Just two months ago, we launched a competition on DnA, to find a designer and design for a mobile soundbooth for our new storytelling project, Sonic Trace.

The project garnered lots of interest and since then we found a designer — Hugo Martinez and Christin To (front of the group in this picture at Hugo’s Mat-ter architecture studio) – and they are now hard at work turning their concept for a shiny “Burbuja,” or bubble,  into reality.

This Saturday they will tackle one of the aspects of their design that raised the most questions with the jury — how to actually realize the seemingly unbroken, silver surface for their bubble. They will be using high-power water jet cutting technology to cut the metal skin and we will track that process.

Meantime, to fund the $5000 project Sonic Trace has launched a Kickstarter campaign, and has until August 23 to meet that target. We’d love it if you’d give the project your support.

Speaking of bringing concepts to life, the Grand Park, a scheme to create a public place in a challenged space at Grand Avenue that has been six years in the making, opens to great fanfare Thursday with entertainment there all weekend. Read more about it here, and hear Warren Olney, Christopher Hawthorne, Mark Rios, Supervisor Gloria Molina and others on this Which Way, LA. A lot of people are buzzing about the pink furniture — love it or hate it?  (I’m with the former; love the combo of pink and green (see chairs on one of the terraces, in picture right); also love the juxtaposition of perky magenta chairs against the dour government buildings that frame the space; my only hope is that the designers will be brought back to design some multi-colored umbrellas to provide some shade on the exposed concrete terraces.)

And on Friday, the Olympics start in London,with opening ceremonies directed by filmmaker Danny Boyle that will include a much-anticipated parade of farm animals. In the lead-up to the Games, there has been a lot of grumbling (most recently from would-be president Mitt Romney, demonstrating his diplomatic skills by referring to the pre-games challenges as “disconcerting” on his first day in England).

There has also been grumbling from design critics, who have complained about a muddled vision for the branding and architecture of the games. But there’s also tremendous hope attached to that same vision — mainly for the “legacy” concept that won London the games, that meant building cost-effective, reusable Olympic buildings (the demountable, lightweight stadium, shown left, uses minimal steel in its construction) and siting the Games in a new Olympic Park on a once toxic brownfield site in a very poor part of the East End, all to be transformed later into a people’s park with new development around it. Hear all about it on this DnA and read more here:  especially inspiring are Clive Dutton, Chief of Planning for the London Borough of Newham,and designer Thomas Heatherwick.

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