5 design things to do this week

This week, you can: go downtown for Grand Avenue's cultural open house; celebrate 30 years of "foruming"; explore the relationship between Disney and urban planning in Southern California; take a walking tour of classic buildings in K-Town; and see some iconic Street Pop Art before it goes on the auction block.

Day of the Dead at Grand Park, 2017; Image credit- Will Tee Yang

1) Grand Avenue Arts: All Access 

This event is L.A.’s cultural ‘open house’: a collective celebration of art, performance, music and food hosted by the cultural institutions along the Grand Avenue corridor (The Broad, Center Theatre Group, Colburn School, Grand Park, Los Angeles Central Library, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Los Angeles Master Chorale, LA Opera, LA Phil, MOCA, The Music Center, and REDCAT).  Treats include leading a small chamber orchestra as maestro at the Colburn School, and the LA Phil’s performance of the ’30s radio play “War of the Worlds” broadcasted using L.A.’s defunct air raid sirens.

When: Saturday, Nov 4, 11 am – 5 pm.

Where: Multiple locations; Details of events by venue here.

Tickets: FREE and open to the public.  No reservations needed.

Sunset and Night Chairs, a collaboration between the L.A. Forum, Modernica and Claret Cup

2) ForumFest 2017: for·um·ing\ˌfȯr-əm-ˈiŋ\

In 1987, a group of architects, designers and urban thinkers — among them Aaron Betsky, John Kaliski, Deborah Murphy and the late, greatly missed John Chase — got together and created a group dedicated to reflecting on the particular, even peculiar, nature of LA’s urban condition and architecture.

Thirty years later the Los Angeles Forum for Architecture and Urban Design is still going strong and to mark their three decades of “instigating dialogues on design and the built environment through public programming, exhibitions, and publications,” have turned their noun into a verb — Foruming — and will hold a big party/fundraiser in celebration of their own work this Saturday at Modernica’s factory in Vernon.

They will  “honor past collaborators, feature readings from newsletters, pamphlets, and books produced over 30 years, including works by Craig Hodgetts and Margaret Crawford. Past publications –maps, booklets, postcards, newsletters — will be on display. There will be DJs, bands, singers, a large-scale landscape projection, light installations, food, libations, and a limited-edition Modernica chair for sale that will be manufactured at the factory while you watch!

When: Saturday, November 4th, 7 pm – midnight

Where: Modernica Factory, 2901 Saco Street, Vernon, CA 90058 Map

Tickets: Students are $50; regular admission is $100; buy tickets here.

Walt Disney, Urban Designer

3) Institute for the Study of Los Angeles (ISLA) Conference: Disney & Urbanism

You don’t create the ‘Happiest Place on Earth’ for 138 million people annually worldwide, 20 million in Southern California alone, without having some impact on the cities surrounding it.  From transportation planning to zoning laws, to Main Street USA and Downtown Disney, the Disney organization has had a huge influence on architecture, urban planning and the modern built environment, including its experiment in New Urbanist city-building Celebration, FL.

This Saturday, the Institute for the Study of Los Angeles at Occidental College will explore the relationship between the Disney organization and urban planning in Southern California.  Speakers include Joe Rohde, Executive Designer and Vice President, Walt Disney Imagineering, Eric Avila, Meredith Drake-Reitan, Sam Gennawey, Todd James Pierce and Craig Svonkin.

When: Saturday, Nov 4, 12 – 5 pm; this event is part of Occidental College’s Fall 2017 programming focused on Disney & Southern California.

Where: Occidental College, 1600 Campus Road, Los Angeles, CA 90041

Tickets: FREE and open to the public.

The G. Albert Lansburgh (1891-1969) designed Art Deco style Wiltern Theater (1931) at the corner of Wilshire Blvd. and Western Ave. is now in the heart of K-Town.

4) K-Town: Exploring Wilshire Boulevard

Koreans began settling in the Mid-Wilshire area in the 1960s and is now one of the most popular neighborhoods in Los Angeles, complete with the moniker K-Town, and a host of architectural gems including the Art Deco Willard H. George Building; the Spanish Colonial Chapman Court, iconic houses of worship, including St. Basil Catholic Church (with glorious stained glass windows by Claire Falkenstein in photo by Straynger Ranger, top of page), Immanuel Presbyterian Church, and Wilshire Boulevard Temple; and the spectacular Wiltern Theater, one of the L.A. Conservancy’s earliest major preservation victories.

This Saturday the L.A. Conservancy is leading a walking tour that will explore the history and architecture of K-Town, focusing primarily on Wilshire Boulevard. The tour is one of several events on a weekend-long exploration of Koreatown. See the complete event schedule here.

When: Saturday, Nov 4, 10 am – 4:30 pm.  Check in opens at 8:30.  Opening panel presentation 10 – 10:45.  All other tour sites open at 11.  Wiltern site closes at 11:30.  Check in closes at noon.  Please allow 3 to 4 hours if you plan to visit all tour sites.  All other tour sites close at 4:30.

Where: The tour starts at the historic Wiltern Theater, 3790 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90010

Tickets: $40 (Conservancy members $30, youth under 18 $20).   More details and registration here.

Street art and collectibles by artists such as KAWS, Banksy, Mr. Brainwash, Takashi Murakami and Keith Haring will be on auction this Thursday at Heritage Auctions.

5) Urban Art Auction

Once the purview of street cops, street art has now firmly taken its place in the world of galleries, fine art and auction houses.  This week, works by the likes of KAWS (examples of his Dissected and Companion series featured above), Banksy, Mr. Brainwash, Takashi Murakami and Keith Haring go on auction at Heritage House in Beverly Hills.

Whether you’re in the market to buy or you’d just like the opportunity to see some of these iconic works in person, highlights of the collection will be on display for viewing this week in advance of the auction.

When: Preview on Thursday, November 2, 6 – 8 pm.  Actual auction on November 6, 11 am.  For more, click here.

Where: Heritage Auctions, 9478 W Olympic Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA 90212

Tickets: Free and open to the public.  Please RSVP by emailing RSVP@HA.com