Tuesday, May 31, 2005

monday media - I'm off a day

catching up on work, reading, life stuff after the long weekend. but here are some really interesting recent articles and sites:
  • the guardian takes on downtown. one of the best articles I've seen on the grand ave project - a healthy amount of scepticism and snark, as well as LA history.
  • Class Matters: the nytimes' special section on how class "defined as a combination of income, education, wealth and occupation - influences destiny in a society that likes to think of itself as a land of unbounded opportunity." good times.
  • and a history of sampling. less to do with a personal interest in architecture, more to do with my professional interest in copyright and technology. enjoy anyway. [via archinect]

Friday, May 27, 2005

I take back what I said about brad

the guardian reports that brad pitt is now part of gehry's "dream team" and will be designing a restaurant and penthouse in hove in brighton, england. I'll try to avoid the snark and skepticism of most bloggers and not assume this is all part of gehry's plan to generate publicity or brad's plan to divert attention from his african sex romps with angelina. instead, let's keep an open mind and see what he comes up with. whatever the end result, its sure to give hadyn christenson hope.

and a little bad news too

Heal the Bay released their 15th annual beach report just in time for memorial day, measuring the water quality along the california coast. overall, we're not doing too badly:

"most beaches had very good water quality, with 278 of 346 (80%) locations receiving very good-to-excellent (A and B) grades for the year during dry weather."

but the non-profit also lists their top 10 "beach bummers" - the top 10 beaches with the poorest dry weather water quality. and guess which county has the highest percentage? san diego county doesn't even come close.

1.tie Imperial Beach / Tijuana Slough / Border Field State Park (5 sites)San Diego County
1.tie Doheny State Beach (5 sites)Dana PointOrange County
3. Cabrillo Beach, harborsideSan PedroLos Angeles County
4. Campbell Cove State BeachBodega BaySonoma County
5. Avalon Beach (3 sites)Catalina IslandLos Angeles County
6. Baby Beach (4 sites)Dana Point HarborOrange County
7. Pacific Beach PointPacific BeachSan Diego County
8. Pillar Point HarborHalf Moon BaySan Mateo County
9. Redondo Municipal PierRedondo Beach Los Angeles County
10. Paradise CoveMalibuLos Angeles County

some good news

the hammer (typically free on thursdays) has announced admission for all exhibitions and programs will be FREE all summer. [via art.blogging.la]

Thursday, May 26, 2005

another day, another lawsuit

this seems to be the week the latimes is covering all the legal wrangling over "public" spaces taking place lately. first, the grand ave development project is approved after 5 years and 3 mayors. then, sci-arc's legal troubles are chronicled in its fight to keep and buy its land. and today - we learn that after more than 20 years of promises, geffen and his buddies in malibu's millionaire row have been forced to open up public pathways from the PCH to the beach that crosses their property borders. for a longer explanation of the legal issues, check out this archive on legal affairs.org from two years ago. it makes the opposition to opening up public pathways pretty clear:

But the resistance to public beaches is not limited to the lucky few who live on the beach. There are other Malibu residents who worry that opening the beaches to the public will attract the wrong crowd—namely, the urban working class from Los Angeles, 40 miles away.

fortunately, the Geffen Commemorative Walkway (did he die and no one told me?) opens to the public on memorial day. and I, for one, hope those unwashed hordes of the urban working class descend upon the walkway. maybe throw a bbq on it. blast some snoop dogg (after all, he's on geffen's label). perhaps warble a couple of songs from dreamgirls. yeah, he's producing that too.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

sci-arc's three-way

a fairly comprehensive overview of the mess surrounding sci-arc's space by the latimes, resulting in a three-sided legal battle over sci-arc's plot of land and some adjacent lots. the article veers dangerously close to farce, as it describes eric owen moss' "screaming" fits, neil denari cutting financial deals for the depot with developers who didn't actually own the depot, and the judge wearing a floppy canvas sun hat as he offers his architectural review of sci-arc's ceilings as he tours the building.

