Sunday, December 30, 2012

December Recap > Laser-Cut Snowflakes at KnowHow with 2ndwnd

On a seasonally appropriate grey Saturday in December, about 50 de LaBbers met at the KnowHow Shop in Highland Park to make holiday mobiles with real snow—that is, laser-cut chipboard snowflakes.

After getting an introduction to the space from the KnowHow team, we met Manny Torres of 2ndwnd, who led our mobile-making workshop.

Attendees gathered around the laser cutter as our man Manny supervised the cutting of hundreds of snowflakes.

Manny designed two snowflake patterns for us.

As the smell of burning chipboard filled the air, attendees got to work building their mobiles from dowels or branches they'd foraged from the forest.

Then we headed outside to spray paint our snowflakes in white or glittery silver.

Some couldn't resist adding even more sparkle. (KnowHow, we're very sorry that we covered your manly space with glitter.)

The finished products were stunning! We loved watching everyone carry their mobiles like marionettes, with graphic snowflakes dancing through space.

We hope the mobiles added a little DIY cheer to your homes during the holiday season.

Or at the very least they served as entertainment for the whole family! Thanks to KnowHow and 2ndwnd for hosting us and thanks to everyone who attended. You can see lots more images on our Facebook page.

Monday, November 26, 2012

December 16 > Laser-Cut Snowflakes and de LaB Holiday Party at KnowHow Shop with 2ndwnd > Highland Park

Our holiday seasons might be merry and bright, but L.A. is always a little bit lacking in the "white" department. So we're headed back to Highland Park to see our good friends at KnowHow Shop and 2ndwnd, who are skilled in the ways of making snow—that is, laser-cut snowflakes!

We'll gather 'round the laser-cutter on Sunday, December 16 where you'll create your very own one-of-a-kind chipboard flakes, apply paint and glitter to your heart's content, and string them up into a special snowfall mobile to hang in your home or give as a gift. Updated: An image of the prototyped mobile is above!

And of course, since we're all about feeling festive, we'll be supplying treats and beverages to help keep the elves in the holiday spirit. Feel free to bring your own contributions if you've got any seasonal goodies around the house!

Laser-Cut Snowflakes and de LaB Holiday Party at KnowHow Shop with 2ndwnd
Sunday, December 16
12:00 to 4:00 p.m.

KnowHow Shop
6019 Echo St.
Los Angeles, CA 90042

Tickets are $15 each and cover the cost of materials for one mobile plus holiday drinks and snacks. Children are welcome if accompanied by a parent, and if you plan to only make one mobile together you only need to buy one ticket.


Tickets are limited due to availability of materials and no refunds will be given less than 24 hours before the event. That said, if you don't want to make a mobile and just want to come hang out and enjoy some DIY cheer, please do! Thanks!

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December 8 > New Carver Apts Tour with Michael Maltzan > Skid Row, DTLA

Photo courtesy of Alissa Walker

Since its opening in 2010, New Carver Apartments near the 10 Freeway in downtown LA has been showing Angelenos how architecture can deftly bridge great design and social responsibility. Designed by Michael Maltzan Architecture, the 97-unit supportive housing project commissioned by Skid Row Housing Trust serves the need of a chronically underserved population - LA's homeless.

Praising the building's architectural sophistication, the NY Times said:
The building not only manages to provide a feeling of security while easing the crippling sense of isolation that can often afflict the homeless; it also makes visible, through its strong architectural form, a group of people that many in our society would often prefer to ignore.
Join us on December 8th for a tour of the cylindrical structure with Michael Maltzan, Skid Row Housing Trust's Theresa Hwang, and one of the resident ambassadors to talk about day-to-day living in New Carver. 
Photo by Iwan Baan

When: Saturday, December 8th 2pm - 4pm

Cost: $20, all proceeds will be split between de LaB and SRHT

Where: New Carver Apartments, 325 West 17th Street  Los Angeles, CA 90015


**Tickets will not be available at the door, so please buy your ticket early, as space is extremely limited. No refunds will be given less than 24 hours before the event. Thanks!

Read more about Michael Maltzan and Theresa Hwang:

Michael Maltzan

Michael Maltzan, FAIA, is the founder and principal of Michael Maltzan Architecture, Inc. His work fully engages our contemporary world through an architecture that is a catalyst for new experiences and an agent for change. Through a deep belief in architecture’s role in our cities and landscapes, he has succeeded in creating new cultural and social connections across a range of scales and programs.

Mr. Maltzan received a Master of Architecture degree with a Letter of Distinction from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design. He holds both a Bachelor of Fine Arts and a Bachelor of Architecture from Rhode Island School of Design, where he received the Henry Adams AIA Scholastic Gold Medal. He is a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects and a GSA Design Excellence Program Peer.

