Alissa Walker, Marissa Gluck, Erin Cullerton and I were interviewed earlier this week by KCRW’s Frances Anderton for the last Design and Architecture show of the year. As founders of de LaB, we were asked to give our top picks for great LA-Made design gifts. From books to garbage cans, DIY laser cutting to miniature air plant sculptures, our selections ran the gamut. Frances caught up with us at the de LaB Holiday Party hosted at LACMAfollowing a viewing of the current California Design 1935-1960 “Living in a Modern Way” exhibit and we all crammed into my car in the parking garage for the interview, but only after we grabbed a glass of wine at Stark Bar. All I can say is that it’s way easier to be on the back side of the mic than it is to be in front of it!
If you missed it, catch it again here. Click to listen or just check out the links to all the amazing places and people mentioned on the show.
I still can’t believe we were on the same show as Jonathan Adler. What an honor and such a great way to end an amazing year. Hats off to all the creative people that make our LA design community so vibrant and always surprising.
Last week we joined 6,000 attendees from all over the country at the annual ULI Fall Meeting which returned to LA this year. To give the visiting urban land folks a taste of LA, we worked with KCRW’s Frances Anderton and ULI LA‘s Sandra Kulli and Clare De Briere to curate a selection of pop-up shops set up around a mini-zocalo, each offering a native take on place making.
The Square proved to be a draw throughout the conference, with Homeboy Industries‘ graphic tees flying off the shelves, Conscious Commuter‘s electric fold-up bicycle attracting waves of other conscious commuters, and wanderlusters lusting over notNeutral‘s map-inspired dishware. Live performances by singer/songwriter (and chemist!) Dafni, the Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles, USC’s “Spirit of Troy” Marching Band, and the Finn Kappe Sextet brought even more local flavor to The Square (which ironically could be found under a very triangular sign!) Judging by the fact that the seats were packed throughout the conference, we think they liked it.
More importantly, for us it was a great opportunity to hang out for a few days with some of LA’s best and brightest. The only downside: arctic LA Convention Center temperatures and not seeing daylight for three days.
Special thanks to Haworth and Unisource for providing the furniture for the entire Square. Without their contribution, the wheelers and dealers would have had nowhere to do their wheelin’ and dealin’.
Also, a huge thank you to all the amazing LA participants: Art Center’s Advanced Mobility Research group, Bloom Energy, Community Arts Resources, Otis College of Art and Design, SCI-arc, USC, Woodbury University, HOLA, Skylight Books, Watts House Project, Bill Kleiman, Behn Samareh, Standard, Tiffany Tedesco, Oyler Wu Collaborative, Rethink LA, John Friedman Alice Kimm Architects, and Tom Schnabel. Also big ups to the Finn Kappe Sextet for performing for a small-but-quality crowd and DJ Raul Campos for hanging out with us.
This project just further proves to us that LA is filled with some pretty awesome, talented, and ingenious people.
Normally, we try not to post about our clients (separation of church and state, etc.) but we’re happy to make an exception this time. The Urban Land Institute is hosting its annual conference here in LA next week and we’re thrilled to be working with them to produce The Square @ ULI Live!, a unique space that brings LA to life for conference attendees who might not otherwise see or be able to navigate this complicated megacity. Curated in collaboration with Frances Anderton of KCRW’s Design and Architecture and ULI LA‘s Sandra Kulli and Clare De Briere, The Square is a vibrant patchwork of organizations and individuals who are making their mark in the realm of place-making with their own distinct LA-style.
Here’s a preview:
SHOPS @ THE SQUARE
The Square will feature pop-up “shops” selling a curated mix of ideas, visions for the future, and products.
Beyond the Car
Art Center‘s Advanced Mobility Research group and Conscious Commuter will showcase a range of conceptual solutions for urban mobility. The Advanced Mobility Research group will feature their own futuristic take on the car, while Conscious Commuter (a company co-founded by an Art Center grad) will feature their electric fold-up bike that is meant to integrate holistically into existing mass transit.
Community Arts Resources
Four local educational institutions will be showing representative student work that embodies their signature take on place making. Participating schools include Otis College of Art and Design, SCI-arc, USC, and Woodbury University.
