Posts tagged with "Materials & Applications":

Placeholder Alt Text

Materials & Applications to host English landscape installation in its L.A. courtyard

Los Angeles-based Materials & Applications (M&A) has announced its Fall installation program, The Kid Gets Out of the Picture, due to open October 15th at the M&A Courtyard in Los Angeles's Silverlake neighborhood. The project, guest curated by Los Angeles Design Group (LADG), consists of a collaborative installation by the curators and a group of architectural offices (First Office, Laurel Broughton/Andrew Kovacs, and Hirsutethat aims for a “contemporary update on the aesthetic principles of early 19th century English landscape architecture.” The group installation will focus on the component parts, or “catalog of nouns,” deployed to achieve a cohesive whole in traditional English gardening design. The three-month long installation will work within the language of these landscape components—follies, berms, viewpoints, and walls—in an effort to “extract the qualities of [these] images and literalize them in the real world” and will be directly installed in M&As Courtyard space, where the non-profit, experimental public architecture group typically holds its exhibitions. Describing the still-in-the-works project, Kovacs and Broughton told The Architect's Newspaper in a joint statement, "We are super excited to be part of the project with the LADG, Hirsuta, and First Office. We think the collaborative format that includes all the work overlapping in the Materials & Applications courtyard is unique and will certainly produce strange and potent juxtapositions." Support for the project has been provided by the Los Angeles County Arts Commission, Pasadena Art Alliance, Graham Foundation, University of California, Los Angeles School of Architecture and Urban Design and the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs. The Kid Gets Out of the Picture follows M&A’s earlier and more mobile installation from earlier this year, TURF: A Mini-Golf Project, which saw a constellation of young designers take on the design of individual holes for a mini-golf installation on a vacant plot of land adjacent to L.A.’s Echo Park.
Placeholder Alt Text

Materials & Applications brings experimental architecture to the L.A. public through mini golf

Materials & Applications (M&A), a Los Angeles–based nonprofit dedicated to building a public culture of experimental architecture, recently took over a vacant lot in L.A.’s Echo Park to install the products of a year-long competition for its latest initiative, “TURF: A Mini-Golf Project.” The open-to-the-public mini-golf installation features contributions from a wide slew of young, creative practices, all focused on designing compelling golf holes. They are the result of a lengthy competition, selection, and fabrication process aimed at citing contemporary L.A.’s partisan development battles within the complicated terrain of a mini-golf course.

M&A executive director Jia Gu explained the premise behind its work: “In a way we are trying to bridge two worlds that don’t intersect very often—public audiences and experimental architecture. We use the term “to build a public culture” quite literally—we are about producing built projects that can contribute to expanding and provoking public conversations around architecture. To a certain extent, M&A’s history has always been to resist the “gallerification” of architecture by producing projects that exist outdoors, in open air, and in the public—whether this space is publicly or privately owned.”

Typically, M&A’s installations take place in the courtyard of its Spanish-revival bungalow court, but for TURF, M&A partnered with local developer Hillcrest Company to bring a soon-to-be-developed, but vacant, parcel of land into public use. Gu explained further, “On our end, we’re constantly thinking about how to bring value to interim-use spaces that are owned by developers but are not yet under development. There is a lot of opportunity in this city for these types of empty lots to be returned back to the public for a short interim use, allowing spontaneous and surprising moments of leisure, play and collective inactivity.”

Placeholder Alt Text

Constructivist Playground by Warren Techentin Architecture

An interactive installation reconsiders the definitions of enclosure and openness.

