As we wind down 2015, we just want to take a moment to thank this amazing community for their support, wisdom, and enthusiasm. We couldn’t continue to plan these events without you! It’s been another momentous year for us. We received our second Artworks grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, which will fund another round of Making LA programming into 2016. The new series, entitled “Making LA: Connect, Flourish, Thrive, Prosper,” will once again focus on the issues of Transportation, Water, Density and Community. This time, though, our goal is to bring designer- and artist-driven solutions to those issues to life. Stay tuned for another year of incredible design-driven programming.
In the meantime, here are some of our favorite people, places, and things we saw this year…
- We started the year getting our Om on at The Springs. The urban health oasis, created by Design, Bitches is redefining restaurant and retail, providing a one-stop shop for yoga, wellness center, juice bar, wine bar, and a raw vegan restaurant in the Arts District.
- In February we made our annual pilgrimage to Palm Springs for Modernism Week, hosting a weekend of design confabs at CAMP, the festival’s central outdoor pavilion.
- March brought us to our namesake boulevard, La Brea, for a tour of restaurant, retail and office hub District La Brea. The tour of the former Continental Graphics printing shop, included talks by developer Madison Marquette, architect Alan Pullman of Studio One Eleven, architect and designer Alexis Readinger of Preen, and A+R owner Andy Griffith.
- April brought us the promised rain showers but intrepid de LaBbers braved the weather to join us for a walking tour of downtown LA Modernism with artist Danny Heller and architectural historian Alan Hess.
- In May we ventured into Koreatown to view the latest piece of transit-friendly public art unveiled there. Sculptor Cliff Garten gave us a tour of his work “Los Angeles Opens its Heart of Compassion” at Koreatown’s latest LEED-certified development The Vermont.
- Every June we look forward to our annual Design-n-Dim Sum bike ride. This year we headed back to the LA River bike path to tour some of the newest non-profits popping up along the path, including the new women-lead creative coworkspace, Women’s Center for Creative Work, multifaceted arts organization Clockshop, and our friends at the sorely missed Good Eggs.
- In July we toured the latest urban infill project with architect Barbara Bestor and developer Casey Lynch of LocalConstruct. The sleek, modern Blackbirds sets a precedent for what can be built under the small lot ordinance.
- While we took some time off during the summer, (though we did get to meet NEA chairperson Jane Chu in September) we returned in October with the LA River Public Art Project partnering with them to kick off their TEN FEET: Art Meets the River project. Founded by four local architects and designers, Elaine Rene-Weissman, Esther Margulies, Molly Renda and Tom Marble, the LA River Public Art Project was created to foster an inclusive arts and cultural infrastructure presence on the river.
- November was a whirlwind, with not one but THREE events that month. We started with a tour of the new Modernica space to get a peek at DABSMYLA’s Before and Further show. Artists and husband and wife duo DABSMYLA gave de LaB a look behind the scenes at the reality of mounting an installation of this scale, blending art and design to create an eye-popping 4,000-sf experience where every last detail was touched by their hands.
- Our second event in November was our Hollywood Sign Summit, where about 150 Angelenos joined us on a hike to the sign to collect data on accessibility and wayfinding (if you joined us you can still fill out our walk audit here).
- And our third November event had us partnering with Nation Builder and Pershing Square Renew for We ♡ DTLA to announce the ten teams who are submitting designs for the competition to re-envision the future of one of downtown LA’s most notable public spaces.
- And last but not least, we ended the year in a wooded wonderland, complete with a waterfall, a four-story tree, and a stuffed
beaverraccoon. Owner Andrew Meieran discussed the extensive process of renovating Clifton’s Cafeteria while de LaBbers sipped on holiday cocktails.
Thanks again for an amazing 2015 and we can’t wait to see you in 2016!
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