Hard lessons
(George Wilhelm / LAT)

if it didn't work for brad

it won't work for you, anakin. [via goldenfiddle.com]

ask and ye shall receive

pc pointed me to this lamp after I asked about it in the keywords post. I dont think I even need to comment on its, um, prodigious shaft.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

more keywords that brought you here

because these make me chuckle. and I'm not even including all the brad pitt-related queries. and there are a lot of them:

  • neil denari/ drawings/ plans
  • lautner chemosphere date
  • mayne royce hall
  • terra firma writing
  • pictures of william hablinski
  • architecture benefits
  • venice art walk, scott
  • downtown los angeles cedd moses
  • john baldessari pure beauty bowl
  • benefits
  • neil denari may 2005
  • gherkin table lamp by norman foster
  • worst traffic cities
  • worst traffic
  • yoga runyon canyon sunday
  • jessica simpsons malibu home
  • simpsons gehry
  • tuscan and andalusian
two comments: is there a lamp based on foster's gherkin and where can I get it? and yes, there is free yoga in runyon canyon every day at 10:30am. one of LA's best (non)kept secrets.

will downtown ever be the "heart" of LA?

the developers behind the grand ave project hope so. the latimes reports today that plans for the $1.8 billion proposal were approved yesterday. the plan calls for 5 new skyscrapers downtown, a mix of retail, residential and office spaces and a 16-acre park between bunker hill and the civic center. four of the skyscrapers will be condominiums that will have a mix of market-rate and affordable housing. supposedly. the latimes neglects to report on what type or ratio of "affordable housing" will be available there. there are a few other worrisome issues with the project:

the developer is related cos - the same developer responsible for time warner center in new york - a "vertical retail environment" also known as a mall. the time warner center has been criticized for siphoning people off of the street, draining the vibrancy of street life: "Misguided and oppressive at every turn, filled with small outposts of retailers you see on every Main Street of every city, the Shops will only serve to confirm New Yorkers' views of malls as soulless, somnolent, and creepy." [via MUG.com] LA seems to be following in NY's footsteps here.

Eli Broad, who co-chairs the project, has likened Grand Ave's development to Paris' Champs Elysees. fortunately, the latimes does feature the voice of a few dissenters who argue the project doesn't create a unique public space. there is an entire body of work by urban theorists like Jane Jacobs and the resurgence of the "new urbanists" that rails against the type of development that turns inward into itself, rather than project outward towards the street. despite over 40 years of evidence that those types of projects do not serve the best interest of the city and its citizens, developers continue to ignore the warnings and create urban malls. playgrounds for the wealthy. the project doesn't acknowledge or address the small ethnic and commercial neighborhoods adjacent to the site - little tokyo, chinatown, the garment district, the jewelry district. its unclear what the impact of the project will be on these neighborhoods.

they have not yet chosen an architect for the project, but they are again considering the usual roster of "starchitects" with gehry as the most commonly cited name. interestingly, thom mayne has pulled out of the project.

already the developers are thinking about razing the mosk courthouse and the hall of administration, then renting their new office space to the city and county to replace those buildings. but as joel kotkin points out (is there an article on city development that doesn't quote him these days?) there is plenty of unused office space in downtown LA. moving govt workers from the court house into the related cos' new project is akin to a public subsidy of a private project.

the plans for the project can be found here in pdf form.

