Friday, July 6, 2012

Los Angeles River Iconathon > July 21 > Arts District

The Los Angeles River is one of those hidden-in-plain-sight features of LA. It runs 51 miles through the city but it's largely ignored by most of LA's residents. So how do we get more people to notice, understand, and appreciate this incredible resource? Our friends at the The Noun Project have a great idea for highlighting the river, and one that cuts across social and cultural boundaries—and that's why we're a proud partner for their Iconathon focusing on the LA River on Saturday, July 21.

Beekeeping finished product
An icon for "beekeeper" created at the last Iconathon. Photo by Carren Jao

What is an Iconathon, you might ask? It's a design workshop where creatives of all stripes work to create symbols and icons around a theme. (And we do mean creatives of all stripes—no design skills needed!) The idea is that the new symbols can easily communicate often complicated concepts—like "electric car" or "sustainable energy"—and make them understandable across any language barrier. The symbols are then released into the public domain where they can be used to create change. You can read more about the last LA Iconathon focusing on food and nutrition, and see recaps of all the Iconathons held across the country.

Symbols created for an energy efficiency Iconathon

To kick off the day, Edward Boatman of The Noun Project will speak on the importance of symbol design, and Omar Brownson of the LA River Revitalization Corporation will talk about the plan to revitalize the river. Afterwards, the Arts District festival Bloomfest LA will be happening all around us, giving us multiple options for eating, drinking, and dancing post-Iconathon.

LA River Iconathon
Saturday, July 21
11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

LALA Gallery
1335 Willow Street, 2nd Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90013

RSVP here (space is limited)

Remember, no design skills needed! Anyone who loves the river is welcome!

LA Forum's Unfinished Business Opening > July 14 > Hollywood

Credit: LA Forum

The only thing we like better than throwing our own de LaB events is supporting our partners around town when they throw really important ones. Join us on Saturday, July 14, when we party with the venerable Los Angeles Forum for Architecture and Urban Design who will be rolling out the red carpet to celebrate its 25th anniversary with the retrospective exhibition Unfinished Business: 25 Years of Discourse in Los Angeles.

Credit: Neil Donnelly

Throughout its 25 years of existence, the LA Forum has brought together young designers, seasoned professionals, critics, urban theorists, artists, students and others interested in their physical environment through a diverse series of activities. Built around material pulled from the LA Forum's 25-year-old archive of newsletters, books, pamphlets, photo-series, multi-media soundbites, video projections, and other memorabilia, Unfinished Business: 25 Years of Discourse in Los Angeles seeks to find within the LA Forum's history, the architectural questions, urban design conversation starters and critical loose ends that are just as relevant now as they were over the past quarter century.

The exhibition even features one of de LaB's projects: John Chase's West Hollywood, the map honoring the legendary urban designer we created in collaboration with Frances Anderton, Siobhan Burke, Jennifer Davis, John Kaliski, John Keho, Christopher Hawthorne, Deborah Murphy and Alissa Walker, with design and illustration by Keith Scharwath.

Now, this is one party we can get behind!

LA Forum's Unfinished Business Opening
Saturday, July 14
6:00 to 9:00 p.m.

6518 Hollywood Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90028 

More information about the opening and exhibition.
Download the official invitation here. 

Can't make the party? Join the LA Forum for two great panel discussions that Saturday. Publishing as Practice at 2:00 p.m. features Aaron Betsky, Joe Day, John Dutton and John Southern, among others; Unfinished Business at 4:00 p.m. features Barbara Bestor, Craig Hodgetts, Kimberli Meyer, and Mimi Zeiger, among others. 

And be sure to take a spin back in history and read from the LA Forum's extensive archives. Here is one of our favorites by one of our favorites: "Unfinished Business: John Chase, Shopping for Architecture #2."

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