent was low. It was all warehouses and people could open showrooms and not pay the prices at the mart,” Greg Firlotte says of the beginnings of what was to become the West Hollywood Design District. “And it was unincorporated, so there were fewer restrictions and more freedom to do things you couldn’t within the city. There was a Wild West aspect where Bohemian types could start things.”

Firlotte, a Design District and design industry veteran, was tapped to curate a new exhibition, Decades of Design, 1948–2014, opening November 19, at the West Hollywood Library. The show traces the history of area via its story as a design mecca, from its beginnings in 1948, when the Carl Marias carpet showroom first opened (after moving several times, the company is still in business in WeHo). Other seminal events covered include the opening of the Eames-designed Herman Miller showroom and the arrival of the PDC in 1976. “The whole district changed dramatically then,” Firlotte points out. “It brought along a lot of other businesses.”

Many of the show’s images have never been seen by the public. “I started looking through personal and corporate archives,” says Firlotte. “I had a lot of ‘Oh my God’ moments,” he says, including coming across the first ever map of the district, published in 1964. He was able to mine Herman Miller's collection, that of Phyllis Morris and those of other notable firms and individuals.

Once the show closes, it will live on as a permanent online archive, preserving the legacy of a critical piece of design history. “There are a lot of things for the design to trade to discover,” notes Firlotte. 

Click here for more information about the show

Tuesday
Nov182014

FORM on Design: Welcome Companions' Architectural Foundation

Architect Laurel Consuelo Broughton's Welcome Companions line of accessories offers a novel spin on traditional forms. Image courtesy Welcome Companions.

Architects have a long and storied history when it comes to designing furniture? It's a space to play and experiment. While furniture and furnishings might be the natural, other practitioners have turned their attentions to other forms. Laurel Consuelo Broughton, who trained at SCI-Arc and serves as an adjunct on the architecture faculty at USC, is one such designer. She's the force behind Welcome Projects and its off-shoot, Welcome Companions, an endeavor that "that reinterprets everyday sartorial accessories and objects through a formal and surrealist lens." Recently, she collaborated with artist Miranda July on her most recent collection of accesories, which includes a handbag, the Miranda, named for July. We chatted with Broughton about her project and the opportunities it offers her, not to mention the ways it has informed her approach to design.

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Monday
Nov172014

Book Review: Chinese Museums

Courtesy Princeton Architectural Press

By Michael Webb

New Museums in China. Clare Jacobsen. Princeton Architectural Press. $50.

An invaluable compilation of 50 museums, completed or begun in the past decade, all over China. Jacobsen has selected these projects for their architectural value, and she has cast a wide net, from MAD's Ordos Museum—a scale-less blob that anchors a raw new development in Inner Mongolia, to the Museum of Handcraft Paper, a woodsy cluster by Trace Architecture in a remote southwestern village. There's a good mix of Chinese and Western firms, and the Pritzker Prize laureates include Wang Shu of Hangzhou.

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Nov122014

FORM Focus: SCAPE Comes to Los Angeles

Italian architecture firm recently opened an American location in Culver City, brining with them a warm, contemporary, thoroughly Italian aesthetic, as found in a design for a villa in Lugano. Image courtesy Scape.

With offices in Rome and Paris, SCAPE has established well-known profile throughout Europe since its founding in 2004. Recently, the architecture firm, known for its facilty on a range of projects, opened its first American outpost—in Culver City. Intrigued, we reached out to one of the firm's four co-founders, Paolo Mezzalana, to find out what prompted to move into the Los Angeles market. He shares the impulse behind it with us and fills us in on his thoughts on our architectural past, present and future.

Why did your firm choose to expand to Los Angeles?

LA has been in our hearts since 2009, when we worked on an incredible project Downtown (never completed). The singer, producer, actor, director and model Vincent Gallo asked us to do a design for his house and recording studio. The project lasted approximately one year, and we worked together with for a concept inspired by Italian design of the Seventies. It was a dream and as it often happens the dream didn't came true. But the love for Los Angeles became real and never passed. From a professional point of view we think that LA has a lot of potential for our work and our way of thinking about architecture. 

What is appealing about Los Angeles’s architectural culture?

It's may be not easy to understand, but for a European, Italian, Roman architect, Los Angeles is synonymous with freedom. What I want to say is that we are used to think, work, in a "milieu" that has a very old background of cultural rules. And sometimes these rules become unacceptable! Personally, every time that I'm in Los Angeles I feel free. The architectural culture of LA is open to new ideas, new experiences—the city doesn't judge you at all times. And you can feel it when you drive through the hills. You can admire a mix of styles that in Europe is not even thinkable. But this crazy  mix in some ways is in equilibrium (well, not always!). What keeps everything together is, first of all, nature. The relation between nature and urbanism in LA is so strong. The second binder is the infrastructures.

Finally what we really envy is your space. In Italy, we don't have any more space.

What will your firm contribute to our architectural culture?

We are Italians and we have a plus: We are used to studying and understanding the context. That means that we know how to make projects in harmony with the surroundings and the city. Then of course we have the Italian touch!

What sorts of projects will you be focusing on here in LA?

Architects are of course open to everything and our cv is a mix of very different programs and very different scales. (That's the concept of our name SCAPE: It's a suffix that doesn't exist alone. We chose it  to express that we work at different scales, from city-SCAPE to land-SCAPE). But in Los Angeles we are most of all interested in private houses, retail, renovation. 

What types of opportunities does working in LA bring?

The cultural scene of the city changed a lot in the last years. Los Angeles is the right place to meet interesting people that have something to say and to start new projects.

Finally, and most importantly, what do you think of the food scene here in Los Angeles?

I think that the food culture in LA is a mirror of what I said fabout the architectural culture. Los Angeles accepted all kind of influences from Europe,  sia, South America. At the beginning it was confused but now the food experience became very sophisticated. A few of the Italian restaurants in LA have a very high level

Having said that, to make me happy, bring me to Father's Office. I'm burger addicted.

Tuesday
Nov112014

FORM on Design: Nienke Hoogvliet's New Work Turns to the Sea

Nienke Hoogvliet's new Sea Me rug uses algae yarn. The fiber, already readily available, could have impressive applications. Image courtesy Studio Nienke Hoogvliet/photograph by emke Poort.

The work of Studio Nienke Hoogvliet, the textile, product and concept design firm founded by Nienke Hoogvliet last year, focuses largely on products made of natural materials and with traditional production processes, inspired by in interest  Delft-based Hoogvliet’s newest design, Sea Me, blends both. It’s a rug, made of yarn derived from sea algae fibers and hand-woven using an old fishing net—a creative commentary on the state of our oceans from plastic pollution. We talked to the up-and-coming young Dutch designer about her experiments with the unusual material and the resulting one-of-a-kind piece.

Click to read more ...