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Stainless Steel Meets Ikebana in Peter Shire Show

Posted October 28, 2010 by | Comments Off

Before post-modernism was degraded by certain buildings and products into silliness (AT & T Building, anyone?) it was a spirited antidote to a dour brand of Modernism.
One designer/artist/maker/ceramicist who has long embodied that uncynical joy in color and — sometimes goofy — shape is a friend of mine, Peter Shire.
Opening with a party Saturday — at the Pete and Susan Barrett Art Gallery at the Broad …

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A Bridge to Nowhere: Is Inspiration Lacking at 6th Street Bridge?

Posted October 27, 2010 by | Comments Off

The news broke recently that brilliant structural engineer Cecil Balmond has left ARUP, the engineering firm he’s been with for 40 years. It is Balmond who made possible such landmarks as the CCTV building and the Bird’s Nest stadium in Beijing. He has also designed  striking bridges, including the Weave Bridge in Pennsylvannia, above, and the Coimbra bridge in Portugal.

I reference this because we’ve seen a Golden …

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Gap’s Logo Fiasco Touches a Nerve; and So Does the DnA With Hodgson and Strauss

Posted October 22, 2010 by | Comments Off

Who would have thought that a new logo, for a company that seemed to be waning, would cause such a furore? But people went to the mat over the redesign of the Gap logo, itself one of multiple variants on previous logos. They also went to the mat over the airing of the topic on this month’s DnA. I was amazed at the number of …

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Looking Good While Doing Good

Posted October 11, 2010 by | 2 Comments

“Looking Good While Doing Good” is how Mayer Rus, the Design and Culture Editor for the Los Angeles Times Magazine, neatly summed up the architecture section of the California Design Biennial currently on show at the Pasadena Museum of California Art.
I wish I’d thought of the phrase myself because I curated that section and Mayer captured exactly what I was trying to display: work that was both …

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Explore the Real LA Noir, with John Buntin and Estouric

Posted October 8, 2010 by | 1 Comment

The pulp fiction writers who created the LA Noir genre had an endless source of good stories in the real LA, when gangsters and crooked cops ruled the city. That history is brilliantly depicted in John Buntin‘s book L.A. Noir which tells the story of the long battle for the city’s soul, between Mickey Cohen and Dragnet-era police chief William Parker. On Saturday, October 16, Buntin will …

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Design Week/LA Starts Saturday

Posted October 8, 2010 by | Comments Off

If you want to know what’s going on right now in design culture in LA, stop reading this blog and go to this link: www.designweekla.org.
60 arts organizations have come together to promote exhibits, panels, tours and talks, all happening October 9-17. The range is wide and deep, for example: free tix to the California Design Biennial at the PMCA, Forty Years of Sesame Street Illustration …

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10/10/10: Julius Shulman Honored with a Look at Photography and Architecture Today

Posted October 6, 2010 by | Comments Off

If he’d lived just over a year longer the late, great LA photographer Julius Shulman would have turned one hundred this Sunday. In honor of that milestone Woodbury University, home of the Julius Shulman Institute, will celebrate  his legacy with two events that look at the contemporary relationship between photography and the built environment.
On Saturday afternoon, October 9 there will be a symposium and exhibition that I’ll …

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Architects Got Talent? Unfrozen Music Warms Up Saturday Night

Posted October 1, 2010 by | Comments Off

LA architects will demonstrate their musical chops once again at Unfrozen Music, a fundraiser for Habitat for Humanity that takes place tonight at Santa Monica Main Library (see details below). Sam Lubell, editor of the California edition of the Architects Newspaper (and a guest on last month’s DnA) will emcee, and if last year’s debut event is anything to go by, when architects, including …

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