Heart of Los Angeles (HOLA)
This local non-profit will show attendees exactly how they engage youth in the arts, particularly their joint program with the Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles (YOLA). Also known as YOLA @ HOLA. Catchy, right?
notNeutral will set up shop at The Square, offering up their signature brand of colorful, modern, perforated accessories for the modern home and garden.
Longtime LA fixture and quintessential neighborhood bookstore Skylight Books will set up their mobile store for the attendees’ perusing leisure.
Watts House Project
Edgar Arceneaux’s artist-driven neighborhood redevelopment project will show attendees what their colorful vision is for the future of this South LA neighborhood.
Art Lounge with Bill Kleiman
With an insider’s understanding of the LA art scene, including the epic region-wide Pacific Standard Time initiative, LA Art Gallery Tours founder Bill Kleiman will be on hand to help attendees navigate the city and its many galleries.
PUBLIC ART INSTALLATIONS
The 20,000 sf space will also be peppered with public art installations designed by LA artists, architects, and designers. Some of these installations will look very familiar while others are being created especially for the occasion.
cLAsh by Behn Samareh
Artist Behn Samareh has devised a new medium for creating urban scale art. Using the latest in computer fabrication technology this process allows the production of works of unlimited size and scale. Created especially for the Square, cLAsh is an example of a new kind of urban mural. The one-of-a-kind piece will be available for purchase or could be installed on a blank wall near you…
Park(ing) Day LA – LOCAL Park by Standard
Silver Lake architecture firm Standard debuted the LOCAL Park installation in September as part of the Park(ing) Day LA festivities. At once literal and symbolic, the installation was a collaboration with de LaB.
Park(ing) Day LA – Community^2 Park
This interactive Park(ing) Day installation curated by Tiffany Tedesco brings together local community activists and artists to show how people can reclaim their public space and create their own parks.
Netscape by Oyler Wu Collaborative
Perspectives on a Future City + Re-imagining Wilshire
The future-forward exhibit by Rethink LA exploring what our city might look like in 50 years that debuted at the A+D Museum will be making a re-appearance in The Square. The much-lauded Re-imagining Wilshire interactive modeling table designed by James Rojas that contextualizes the city as play is of course part of the modular exhibit.
Los Angeles is the undeniable film capital of the world. But beyond the Hollywood stars, the city itself is a leading character. These curated shorts shine a spotlight on the City of Angels and the leading cast of creative stars that make up the rich fabric of this shining city. From the streets to the global arena this is a snapshot of the place we all call home; LA.
The Square will feature a revolving loop of film segments including: films commissioned by John Friedman Alice Kimm Architects for the Guadalajara Book Fair Pavilion, Heidi Duckler Dance Theater, and Out the Window.
During session breaks, attendees will enjoy downtime in the Square punctuated by live performances by local musicians, including the Spirit of Troy USC Marching Band, local chemist and chanteuse DAFNI, and the Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles.
On Thursday, October 27th, the Square will stay open late for a Night at the Square. KCRW’s Raul Campos will spin a set followed by a performance by the Finn Kappe Sextet. Throughout the conference, we’ll be playing an impressive play list compiled by KCRW’s Tom Schnabel.
Here’s the exact schedule of performances:
Wednesday – 10/26
9:00am – 4:00pm Chalk Artist (General Session Stage)
12:30pm – 1:00pm DAFNI, LA Chanteuse
2:45pm – 3:15pm Intro to The Square by Frances Anderton
Thursday – 10/27
8:00am – 1:00pm Chalk Artist (General Session Stage)
9:30am – 9:45am “Spirit of Troy” USC Marching Band
4:30pm – 5:00pm Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles (YOLA)
6:00pm – 8:00pm Night at the Square
Besides a beer garden designed by The Lab, the OC’s anti-mall, and cafes serving Intelligentsia‘s eye-opening brews, The Square will also feature Haworth‘s interpretation of the NewWOW, or ways of working. It’s the office, as re-imagined from the year 2020.
Interest piqued? Unfortunately, the conference is not open to the general public. But if you’d like more information about how to register for ULI Live!, click here.