5 design things to do this week

This week you can: explore the work of Olafur Eliasson; hear from Nike designer Byron Merritt; find out why America lost interest in the World's Fair; learn the secrets of Oscar-nominated production designers; and attend a pro-pedestrian block party in Historic Filipinotown.

Ice Watch by Olafur Eliasson and Minik Rosing, Place du Panthéon, Paris, 2015 (timed to coincide with the 2015 conference on climate change).

1) An Evening with Olafur Eliasson

The Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson engages the public through architectural projects and interventions in civic space that are known for their creative use of color and light. In addition to his sculpture, painting, photography, film and installations — including The Weather Project at Tate Modern, The New York City Waterfalls and Ice Watch (above) — he runs Little Sun, a social business and global project to provide access to affordable light. At Tuesday’s lecture, Eliasson will reflect on his art in relation to emotion, physicality, and the future of our world.

When: Tuesday, Feb. 27 at 6:30 pm

Where: Ronald Tutor Campus Center, USC, 3607 Trousdale Pkwy, Los Angeles, CA 90089

Tickets: Free and open to the public. RSVP here.

NIKE JUST DO IT NYC, Moynihan Station, NYC, with creative direction by Byron Merritt.

2) Byron Merritt Lecture
Under new leadership by Hernan Diaz Alonso, who believes the architectural profession has to broaden its focus beyond buildings, SCI-Arc has entered into a collaboration with Nike. Students will spend time at Nike’s world headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon brainstorming with the Nike design team, and this Wednesday, Byron Merritt, Vice President of Retail Innovation at Nike, will give a public lecture on how he brings the brand alive “across all consumer touch points, be that retail, digital, and brand experiences in Nike’s biggest geography.” Merritt, who himself studied at SCI-Arc, was creative director for Nike’s first video game Nike+ Kinect Training, designed for the Xbox Kinect platform as well as customization experiences for Nike.

When: Wednesday, Feb. 28 at 7 pm

Where: SCI-Arc, W.M. Keck Lecture Hall, 960 E 3rd St, Los Angeles 90013

Tickets: Free and open to the public. Click here for more information.

Mina Chow explores why America abandoned World’s Fairs.

3) Film Screening and Conversation: “Face of a Nation: What Happened to the World’s Fair?”

Before the Consumer Electronics Show, there was the World’s Fair, where countries showed off to the world their best inventions and architectural marvels.  The Eiffel Tower, the Ferris Wheel, the zipper, video conferencing, moving walkways and so much more all debuted at World’s Fairs to the pride of the countries that took center stage.

So where is the World’s Fair now? It still matters to a lot of countries — 73 million people attended the 2010 World’s Fair in Shanghai, China — but not to America. That’s the view of architect and filmmaker Mina Chow; in her feature documentary Face of a Nation: What Happened to the World’s Fair?,  Chow explores the U.S.’s declining participation in World’s Fairs over the last 25 years and what that means for perceptions of America.  A Q&A will follow the screening.

When: Wednesday, Feb. 28, 6 pm

Where: Gin D. Wong, FAIA Conference Center, Harris Hall 101, USC

Tickets: Free. More information here.

Originally slated to be filmed in black and white, color ended up becoming an integral part of the design scheme for Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape of Water.

4) Oscar-Nominated Production Design Panel

Go behind the scenes, and into the minds of the people who create the scenes, at this panel discussion with this year’s Academy Award-nominated production designers and set decorators.  Nominated films are: BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (Production Design: Sarah Greenwood; Set Decoration: Katie Spencer), BLADE RUNNER 2049 (Production Design: Dennis Gassner; Set Decoration: Alessandra Querzola), DARKEST HOUR (Production Design: Sarah Greenwood; Set Decoration: Katie Spencer), DUNKIRK (Production Design: Nathan Crowley; Set Decoration: Gary Fettis) and THE SHAPE OF WATER (Production Design: Paul Denham Austerberry; Set Decoration: Shane Vieau and Jeff Melvin).  Presented by the American Cinematheque and the Art Directors Guild and Set Decorators Society of America.

When: Saturday, Mar. 3 from 3 – 5 pm. Doors open at 2 pm.

Where: Egyptian Theatre, 6712 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles 90028

Tickets: Free. You can RSVP here, however RSVP does not guarantee admission. Arrive early, as this event reaches capacity.

Priority entrance/seating is given to members of the Art Directors Guild, the Set Decorators Society of America and American Cinematheque. Members of these organizations must be in line when doors open to guarantee admission. After that, seating is not guaranteed. Please bring your membership card with you to the theatre. The general public will be admitted on a first come, first served basis once members of the above mentioned organizations have been admitted

5) Historic Filipinotown Block Party + Fundraiser

Los Angeles Walks hosts a block party Sunday to “celebrate walking and recommit to our work: advocating for safe, accessible, fun, and equitable walking for all!” The two-part event comprises a free block party for all ages with games, magicians and face paint, bike lessons and more; and a ticketed party at Gabba Gallery that includes a guided Mural Art Alley Tour. Well worth checking out the murals.

When: Noon – 3 pm: block party on Vendome St. between Council St. and Beverly Blvd; 2 – 5 pm: Fundraiser party with food, drinks, music, art, and mural tour at Gabba Gallery, across the street from the block party. $30 in advance, $40 March 4th weekend

Where: Vendome St. between Council St. and Beverly Blvd.

Tickets: Click here for more information.

Lastly, catch it before it’s gone: “Cuba Is” and “Resolviendo” at the Annenberg Space for Photography and Skylight Studios in Century City through Sunday, March 4.  The exhibition explores the complexities of Cuban life on and off the island.