Posts tagged #ThisIsLandscapeArchitecture

Grand Park Portals Project
“What time did you wake up today? What do you do for work? How do you prepare your favorite meal? Angelenos can describe moments of everyday life – the sights, smells, and experiences to another place or country. The Portals Project brings an immersive space – a gold shipping container with screens and speakers – to connect Angelenos to faces and places that are curious about L.A. life. Exchange thoughts, ideas, recommendations for music, recipes, and anything in between in this two-week activation APR 10 – APR 23.”
WHEN: April 10, 2017 all-day Repeats
WHERE: Grand Park’ Olive Court (near the fountain), 200 North Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90012

Citizen Science + Suds
“Can citizen science make Los Angeles a better city? Make California a better state? Can it help us save the world? Join NHMLA this spring in Downtown L.A. for our new Citizen Science + Suds series, in partnership with Angel City Brewery! Each month you’ll learn about projects that rely on community involvement for success. Panelists will share stories, data, and the real-world impacts that happen when you harness the power of the people. Come ready for an interactive and lively conversation-after all, crowd participation is what citizen science is all about.” Brian Brown – NHMLA Urban Nature Research Center; Brooke Simmons – Planetary Response Network and the Zooniverse; Claudia Martinez Mansell – Public Lab for Open Technology and Science
WHEN: April 13, 2017, 6:00 pm – 8:30 pm
WHERE: Angel City Brewery & Public House

The Great LA River Clean Up: Upper River
The Friends of the Los Angeles River lead America’s largest urban river clean up! Angelenos aren’t waiting for river restoration – they’re taking it into their own hands one trash bag at a time at Friends of the LA River’s 28th annual Great LA River CleanUp: La Gran Limpieza! April is Earth month and the Great LA River CleanUp isn’t just one of LA’s biggest green events. It isn’t just the biggest event on the LA River. This is the largest urban river clean up in America. FOLAR is going to break the records again this year with the most volunteers ever. Are you going to be there?
WHEN: Saturday, April 15, 2017; 9 am – 12 pm
WHERE: Bette Davis Picnic Area, 1850 Riverside Dr, Glendale, CA 91201

California Native Plant Horticulture with Lili Singer
The basics on gardening with California flora: why natives are valuable, about plant communities, plus planting techniques, establishment, irrigation, pruning and ongoing maintenance. Recommended for beginners; prerequisite to our Three-part California Native Plant Garden Design course.
WHEN: Saturday, April 15, 2017; 8:30 AM – 12:30 PM PDT
WHERE: Theodore Payne Foundation; 10459 Tuxford St. Sun Valley, CA 91352

Terns and Crows: Lessons in endangered shorebird management from Venice Beach
Led by the Los Angeles Audubon Society: “In analyzing the effectiveness of these non-lethal predator control systems, we find it is important to recognize the significant role anthropogenic factors have in affecting the ecology, behavior, and dispersion of various species in urban ecosystems. This talk will therefore discuss crow and least tern interactions at Venice Beach, the effectiveness of non-lethal predator control systems, and the role people can play in contributing to urban wildlife conservation and management.”
WHEN: April 12, 2017; 7-9 p.m.
WHERE: Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook

Lights, Camera, California: Starring Roles for Scenic Sites
“The California Art Club pays tribute to the state’s impressive resume with the exhibition “Lights, Camera, California: Starring Roles for Scenic Sites,” on view through May 14. The exhibition showcases nearly 30 paintings of famous and not-so-famous sites that have made cameo appearances in film and television. Among the best-known location sites featured in the exhibition are iconic landmarks, such as the Hollywood Sign, the Golden Gate Bridge and the Griffith Park Observatory, which includes among its numerous credits the recently released “La La Land.”
WHEN: Tuesday – Sunday 1 – 4 p.m. Till May 14, 2017
WHERE: California Art Club Gallery at The Old Mill; 1120 Old Mill Road | San Marino, CA 91108

Visual representation has catapulted to an entire new level with the introduction of virtual reality technology. Virtual Reality (VR) technology propelled dedicated headset hardware and smartphones, especially the Samsung Galaxy line, to the forefront of user interaction and experience.

On the other hand, when it comes to software, apps like Pokémon GO introduced Augmented Reality (AR) – the combination of real world imagery with a layer of added imagery for a ‘holographic’ effects – to the masses. Both are examples of mass-market technological pioneers in the realm of VR and AR.

It’s not only individual users around the globe enjoying and using these technologies; private entities are also beginning to introduce these tools as a way to incorporate innovation and education in the firm-to-client relationship. The architectural design disciplines are no exception.

Today we live in a time of great change, and it’s imperative to be aware of emerging technologies. Just a couple of years ago, I wrote about the trend of incorporating gaming platforms to enhance the field of visual representation as part of my master’s degree. At that time, CryEngine 3, Unreal Engine 4, Unity 5, Frostbite 3 and Source were all promising platforms vying for leadership for architectural design applications. However, no firm was truly paying attention to these platforms since each requires hiring professional game developers or people fluent in gaming programming language in order to achieve the desired effects.

Photos by Cristhian Barajas


All photos by Erik Schmahl

Last week a friend texted, asking if I was interested in participating in the preview of a public theater piece. I had no idea what this entailed. Still, I immediately replied, “yes”, deciding it best to not ask any questions.

On Saturday morning I found myself in the back garden of El Pueblo de Los Angeles donning headphones and a wireless audio transmitter, waiting for further instructions. This wasn’t an altogether new experience, so I had some idea of what was coming. Last year I had participated in “Among Us” as part of the Live Arts Exchange, a piece by the same friend who had procured tickets to this event. Marike Splint is a Dutch director who I had met through my roommate in graduate school, and “Among Us” proved an incredible experience where participants explored an uncanny public realm. In the process we became aware of how we participate in public spaces and the ever-shifting gradient of belonging that permeates our sense of commons. It was basically what I was trying to do with my thesis, but markedly better at communicating similar ideas.

