Making LA is our NEA-funded programming series that’s focused on highlighting transformative work by designers and architects that improves our city.

From Fall 2013 to Fall 2014, de LaB hosted a programming series entitled Making LA, made possible by an Art Works Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. Making LA consisted of one free program each month that invites attendees to discover Los Angeles designers and artists who are creating transformative work that improves our city.

We divided our programming into four challenge areas facing the city: Transportation, Water, Density, and Community. Working with local writers and photographers, we told stories about each event to the experience with a wider audience.

On Friday November 7, 2014, the one-day Making LA conference brought together 200 creative leaders from across Los Angeles at the Los Angeles River Center & Gardens to share best practices and investigate new ways to make their burgeoning civic, architectural or design projects a reality.

Issues that surfaced in the four challenge areas—TransportationWaterDensityCommunity—helped us to focus our programming efforts for the next year.


In 2015, we received our second NEA grant to fund the second phase of the project entitled Making LA: Connect, Flourish, Thrive, Prosper, continuing to focus on the issues of TransportationWaterDensity and Community. This time, though, our goal is to bring designer- and artist-driven solutions to those issues to life.

The series includes a year of twelve targeted programs, which will double as working groups for designers, architects and artists who are developing solutions in the four challenge areas. Then in spring 2016, after a year of detailed exploration of these themes, groups will make public proposals for real-world projects at the Making LA Challenge, a fast-pitch, Shark Tank-style event.

In this way, we hope to turn the original Making LA programming and conference into a long-term call-to-action, and turn in-person inspiration into four real-world solutions for the city.

Join us at an upcoming Making LA event, or check out stories and photographs from recent events.

Learn more about how to support Making LA.