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October 2016
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Syndication

A Salute to Garbage Fires

It's that time of the year – for washing away the stench of the past and basking in the sweet, slightly terrifying promise of an uncertain future. This week on the podcast, we dish out our predictions for architecture in 2017, and try to digest the year that was 2016.

This is our final episode for the year – we'll be back in a few weeks with fresh discussions, but in the meantime, if you like the podcast, you can do us a huge solid by rating us on iTunes. Send us thoughts, comments, and suggestions through connect@archinect.com, or find us on Twitter, @archsessions.

Direct download: Archinect-Sessions-93.mp3
Category:architecture -- posted at: 3:11pm PDT

Winners, Whiners and Wine Boxes

On this episode, we discuss the biggest news items of the past week, covering: the political bent to the AIA's Gold Medal being awarded posthumously to Paul Revere Williams; Jean Nouvel's legal battle over his "defiled" Paris Philharmonie; and BIG's new proposal for a giant, riverside mixed-user in LA's Arts District.

Direct download: Archinect-Sessions-92.mp3
Category:architecture -- posted at: 3:14pm PDT

DIY Space, After Ghost Ship

Last Friday night, a fire broke out during a concert at the Ghost Ship warehouse in Oakland, California, killing (at present count) 36 people. While the precise cause of the fire is still unknown, the building was rife with code violations that accelerated the fire's damage, many related to its adapted use for living and work-spaces. While criminal investigations are just beginning, local artists worry that the city will use the tragedy to crack down on other adaptive and DIY venues in the Bay Area, restricting access even further to affordable spaces in an already tight housing market.

Within the architecture community, the tragedy has prompted discussions surrounding the safety and vitality of DIY venues, and the long-term effects of such building code violations for gentrification and zoning. To discuss on the podcast, we're joined by two guests who have personal and professional experience with forming community spaces: designer, curator and organizer S. Surface, and David Keenan, an organizer at Omni Commons, a collectively-run community venue in Oakland.

Direct download: Archinect-Sessions-91.mp3
Category:architecture -- posted at: 4:15pm PDT

HUD-winked

When president-elect Donald Trump nominated Ben Carson to lead the department of Housing and Urban Development, the response was resoundingly: huh?

The neurosurgeon came onto the national political scene in 2015, during his run for the Republican nomination, but after Trump took the presidency and started throwing around the idea of offering a Cabinet position to Carson, a spokesperson said "Dr. Carson feels he has no government experience, he's never run a federal agency. The last thing he would want to do was take a position that could cripple the presidency." Despite all that, Carson is now (almost definitely officially) secretary of HUD (which he knows just enough about to seriously backtrack the agency's work as pushed by Obama). So here we are.

Special guest Marc Miller joins us on the podcast to discuss the implications of Carson's inexperience for HUD, as well as chew on the latest Schumacher-induced controversy: when the architect promoted the privatization of public space and trashed social housing at a recent talk in Berlin, ZHA responded to his remarks in an open letter, distancing the firm from its principal's so-called 'urban policy manifesto'.

Miller has degrees in landscape architecture, architecture and fine arts, and has practiced as an architect, urban designer, campus planner, and architectural lighting designer. He currently teaches in the landscape architecture department at Pennsylvania State University, and previously at Cornell.

Direct download: Archinect-Sessions-90.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:23pm PDT

'Next Up: The LA River' Mini-Session #8: Mia Lehrer

It's here: our final interview from 'Next Up: The LA River', featuring Mia Lehrer of Mia Lehrer + Associates. Lehrer was a major driving force in the 2007 Los Angeles River Revitalization Master Plan, and has worked for nearly 20 years on projects related to the River—undeniably preceding any involvement from Frank Gehry.

Paul Petrunia sits down with Lehrer to speak about her history with the river and its redevelopment, as well as her thoughts for how the project must proceed.

Direct download: Next_Up_November_2016_PANEL_8_Mia_Lehrer.mp3
Category:architecture -- posted at: 10:03am PDT

'Next Up: The LA River' Mini-Session #7: Renee Dake Wilson (LA City Planning Commission) and Alexander Robinson (Office of Outdoor Research)

Our penultimate Mini-Session interview from 'Next Up: The LA River' pairs Renee Dake Wilson with Alexander Robinson. Dake Wilson, principal at Dake Wilson Architects, was appointed by LA Mayor Eric Garcetti to serve as Vice President on the city's volunteer-based Planning Commission—an array of professionals who make recommendations between communities and the city on planning projects. On the commission, she's worked particularly with proposals to change the height and density limits on development in Elysian Valley, aka Frogtown—the neighborhood along the LA River that has become a major node in the city's ongoing gentrification discussion.

