Photo by Heejae Lee

Photo by Heejae Lee

Whether it’s unexpected plants blooming across the city or new art pieces and murals popping up across building corners, Los Angeles provides never-ending opportunities for discovering a new perspective. In the search for the unseen and overlooked, I find creative inspirations that directly translate into my work as a designer.

Photo: Heejae Lee

Photo: Heejae Lee

For example, I recently came across an unexpected act of urban intervention, a crosswalk signal altered into a wholly new experience. Although I use crosswalks daily, I admit I barely take notice of crosswalk signal buttons. But Spanish designer Alfredo Adan saw an opportunity to reconnect pedestrians with infrastructure: Adan is altering Los Angeles city crosswalks into “Walk Bumps”, a “Fist Bump to Cross” experience that turns the mundane into a humorous physical interaction.

Map via CicLAvia

Map via CicLAvia

Over the weekend I attended CicLAvia, the citywide community bicycling event advertised as the “Heart of LA” ride. And as I traveled along Spring and 1st Street by bicycle, I began noticing and appreciating the same streets I pass by every day by car with a whole new perspective. Citywide coalitions/events like CicLAvia are valuable because it gives people an opportunity to interact with LA’s urban landscape in a way you’d never notice when traveling by car. And just like the Walk Bump installations, CicLAvia shakes our expectations and perspectives, reminding us even in the known and recognizable lies opportunity for the novel if we only take the time and effort to look with fresh eyes.

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