He lectures internationally, and often serves as a design instructor, lecturer, or critic at prestigious architectural schools including Princeton University, Rice University, Harvard University, Rhode Island School of Design, University of California, Los Angeles, University of California, Berkeley, University of Southern California, University of Waterloo, and the Southern California Institute of Architecture.

Theresa Hwang

Theresa Hwang is a community-driven architect with the Skid Row Housing Trust in Los Angeles, CA.  From 2009-2012, she was the Enterprise Rose Architectural Fellow at the organization.  With the Trust, she is developing and designing high quality and sustainable permanent supportive housing for the homeless.  The Trust has developed 24 buildings and has created over 1400 affordable homes for the very low income homeless population in the Skid Row community. In addition to developing affordable housing, Theresa is an adjunct studio professor and a faculty member of the Architecture + Civic Engagement Center at Woodbury University.  

Activist-turned-architect, Theresa has spent almost 10 years doing community-organizing work for equitable cultural development and community empowerment with multiple groups and campaigns in Boston, New York, and Los Angeles.   She received her Master of Architecture from Harvard Graduate School of Design and a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering and Art History from the Johns Hopkins University.

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Friday, November 23, 2012

November Recap > Letterpress Workshop with Lala Press > Silver Lake

On November 18th, Mable Lee of Lala Press graciously opened up her awesome Silver Lake studio to us for a morning of good old fashioned fun with letterpress. 

After a brief demo on how to use the presses (Mable works on vintage Vandercooks), our crew got a crash course in holiday card marking.

But not before we learned how to properly ink the press. 

Mable gave us full access to her existing wood and metal type set, which was mesmerizing all on its own.

Though it did take some patience (and often a mirror) to figure out our messages.

Here's a sneak peek of some of our holiday creations!  

If you were bummed that you couldn't attend this workshop (we know, we know and we're sorry), please keep in mind that Mable offers several workshops throughout the year, as well as private one-on-one instruction

Thank you, Mable!

Monday, October 29, 2012

November 18 > Letterpress Workshop with Lala Press > Silver Lake

In the spirit of the holidays (yep, we're already thinking about them), we're thrilled to announce our first-ever Letterpress Workshop with the exceptional Mable Lee of Lala Press and Dee & Lala.

On November 18, Mable will open her Silver Lake studio to a very lucky group for a hands-on letterpress experience. We will have the chance to work with Mable's existing wood and metal type in order to typeset our own greeting card design. The best part is that we then get to walk away with 12 of our own cards!

Since this workshop is incredibly limited due to the size of the studio, we encourage you to act fast if you're interested. Please also keep in mind that if you miss the chance to join our workshop, Mable offers several workshops throughout the year, as well as private one-on-one instruction.

When: Sunday, November 18th 10am-12pm

Cost: $50, includes the cost of supplies. (Note: It will be possible to purchase additional blank cards and envelopes on the day of the workshop.)

What to Wear: Be sure to wear clothes you don't mind getting messy. Please also remove any dangling jewelry and tie back loose hair before arriving to the studio.  

Where: Lala Press, 3716 Tracy Street, Los Angeles, CA 90026


**Tickets will not be available at the door, so please buy your ticket early. No refunds will be given less than 24 hours before the event. Thanks!

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October Recap > Halloween Printmaking Workshop with NOMAD

On the Saturday before Halloween, 60 de LaBbers found the 6,000 foot semi-hidden studio of printmakers NOMAD studio, run by Damon Robinson in Frogtown.

Fueled by copious amounts of Halloween candy, we gathered in the workshop to learn about the process of printmaking and silkscreens, with step by step instructions and a tour through the darkroom. Robinson and his family had already prepared over 60 vintage album covers by painting them in various colors, leaving the design below barely visible.

One by one, every attendee was able to make their own Halloween-themed silkscreen print, choosing between a skull, the Creature from the Black Lagoon, and a Mexican wrestling mask. After pulling the paint through the silkscreen, the prints went under the heat to quick-dry and voila! A handmade, completely unique print. Towards the end of the afternoon, de LaBbers got creative, adding prints to the records themselves, to paper, and to even more albums.

Big thanks to Damon, his wife Lisa and their daughter for graciously letting us into their home/gallery and teaching us how easy it is to silkscreen. NOMAD is available for amateur printmakers to make their own designs. Contact Damon at

And stay tuned for discounts on future NOMAD printmaking workshops!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

de LaB at the AIA|LA Design Awards

Last week, all four de LaB hosts attended the AIA Los Angeles Design Awards at the Broad Stage in Santa Monica, where Marissa and Alissa were honored to present the Next LA Awards, 17 different projects that were very much in the spirit of de LaB's mission. It was a great night, and the highlight was meeting our fellow co-presenter Moby, who is—who knew?—a huge architecture junkie and writes the awesome Moby Los Angeles Architecture Blog.