Monday, May 23, 2005

the new york times obsession with LA continues

yesterday's nytimes had a surplus of LA-related articles. never one to shy away from covering hollywood, LA was all up in the hizzouse yesterday:

reflective spot

reflective spot

another view of the pool and the mountains.

the living room

living room

keyhole ceiling. its a show stopper.

elrod's master bedroom

master bedroom

for some reason many descriptions of the house call it a one bedroom. this is the master bedroom, there is another guest bedroom in the main house, two in the guest house and a fifth for the caretakers.

outside the house

outside house

behind the sliding glass windows.

elrod living room view

living room view

the glass windows blew out in a freak windstorm in 1971. lautner replaced them with sliding windows that open completely onto the desert view.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

more notches in my belt

two seminal events this weekend in my ongoing "investigation," let's call it, of what it is to be a real angeleno. first, my first dodger's game (they lost to the los angeles angels of anaheim. its not only a mouthful but also a tautology: "the los angeles angels" translates to "the the angels angels.") there was something a little surreal about driving to the game. I've never had to do that before. yankee games were always just a 20 min train ride from hell's kitchen.

second, I went to palm springs for the first time, where it was a balmy 104 degrees. why, you ask? to get a private tour of john lautner's elrod house made famous in diamonds are forever (although, you, too, can see the house for the bargain price of $8k+ for three nights stay). I will be posting photos I took at the house over the next few days. but here is one to whet the appetite.


Friday, May 20, 2005

the new postage stamps are here! the new postage stamps are here!

get your masterworks of american architecture here.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

lorcan o'herlihy's habitat 825 - no camera this week

my camera is still with a friend so no photo updates this week on lorcan's new building. but construction is back on - lots of activity over there but its still a very large hole in the ground. hopefully will have photos next week of any progress.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

the mayne event

on mon john and I braved the inscrutable parking regulations of westwood to see thom mayne speak at UCLA. apparently the school had booked him months ago, before he won the pritzker, into perloff hall, (where john and I saw neil denari speak several months ago) but expecting capacity crowds post-pritzker, the school wisely moved him into royce hall - which was filled to capacity.

the bulk of the lecture was about his completed projects - such as diamond ranch high school, caltrans, university of toronto graduate housing; as well as his current ones - cooper union in new york, olympic village in queens, and the university of cincinnati's student center. what he omitted was perhaps more interesting - the possible cancellation of the juneau, alaska capital building, his latimes editorial and the controversy over sci-arc's land, and his annointment as the goverment's favorite architect. he addressed none of these issues, and surprisingly, they didn't come up during the Q&A either.

sure, like most architects he is vainglorious, egotistical, even totalitarian (as he makes pronouncements that he is completely uninterested in "beauty") but he was also surprisingly candid, articulate, intelligent. he complained honestly about losing the WTC and LACMA commissions. he even seemed to take some perverse pleasure in koolhaas losing the lacma commission after he won it. I didnt take notes so most of this is from my already fuzzy memory but it was the Q&A that provided the greatest insight into mayne's mind.

john and I had wondered if the nytimes' interpretation of caltrans was correct - was the "death star" meant to read ironically? was mayne mocking caltran's monolithic power? it became clear there was not a shred of irony in mayne's design. he claims he's uninterested in aesthetics, only in function, but its a disingenuous claim. as slate succintly put it:

Originally uploaded by emily geoff.

Thom Mayne's taste tends to the shocking; if he were a filmmaker, he would be Roger Corman. His buildings have jagged, fractured forms and haphazard compositions that make them look, at first glance, as if they were not quite finished—or were falling apart. This is a subterfuge, of course, since they are solidly built and carefully detailed, but their appearance leaves the distinct impression of chaos.

he also discussed the impact being in LA has had on him - the standard "LA is a city obsessed with creating its own future" answer. and he laid out the professional trajectory of most architects - early promise, stagnation around the age of 40, you must leave your home and culture behind, oversee projects elsewhere, then return - anointed, by someone like him. his "recipe for success" was laid out in front of his project managers sitting in the front row, as they nodded silently in agreement (or was that quiet desperation?).

in either case, it's pretty clear LA isn't only a city obsessed with its future, its also a city obsessed with design, as the large crowd for mayne demonstrates. john and I have a debt of gratitude to UCLA for lining up this free speakers series, as opposed to the upcoming libeskind lecture where the "cheap seats" are $45.

