5 design things to do this week

This week: take a walking tour of Compton architecture; peruse art books and party with their authors; explore the creative minds of Mid-Century architects; attend a discussion and book signing with architect Patrick Tighe; and hear this year's Oscar-nominated production designers talk about their art.

Zines and some parties are all the ‘rage’ at this year’s LA Art Book Fair!

1 ) LA Art Book Fair, Opening Event and After Party

Party with the bookish set.  Kick off the LA Art Book Fair on Thursday night at the opening night preview with special musical performances and/or come out Saturday night for a DJ-heavy set after a well-read day at the fair.   The LA Art Book Fair is free and runs Thurs-Sunday, Feb 23 – Feb 26 at the Geffen Contemporary at MOCA.  Over 250 international presses, booksellers and independent publishers from twenty-one countries come together to hawk their wordy — and often strikingly designed — wares, including artists’ books, art catalogs, monographs, periodicals, and zines.

When: Opening night Thursday, Feb 23, 6 – 9 pm.  After party Saturday, Feb 25, 7 pm

Where: Opening Party and Book Fair at The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA, 152 N Central Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90012.  Saturday Night after party at The Regent Theater, 448 S Main St., Los Angeles, 90013.  Book fair details here. There are also after parties every night of the LAABF at Ace Hotel Los Angeles (details here).

Tickets: Opening preview $10.  After party $20.  Get tickets here.  Or stop by the Mount Analog and Printed Matter booth during LAABF to skip the ticketing fees.

“The Creative Architect: Inside the Great Midcentury Personality Study,” Photo: Institute.

2 ) Modernism Week: Talk by Pierluigi Serraino, author of “The Creative Architect: Inside the Great Midcentury Personality Study”

Is it possible to map the creative mind, and determine what makes a person creative?  That was the goal of a little known study out of the University of California, Berkeley in 1958-59. The study tried to get into the minds of leading Mid-Century architects, including Eero Saarinen, I.M. Pei, Philip Johnson, Louis Kahn, Richard Neutra, George Nelson, and dozens more.  In The Creative Architect, Pierluigi Serraino charts the development, implementation, and findings of this historic study, producing the first look at a fascinating and forgotten moment in architecture, psychology, and American history. He will talk about the book, and sign copies at Modernism Week this Friday.

When: Friday, Feb 24, 10 – 11 am

Where: CAMP, 350 S. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, CA 92262

Tickets: $10.  Get tickets here.

Arch2o-TAICHUNG CITY CULTURAL CENTER ENTRY – PATRICK TIGHE (7). Courtesy of Tighe Architecture

3 ) Reception, Exhibition, and Book Signing with Patrick Tighe of Tighe Architecture

Patrick Tighe is an LA-based teacher and architect who has applied the decorative and sculptural potential of digital modeling to projects from the Sierra Bonita Mixed-Use Affordable Housing project in West Hollywood to private homes and institutional buildings around the world. Now there is a monograph of his work that explores five key themes: “CRAFT (from the manufactured to the technological); MATERIAL (from the natural to the synthetic); EXPERIENCE (from the actual to the perceptual); GEOMETRY (from the simple to the complex); and METHOD (from the analog to the digital).”  Meet Patrick and see images from the book at a reception at Helms this Saturday.

When: Saturday, Feb 25, 6:30-8:30 pm

Where: Helms Bakery District, 8745 Washington Blvd., Culver City, CA 90232

Tickets: Free and open to the public. More information here

Passengers, Arrival, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Hail Caesar! and La La Land have received 2017 Oscar nominations for Production Design.

4 ) The Art of Production Design: Panel Discussion with Oscar Nominees

According to director Brad Bird, a production designer has to “understand architecture, history, theater and the psychology of dreams because good art direction is the art of constant communication without saying a word.”

This Sunday five production designer/set decorator duos will be considered for the Academy Award for Best Production Design (the category’s original name was Best Art Direction, but was changed to its current name in 2012 for the 85th Academy Awards.)  Oscar-nominated art directors and set decorators include ARRIVAL: Patrice Vermette and Paul Hotte, FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM: Stuart Craig and Anna Pinnock, HAIL, CAESAR!: Jess Gonchor and Nancy Haigh, LA LA LAND: David Wasco and Sandy Reynolds-Wasco, PASSENGERS: Guy Hendrix Dyas and Gene Serdena.

On Saturday night you can hear from those designers at a panel discussion presented by the American Cinematheque and the Art Directors Guild and Set Decorators Society of America.

When: Saturday, Feb 25, 3 – 5 pm

Where: Egyptian Theater, 6712 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028

Tickets: Entrance is free, on a first come first serve basis. No RSVP needed. Doors open at 2:30 and we highly recommend people ARRIVE EARLY as it will be a packed event.  Priority entrance/seating is given to members of the Art Directors Guild, the Set Decorators Society of America and American Cinematheque. More information here.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Transit Center by Elliot S. Barker

5 )  AIA/LA Iconic LA Tour: Compton

American history books regularly omit the contributions of African Americans, and architectural history is no different.  In conjunction with Black History Month, this tour highlights selected buildings to acknowledge their historical, social and cultural relevance and the perseverance of the African American architects who designed them. For instance, Harold L. Williams, FAIA, NOMA designed Compton City Hall during an era African-American architects were rarely able to obtain such commissions. The tour will be led by AIA|LA board members Drake Dillard, AIA, NOMA (whose Charles R. Drew University of Medicine will be a stop on the tour) and Jason Morris, Assoc. AIA|LA.

Dillard and Morris will provide context illuminating community, design, and designer throughout these exterior visits.  The two men will tap into information gleaned from the in-depth research which led to the AIA|LA + National Organization of Minority Architects map which documents contributions by African American designers and architects to the Los Angeles region.   The tour focuses on the MLK Hospital area and the Compton City Hall area.

When: Sunday, Feb 26, 10 am – noon

Where: Starting location will be provided after registration.  The group will walk together, viewing and discussing projects in “Area 1”, then they’ll return to their cars, drive to the designated start of “Area 2” and then walk Area 2 together. (see complete list of locations here)

Tickets: $55 (members $40).  More information and register here.