Posts from the Friday Five Category

The Quest To Grow Cities From Scratch: “The prospect of building cities out of materials that can grow, self-heal, and adapt to changing circumstances on their own is near the point of becoming a reality, according to some working in the field. Eben Bayer, founder of the biomaterials startup Ecovative, predicts it will happen before 2050.”

City infrastructure could turn Los Angeles into a pedestrian paradise: “If Los Angeles wants to get serious about the street safety of Angelenos, it needs to rework the walkability of its streets. Right now, streets in Los Angeles are clearly utilized with the driver in mind. For example, the majority of space on almost every street is allocated to cars, while pedestrians are confined to small slivers of sidewalk space. While this is how we are conditioned to think of streets, this does not have to be the case.”

For Urban Transit, a Hostile Budget: “The budget proposes “funding to projects with existing full funding grant agreements only.” That means Boston’s Green Line extension and the Portland-Milwaukee light rail project in Oregon would be safe, among others. But some of the most “shovel-ready projects” in the country, to use a Trump team-favored phrase, don’t have a full agreement in place, including Caltrain’s electrification project. Dozens of projects would be in limbo, among them several metros that passed major transit referenda in November, including Los Angeles, Indianapolis, and Seattle. ”

I’m 35 and I love gardening. Deal with it: “Gardening is many things: beautiful, meditative, healthy, exciting, rewarding and creative. However, I often feel as if gardening is not particularly popular among my peers. It seems to come down to one thing: age. I’m 35 years old and I’m passionate about gardening.”

The Crushing Defeat of Measure S Is a Defining Moment for L.A.: “The election this week revolved, in so many ways, around development. There was Measure S, the controversial anti-development ballot measure, but also the mayor and City Council races, in which the incumbents were attacked, time and again, for allowing density in L.A. It’s no exaggeration to say the election was a referendum on development, on density, on urbanization. And density won.”

Tujunga Spreading Grounds: “LADWP and the Los Angeles County Flood Control District are working together on the Tujunga Spreading Grounds Enhancement Project. The improved spreading grounds will capture more stormwater to recharge groundwater and help enhance local water supplies.”

Amazon Deforestation, Once Tamed, Comes Roaring Back: “A decade after the “Save the Rainforest” movement captured the world’s imagination, Cargill and other food giants are pushing deeper into the wilderness.”

Landscape architecture icons to know now: Cornelia Oberlander and Harriet Pattison: “Cornelia Oberlander and Harriet Pattison knew of each other long before they met: In a field with few female practitioners at the time, they were often told of “another” woman working in landscape architecture. It’s a testament not only to their pioneering careers, but how rare it was to be a woman working in their profession—which, in the early 1950s, was any aspect of design.”

Arid land to a fertile Eden: permaculture lessons from Portugal: “The wind and the water eroded all the fine earth that should serve as a sponge for the rainwater. We started to manipulate the situation so these places retain the rainwater falling on them. Then you start to build structures like swales, which fill with rainwater and slowly filter into the earth.”

Rafael Aranda, Carme Pigemand Ramon Vilalta Receive the 2017 Pritzker Architecture Prize: “The three architects, originating from Olot, in the Catalonian region of Spain, have worked together collaboratively since founding their firm RCR Arquitectes, in their hometown in 1988. Their work demonstrates an unyielding commitment to place and its narrative, to create spaces that are in discourse with their respective contexts. Harmonizing materiality with transparency, Aranda, Pigem and Vilalta seek connections between the exterior and interior, resulting in emotional and experiential architecture.”

Creative Commons photo by Allie_Caulfield (CC BY 2.0)

Creative Commons photo by Allie_Caulfield (CC BY 2.0)

Will we be riding Angels Flight by Labor Day?: “Wednesday, LA Mayor Eric Garcetti made an announcement that historic preservationists, tourists, and downtown residents have been waiting and hoping for for years: Angels Flight, the historic little railway that goes up Bunker Hill, will reopen in a few months.”

Why Is the Drought Not Over Yet?: “Those of us who look at water never want to get too comfortable,” Feldman says. “I suspect that’s one of the reasons officials are reluctant to drop the declaration of drought — the fear that we might go back to old habits.”

International competition to design an island: The University of Pennsylvania’s LA+ (Landscape Architecture Plus) journal has launched a US$10,000 international ideas competition to design a hypothetical island. The competition asks entrants to conceive a new island or archipelago of islands that can be located anywhere in the world. The island(s) can be in any form and have any program, but must not exceed a total surface area of one square kilometre.

Architects and designers are no good at altering your mental topography: “After leaving, you see where you are completely differently, your mental topography altered and filtered in a way that the heritage culture tropes of “psychogeographic” writing no longer can…Architects and designers are not good at this.”

Turquoise waters, white sandy cliffs and highways swallowed by sand: Irenaeus Herok is a Polish commercial photographer specialising in landscape, architecture and portraiture…The talented landscape photographer has captured both the vibrant colours of untouched terrains and the mind-blowing architecture and infrastructure re-shaping the region.

Mexico City, Parched and Sinking, Faces a Water Crisis: “Climate change has become the biggest long-term threat to this city’s future. And that’s because it is linked to water, health, air pollution, traffic disruption from floods, housing vulnerability to landslides — which means we can’t begin to address any of the city’s real problems without facing the climate issue.”

Where is all of this storm water going?: “Big storms with plenty of moisture are moving into Norther California Thursday through Monday, and possibly Tuesday. Just about every single reservoir in California is running really high, but where can all of that water go?”

Challenges of Urban Water Infrastructure: “In many localities, captured rainwater is perceived as greywater, and citizens are reluctant to accept wastewater reuse as an alternative potable water source. Updating policies in zoning ordinances, and economic incentives to promote and, perhaps, mandate implementing green decentralized water infrastructure are needed. These challenges can be overcome by offering workshops and information seminars to municipal and local government water planners and engineers, regulators, and policy makers.”

How California Can Make the Most of Its Rainfalls: “Now that rain is finally falling, is California doing all it can to capture and conserve that water? Projects are underway to utilize stormwater better, with several areas of Southern California already leading by example.”

How California’s next superstorm could affect LA’s water supply: “So it may not rain all that much at your house in LA today, but the storms that are inundating the northern half of California right now and into tomorrow could have severe impacts that will push the state’s water system to its limits. And—the rainy season is not over yet. The risk could go up again if another massive atmospheric river event strikes in the coming weeks.”


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