this weekend - architecture benefits

two architecture-related events this weekend that are also benefits:

  • sat, may 21: "on the fringe": a self-driving art and architecture tour from noon to 4 p.m. is a prelude to the traditional Venice Art Walk on Sunday. It will showcase studios of notable artists and architecturally distinctive homes “on the fringe” of the Venice Art Walk area featured on Sunday. Artists and docents will be present at all nine sites. Tickets for "On the Fringe" Tour are $75 per person. Ticket holders may also attend a special art auction preview at the school at the conclusion of the tour. For $100 per person, a Venice Art Walk Weekend Package can be purchased, providing admission to the "On the Fringe" tour and Venice Art Walk auction preview on May 21 and the Venice Art Walk on May 22.
  • Sunday, May 22nd, 2005, 4-8pm Blast! - A benefit supporting sound. at the Schindler House and Ford AmphitheatreFeaturing performances by Raymond Pettibon,Carla Bozulich and Goliath Birdeater, Dos (Mike Watt/Kira)
    At a private residence in Beverly Hillsaddress provided upon ticket purchase. Purchase tickets online: http://www.sassas.org/blast $40 general, $25 SASSAS members and students (with ID). Proceeds from Blast! will benefit their summer concert series, sound.

I, however, will be at neither. in my continuing effort to add another notch to my "I'm an angeleno now" belt, I'll be at my first dodger game this weekend.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

getting your gehry on

design observer points to thomas mayer's online archive of gehry photos - over 2500 pictures of his projects and portraits.

exhibition Frank O.Gehry Architect
at the Guggenheim Museum New York 2001
Thomas Mayer

"keeping up with the Ellisons"

inman.com covers in a three-part series the growing demand for luxury housing, particularly in california. like the hummer, the "monster thickburger," and super big gulps, bigger equals better. while the article debates whether people are seeking safety after 9/11 (facile pop-psych reasoning) or seeking status (more likely) the end result is obscene: 60,000-70,000 sq ft houses, construction costs alone in the $35 million range, olympic swimming pools with greek columns and statues, and of course, swarovski crystal chandeliers. because no self-respecting trump-wannabe home would be complete without one.

Monday, May 16, 2005

keywords that brought you here

yes, you're still obsessed with brad pitt and there were tons of pitt-packed queries. but here are some other interesting keywords that led you here:
  • bad los angeles architecture
  • manohla dargis jew
  • abc pilot hot property
  • jessica simpsons malibu house
  • cities worst traffic
  • modern architecture brokers los angeles
  • traffic generation traffic robert moses
  • porn star sci-arc
  • waterfall art by vanna
  • american girl marisol luna controversy
  • runyon canyon yoga saturday schedule
  • mudslide april 2005
  • photobooths in downtown la

monday media

some links from this weekend on architecture, LA and other bits of randomness:

Sunday, May 15, 2005

2D vs. 3D

this has been a somewhat exhausting weekend. good - but tiring. no need to recap it since I wrote a few days ago what it would consist of and amazingly, I've actually stuck to every plan I had.

serendipity - last week I was at an opening at the 18th street arts center for an exhibition titled the curious and the profound curated by a lisa adams. my favorite pieces were by an artist named leigh salgado. she does these intricate, elaborate drawings where the negative space is cut away with an exacto knife. mounted a few inches from the wall, the effect is 3 dimensional - it looks like lace, or mesh, or dissected body parts. they are abstract yet recognizable. long story short, she has a studio at the brewery that was open at the artwalk and was selling some earlier works, including sculpted drawings using a woodburn tool. the effect is similar to her ink and blade drawings. I bought a piece similar to this one* (and unfortunately, that's almost life size) :

RUNS - Leigh Salgado
heat on wood panel
12 x 9, 2003
*I would post a photo of the one I bought but I lent my camera to a friend who claims he has big plans for the camera and his pants. I didn't ask.