Here's a video of his remarks, which opened the awards show. We like when he calls L.A. an "architectural shitshow—in the best way possible":

Thanks to AIA Los Angeles for having us be a part of the evening and thanks to Tibby Rothman for the photo!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

November 8 > Grand Park Night Tour > Downtown LA

Since its grand opening on this month, Grand Park has made quite a splash in LA quickly becoming our city's official backyard. If you missed the block party and dancers, here's your chance to explore LA's newest urban oasis.  Join us for a special tour in collaboration with LA Forum as part of their Supercession series.  We can't promise choreographed dancers, but Tony Paradowski of Rios Clementi Hale Studios will be on hand to give us the guided tour and the inside story on how this amazing park came to be. 

One of the biggest parks in all of Los Angeles, the 12-acre Grand Park stretches from The Music Center on the west to City Hall on the east. Under the direction of the county, Grand Park was developed by Related Companies with an award-winning creative team, including landscape architect, Rios Clementi Hale Studios; general contractor, Charles Pankow Builders; environmental graphic design firm, Sussman/Prejza; and fountain design consultants, Fluidity.  Grand Park was also recently awarded The Building Team of the Year award by AIA Los Angeles.

Meet in front of the fountain.  It will be dark so bring headlamps or flashlights.  We'll provide glow sticks.  

Tickets: General admission $10, buy tickets HERE to reserve a spot on the tour.  LA Forum Members are FREE and Students admission is $5 but you will have to register on-site.
When: Thursday, November 8th 7pm to 8:30pm
Where: 210 N. Grand Avenue, LA, CA 90012 (Metro: Civic Center).  More info on getting there, HERE.

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Photo via LA Times, Los Angeles Grand Avenue Authority

Thursday, October 11, 2012

October 27 > Halloween Printmaking Workshop at NOMAD > Frogtown

Halloween is almost here! Come celebrate the season with our friends at NOMAD Studio in the heart of Frogtown. NOMAD is a 6,000 square foot printmaking studio, fully equipped for fine art silkscreen editions, specialty printing and etchings/intaglio. The space functions as an art studio, event and exhibition space, as well as home to art/apparel lines Praise the Lowered and Black Van.

We're going on a studio tour and hosting a printmaking workshop with owner Damon Robinson. For the printmaking workshop, Damon will help us print Halloween-themed monster faces on old record covers - yours to keep, frame, or use as a costume (if you can figure out how).

Printmaking Overview and Demonstration:
1. Printmaking Image selection and preparation for film
2. Preparing screens (coating film and exposure)
3. Printing (ink selection, paper or other mediums, registration)

When: Saturday, October 27th 2pm-4pm
Fee: $10 covers the cost of supplies, sales end Oct 26th at 7pm.
Where: 1933 Blake Ave, Los Angeles CA 90039

Space is limited, so please buy your tickets here. Halloween candy will be provided, children are welcome. Children are free, unless they are making their own print.

There will not be any tickets available at the door, so please buy your ticket early. No refunds will be given less than 24 hours before the event. Thanks!

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Wednesday, October 3, 2012

September recap > Highland Gallery Hop

On September 25th, de LaB had the distinct pleasure of touring two of Los Angeles' most important galleries - Redling Fine Art and Perry Rubenstein - in the city's latest (and most unlikely) burgeoning art corridor: Highland Ave. and Santa Monica Blvd. 
At Redling Fine Art, owner Erica Redling led everyone through the small storefront gallery space to carefully explain artist Liz Glynn's current body of work entitled HOARD.

Then at the recently opened Perry Rubenstein gallery, director Jennifer Holmes and architect Kulapat Yantrasast of wHY Architecture led a fascinating tour through the exceptionally designed gallery, which will soon boast a rooftop level with views of the Hollywood sign (see more on that below) for parties and related gallery events.

Thanks to Jennifer, our group was treated to a fascinating explanation of Zoe Crosher's photographic series, The DISAPPEARING of Michelle duBois, currently on view through October 27th. (Word to the wise, run, don't walk, to see the show.)
We also learned from Kulapat about the relevance of several nuanced design moves. For example, though you may not notice it at first glance, the skylight above when viewed directly from below (as seen in the next photo), is a direct replica of the Hollywood sign's famous "O." 

Monday, October 1, 2012

September recap > Park(ing) Day LA @ LOCAL

Right on cue, de LaB hit the streets in September to continue our beloved tradition of hosting a parklet in front of Silver Lake's LOCAL cafe.

