Little Tokyo Design Week, which launched last night in downtown Los Angeles, captures a glimpse of the future city through the eyes of innovative designers and companies inspired by technology from Japan. The four-day celebration takes place in one of the country's few remaining Japan-towns and includes panels, exhibitions, parties, pop-up stores and even pub crawls. It opened last night with a forum from LA architecture school leaders Hitoshi Abe, Qingyan Ma, Ming Fung, and Andrew Zago, an outdoor screening of Hayo Miyazaki's beloved anime classic My Neighbor Totoro, and a discussion of urban life as a customizable, sustainable existence with Tim Durfee, Ben Hooker, Keiichi Matsuda, Jon Rafman and Sputniko! Basically, this design week is about how to face the future of a more populated globe. Familiar names like Toyota and Daiwa House stand out above the city lights with displays based on alternative energy and what happens when housing meets technology. But have no fear – designers are still the heart of design week. This includes Professor Tatsuya Wada's exhibit of interactive robots by Flower Robotics, Honda, Toshiba, and Sony called Robot Box; Brandon Shigeta's 3D photography ArtCube; and Victor Jones' and USC students' Food Futures (suspended nylon particles and rice representing the relationship between data and food production). The week's most tantalizing exhibits feature Stan Sakai's (informally known as the Japanese Stan Lee) Usagi Yojimbo, an eye-catching geometric behemoth by UCLA's Hi-C program, and a section dedicated to 1960s Japanese housing projects. An Astroboy-themed awards presentation featuring Tokyo/LA House Container and local theatre group East West Players will crown the most visionary designs and speculate on a “Future City." Little Tokyo has not forgotten its Japanese roots, including a photojournalism gallery at the Japanese Cultural and Community Center about the 2011 tsunami and earthquake. Festivities will help support Japan Platform, an organization helping Japanese earthquake and tsunami victims, and are made possible with help from the US Japan Earthquake Relief Fund. But wherever you decide to spend your time, use it wisely. This is “Carmageddon” weekend and the freeways will be packed. And isn't design week one more step towards sustainability and away from an urban nightmare?
Posts tagged with "USC":
Capping Santa Monica. Curbed LA got some great renderings from students at USC who where charged with imagining even more highway caps for the Pacific Coast Highway, this time from Arizona to California Avenues. Beyond freeway parks, the students proposed housing, hotels, and community centers. Breaking Whitney. With the deal signed for the Met to take over the Whitney's Breuer building on Madison, directors at the ground breaking for the new branch at the High Line had all the more reason to celebrate. DNA reminds readers that the museum is actually retuning home. Ol' Gerty got the ball rolling on 8th Street way back in 1930. Dylan Sings. Happy B-day Bobby! Bob Dylan turned 70 on Tuesday and in celebration the Infrastructurist presents Dylan's Ten Best Infrastructure Songs, including "The Levee's Gonna Break" and "Marchin' to the City." Old School. Design New Haven has the Robert A.M. Stern drawings for "street calming measures" at Yale that are part of the $600 million for renovations, including two new residential colleges. The plan includes mixed use buildings intended to encourage street life at all hours and improved access to the Farmington Canal Greenway .
Limited by the constraints of its scattered design buildings, USC's School of Architecture yesterday held its final reviews on the 50th and 51st floors of City National Plaza's North Tower in Downtown LA. The giant review, called Blue Tape: Super Review, included 48 studios, about 70 professors, and over 700 students, including those studying architecture and urban design, landscape architecture, and historic preservation. Yours truly got to sit in on Jennifer Siegal's studio: Generation Mobile: exploring the deployable free-range cuisine truck culture, which featured some mind-bending re-imaginings of today's fairly traditional food trucks. The two floors, which used to contain offices for Bank of America (sorry guys) was donated by Thomas Properties, which owns both of the towers at City National. The 52-story buildings, by the way, were designed by A.C. Martin in 1972. We wonder where they'll do their next reviews?
If you want to understand just how under-appreciated California architect Edward Fickett is just try finding a picture of any of his work online, and then compare that task with finding something by his contemporaries Richard Neutra and Rudolph Schindler. Fickett, who died in 1999 at the age of 83, was no slouch. To name a few of his accomplishments, he designed the passenger and cargo terminals at the Port of Los Angeles, Edward Air Force Base, Dodger Stadium, a bevy of hotels and restaurants, mansions for hollywood stars, and some 60,000 light and airy tract homes known as the "Fickett Houses." A Lt. Commander in the Navy for five years, he also served as architectural advisor to president Dwight D. Eisenhower. However, he is barely known, and rarely spoken about even in architectural circles. There's a chance now that Fickett's star will rise again. His widow, Joycie Fickett, after years of jealously guarding the man's collection in his former offices, has agreed to donate his collection of blueprints, renderings, photos, and marketing brochures to the University of Southern California. Fickett spent his undergraduate years at USC, where he formed the architectural guild. "He really is a kind of unsung hero," Claude Zachary, a USC librarian, told the Los Angeles Times. "We're privileged to have an opportunity to bring this incredible material in and preserve it and make it available... and hopefully get Mr. Fickett's name much better known."