Friday, May 13, 2005

feeling uninspired

as much as I said I didn't want to create a personal blog, its sometimes seems unavoidable. I'm not feeling very inspired by any of the architecture/urban/real estate news for LA today. so here are some of the art and architecture filled places you will find me this weekend.

  • today I will be checking out the fair use exhibit at the hammer with aram and other friends. hopefully followed by some banh mi in westwood village.
  • tomorrow morning you'll find me at the schindler house, giving docent tours. in the afternoon, heading to the brewery artwalk, and to finish my left-y, very PC sat, going to the human rights watch benefit for the women's rights committee. the big question - what does one wear to a casino-themed benefit whose main purpose is benefitting women in sierra leone, kosovo, rwanda and other developing countries?
  • sun is private and can't post about it. but there will hopefully be some downtime on the couch with us weekly and in touch.
  • and mon will hopefully be here.

in other personal news, aram and I have chosen a name for our future corporation. and we've registered the url. announcement forthcoming. one of these days. but I"m psyched because its a palindrome. and alliterative. that rocks.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

schindler stuff

some upcoming schindler-related stuff:

the mak center artists-in-residence have their final projects presentations at the mackey apartments tomorrow night. I won't be able to attend but its a rare chance to go inside the mackey apartments. the renovation of the apartments was recently completed so if you have a chance, check it out:

Friday, May 13, 2005, 7 - 10PM

To be presented in the courtyard of the 90% renovated Mackey Apartments, this multi-media installation will transform the building’s rear windows into a screening facility.

additionally, my may tour is this weekend. I'll be the docent at the house on sat from 11am-2:30pm. come by and say hi. admission is $7, $6 for students and seniors.

and update: the latimes ran a small piece on david jonasan's "quasi-cubist" renditions of the schindler house now for sale at hte metro gallery in pasadena. personally, they look like something you might find at a hotel lobby "art fair" but if quasi-cubist is your thing, then check itout.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

come back manohla

while I'm glad I can finally have online access to the latimes arts and entertainment section, it seems a bit too little too late. the latimes opened access months after it lost its best film reviewer, manohla dargis, to the nytimes about a year ago. purportedly, she felt that prohibiting online access to her reviews was hurting her visibility, although its hard to deny the prestige and power that comes from a staff position at the nytimes.

yet, even as she reviews films for the nytimes, her heart is clearly still here in LA. her review of crash captures the utopian/dystopian dichotomy that is this city, perhaps better than most immersed in the world of urban planning, geography or architecture:

Los Angeles is in love with the idea of its own self-destruction; it's hard to think of another American city so similarly possessed.

To watch a movie like "Crash" or to peruse a Los Angeles bible like Mike Davis's "Ecology of Fear" (1999), the second book in his proposed trilogy about the city (the first is "City of Quartz"), is to know that Angelenos have met the enemy and he is us. In "Ecology," Mr. Davis writes that Los Angeles residents live in a near-catastrophic world of our own poor design that threatens to drown us in rain, engulf us in flames and bury us in rubble. He's not all wrong, as the Hummers and perilously perched McMansions remind us. But in his exceptionalism, Mr. Davis sounds an awful lot like a Californian Chicken Little: read him and you want to run for the city limits, until you remember that a lot of places are as bad, if not worse. The truth is that Mr. Davis's alarmism has only made the city seem more interesting, even sexy.

manohla strikes a nerve for me. I think one of the things I like about los angeles is that our "imminent" self-destruction is two-fold: there is the destruction we have built the foundation for - the traffic, the congestion, the exurbs, the highways, the excess, the pollution and their attendent results: obesity and diabetes. poor health. spatial and social polarization.

there is also the destruction we have no control over. the rain. the earthquakes. the mudslides. the unforeseeable but inevitable.