Designed by Art Center grads at The Rare Studio, the inspirational park made from the studio's Soft Publics line created the most amazing pop-up green museum disguised as a construction site.

And despite fierce competition from the Endeaver that day, we were thrilled with the coverage that Parking Day LA received. Read the LA Times' story here and hop over to Secret Agent PR's blog here

To learn more about the City of LA's recent announcement to develop three permanent parklets as part of a new pilot program to add green space to unlikely areas of the city, click here!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Highland Gallery Hop > September 25 > Hollywood

Photo by Joshua White, Courtesy of Perry Rubenstein 

The intersection of Highland Ave and Santa Monica Blvd is better known for post-production studios and prostitutes than as the next nexus of contemporary art in LA. Yet with three major galleries recently opened there (and rumored moves by Tom Solomon and Michael Kohn), this shabby street is poised to become the next Culver City.

Join de LaB on Tuesday, Sept 25th for a very special tour of two of these galleries: Chinatown transfer Redling Fine Art and New York transplant Perry Rubenstein.
Liz Glynn's GREATER LA, Hammer Museum

Open after hours only to de LaBbers, we'll start at Redling Fine Art for a tour with Erica Redling of Liz Glynn's HOARD, Glynn's work was recently seen in the Hammer's Made in L.A. biennial, for which she was a finalist for the Mohn Award. She will also be included in Lost Line: Selectio from the Permanent Collection at LACMA this November, as well as upcoming projects with LACMA, Los Angeles Sculpture Center, New York in 2013.  Situated in a mini-mall on Santa Monica Boulevard, this exhibition marks the gallery's second season of remarkable programming in Hollywood.  

From there, we'll walk over to Perry Rubenstein, for a walkthrough with architect Kulapat Yantrasast, partner at wHYArchitecture.  Yantrasast and co have renovated a former film supply warehouse, creating an airy 8,500 square foot gallery with a strong indoor/outdoor flow. Yantrasast will talk about the renovation project and we'll hear why Highland is an up-and-coming hotspot for art. We'll also have a chance to check out artist Zoe Crosher's inaugural exhibit at the gallery (yes, the same Zoe Crosher whose studio we visited on our design-n-dim sum tour in June).

Afterwards, please join us for drinks at the cash bar at Next Door Lounge, a 1920's inspired-speakeasy just a short walk from the galleries on Highland.

Tuesday, September 25th
6:00 pm Meet at Redling Fine Art, 6757 Santa Monica Blvd. Los Angeles CA 90038
6:30 pm Tour of the gallery with director Lucy Campana
7:15 pm Tour of Perry Rubenstein with architect Kulapat Yantrasast of wHY Architecture, 1215 N Highland Ave, Los Angeles CA 90038
8:00 pm Drinks at Next Door Lounge, 1154 N Highland Ave, Los Angeles CA 90038 (Psst. Password is "WRIGHT").

Space is limited, so please RSVP here.

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Thursday, September 6, 2012

September 21 > Park(ing) Day LA @ LOCAL

Park(ing) Day LA is back! And not only does it represent our favorite excuse to hang out - literally - on the streets of Los Angeles, but it takes place mere weeks after the City of LA's recent announcement to develop three permanent parklets as part of a new pilot program to add green space in unlikely areas of the city. Read more on that here. 

Join us on Friday, September 21st as we head back to our favorite Silver Lake spot just outside of LOCALThis year we're thrilled to be working with new design firm The Rare Studio, run by recent Art Center College of Design grads Mike Manalo, Ricardo R. Bojorquez and Salvador Orara. Their design takes it cue from the very essence of Park(ing) Day and ties into the themes of the movement, including lack of dedicated green spaces and accessibility to parks, while adding a focus on locally sourced organic ingredients and fresh eating. 

Through a series of terraced structures made out of industrial ceiling panels, The Rare Studio's neon-colored Soft Publics mobile partition system will be layered into a series of rippling pockets to look like a temporary construction site. Upon closer inspection, however, it will reveal itself to be a pop-up green museum with plants - everything from lemon balm, basil and organic hierloom wormwood - overflowing from each individual pocket. Yum!

Fabricated felt pockets will be attached to the openings. Each pocket will contain one variety of organic herbs or plants. 

So, come out and join us for a fun-filled afternoon of civic engagement, vertical gardens, locally sourced food
at LOCAL, and sun. Honestly, we can't think of a better reason to play hookie!

For a full map of all the pop-up parks, click here.

What: Soft Publics Park by The Rare Studio for Park(ing) Day LA
Where: LOCAL Restaurant, 2943 Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90026
When: Friday, September 21st, 11am-ish to 4pm-ish