“Among Us” got me stoked about the potential for various methods of asking similar questions. I’m still not clear as to where the lines are drawn between theater, art, public practice, philosophy actions, and whatever it is to just be a person in the world. But I don’t think it matters; the medium becomes arbitrary when the message is executed in a compelling format. I’m personally fascinated by my own feeling of weirdness in public space. I don’t feel like I belong and I am unsure why that is. I’m curious if others feel like they belong, and if they do, what is the difference between us? Is it perceptual and spatial? Is it personal and emotional? Is it existential? I have a creeping feeling that it is all of those things.

This is where art becomes a useful translator. While Jan Gehl and Jane Jacobs lay it all out with diagrams and well-crafted essays in their landscape architecture curriculum, it’s the works of James Turrell and Lee Ufan that can make me feel space and all that it encompasses in ways that rattle me to my core.

I’m standing in a garden admiring the artichokes, wearing headphones, and listening to a light soundtrack of ambient music with an accompanying computer generated voice looping every couple minutes to assure me (and the thirty or so other folks wandering between the green beds) that Remote L.A. will begin shortly”.

Remote L.A. is a pedestrian-based live art experience by Rimini Protokoll, put on by the Center Theater Group in Downtown Los Angeles. Rimini Protokoll explains the global touring “Remote X” project as such:

“Hordes of people who have never met in the real world swarm out on virtual treasure hunts when playing online games. In Remote X we’re a horde of people wearing radio headphones, swarming out into the real city.”

A synthetic voice in our headphones (of the kind familiar from GPS navigators or airport announcements) directs the movements of our swarm. Binaural recordings and film scores turn the cityscape into a personal film; artificial intelligence explores unknown territories, mustering human activity from a remote perspective. And yet the voice sounds ever more human to us as we progress, while in the eyes of passers-by our remotely controlled horde starts to look like a kind of alien entity.

How are joint decisions made? Are we all hearing the same words? As 50 individuals observe each other, the swarm breaks down into ever-smaller units, before re-forming as a collective in which decisions are ultimately taken individually. Might this be the beginning of a movement?

Remote X lays a trail through the city for this swarm of 50 people. It composes a soundtrack to streets, parking garages, churches, and backyards. Each new city-specific version builds on the dramatic structure of its predecessor, writing more storylines for new sites.”

I’m not a theater reviewer or an art critic so I will just leave you with some photographs from the experience. Overall I find these types of projects to be fascinating and would encourage anyone who is curious about place to participate if you get a chance. I like to believe that landscape architecture is vast and has limitless reach as a discourse, but it’s up to landscape architects to poke and prod their field to try to make it squirm, remembering to laugh a little bit.



Desert X
“Artists from different parts of the world will be invited to make work that responds to the unique conditions of Palm Springs and the surrounding Coachella Valley.The themes and locations of the exhibition will engage surrounding communities, other Valley organizations, visitors, and students through works that respond to environmental, social and cultural conditions specific to the Valley, while also focusing attention on the creative energy of the participating artists and their work.”
When: Through April 30th, 2017
Where: Desert X Hub at the Ace Hotel & Swim Club, Palm Springs; Link to Google Maps

The Director’s Series: Michael Govan and Peter Zumthor
Renowned Swiss architect Peter Zumthor speaks with LACMA Director and CEO Michael Govan about the concepts behind his plans for LACMA’s future presentation of its collections. The new planned gallery building emphasizes exterior transparency as well as intimate interior experiences. Pritzker Prize-winning architect Zumthor is known for creating unique architectural spaces such as Therme Vals, Switzerland; the Kunsthaus Bregenz, Austria; and Kolumba Art Museum, Cologne.
When: Wednesday, April 5, 2017, 7:30 pm
Where: Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 5905 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90036

Celebrate California Spring Native Plant Sale
Hahamongna Native Plant Nursery presents a Spring fundraising Sale. These are the best native plants in our region, and they are available. Now It’s a great time to get spectacular, low-water-use native plants in the ground.Every purchase is a donation to promote native plants and water conservation for our region.
When: Sunday, April 9, 2017
Where: 4550 Oak Grove Dr, Pasadena, California 91011

The 14th Factory
“The 14th Factory is a monumental, multiple-media art installation that will transform an empty industrial warehouse near downtown Los Angeles into a mythic universe created collaboratively through video, installation, sculpture, sound, paintings, and live performance. The 14th Factory weaves together elements of popular culture–science fiction, punk music, graphic novels, and film–with critical re-examinations of social and historical narratives, especially interconnections between East and West. Conceived by Hong Kong-based British artist Simon Birch, the vision of The 14th Factory is to create a new, independent paradigm for socially-engaged art, a kind of guerilla action where art occupies and re-energizes underutilized or even derelict urban spaces and gifts them back to the community in the form of a transformative experience.”
When: Through April 30, 2017
Where: 440 North Avenue 19, Los Angeles, CA 90031

First Saturday: Volunteer Day at Theodore Payne Foundation
“This month on the second Saturday! Join the Theodore Payne Foundation family of volunteers to improve and care for our gardens. We will clear, clean, plant, mulch, prune and perform other tasks to spruce up the grounds and show how beautiful native plant gardens can be. Bring hat, gloves, knee pads and other tools for personal use. TPF will provide shovels, trowels, rakes, loppers, hoes, pruners and refreshments. Repeats first Saturdays through June.”
When: Sat, April 8, 2017, 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM PDT
Where: Theodore Payne Foundation, 10459 Tuxford St, Sun Valley, CA 91352