there is something comforting about both of these. I lived in new york during 9/11. in london when america and britain declared war on iraq. it was bad enough being an american living abroad during a highly unpopular war. what's worse? being a new york jew. a short, fast talking, new york jew. the point being, I felt a strong sense of imminent catastrophe in new york and london as well. but it was the fear of the unknown. and the other. perhaps I should capitalize that since I had a good, PC education. The Other.

on one level, I also understand that its just a matter of time before LA is a target as well. The WTC was a symbol of corrupt capitalism. hollywood is a symbol of moral degradation and corruption for some. its time will come, although I desperately wish that wasn't the case. there are some problems with LA that can be fixed (theoretically) - environmental and structural. and there are some that can't - natural acts of god.

then there are the problems that don't fall under either of these two categories. the ones I witnessed in ny and london. the ones there are no easy solutions to, nor are they inevitable and foregone. these are the ones that worry me most and that I've been, thus far, able to avoid in LA. the weather makes it hard to worry.

LA - worst traffic in the nation

the texas transportation institute (yeah, I never heard of them either), has released the results of its 2005 urban mobility study and guess who's number 1 for worst traffic? yep, we beat SF, DC, atlanta and houston (the other top 5) by a considerable margin - the average driver in LA spent 93 hours in traffic delays.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

information wants to be free

I would be remiss if I didn't also mention that the latimes' arts and entertainment section, calendarlive is finally free. the rumors had been circulating for months - its finally true. and the latimes' home page has also debuted a streamlined redesign.

so in case you missed it the last few weeks:

Solar flare

Atheatrical arc light’s beam is directed at a small, mirrored ring suspended from the ceiling. The ring is attached to a motor so that it rotates slowly in the center of the room.
(Ricardo DeAratanha / LAT)

VA VA VA-boom?

the latimes writes that the VA campus in westwood is once again up for development. possibly. again:

VA officials have hired a consulting firm and appointed an advisory panel to determine how the land should be divvied up. There should be no shortage of development ideas.In the past the VA land has been eyed by medical researchers, theater producers, advertising executives, filmmakers, home builders, sports teams, apartment developers, transportation companies and operators of museums, restaurants and schools.

but as one of the few remaining open spaces in LA, there is a vocal group of anti-development activists. the campus has been the site of controversy for years, with vested and opposing interests debating its use. while the development plan is discussed, VA officials have said a portion of the space has already been dedicated to a veteran's home and a residential center for families of veterans undergoing medical treatment, as well as VA offices currently located in the federal bulding.

the space isn't only one of the last open public spaces in LA, its also apparently home to some of the best bbq west of the mississippi (on fridays only).

Monday, May 09, 2005

hot property - defamer steps inside

apparently defamer has much cooler friends than I do, since he's able to post an insider's tour of tia carrere's house in the west hollywood hills, on sale for a bargain $1.5 million. it helps to confirm just how divorced from reality the latimes' hot property column really is.

monday media

two good links today. first, LAist posts the long-awaited lorcan o'herlihy interview conducted by Jess. for an architect who aspires to transform global cities, he seems inordinately focused on venice (CA, not Italy) but that might be a result of the interview questions.

also, curbed launches The Gutter: "your source for unsubstantiated, mean-spirited, and potentially libelous commentary on the architectural arts."


saving sci-arc -- op-ed by mayne

recent pritzker prize winner thom mayne writes an impassioned editorial in today's latimes to support sci-arc's bid to buy its parcel of land and remain in downtown. it seems sci-arc may be another victim to rising land prices and gentrification downtown:

As it is, however, SCI-Arc may become a victim of its own success. If city officials back away from their commitment to the school, it probably will be forced to leave downtown, largely because of the rising land values it helped to foster.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

forbes finds fault with LA

forbes has released its list of best and worst metros to live and work in. LA ranks 106 in a list of 150. apparently, the extremely high cost of living and doing business (related to housing prices), brings the city down. the good news is we rank number 1 in culture and leisure (take that new york)- an index based on the number of "museums, theaters, golf course, sports teams and other activities."

