Posts from the Friday Five Category


A Conversation with Women from Cal Poly Pomona Landscape Architecture: “As part of Cal Poly Pomona Department of Landscape Architecture’s 60th Anniversary celebrations the department is pleased to host a screening of the documentary “Ruth Shellhorn: Midcentury Landscape Design in Southern California.” The documentary will be followed by a panel discussion with its creator, Kelly Comras, a landscape architect and CPPLA alumna.” Kiku Kurahashi, one of AHBE’s Senior Associates will be participating as a panelist.
When: Mon, February 27, 2017, 6:00 PM – 8:30 PM PST
Where: Japanese American Cultural and Community Center
244 South San Pedro Street
Garden Room A
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Environmental Communications: Contact High: ““Contact High” is the first major presentation of West Coast media collective Environmental Communications, who shot thousands of 35mm slides that captured “a vast visual taxonomy of Southern California’s urban and social geography“ as well as “an almanac of alternative architectural practices” during the late 1960s and ’70s. Browse through the group’s process images, videotaped road trips, blimp tours, group therapy sessions, as well as their sales catalogs and slide sets that they distributed to a network of cultural institutions and architecture schools worldwide”
When: Until April 1st
Where: LA X ART: 7000 Santa Monica Blvd

Catherine Opie: Life and Work: Catherine Opie discusses her life and work, including her iconic photography series of portraits and American urban landscapes. A photographer and photography professor at UCLA, her work includes portrait series and American urban landscapes that range in format from large-scale color works to smaller black-and-white prints. Moving from the territory of the body to the framework of the city, Opie’s various photographic series are linked together by a conceptual framework of cultural.
When: THU, FEB 23, 2017 / 6:30-8:00PM
Where: Skylight Studios
10050 Constellation Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90067

Speaking: Dana Cuff, head of cityLAB and the Urban Humanities Initiative at UCLA: “Dr. Dana Cuff, UCLA A.UD Professor and Founding Director of cityLABleads unconventional architectural practices deploying new logics of discipline, economy, and social purpose.”
When: MON, FEB 27, 2017 / 6:30-8:00PM
Where: Perloff Hall is located on the UCLA Campus.

Boom: A Journal of California, Seeing California Reading: “The Last Bookstore hosts a lineup of contributors reading from the last issue of the beloved publication, with California poet laureate Dana Gioia and Boom editor Jason Sexton among those scheduled to appear. Plus, as thanks to the community for its support, copies of Boom’s final print issue are free with the purchase of any book by one of its contributors.”
When: THU, FEB 21, 2017 / 7:30PM
Where: The Last Bookstore
453 S. Spring St.
Los Angeles, CA 90013

Palm Springs Modernism Week: “Modernism Week’s signature February Event is an annual celebration of midcentury modern design, architecture, art, fashion and culture. This exciting festival takes place in February in the Palm Springs area of Southern California. Modernism Week features more than 250 events including the Modernism Show & Sale, Signature Home Tours, films, lectures, Premier Double Decker Architectural Bus Tours, nightly parties and live music, walking and bike tours, tours of Sunnylands, fashion, classic cars, modern garden tours, a vintage travel trailer exhibition, and more.”
When: Daily until February 26, 2017
Where: Various across Palm Springs


Renderings revealed for Disney’s Star Wars theme parks: Imaginary landscapes unveiled alongside the announcement of plans for a 14-acre Star Wars-themed extensions to both Disneyland and Disney World theme parks by 2019 (the Star Wars-themed lands are the largest-ever, single-themed land expansions at Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts.)

How cities can stand up to climate change: “Donald Trump has pledged to defund climate change science and undo Barack Obama’s progressive climate legacy. As the White House abandons the climate change fight, “resilience” is becoming a big part of the way cities design and build for the future.”

Yesterday’s Dams Face Tomorrow’s Floods: “Water—whether too much or too little—has a way of revealing weaknesses in design and decision making. For Oroville Dam—the tallest dam in the nation—the crisis began with poor maintenance of its main spillway compounded by wholly inadequate design of the emergency spillway, a known problem. But the crisis at Oroville also raise five broader concerns that California will have to reckon with…”

Scientists Are Working to Make All of L.A. Three Degrees Cooler: “Mayor Eric Garcetti has pledged to reduce L.A.’s average temperature by three degrees over the next two decades (which, if you think about the difference between it being 101 and 98 outside, is a big deal), and, as the Los Angeles Times reports, a group of scientists are actively working towards that goal.”