Warren Techentin Architecture’s digitally-designed La Cage Aux Folles, on display at Materials & Applications in Los Angeles through August, was inspired by a decidedly analog precedent: the yurt. “Yurts are circular,” explained Techentin, who studied the building type as part of his thesis work at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design. “That began the idea of using small-diameter rods and taking software and configuring sweeps with some special scripts that we found online.” But while the yurt’s primary function is shelter, Techentin’s open-air installation, built of 6,409 linear feet of steel pipe, is a literal and intellectual playground, its form an investigation of the dualities of inside and out, enclosure and openness. Once the architects became familiar with the scripts, which allowed them to manipulate multiple pipes simultaneously, they found it easy to generate designs. The hard part was settling on a final shape. Then an off-hand observation narrowed their focus. “Somebody made a comment about, it looks like a crazy cage,” said Techentin. “We realized, ‘Oh, there’s this cage component. What if we imagine spaces inside spaces?’ That’s where these interiorized conditions came through, kind of creating layers of inside and outside.” Technical constraints further influenced the form. “We had to jump out of the digital world and decide how this was made in reality,” said Techentin. To minimize materials costs, the architects decided to work with schedule 40 steel tube, which is available in 24-foot lengths. Returning to Rhino, they broke apart their model and rescripted it accordingly. They modified their model again after learning what radiuses their metalworking contractor could accommodate. “It was kind of a balancing act between hitting these radiuses, the 24-foot lengths, and repetition—but how do you get difference and variety,” said Techentin.
  • Fabricator Ramirez Ironworks, Paramount Roll and Forming
  • Designers Warren Techentin Architecture
  • Location Los Angeles
  • Date of Completion April 2014
  • Material Schedule 40 steel tube
  • Process Rhino, scripting, bending, cutting, sleeving, welding, bolting, painting
Warren Techentin Architecture originally sought a digital fabricator for the project. But the quotes they received were too high, and they could not locate a manufacturer able to work with pipes longer than six feet. They contacted Paramount Roll and Forming, who rolled and bent the tubes by hand for one-tenth of what digital fabrication would have cost. “It wasn’t what we wanted, but in the end we wanted to see the project through,” said Techentin. Paramount sent the shaped steel to Ramirez Ironworks, where volunteers interested in metalworking helped assemble the structure. The design and fabrication team then disassembled it, painted the components, and transported them for reassembly on the site, a small courtyard in the Silver Lake neighborhood. La Cage Aux Folles invites active exploration. “My work draws great influence [from] architecture as something that you interface with, interact with—that envelops you, becomes part of an environment you participate with,” said Techentin, who overheard someone at the opening call his structure “a constructivist playground.” “We fully intended people walking around in there, lying down,” he said. “The surprise factor were the number of people who feel inspired to climb to the second and, more ambitiously, the third cages. We’re not encouraging it, but people do it.”
Placeholder Alt Text

On View> Cage Dancing At Los Angeles' Materials & Applications Gallery

The latest installation at Silver Lake gallery Materials & Applications, Warren Techentin's La Cage Aux Folles, truly brought out the inner monkey in Los Angeles' architecture community this weekend. The cage-like structure is made of a vast series of curved structural steel tubes, which simultaneously rigidify the piece and create unique spaces in and around it. They also, it turns out, created an ideal climbing apparatus for partygoers at its opening this Saturday, who got to know every square inch of the 17-foot-tall construction. One ambitious young explorer actually got stuck in the center of the piece and had to get fished out by an experienced climber. "It was free performance art for everybody," joked Techentin, who said he never anticipated visitors climbing so aggressively on the piece. He added that the form was originally inspired by the small structural members of yurts that he saw on a trip to Mongolia, slowly becoming something much more abstract. La Cage is open until August 29, and next month will host a series of interactive performances.
Placeholder Alt Text

On View> Materials & Applications: Building Something (Beyond) Beautiful

Materials & Applications: Building Something (Beyond) Beautiful, Projects 2002 – 2013 University Art Museum, Cal State Long Beach Through April 13 On January 25th  a mix of architects, designers, collaborators, and previous staff showed up at the Cal State Long Beach University Art Museum to acknowledge ten years of exhibition work for Silver Lake–based outdoor gallery Materials & Applications. Over the past ten years M&A has been cultivating and showcasing the talents of experimental and young designers interested in testing architectural and landscape environments. Doris Sung, Jiminez Lai, Patterns, Oyler Wu Collaborative, FoxLin, Ball-Nogues Studio, NONDesigns, Anna Franke, Rob Ley, and Eddy Sykes are a few that have built work with M&A. At the center of the show sits the structure entitled S’more by New York–based Edmund Ming-Yip Kwong. This had been transported from M&A’s courtyard to the museum the week before. With a  mantra of collaboration and making things happen, M&A has made a practice of supporting ambitious proposals and teaming with designers, engineers, builders, set makers, students and interested community members to create a string of successful projects. The existing M&A gallery is at the modest scale of a front courtyard in a residential neighborhood off of Silver Lake Blvd. Even with small budgets, their ambition and execution could be compared to MoMA P.S.1's Young Architects Program. In fact M&A’s support in producing installations of new materials and spatial experiences has provided leverage for installation proposals at this level. They show that it can be done. Perhaps the quiet nature of the M&A installations mixed in with apartment buildings has kept them as a more insular gallery. Walking through the show, it is unmistakable that the quality and variety of projects deserves more attention. It isn’t until you see the timeline of executed projects that  you grasp the relevancy and significance of what they have achieved. In the next month, a large-scale, site-specific installation located at the north end of the CSULB campus will be built as a continuation of the exhibit and spirit of M&A.
Placeholder Alt Text

First Ever Igloo In LA

Our friends at Curbed just reminded us of the latest creation at Silver Lake archi-gallery Materials & Applications: Light Frames, an installation by LA architect Gail Peter Borden. The project consists of two parts: the "igloo"-looking segment, seen above, is what Borden calls an enclosed "chapel," built out of translucent vinyl plastic and perfect for meditation. The second is a hand-assembled dome—its triangulated metal structure completely exposed—resting at the entrance to the gallery's courtyard.  Together they resemble, perhaps, the love child of an Eskimo and Buckminster Fuller. Or at least that's how this strange mind sees it.