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About Us

design east of La Brea (you can call us de LaB) is a Los Angeles-based nonprofit that celebrates and supports local creatives in their efforts to enlighten, improve and engage the city.

Through events that are educational, inspirational, and interactive, de LaB unites an enthusiastic community of local residents who are invested in the future of LA.

Our vision for Los Angeles

We firmly believe that the east side of Los Angeles is home to the most exciting creative community in the world. We bring exposure to its artists, designers and architects—both legendary and emerging—through events, workshops and public engagement projects that focus on building a better LA. Together we explore the changing urban environment, discover new projects and ideas, and learn about the city in which we live, helping us to become more passionate, more invested Angelenos.

We firmly believe that the east side of Los Angeles is home to the most exciting creative community in the world. We bring exposure to its artists, designers and architects-both legendary and emerging-through events, workshops and public engagment projects that focus on building a better LA Together we explore the changing urban environment, discover new projects and ideas, and learn about the city in which we live, helping us to become more passionate, more invested Angelenos.

People

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Hosts

Alissa
Walker

PRESIDENT/
CO-FOUNDER

Alissa connects people with their cities through writing, speaking, and walking. She is the urbanism editor at Curbed and her writing has appeared regularly in Los Angeles Magazine, LA Weekly, Dwell, Fast Company, GOOD, Gizmodo, the New York Times, and the Los Angeles Times, as well as on the KCRW public radio show DnA: Design and Architecture. She has been named a USC Annenberg/Getty Arts Journalism Fellow, Journalist of the Year by Streetsblog LA, and AIA|LA’s Design Advocate. Alissa lives in a 1912 Craftsman on the art alleys of LA’s Historic Filipinotown where she throws ice cream socials, tends to a drought-tolerant garden, and relishes life in LA without a car. Read more at A Walker in LA.

Twitter: @awalkerinLA
Instagram: @awalkerinLA

Haily
Zaki

VICE PRESIDENT/
CO-FOUNDER

A creative at heart, Haily Zaki satisfies her love for modern design by promoting great companies doing interesting things. She launched Secret Agent in 2008 with the specific mission of infiltrating the media in the name of good design. She is also a co-founder of the Los Angeles Design Festival and an erstwhile contributor to Inhabitat and The Architect’s Newspaper. In her spare time, she blogs about her adventures on the Intel Report and is the proud mom of three ridiculously precocious kids and the world’s sweetest pitbull.

Twitter: @secretagentPR
Instagram: @secretagentPR

Marissa
Gluck

SECRETARY

Marissa is Director of Huge Ideas at Huge, where she oversees the digital agency’s industry thought leadership. Marissa became interested in Los Angeles’ architecture as she was completing her master’s thesis for The London School of Economics and USC. Thus began a love affair with LA’s buildings, sushi and sun. In her spare time, Marissa writes about LA real estate, architecture and urban planning for the Los Angeles Times, Atlantic Cities, and Los Angeles Magazine, volunteers as a docent for the Schindler House in West Hollywood, and chases after late night taco trucks.

Twitter: @marissagluck
Instagram: @msgluck

Erin
Cullerton

TREASURER

Erin is the founder of Design Agency Co., a boutique PR firm specializing in strategy, communications, and social engagement for the design industry. As the former deputy director of AIA San Francisco, she launched numerous community and cultural engagement initiatives, including the popular Architecture and the City festival, the nation’s first month-long design festival—until deciding to jump ship for Los Angeles’ warmer climes. She has consulted on several national festivals, and garnered support for her efforts from the National Endowment for the Arts, Graham Foundation, and LEF Foundation. She is an honorary AIA SF member, an occasional design writer, and an obsessive fabric collector.

Twitter: @designagencyco
Instagram: @designagencyco

Advisory Board

Frances
Anderton

Frances is the host of DnA: Design and Architecture aired monthly on 89.9 KCRW and podcast weekly at KCRW.com/dna. She is also a former producer of KCRW’s national and local current affairs shows, To The Point, and Which Way, LA?, both hosted by Warren Olney. In addition, she is a frequent public speaker on architecture and design. Prior to this she reported for many years on West Coast design for The New York Times. She has authored and edited several books and is currently co-teaching a research-based studio at USC Architecture School with Frank Gehry. In 2009 she was made an honorary member of the AIA/LA, and in 2010 the USC School of Architecture’s Architectural Guild gave her their sixth Esther McCoy Award for her work in educating the public about architecture and urbanism.

Twitter: @francesanderton

Barbara
Bestor

Barbara is the principal of Barbara Bestor Architecture, a Los Angeles-based modern architecture firm founded in 1995. The office produces a varied body of design work that operates in the borderlands of popular culture, art and architecture. In recent years Barbara has created environments, installations, houses, graphics and commercial spaces for many clients, as well as a book, Bohemian Modern: Living in Silver Lake (Harper Collins, 2006). Her built work has been published in a wide range of media and featured in several museum exhibitions. She is always interested in Southern California as both the site and subject of architecture and culture production.

