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Eavesdrop: Alissa Walker


The people milling about the Santa Monica Pier on the night of July 19 were all lit up, but not on the usual substances. The first-ever Glow festival transformed the pier into an all-night rave—except with kids, and no beer. Despite those setbacks, Glow was resoundingly successful: City officials estimate over 200,000 people attended, including many architects and their lil’ ravers-in-training, who romped through the installations. A favorite was EX-SE-08 by Shih Chieh Huang, random objects strung together under the pier with lights and fans spinning to create a kind of undersea world on acid. Triiiiiippy. Also popular was the Dunnage Ball, a bouncy castle made of bags used to stabilize cargo by Peter Tolkin Projects. Freya Bardell and Brian Howe of Greenmeme lit up the water with floating “tumbleweeds” of LED-stuffed plastic bottles. And the Amazing Mental Scope by Infranatural projected a fantastic light show onto the end of the pier that depended on the brain activity of whoever was peering through it.


Two people on the pier that night had a different sort of glow—the prenuptial kind. Infranatural collaborators (with Marcos Lutyens) and Materials & Applications directors Jenna Didier and Oliver Hess kicked off their wedding at Glow and concluded it at a ceremony in downtown’s Cornfield State Park the next day at sunset. In lieu of rice, guests planted kernels of corn in the new park, a creation of FarmLab founder Lauren Bon, who was in attendance. New York–based artist-engineer Natalie Jeremijenko and family donned angel-like wings for the ceremony, much to the crowd’s delight. The groomsmen wore traditional Indian tunics, with Hess in black silk, while Didier’s white laser-cut gown by Elena Manferdini—the go-to for architecturally-savvy brides—twirled about her like leaves in the breeze. The couple registered at McFeely’s Square Drive Screw Authority, which listed M&A-friendly gifts like a Festool Trion PS 300 Barrel Grip Jigsaw. Now that’s romantic! We wish them many happy installations.


We have it on good authority that other-coasters Diller Scofidio + Renfro have been chosen to design the new space for the Museum of Performing Arts and Design in San Francisco. Look for an official announcement in August… Back in LA, occupancy woes are rocking Marcelo Spina and Georgina Huljich’s Sunset Boutique project on the Sunset Strip. The flashy, 7,600-square-foot space was scheduled to be finished in August and still doesn’t have a tenant… With Design Star about to suck its way through a second season, architects are taking matters into their own hands: We hear that AIA-LA is in talks with a certain A-list actor's production company to produce a reality show focusing on architects… It’s no secret we love to party, but lately we’ve been handling hosting duties as well. On July 17, we co-sponsored a fundraiser for Richard Neutra’s VDL House, a 1932 Silver Lake gem that had fallen into disrepair until the smart people at Cal Poly Pomona snatched it up earlier this year. Over 150 people turned out to raise almost $3,000 for the preservation effort. One lucky lady walked away with a mint green Eames rocker, graciously donated by Modernica’s Frank Novak. We should get together more often!

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Alissa Walker