Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Thank You For An Amazing 2010!

As 2010 comes to a close, we wanted to take a few moments to say thank you for all your love and support this year. Three years ago, we never had any idea that our humble little bar meetups would evolve into this thriving, vibrant community. We've got over 600 folks on this mailing list, over 450 Facebook friends, and, well, we still could use some more Twitter followers!

Here are just a few of our favorite memories of the year...
We'd love to make 2011 even better, so we put together this very short survey. If you can take a few minutes to let us know about your favorite events of this year and give us your ideas for what we should do next year, we'd certainly appreciate it. So much so, we're giving away one membership to the Gamble House to one lucky person who fills out the survey.

Now let's get excited for 2011! We've got some brand-new buildings eager to show us inside, lots of new neighborhoods to visit, a very special walking tour, and the first official de LaB Field Trip... hint: we're heading very east of La Brea!

Again, we can't thank you enough for being a part of de LaB. Happy 2011 to you and yours, and here's to another year of urban adventures!

Haily, Marissa & Alissa

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Skid Row's Socially Conscious Architect: Talk and Tour With Michael Maltzan > Some Housekeeping

 We're very excited for this Saturday's event with Michael Maltzan at ICA! Below are some of the details on the event, for registered attendees only. The response to this event has been overwhelming and we're so happy so many Angelenos want to tour the school with Michael. Given the space constraints at Inner City Arts, we've had to limit the number of attendees and have a fairly long wait list, so we apologize to those who haven't been able to get in. We are working on another event with Michael for 2011, so be sure to sign up for our emails and join our facebook group!

For those who have a confirmed RSVP, here are some housekeeping details. First, we're very pleased to announce that Molly Rysman from Skid Row Housing Trust will be joining us to answer questions about Michael's work on the Rainbow and New Carver apartments.

Please meet at the library at 11am, with the lecture to begin promptly at 11:30am. Michael will be discussing his work at Inner City Arts as well as his projects with Skid Row Housing Trust. At noon, we will go on a tour of the campus with project architects from Michael Maltzan Architecture.
WHERE: Inner City Arts is located at 720 Kohler St, Los Angeles CA 90021. Please enter at the Merchant Street gate, NOT Kohler.

PARKING/TRANSIT: There is no on-site parking, just street parking. ICA cannot accommodate bikes on its campus so if you plan on riding, please know you will have to lock your bike on the street. The closest bus routes are the 60 and 720.

COST: Please remember, we are not charging for the event, but do ask that you bring a donation of art supplies for Inner City Arts. Not sure what to bring? A list of needed supplies is here.

MORE HOUSEKEEPING: The campus is in use that day and will be quite full, so please be a great guest! That means we're also on a tight schedule to see the library and theater before the kids need them. Also, only photography of the architecture is allowed (that means skip the photos of the kids).

Again, please DO NOT call ICA with questions. Email us at hello [at] designeastoflabrea [dot] org with your questions.


[image of ICA courtesy Iwan Baan and The Architect's Newspaper]

October Recap: Pro Bono Panel at PMCA!

PMCA panel

Back, way back in October, we hosted a night of responsible design in partnership with the Pasadena Museum of California Art and Intelligentsia Pasadena. We were thrilled to make our way to Pasadena for the first time, and ended up having two enthusiastic conversations about two very different aspects of the design world.

We started by gathering in the museum's gallery to see the exhibition Action/Reaction: 2010 California Design Biennial and participate in a panel on the pros and cons of pro bono design. Our host, Alissa Walker, who curated the product design category, picked two design teams working with different nonprofits in LA who were featured in the show. First, Stefan Bucher of 344 Design entertained us with his witty work for 826LA's Echo Park Time Travel Mart, where an almost-believable retail store works as a front for a children's tutoring center. Then Jenny Liang and Kim Karlsrud gave a behind-the-scenes look at the work of Project H, who has done work like the design enterprise initiative Abject Object with the Downtown Women's Center.

PMCA panel

The conversation was incredibly candid, and it was amazing to hear about such different models that are used in the nonprofit world. From the extreme challenges of working with budgets and finding ways to fund and finance various projects, to the joys of creative freedom (which can sometimes become a burden), to the fulfilling work of co-creating with stakeholders, the designers thoughtfully discussed their experiences with the audience, resulting in a very meaningful evening for everyone in attendance.


Afterwards, we walked a few blocks to Colorado Boulevard to see the newest outpost of Chicago coffee empire Intelligentsia. As we ordered up lattes and glasses of the new Eagle Rock Brewery beer Stimulus (made with Intelligentsia coffee!) we checked out the beautiful space, which uses reclaimed materials, including locally-sourced church pews. Architect Ana Henton of MASS gave us a debriefing on the challenges and triumphs of designing Intelligentsia's first cafe that serves alcohol, from how it was designed to look like an alley, to making a space that could morph into more of a bar-like vibe, to creating two code-mandated separate serving areas, one for coffee, one for beer.


But that wasn't all! After surprising us with a full spread of complimentary nibbles, including the amazing lasagna cupcakes made by Heirloom LA, Intelligentsia's director of innovation Kyle Glanville gave an inspired and fascinating presentation on the philosophy behind the brand. He covered everything from their dedication to design and architecture, down to custom cups designed by Rios Clementi Hale Studios, to why they don't have outlets (we promise, it's for your own good!). It was a full night of engaged discussions, valuable insight, and fantastic food and drink...the perfect de LaB. Thanks to PMCA and Intelligentsia for hosting us, and for all our wonderful speakers!

Thanks to Christine Goo for the PMCA photos, more de LaB photos here!