Twitter: @barbarabestor

Krista
Kline

As the managing director of the Los Angeles Regional Collaborative for Climate Action and Sustainability (LARC), Krista works to encourage greater coordination and cooperation to address climate change and promote a green economy through sustainable communities. Previously, Krista worked in the City of Los Angeles’s Housing Department, where she managed a $4.6 million grant from the Department of Energy to perform energy efficiency retrofits at multifamily affordable housing developments. Prior to that, she worked in the Office of the Mayor, handling urban planning and land use issues, including the implementation of the Los Angeles River Revitalization Master Plan. She also headed up the Mayor’s Green Building effort, coordinating a strategy to push sustainable design and construction into the mainstream.

Twitter: @Climate_Matters

Hosts

Alissa
Walker

PRESIDENT/
CO-FOUNDER

Alissa connects people with their cities through writing, speaking, and walking. She is the urbanism editor at Curbed and her writing has appeared regularly in Los Angeles Magazine, LA Weekly, Dwell, Fast Company, GOOD, Gizmodo, the New York Times, and the Los Angeles Times, as well as on the KCRW public radio show DnA: Design and Architecture. She has been named a USC Annenberg/Getty Arts Journalism Fellow, Journalist of the Year by Streetsblog LA, and AIA|LA’s Design Advocate. Alissa lives in a 1912 Craftsman on the art alleys of LA’s Historic Filipinotown where she throws ice cream socials, tends to a drought-tolerant garden, and relishes life in LA without a car. Read more at A Walker in LA.

Twitter: @awalkerinLA
Instagram: @awalkerinLA

Haily
Zaki

VICE PRESIDENT/
CO-FOUNDER

A creative at heart, Haily Zaki satisfies her love for modern design by promoting great companies doing interesting things. She launched Secret Agent in 2008 with the specific mission of infiltrating the media in the name of good design. She is also a co-founder of the Los Angeles Design Festival and an erstwhile contributor to Inhabitat and The Architect’s Newspaper. In her spare time, she blogs about her adventures on the Intel Report and is the proud mom of three ridiculously precocious kids and the world’s sweetest pitbull.

Twitter: @secretagentPR
Instagram: @secretagentPR

Marissa
Gluck

SECRETARY

Marissa is Director of Huge Ideas at Huge, where she oversees the digital agency’s industry thought leadership. Marissa became interested in Los Angeles’ architecture as she was completing her master’s thesis for The London School of Economics and USC. Thus began a love affair with LA’s buildings, sushi and sun. In her spare time, Marissa writes about LA real estate, architecture and urban planning for the Los Angeles Times, Atlantic Cities, and Los Angeles Magazine, volunteers as a docent for the Schindler House in West Hollywood, and chases after late night taco trucks.

Twitter: @marissagluck
Instagram: @msgluck

Erin
Cullerton

TREASURER

Erin is the founder of Design Agency Co., a boutique PR firm specializing in strategy, communications, and social engagement for the design industry. As the former deputy director of AIA San Francisco, she launched numerous community and cultural engagement initiatives, including the popular Architecture and the City festival, the nation’s first month-long design festival—until deciding to jump ship for Los Angeles’ warmer climes. She has consulted on several national festivals, and garnered support for her efforts from the National Endowment for the Arts, Graham Foundation, and LEF Foundation. She is an honorary AIA SF member, an occasional design writer, and an obsessive fabric collector.

Twitter: @designagencyco
Instagram: @designagencyco

Advisory Board

Frances
Anderton

Frances is the host of DnA: Design and Architecture aired monthly on 89.9 KCRW and podcast weekly at KCRW.com/dna. She is also a former producer of KCRW’s national and local current affairs shows, To The Point, and Which Way, LA?, both hosted by Warren Olney. In addition, she is a frequent public speaker on architecture and design. Prior to this she reported for many years on West Coast design for The New York Times. She has authored and edited several books and is currently co-teaching a research-based studio at USC Architecture School with Frank Gehry. In 2009 she was made an honorary member of the AIA/LA, and in 2010 the USC School of Architecture’s Architectural Guild gave her their sixth Esther McCoy Award for her work in educating the public about architecture and urbanism.

Twitter: @francesanderton

Barbara
Bestor

Barbara is the principal of Barbara Bestor Architecture, a Los Angeles-based modern architecture firm founded in 1995. The office produces a varied body of design work that operates in the borderlands of popular culture, art and architecture. In recent years Barbara has created environments, installations, houses, graphics and commercial spaces for many clients, as well as a book, Bohemian Modern: Living in Silver Lake (Harper Collins, 2006). Her built work has been published in a wide range of media and featured in several museum exhibitions. She is always interested in Southern California as both the site and subject of architecture and culture production.

Twitter: @barbarabestor

Krista
Kline

As the managing director of the Los Angeles Regional Collaborative for Climate Action and Sustainability (LARC), Krista works to encourage greater coordination and cooperation to address climate change and promote a green economy through sustainable communities. Previously, Krista worked in the City of Los Angeles’s Housing Department, where she managed a $4.6 million grant from the Department of Energy to perform energy efficiency retrofits at multifamily affordable housing developments. Prior to that, she worked in the Office of the Mayor, handling urban planning and land use issues, including the implementation of the Los Angeles River Revitalization Master Plan. She also headed up the Mayor’s Green Building effort, coordinating a strategy to push sustainable design and construction into the mainstream.

Twitter: @Climate_Matters

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