Despite drought-reducing rains, central California continues to sink: “The most comprehensive study yet of the problem reveals the startling pace and extent of the damage: NASA satellites found the ground subsiding up to 20 inches in a seven-mile area near the Fresno town of Tranquillity, because the state’s subterranean water supply was drained to record lows by farms and towns coping with the recent drought.”


Environmental Fable Set in Sci-Fi Landscapes Wins 2017 Fairy Tales Competition: “The winning entries in this year’s competition include oblique references to current events, mundane daily activities and human emotions that we all easily relate to—they make visible how we shape space, and in turn, how space shapes us. The images and narratives are so wildly outlandish, and yet, so grounded that it seems like we could mistakenly stumble into any of them.”

Germany unveils zero-emissions train that only emits steam: “Germany is set to introduce the world’s first zero-emission passenger train to be powered by hydrogen.The Coradia iLint only emits excess steam into the atmosphere, and provides an alternative to the country’s 4,000 diesel trains.”

A City Is Not a Computer: ““What should a city optimize for?” Even in the age of peak Silicon Valley, that’s a hard question to take seriously. The question was posed last summer by Y Combinator — the formidable tech accelerator that has hatched a thousand startups, from AirBnB and Dropbox to robotic greenhouses and wine-by-the-glass delivery — as the entrepreneurs announced a new research agenda: building cities from scratch.”

Japanese Garden at the Donald C. Tillman Water Reclamation Plant: “Whether daydreaming of an escape to a Far East Zen paradise or enrolling at Starfleet Academy, a stroll through this traditional Japanese Garden, part of a not-so-glamorous water reclamation plant in the San Fernando Valley, will instantly transport you in either direction.”

The American suburbs are the next fertile ground for architectural and urban experimentation: “The American suburbs are the next fertile ground for architectural and urban experimentation. Seen here: One Connecticut town swaps a derelict mall for a 14.4-acre, community-centered green space. Click on the link “environmentally” in the sixth paragraph below to learn more.”

Italo Calvino's 'Invisible Cities', Illustrated Isaura. Image © Karina Puente Frantzen

Italo Calvino’s ‘Invisible Cities’, Illustrated – Image © Karina Puente Frantzen

Italo Calvino’s ‘Invisible Cities’, Illustrated: Lima-based architect Karina Puente has a personal project: to illustrate each and every “invisible” city from Italo Calvino’s 1972 novel. The book, which imagines imaginary conversations between the (real-life) Venetian explorer Marco Polo and the aged Mongol ruler Kublai Khan has been instrumental in framing approaches to urban discourse and the form of the city.

Santa Monica Airport to become public park in 2029: “Marking an end to a years-long legal and political struggle, the Santa Monica City Council announced an agreement with the United States Federal Government last weekend that calls for the closing of Santa Monica Airport on December 31, 2028. Upon closing, the site will be converted into a public park.”

How much storm water is LA catching?: “I think this storm here has really demonstrated where the shortcomings are in our local water system. We’ve barely scratched the surface on what we can do in the eastern San Fernando Valley in trying to capture more of that precious rainfall from the sky and have it actually infiltrate into the ground and get into our groundwater supply.”

As Climate Change Accelerates, Floating Cities Look Like Less of a Pipe Dream: “An audacious plan to respond to climate change by building a city of floating islands in the South Pacific is moving forward, with the government of French Polynesia agreeing to consider hosting the islands in a tropical lagoon. The project is being put forward by a California nonprofit, the Seasteading Institute, which has raised about $2.5 million from more than 1,000 interested donors.”

Metro CEO hints at possible express train to LAX: “As construction continues on the Crenshaw/LAX Line and a long-sought rail connection to LAX gets closer to reality, Metro is already considering ways to speed up the trip from the airport to Downtown Los Angeles. During a panel discussion at Urban Land Institute’s Future Build conference, Metro CEO Phil Washington revealed the transit agency might explore adding an express train that would shuttle passengers between LAX and Union Station.”

Reimagined: Synthesized Soundscapes of California: “I visited the region from September through October 2014, on a soundscape ecology project purposed to create a sonic profile of California parks, their biophonies and geophonies.To my surprise, every park I visited was a ghost world. Many of the famous forests – Yosemite, Sequoia, Big Sur – were either scorched by wildfires or parched bone dry by the drought. I found no predominant biophonic activity. Throughout over 30 excursions into the wilderness, I was mostly only ever able to capture geophonic sounds – wind, small brooks, trees creaking, rain.