Join FORM Magazine at the Cuningham Group in the Hayden Tract in Culver City for an exploration of new trends in workplace design. It's well known that in recent years, environmental considerations like natural light and air and sustainable building systems have redefined the productivity of office spaces, and the event’s panel discussion will feature a number of practitioners on the cutting edge of office design to talk about what's next. Panelists will include John Marx from Form4 (who will also sign copies of his new book, Wandering the Garden of Technology and Passion), Michael White from Gensler, and Jonathan Watts from Cuningham Group. RSVP to rsvp@FORMMag.net or 818.956.5313. Include name, title, company, phone, and email.
The city of Los Angeles is in the midst of a design competition for a project to rebuild the fetching Sixth Street Bridge that crosses the Los Angeles River between the Downtown Arts District and the historic Boyle Heights neighborhoods at the eastern end of the city. The city’s Bureau of Engineering has selected three finalists, AECOM, HNTB, and Parsons Brinckerhoff, for the final round of reviews, and is expected to select a firm in October. The bridge is one of Los Angeles' most recognizable historic structures, having served as a symbol of the neighborhoods east of Downtown Los Angeles in innumerable film productions. Preservation groups fought for years to save the bridge, but the concrete cancer (“Alkali-Silica Reaction”) eroding the structure left no options but to rebuild.
The city has requested competition finalists to prepare a cable-stayed bridge of contemporary design to create an “icon” for the city. The new bridge’s aesthetics will be crafted amidst a daunting collection of more utilitarian, infrastructure concerns—rail right of way, the river’s complicated web of regulatory and stakeholder interests, and a stretch of overhead high voltage lines all interect the roadway’s path. Also, contemporary road construction codes requires the new bridge to straighten out a kink in the old bridge’s alignment.
The competition finalists and the city are hosting a series of community outreach meetings during the month of September. Visit the city's project website for more information.
Updated 9/10 at 3:03 pm The Santa Monica Conservancy will host a fundraiser this month at the Kappe House in Rustic Canyon on September 15, 2012. The event, benefitting the Santa Monica Conservancy's educational program, will allow participants an incredibly rare opportunity to experience the Kappe House, including a house tour, a reception with elegant hors d'oeuvres, and a conversation with Ray and Shelly Kappe. Deemed a Historic-Cultural Monument in 1996, the Kappe House is one of the finest examples of residential architecture in a region full of famous houses, and was even voted one of the ten best houses in Los Angeles by the LA Times in 2008. The modernist house was built on a steep hillside lot above a running creek, and seamlessly integrates modern design techniques into the surrounding rustic setting. Ray Kappe was a founder of SCI-Arc, where Shelly Kappe also teaches.
(An earlier version of this post incorrectly referred to the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy).
One of LA’s best architects is branching out into product design. Barbara Bestor, well known for her work in residential architecture around Los Angeles, has paired with Karen Alweil and Sara Stein to create a line influenced by the natural environment of Los Angeles. The line, SoLA (short for Sisters of Los Angeles), includes t-shirts, hats, pencils, ceramic mugs, key chains, tote bags, coasters, playing cards, key chains, and embossed leather covers for phones and iPads (oh my!). Bestor emailed FORM explaining the trio’s motivation for the line: “We noticed a general lack in fun and collectable contemporary memorabilia for Los Angeles- for us residents as well as tourists- and we made a line that reflects the colors, graphic patterns, and flavors of our town.”SoLA made its debut a few weeks ago at the Gift Show in New York City, and will be available this fall at MOCA, Kitson, the Downtown Los Angeles Central Library, and Ron Robinson/Fred Segal.
BOOK: Michael Bierut’s Seventy-nine Short Essays on Design eBook available from Princeton Architecture Press
The Princeton Architecture Press recently released Seventy-nine Short Essays on Design by graphic designer Michael Bierut for Kindle and iBooks. Bierut, a senior partner in the New York office of Pentagram, a senior critic in graphic design at the Yale School of Art, and a founding writer at Design Observer, is known for frank but humorous takes on design's role in society. According to PAPress, Seventy-nine Short Essays on Design covers, “topics as diverse as Twyla Tharp and ITC Garamond,” and, “Bierut's intelligent and accessible texts pull design culture into crisp focus.” The book’s electronic release is also notable as the most recent addition to PAPress’s rapidly growing library of ebooks.