Friday, May 06, 2005

keywords that brought you here - more brad pitt

while other blogs focus on brad and angelina's african romp, this one focuses on brad pitt's real estate. or at least enough to bring in those google searches. so yes, in case you were wondering, the wallace neff house brad and jen bought in beverly hills is finally listed for sale (at $20 million, up from the $12 million they paid 2 years ago).

but here are some of the keywords (brad-related or not) that brought you here recently (in order of popularity). people, the brad pitt obsession is getting a little freaky.

  • gunther domenig
  • lorcan o'herlihy
  • cedd moses
  • brad pitt's new house
  • lacma renzo
  • brad pitt' new house picture in malibu california
  • alabaster city aram sinnreich
  • archinect
  • fishbowl la
  • sofia vergara pink's
  • modernist modular palm springs
  • morphosis lacma
  • john lautner: architect escher
  • tuscan and andalusian reflections
  • brad pitt's malibu house
  • pictures of brad pitt's malibu home
  • the project art culver city
  • new brad pittâ´s house in malibu
  • brad pitt's new project in architecture
  • brad pitt's house
  • where is brad pitt's new malibu neighborhood
  • weblog architecture koolhaas 2005
  • picture of brad pitt's new home

architecture, creativity and copyright

I spent a good 6 months recently researching and writing about copyright in creative industries with Aram - namely, the music and fashion industries - on behalf of the norman lear center. so it was with great interest that I read this article:

L.A. Firm Wins Lawsuit over Copied Home

In an unusual case testing the Architecture Works Copyright Protection Act of 1990, a jury awarded the Los Angeles-based firm, Hablinski + Manion Architecture, (formerly known as William Hablinski Architecture) approximately $5.9 million after plans for a Bel Air home they’d designed were copied and adapted to a Beverly Hills site.

while I was working on the music/fashion project I began to wonder how copyright worked in architecture. it seemed that the blueprint was the crux of the issue - after all, you can't copyright an idea but you can copyright the expression of the idea. the blueprint was the physical manifestation of the idea and prior to this act, was the protection afforded to architects. The Act was intended to protect design professionals from plagarism if a duplicate structure was built from their drawings or specs.

but enforcing strict copyright protection in creative industries has been a bit of a boondoggle. Architecture's inherently public nature further complicates that. in creative industries, ideas are fluid and creativity is less about originality than about innovative (re)uses of what already exists. would we have frank gehry if there was no frank lloyd wright? piano, koolhaas, herzog & de meuron, ando without gropius, le courbusier and mies? does stronger IP protection serve the public good? does it actually help design professionals?

according to this article, this is one of the first cases to successfully test the act. I'm not a lawyer nor a designer so far from an expert in any of these issues. nonetheless, it will be fascinating to see how these issues play out - and what impact, if any, it has on the future of architecture.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

my marketplace moment on npr

a 15 minute interview reduced to a 15 second soundbite. available for your listening pleasure here. even after all these years, I still sound like a screechy 12 year old. I think I need to start smoking and drinking bourbon to bring the decibels down.

art, antiques and santa monica

the latimes, flavorpill, daily candy and just about everyone else has run a piece on this weekend's LA Modernism show in santa monica. but in case you missed it:

If Modernism were a religion, Dennis Boses would be the new pope. Last year the owner of the 25-year-old antiquary of cool, Off the Wall on Melrose Avenue, became the promoter of the annual Los Angeles Modernism Show, which opens Friday and runs through Sunday at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium.... Inside, Boses says, you won't find just Charles Eames. Nearly 90 dealers will represent "the complete span of 20th century design, from Art Nouveau to contemporary Brazilian furniture, which is red hot right now." (818) 244-1126

I dont know if I'll have a chance to check it out but I do plan on going to this opening, curated by a friend (text from flavorpill):

