In recognition of 10 years of innovative research and scholarship, UCLA’s urban design and architecture think tank cityLAb is the focus of a new exhibition at the A+D Museum in Downtown Los Angeles.
The exhibit “cityLAb, times 10,” will celebrate the founding of cityLAB, headed by UCLA professor of architecture and urban design Dana Cuff, by casting an eye toward how livable cities will be designed during the next 10 years. The aim of the exhibition is to advance architecture as a radical component of urban planning for the future of Los Angeles. The exhibition is organized by UCLA architecture and urban design graduate students who Cuff is mentoring: Will Davis, graphic design; Yang Yang, associate curator; Josh Nelson, exhibition assistant; and Jia Gu, exhibition designer. It opens Friday, Feb. 3 at the A+D Museum, with a public reception at 7 p.m. “cityLAb, times 10” will remain on view until Sunday, April 9.
cityLAB is housed within department of architecture and urban design at UCLA and explores the challenges facing metropolises in the 21st century through research and design, expanding the possibilities for our cities to grow in way that are more sustainable, livable and beautiful. Its investigations comprise rigorous scholarship as well as practical implication, design and theory, and formal exploration of cultural and political consequence. The lab undertakes projects related to its four core initiatives: the post-suburban metropolis, rethinking green, urban sensing and new infrastructures.
The work featured in the exhibition sheds light on several of the critical challenges facing cities in the 21st century, including housing and transportation, among others.
“The proposals on view offer an incredibly wide range of innovative thinking about progressive architecture and design that holds the potential to enrich the urban fabric of Southern California and beyond,” Cuff said.
Desk, neighbor, place
The exhibit explores three facets of urban life that impact Angelenos on a daily basis. “Desk” investigates the future of workspaces and their effect on the city. A special installation, the full-scaled Zero-Gravity Chair by AN.ONYMOUS, will be featured. “Neighbor” looks at a series of design schemes, including cityLAB’s BI(h)OME project, that propose innovative, flexible, environmentally sensitive, and affordable architectural models for Southern California’s iconic single-family DNA. With “Place,” cityLAB reimagines a familiar, congested L.A. neighborhood as a culture-rich, car-lite community.
“cityLAb, times 10” features original projects from six teams of young architects that embody innovative directions for design and research in L.A.’s coming decade. Selected specifically for the show by a jury of noted architects, artists and municipal leaders, each project demonstrates tactical ideas for and from Los Angeles. The six up-and-coming teams are: Reimaging; YIMBY, or Yes, in My Backyard (And Everywhere Else, Too); First Office and Theo Triantafyllidis; FIELD DAY; WELCOMEPROJECTS; and Office Kovacs.
A number of these young architects have UCLA ties. Team Yeung Janke Hong is made up of Legg Yeung, Ryan Hong and James Janke — all alumni of the UCLA master’s of architecture I program. On the Reimagining team, Brendan Shea graduated from UCLA’s undergrad architecture and urban design program and Gabriel Fries-Briggs teaches in the department of architecture and urban design; Andrew Kovacs, who teaches in the department, is part of the Office Kovacs team. And Marta Nowak, who designed the “ZeroGravity” work wheel, co-teaches in the Craig Hodgett’s SUPRASTUDIO at the department’s IDEAS campus in Culver City.
Three evening discussions, called LAB Talks, will be interspersed through the duration of the exhibit. Bringing together some of L.A.’s outstanding cultural journalists with civic leaders, designers and innovators from across the city, the talk will offer an investigation of the visions and questions posed by the show, as well as an exploration of the strategic partnerships mobilizing new directions for the city. The talks will be hosted by Madeline Brand of KCRW’s “Press Play,” Christopher Hawthorne, architecture critic for the Los Angeles Times, and Frances Anderton of KCRW’s “DnA.” All lab talks will be held at the A+D Museum and will begin at 7:30 p.m.
For the first LAB Talk on Feb. 9, titled “Organizing: Designing an Inclusive LA,” Brand will be joined by Ananya Roy, professor of urban planning and social welfare and director of the Institute on Inequality and Democracy at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs; Edgar Arceneaux, artist and co-founder of the Watts House Project; Romel Pascual, executive director of cicLAvia and former deputy mayor of energy and environment; and John D’Amico, West Hollywood city councilmember.
The second LAB Talk, titled “L.A. Emerging: Six Ways Forward,” will be held on March 9. Hawthorne will moderate a discussion with members of the six young architect teams featured in the exhibit. They will explore the design challenges young architects are facing today, as well as dig into what emerging creators see as the future of architecture in Los Angeles.
The final LAB Talk, hosted by Anderton, is titled “The Genius of Making.” She will speak to innovators including Don Chadwick, designer of the iconic Aeron chair, and emerging architect Marta Nowak, of AN.ONYMOUS, to discuss the role of architecture in the new era of making and fabrication. Additional panelists to be confirmed.
“cityLAb, times 10” is sponsored by Sarah Jane Lind, Britt and Don Chadwick, Jim Suhr and Associates, ARUP, Rios Clementi Hale Studios, BNIM, Gensler, Vision Scenery, and David Dean Ebert with support from the UCLA School of the Arts and Architecture and the A+D Museum.
A+D Museum visitor information
Hours: Tuesday to Friday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday and Sunday 12 to 6 p.m. Closed Mondays and holidays. A+D Museum is located at 900 E. 4th St. in Downtown Los Angeles. Free parking is available onsite. For current exhibition and program information call 213-346-9734 or visit www.aplusd.org.