There’s no shortage of amazing Chinese restaurants in the Los Angeles area. One of the standouts—the one that requires serious strategic planning in order to score a table—has to be Din Tai Fung. Of course, when you went to its two San Gabriel Valley locations, it was all about the food. The surroundings were an afterthought. Happily, outstanding dumplings and compelling architecture have come together in the company’s newest outpost in Glendale, just north of Los Angeles.
We’ve talked about artists and architects making art for airports, but what about making art in an airport? What is that experience like? What does it teach about the design of airports and, more broadly, the intersection of people and cultures? Several years ago, architect Peter Tolkin embarked on an ambitious photography project, which resulted in a series of images entitled Airline Food.
“I got interested in airports because they’re these unusual spaces that represent internationalism but are not Internationalist in style,” explains Tolkin. “In the airport, you’re on your way—it’s an in between space. There not supposed to be marked by culture.” At the same time, he was developing an interest in the documentary mapping of civic and public spaces. His interests led him to airports, and, in the pre-9/11 years, he was able to move freely through the spaces.
There is something uniquely American about the beach and backyard culture created here. One look at a striped beach ball or a vinyl pool lounger brings back a flood of memories—lazy days spent at the beach or lifeguarding at the neighborhood pool or cooking up a barbeque as the sun set. For Cannonball, in San Diego at historic Belmont Park, architect Nathan Lee Colkitt, of Colkitt & Co., wanted to translate those memories into a lively new rooftop restaurant.
ock ssNonEditable">Contemporary architecture—especially the Los Angeles variant—comes to the Central Coast on January 5, when Almost Anything Goes: Architecture and Inclusivity opens at the MCA Santa Barbara. Featuring the work of Catherine Johnson and Rebecca Rudolph, Design, Bitches; Doris Sung, DOSU Studio Architecture; Benjamin Ball and Gaston Nogues, Ball-Nogues Studio; Miles Kemp, Digital Physical / Variate Labs; Elena Manferdini, Atelier Manferdini; and Ramiro Diaz Granados, Amorphis, and Matthew Au, the show includes installations, photography, material samples, textiles, and interactive media.
It’s the brainchild of the museum’s executive director and chief curator Miki Garcia and visiting curator Brigitte Kouo. For Garcia, the show is an opportunity “to expand our audience and create more diverse programming that’s larger in scope,” she says. Besides that, “There aren’t that many exhibitions on the Central Coast that focus on emerging practices in architecture.”
As Martin Keen sees it, the best ideas are born out of need. In his case, he needed to find a way to work in “a posture other than sitting.” At the time, he had just moved from California to Rhode Island and was deeply immersed in the world of footwear design. Working by himself, he had the flexibility to experiment with ideas and positions until he hit on something that worked. Standing at an architect’s table proved to be too exhausting to do it for any extended period of time. Then he hit on an idea. “I got a stool, tipped it forward and leaned it against a surface at an angle,” he says. It proved to be the magic formula.