5 design things to do this week

This week, you can support shelters for homeless cats; get inspired to (re)decorate at WestEdge Design Fair; see an epic Persian story brought to life; check out street art on furniture; and explore LA's lost cemeteries.

Lunar Cat Lander, photo by Meghan Bob for Dezeen Magazine

1) Architects for Animals “Giving Shelter” Fundraiser

Is custom modern cat-house design the next big thing in pet pampering?  LA architects and designers get to flex their creative muscles while drawing attention to the city’s three million plus homeless cats at this fundraiser hosted by Herman Miller in support of FixNation, a local non-profit that aims to reduce this population through sterilization rather than euthanization.  Participating design firms in Architects for Animals include Abramson Teiger, CallisonRTKL, d3architecture, ES-EN-EM and Standard Architecture. The donated shelters will be displayed at a cocktail reception, along with cat food bowls decorated by feline-loving celebrities such as Jay Leno, Beau Bridges, Morgan Fairchild, Tricia Helfer, Jackson Galaxy and Elvira. All bowls will be available for purchase via an online auction.   

When: Thursday, October 19, 5:30-9:30 pm

Where: Herman Miller Showroom, 3641 Holdrege Avenue, Los Angeles CA 90016

Tickets: $50 (additional donor levels available).  Buy tickets here.

The Barker Hangar opens its massive doors this weekend for the WestEdge Design Fair.

2) WestEdge Design Fair

WestEdge Design Fair comes to the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica for its fifth year, bringing a mix of new and established designers that includes LACE by Jenny Wu, FoscariniNeutra Furniture Collection by VS America, PELLE, Jason Mizrahi, Croft House, Studio Endo.  There will also be educational programs and special events, including Friday’s DIEM at WestEdge, when architect Michael Maltzan, Rose Apodaca, Architectural Digest’s Mayer Rus, meditation evangelist Suze Yalof Schwartz and the creators of Platform, LA CoMotion and many others join Mallery Roberts Morgan and DnA’s Frances Anderton for a day of dialogue about the massive disruption in our lives, our cityscape, transportation, retail, canna-business and more. See the full schedule and line up of speakers here.

When: Opening party, Thursday, Oct 19, 7-10 pm; design fair Friday, Oct 20 – Sunday, Oct 22.

Where: Barker Hangar, 3021 Airport Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90405

Tickets: Party $95.  Design fair (1 day) $20.  Buy tickets here. DnA friends can receive 50% off the ticket price by using the online promo code DNAGuest here.

Feathers of Fire: A Persian Epic is a visually breathtaking cinematic shadow play created by Hamid Rahmanian.

3) Feathers of Fire: A Persian Epic

Visual artist and 2014 Guggenheim Fellow Hamid Rahmanian has partnered with Larry Reed and ShadowLight Productions to present what they describe as the largest shadow-puppet play ever performed: Feathers of Fire: A Persian Epicbased on the 10th-century classic Persian epic poem, Shahnameh.  The thousand-year old story is brought to life by over 160 shadow puppets, performers in elaborate, handmade masks and costumes and over 100 digitally animated backgrounds.  Each performance will be followed by a live 20-minute behind-the-scenes presentation exploring the technique of shadow puppetry.

When: Friday, October 20 – Sunday October 29

Where: The Wallis Annenberg Center for Performing Arts, 9390 N Santa Monica Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA 90210

Tickets: $45+.  Buy tickets here.

4) Street Art House Presents: Nomenclature: Street Artists x Furniture Designers

Furniture becomes a canvas, or rather a graffiti wall, at Nomenclature: Street Artists x Furniture show.  Street Art House brings street artists turned fine artists Big Sleeps, Karlos Marquez, Moncho1929 and Prime together with design brands WiseLiving, Last Ditch Design and Cisco Home in this one of a kind furniture-art show.  The opening night reception, on Saturday, October 21st, will feature an open champagne bar, hors d’oeuvres and artist meet-and-greets.  A portion of the proceeds will benefit Refoundry, an innovative organization that trains formerly incarcerated people to repurpose discarded materials into home furnishings.

When: Opening Reception Saturday, October 21, 7 pm – 10 pm.  Sunday 5 pm – 10 pm.

Where: Cisco Brothers, 5955 South Western Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90047

Tickets: Opening Reception $15 (VIP $50).  Sunday $5.  Buy tickets here.

Among cemeteries displaced in the name of progress, the Old Jewish Cemetery once lay adjacent to Chavez Ravine, near what is now Dodger Stadium.

5) Lost Cemeteries of Los Angeles Walking Tour, with the “Barrio Boychik”

People visit cemeteries for many reasons: for loved ones they are missing, to see where famous people are buried, and to discover family histories. Los Angeles even hosts concerts and film screenings in cemeteries. But what about visiting cemeteries which aren’t even there anymore?  This unique walking tour takes you to the four original cemeteries of Los Angeles, which were in some cases relocated, and in other cases built right over. The tour is guided by Shmuel Gonzales, the self-described “Barrio Boychik,” a community organizer and local historian whose family has lived for several generations in East LA. His goal is to share the multi-cultural history of early Los Angeles and the neglected stories of its diverse faith cultures.

When: Sunday, October 22, noon – 2:30 pm

Where: Meeting next to the La Plaza de Cultura y Artes gift shop called “La Tienda,” located at 501 N. Main St, Los Angeles, CA 90012.

Tickets: $18.  Buy tickets here.

And coming up on Monday, October 23… Los Angeles architects in the Chicago Architecture Biennale

Los Angeles architects Mark Lee and Sharon Johnston of JohnstonMarkLee are the Creative Directors of this year’s 2017 Chicago Architecture Biennale, entitled “Make New History.” They will share the stage Monday night at UCLA’s Architecture and Urban Design school with Biennale participants Erin Besler, Sarah Hearne, Wonne Ickx, Andrew Kovacs, Jimenez Lai, and architectural historian Sylvia Lavin.