Collect 'Em All

LACMA acquires multimedia works by L.A.–based designers

Architecture West
LACMA acquires multimedia works by L.A.–based designers. Pictured: Jimenez Lai SCRIBBLE lamp (Steve Martinez/Los Angeles County Museum of Art)

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) recently announced a new crop of museum acquisitions that includes a variety of multimedia works by several Los Angeles–area architects and designers.

Included in the set of new acquisitions, according to LACMA Unframed, is a neon lamp designed by Jimenez Lai of Bureau Spectacular. The so-called Scribble lamp is an outgrowth of the firm’s Tower of Twelve Stories installation at the 2016 Coachella music festival. The fixture is made up of a singular light tube that has been bent and folded to look like a bit of “neon gibberish” drawn by Lai. The circular light is designed so that it touches down at four points, relying on similar structural principles as those explored in the Coachella tower.

Other examples of Lai’s work are also featured in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.

Jenny Wu’s Catena necklace is 3-D-printed from bronze-infused stainless steel. (Jenny Wu/Los Angeles County Museum of Art)

Architect Jenny Wu’s Catena necklace, a work designed in Autodesk Maya, made from stainless steel-infiltrated with bronze, and fabricated using binder jet 3D-printing, was also chosen for LACMA’s permanent collection.

Wu is a principal and co-founder of architecture firm Oyler Wu Collaborative and is also the creative force behind the 3-D-printed jewelry outfit LACE that fabricated the Catena necklace.

Wu’s work with LACE began in 2014 as an offshoot stemming from a one-off production and has grown in the years since into a full line of 3-D-printed works meant to act as “architecture on the body,” according to the architect. The signature LACE Collection utilizes advanced 3-D-printing techniques like selective laser sintering and wax pattern 3-D-printing to create intricate works in nylon, steel, and precious metals.

Describing the highlighted jewelry line, Wu explained that LACE was a continuation of the “experimentation in fabrication, material research, and design innovation” that drives her architectural work. Wu added, “I think this just propels us to keep pushing what we do, whether it’s [designing] an installation, a building, or a piece of jewelry.”

Oyler Wu also has work featured in the permanent collection of the San Francisco Museum of Art.

Elena Manferdini’s Building Portraits project takes a multimedia approach to graphic building facades.
(Atelier Manferdini/Los Angeles County Museum of Art)

Architect Elena Manferdini’s recent project titled Building Portraits has also been acquired by LACMA. The multimedia project is an exploration of the digital weaving of architectural elements. The museum is collecting two groups of works associated with a multi-part project, including a set of two physical models, five drawings, a silk scarf, and a rug. For the project, Manferdini utilized digital weaving technologies to create graphic geometric prints that were then converted into the various textile forms and ultimately extrapolated into building facades.

Explaining the project via email, Manferdini said, “The pieces acquired by the museum delineate my work’s progression from scripted drawings to textiles to building facades. It is a snapshot of my process of creation and the way in which certain ideas and techniques come to fruition in the field of design and architecture.”

The architect added, “Being part of this collection gives to the work the exposure through time to a larger audience and can have tremendous value for research.”

LACMA also acquired works by sculptor Ben Medansky, L.A. arts collective The Machine Project, sculptor Adam Silverman, artist David Wiseman, artists the Haas Brothers, and graphic designer Ed Fella.

Related Stories