Art, Commentary, Exhibitions »

My Mom Went to Dismaland and All She Got Me Were These Lousy Pictures

Posted September 15, 2015 by | 0 Comments

If you’ve heard enough about Dismaland, exit this post.
But I was tickled when I learned my mom — who is not an art world hipster — recently paid a night-time visit to Banksy’s much talked-about parody of a theme park.
Mom lives in my hometown of Bath, which is not far from the site of Dismaland, a town called Weston-Super-Mare.
Bath is near Bristol, where Banksy grew up, and …

Commentary »

Zumthor and Mayne Trade Places: Good or Bad For LA and the Alps?

Posted March 26, 2015 by | 3 Comments

This week Angelenos got a look at the latest iteration of Swiss architect Peter Zumthor’s design for LACMA.
Meanwhile, in a tiny village in Switzerland called Vals, residents are taking in renderings of a new hotel designed by leading LA architect Thom Mayne. He is proposing a towering addition to Therme Vals, a hotel and spa complex whose spa building was designed by Peter Zumthor and is widely considered …

Commentary »

Why Architecture For Humanity Will Survive The Demise of ‘Architecture For Humanity’

Posted January 29, 2015 by | Comments Off
Kimisagara Football for Hope Centre, Central Kigali, by Architecture For Humanity

The news of the closure of Architecture For Humanity prompted one paper to suggest the group’s demise means the “future of socially responsible design may hang in the balance.” Read on to find out why “socially responsible design” will outlive AFH.

Commentary, Guest Spots, People »

“Contact In The Desert” — A UFO Lovefest

Posted September 23, 2014 by | 1 Comment

Faced with the enormity of human impact on earth, extraterrestrial life is looking more appealing. At least, that is the view of some who attended ‘Contact In The Desert,’ a four-day conference that took place mid-August at the Joshua Tree Retreat Center. 
Bennett Stein, aka The GOOD4NOTHING CONNOISEUR, attended this be-in for UFO consciousness-seekers and first-hand recountings of close encounters of the 3rd kind.
He went armed with skepticism but says …

Commentary, People »

Architect Kurt Meyer: From Switzerland to Los Angeles to the Himalayas

Posted September 23, 2014 by | Comments Off
Bunker Hill Towers in the background; the flowers in the foreground are now the World Trade Center.  Photo courtesy Pamela Meyer

Kurt Meyer, the Swiss-born architect who made a mark on Los Angeles with his work in preservation, design and master planning, and his chairmanship of the downtown Community Redevelopment Agency, died last month at the age of 92. One of his late-in-life acquaintances was KCRW’s arts reporter Lisa Napoli, who shared with Meyer a passion for the remote country of Bhutan (where Napoli helped found a …

Commentary, Drought, Exhibitions »

Keep Off The Lawn: Griffin Enright Stats Revisited

Posted August 19, 2014 by | Comments Off

This week’s DnA asked why the Slide The City for downtown Los Angeles has become the target of drought-shaming while millions of gallons go unchallenged on other forms of potable water-based entertainment. The show talked about comparative use of water in LA’s archetypal pleasure places including swimming pools, water parks, golf courses and even restaurants.

But it didn’t get into the other big water-guzzler, the Socal lawn.

Commentary, Drought, Recent Shows, Speak Out »

Should the City of 43,123 Swimming Pools Say No to “Slide The City”?

Posted August 19, 2014 by | 2 Comments
Screen Shot 2014-08-18 at 4.52.22 PM

A proposed Slip ‘n’ Slide for one day in downtown promised to be an entertaining urban intervention. But it has brought on howls of drought-shaming — even as millions of gallons are poured on water parks, swimming pools and other water-based leisure activities in Los Angeles. Should we be careful of environmental moralizing? And in a drier future, where will we go to cool off?
That’s …

Commentary, Energy, Mobility, News, Recent Shows »

Tesla Tosses Patents: Disruptive Altruism or Good Business?

Posted June 17, 2014 by | Comments Off
The Tesla Model S

The message from Silicon Valley is that patents are worth protecting, hoarding and fighting about in court.
So what are we to conclude from Elon Musk’s announcement last week that he was tossing all Tesla’s hard-won patents?
Musk wrote on the Tesla blog:
Yesterday, there was a wall of Tesla patents in the lobby of our Palo Alto headquarters. That is no longer the case. They have …

Commentary, Design, People »

Pritzker Winner Shigeru Ban Learned About Japanese Architecture in Los Angeles

Posted March 25, 2014 by | 2 Comments

Reaction to the selection of Japanese architect Shigeru Ban for this year’s Pritzker Prize has been fast and favorable, with critics agreeing the architecture unites beauty, sustainability and humanity in a very important way.

But less commented on is the fact that Ban, the third Japanese Pritzker laureate in the past five years, credits Los Angeles for an education in his native country’s architecture.

Commentary, Design »

Does Entrepreneur Barbie Need a Redesign?

Posted March 4, 2014 by | 1 Comment

Last month Mattel released Entrepreneur Barbie. And who can argue with sending a message of economic self-empowerment to young girls, especially as employment prospects seem ever more precarious?

But some are arguing this Barbie doesn’t quite fit the woman entrepreneur mold.

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