The ArtNights series at 18th Street is like that friend you see just a few times a year; some things are familiar but good to see again, and many things are new and exciting. Tonight's installment includes The Curious and the Profound, a group show curated by Lisa Adams on the topic of alternative perceptions. There are also open studios, exhibitions, and a gallery talk by Carol Es.

more wifi news

pershing square is now a hot spot, joining several other spots downtown offering free wifi. others downtown include 7+Fig shopping mall, moneo's cathedral, the convention center and even a portion of first street in little tokyo.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

bad breathing

The american lung association has released its 2005 report on air pollution. guess which city ranks high for the West for "unhealthy levels of both ozone and particle pollution"? we're in good company - fresno and bakerfield rank right up there with LA.

the report calls for legal action to prevent the rollback of compliance with the Clean Air Act:

"To contact members of Congress to oppose revisions to the Clean Air Act, including loopholes for polluting power plants that would weaken existing laws, log onto www.lungusa.org."

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

completely unrelated to LA, architecture, or real estate

but back in the day (the Internet heyday) I used to do a lot of TV, radio and press interviews. but when I went back to grad school, my days as an internet pundit were over. sorta.

tune in to NPR's marketplace tomorrow morning to hear me wax poetic on the state of television's advertising upfront and competition from cable.

thanks to aram for passing along the opportunity.

lorcan o'herlihy's habitat 825 - (non) weekly update

the info on the construction site

time for an extremely intermittent update on habitat825. I hadn't been to the schindler house in 3 weeks so this was my first opportunity to photograph the construction site in almost a month. not a lot of progress - or activity for a monday morning. yet the site has permission to work during those hours. any idea why things are so quiet?

su casa and su television

good latimes: covering the growing market of first-time latino homebuyers.
bad latimes: breaking news! reality TV isn't really "real." especially for home improvement/makeover shows. shocking.

Monday, May 02, 2005

LA's latest hotspot

no, its not owned by Ashton Kutcher or anyone else from That 70s Show. the city released today the a report on municipal wireless broadband entitled "Fast and Easy: the future of Wi-Fi and beyond in the city of Los Angeles."

in a nutshell, the report recommends a 5 year wifi rollout, funded by a "public/private partnership business model" using securitized bonds, apparently in an attempt to avoid using tax money. hidden in the appendix is a summary of wifi in other cities (including cerritos, long beach and hermosa) and how they're financed.

download the whole report here.

detour - the tate modern

two great links:
  • a daily dose of architecture posts photos of the herzon and de meuron plans for the tate modern's expansion and new gift shop
  • the guardian chronicles the history of the museum as it approaches the 5 year mark. how the site was chosen, the architects, the decision to split the tate britain and the tate modern into separate entities.

the museum outstrips the MOMA, the guggenheim bilbao, the pompidou in terms of visitors - making it the most visited collection of modern art in the world. and my personal favorite - both in terms of the building itself and the collection. everything about it is considered and smart - from the free folding chairs available to the bloomberg-sponsored audio tours. some stats stolen from the article:

Tate Modern by numbers
21,752,664: Number of visitors since Tate Modern opened in 2000.

20,971 Number of Damien Hurst's badges sold in Tate Modern shop.

4,671: Number of visitors each day who visited Tate Modern's most popular exhibition, Matisse/Picasso, in 2002

£1,000: Going rate for re-sold invitations to the opening party in 2000.

5: The bestselling postcards in the Tate Modern shop are: Marcel Duchamp's Fountain; Henri Matisse's The Snail; Umberto Boccioni's Unique Forms of Continuity in Space; Edgar Degas's Little Dancer Aged Fourteen; and David Hockney's A Bigger Splash.

Sunday, May 01, 2005

hot property - do small roles pay the bills?

how does an unknown actress who's most famous role is Backup Singer #2 in Mullholland Drive afford a $2 million Greene and Green craftsman in pasadena? residuals from Swingers as Girl with Cigar?