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“Contact In The Desert” — A UFO Lovefest

Posted September 23, 2014 by | 1 Comment
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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, Exhibits »

Keep Off The Lawn: Griffin Enright Stats Revisited

Posted August 19, 2014 by | Comments Off
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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, 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
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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
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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
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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.

Commentary, Design, Speak Out »

“Ugly” Americans at the Russian Olympics?

Posted February 20, 2014 by | Comments Off
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On this week’s DnA, we spoke with Jerry Anderson, senior principal of Populous, the American design firm behind the Olympic Park and Fisht Stadium in Sochi.
Following the broadcast of the show, two colleagues held forth about other aspects of American design in Sochi. Unfictional‘s Bob Carlson felt the US bobsled, an aerodynamic carbon fiber and steel capsule designed by BMW DesignWorks, didn’t come across well on TV as it …

Commentary, Design »

The Godzilla of Architecture? Rem Koolhaas Builds His Own Delirious New York — in Rotterdam

Posted February 13, 2014 by | 1 Comment
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Rem Koolhaas and his firm OMA rarely create a building without effect; and that is true of his latest, a “vertical city” called de Rotterdam in the old harbor district of his chosen city, Rotterdam. Bennett Stein describes the “effect” and asks if it offers anything more?

Books, Commentary, Guest Spots, Recent Shows »

Curmudgeon or Sage? Dave Hickey Talks to Maura Lucking

Posted February 4, 2014 by | Comments Off
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Last week Dave Hickey was back in Los Angeles, for the launch of a book of essays entitled Pirates and Farmers: Essays on Taste. While here, he managed to provoke a twitterstorm at a MOCA book event with his comments on identity politics and its impact on art and the academy.

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