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Future of Santa Monica Airport Is Up In the Air

Posted October 30, 2014 by | 12 Comments
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One of the most emotional issues in the City of Santa Monica right now is the fate of its airport. Competing measures, D and LC, on the ballot next Tuesday, aim to shape the future of the almost century-old Santa Monica Airport (SMO), whose settlement agreement between the city and the FAA is set to expire in 2015.
D is intended to preempt efforts to close the airport; …

News »

5 Takeaways From Gehrygate, and Why He Might Be Right

Posted October 26, 2014 by | 2 Comments
Frank Gehry

Frank Gehry recently got caught on camera giving the middle finger to a reporter who asked how he felt about people calling his buildings showy. The blogosphere went crazy, and it was tempting to dismiss the whole thing as just so much sturm und drang in our age of gotcha-on-tape journalism. But it’s unusual for an architect to attract a Bill Maher-level of attention. …

Books, L.A. Designer, LA Grows UP, News »

L.A. Designer: Scott Johnson Explains Why New Skyscrapers Look The Way They Do

Posted October 1, 2014 by | 2 Comments
Johnson 02 cropped tight

This week we learned that tall buildings in Los Angeles no longer need to have “flat tops,” the rooftop helipads, mandated for fire safety reasons since 1974, that resulted in few helicopter rescues and a downtown of mostly uninspired, stumpy towers. Ending that rule means the shackles are off for developers and designers wanting L.A. to join other world cities in the race to build the shapeliest skyscrapers.
As fashion maven Simon Doonan …

Design, News »

Why Has Apple Added Marc Newson To Its Stable of New Talent?

Posted September 9, 2014 by | Comments Off
Lockheed Lounge Chair

Remember the Dish Doctor Dishrack, designed for Magis in 1997 back when plastic was still fantastic (before we knew about entire islands of the stuff ruining marine life).
It is one of many memorable designs by Australian designer Marc Newson, who has been hired to join the Apple design team, by friend and sometime collaborator Jonathan Ive, chief of design at the company.
Of all the earth-shattering news …

News, People »

Cranbrook Taps New Director, from Long Beach via London

Posted July 30, 2014 by | 1 Comment
Chris Scoates in Long Beach Post

Christopher Scoates, director of the University Art Museum at California State University Long Beach since 2005, has left the Southland to take up a new post as director at the Cranbook Academy of Art in Michigan (whose L.A.-based alumni included L.A.’s Charles and Ray Eames and Gere Kavanaugh). The British-born Scoates studied there himself, acquiring a Master of Fine Arts in Photography.
Scoates, who co-curated while at Long Beach a …

Everything Talks, News »

Everything Talks: Who Killed The Plastic Bag?

Posted July 1, 2014 by | 1 Comment
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Large supermarket chains in Los Angeles are banned from bagging food in plastic bags. Starting July 1st that rule applies to mom-and-pop grocery stores as well.
This has paper and reusable bags feeling very pleased with themselves, as we learn from an episode of Everything Talks that takes place in the line of a Wholefoods store, written and performed for DnA by Tom Saunders. Shockingly, …

Design, News, Recent Shows »

Miracle Mile Gets Curvaceous Makeover

Posted June 19, 2014 by | Comments Off
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The LA architect Zoltan Pali recently exited the design team for the museum for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, reportedly due to differences over the plan for an attached auditorium in a “spaceship” designed by co-architect Renzo Piano, the famed Italian designer of BCAM, the Resnick Pavilion and the recent master planning of the museum campus.
But that’s not the only upheaval …

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 …

Becoming a Biker in L.A., Mobility, News »

Becoming a Biking City: Showdown Over Fig4All

Posted June 12, 2014 by | 20 Comments
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South Fig is becoming a “complete” street; North Fig may not, despite years of efforts to introduce a bike lane and “calming” measures on a dangerous stretch of road in Highland Park. A meeting tonight will bring out hundreds in a test of LA’s progress in changing its infrastructure in keeping with changing times.

News, Preservation Watch, Speak Out »

Preservation Watch: Save the “Mother Ditch”?

Posted April 25, 2014 by | 1 Comment
April 23 Zanja Madre photo by William Preston Bowling

Earlier this month, workers excavating the site of a $100-million Chinatown development “discovered a 100-foot section of Los Angeles’ first municipal water system, an  ancient maze of brick and wooden pipes and conduits that once fed the city,” reported The Los Angeles Times. “The 4-foot-diameter brick pipe that was found beneath what once was Little  Joe’s restaurant is part of the so-called Mother Ditch, or …

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