Robinson, while teaching at USC as an assistant professor, runs the Office of Outdoor Research and just recently completed a term as a Rome Prize recipient, researching the Tiber River as it relates to LA's and other cities' river infrastructures. He has also previously worked with Mia Lehrer's office on LA River projects.

Direct download: 7_Renee_Dake_Wilson__Alexander_Robinson_V2.mp3
Category:architecture -- posted at: 10:10am PDT

'Next Up: The LA River' Mini-Session #6 with Julia Meltzer (Clockshop) and Elizabeth Timme (LA-Más)

For this Mini-Session from our Next Up: The LA River event, Nicholas Korody spoke with Julia Meltzer, director and founder of non-profit arts organization, Clockshop, and Elizabeth Timme, co-director of the urban design and architecture non-profit LA-Más.

Both Clockshop and LA-Más are located within Elysian Valley, aka Frogtown—a sliver of a neighborhood bordered by the LA River, the 5 and the 2 freeways. In recent years, Frogtown (predominantly a low-density neighborhood of single-family homes) has become a major focus in LA conversations about gentrification and development, and both Timme's and Meltzer's work is heavily invested in their context. Clockshop (in collaboration with California State Parks) has its HQ in Frogtown and hosts art events in the Bowtie, an undeveloped plot of land along the river. In 2015, LA-Más led a community "co-visioning process" (the 'Futuro de Frogtown') to determine the kind of development decisions residents were concerned about.

Nicholas Korody spoke with both Timme and Meltzer about issues of equitable-design and place-making along the river, and the role of art within a master redevelopment plan.

Direct download: 6_Julia_Meltzer__Elizabeth_Timme_V2.mp3
Category:architecture -- posted at: 11:30am PDT

'Next Up: The LA River' Mini-Session #5: Lou Pesce of Metabolic Studio

Los Angeles' Metabolic Studio, run by architect and visual artist Lauren Bon, creates site-specific, temporary "devices of wonder" that interpret landscape in new ways, shifting public perception of land and waterways. One of their most recent projects, "Bending the River Back Into the City", is a three-part intervention that literally diverts water from the LA River back into LA, distributing it via "the city's first water commons, to allow the currency of water to create social capital."

Lou Pesce, an artist with Metabolic Studio, joined us at Next Up to discuss. As concerns about gentrification, public access and the drought raise issues of ownership and equity along the LA River, I wanted to ask about the economic ideas behind "Bending the River" and how the project relates to the river's specific role in LA history.

 

Direct download: Next_Up_November_2016_PANEL_5_Lou_Pesce.mp3
Category:architecture -- posted at: 2:19pm PDT

'Next Up: The LA River' Mini-Session #4: Deborah Weintraub, LA Chief Architect and Chief Deputy City Engineer

As Chief Architect and Chief Deputy City Engineer presiding over a group of 800+ architects and engineers, Deborah Weintraub has a big picture of LA infrastructure in mind when it comes to the river. She also has a fair amount of historical perspective, having overseen the implementation of the Los Angeles River Revitalization Master Plan after it first issued RFPs in December of 2004.

Additionally, she oversaw the design and construction of the river's new 6th Street Viaduct by Michael Maltzan's office, which recently broke ground.

Nicholas Korody spoke with Deborah about her role as the most senior architect in the Bureau of Engineering, the river's urbanistic potential (and pitfalls) as a gigantic piece of infrastructure, and Gehry's role beyond hydrology.

Direct download: Next_Up_November_2016_PANEL_4_NK__Deborah_Weintraub.mp3
Category:architecture -- posted at: 9:00am PDT

'Next Up: The LA River' Mini-Session #3 with Steven Appleton and Catherine Gudis

Steven Appleton and Catherine Gudis are some of Next Up's most active participants when it comes to physically being in the LA River. Appleton co-founded LA River Kayak Safari, which has lead over 6000 people on kayaking tours down the river. He's also a public artist, and has made work that engages with the river for more than 15 years—his "50 Clean Bottles of LA River Water" used a bespoke water wheel to pump the river's water into bottles, and clean it to potable levels.

 

Gudis, while her core role is directing UC Riverside's Public History Program, also co-founded Project 51's 'Play the LA River'—a game that invited Angelenos to explore different areas along the river's entire 51-mile stretch. While nearly 80% of the river is paved, there are stretches of soft-bottom, green wetlands that host their own diverse, unique ecology.

Paul Petrunia spoke with Appleton and Gudis for Next Up about reframing Angelenos' expectations of the river by helping them get their feet wet.