L.A. Studio Tour

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June 20, 2011
  • 
  This design tour started out strong at Materials and Applications HQ with this hot wristband. I loved the attention to detail in the printing here and was an auspicious sign right out of the gates.

    This design tour started out strong at Materials and Applications HQ with this hot wristband. I loved the attention to detail in the printing here and was an auspicious sign right out of the gates.

  • 
  Here's a view of Materials and Applications in Silver Lake as seen from their porch. The ramshackle front yard with its strong natural elements (the hedge and the pond) as well as the steel frame structure give a pretty good idea what the firm's approach to installation, technology, and making looks like.

    Here's a view of Materials and Applications in Silver Lake as seen from their porch. The ramshackle front yard with its strong natural elements (the hedge and the pond) as well as the steel frame structure give a pretty good idea what the firm's approach to installation, technology, and making looks like.

  • 
  Oliver Hess, one of the principals of Materials and Applications, led us through some of his firm's recent work in the studio downstairs.

    Oliver Hess, one of the principals of Materials and Applications, led us through some of his firm's recent work in the studio downstairs.

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  One project he discussed at length is an installation on the facade of a firehouse in Baldwin Hills. Initially, he wanted plants creeping up the facade but had to settle for these patinated metal replicas replete with LED lights. The first paper models of the flowers are at the end of the table.

    One project he discussed at length is an installation on the facade of a firehouse in Baldwin Hills. Initially, he wanted plants creeping up the facade but had to settle for these patinated metal replicas replete with LED lights. The first paper models of the flowers are at the end of the table.

  • 
  Can't really say what all this stuff heaped in the Materials and Applications offices are used for, but I loved the juxtaposition of the cut metal and the salad bowl of Wiffle Balls.

    Can't really say what all this stuff heaped in the Materials and Applications offices are used for, but I loved the juxtaposition of the cut metal and the salad bowl of Wiffle Balls.

  • 
  The first three stops on the tour in Silver Lake were all within walking distance of one another. Here's a portion of the tour headed up to the offices of P-A-T-T-E-R-N-S on N. Occidental Blvd.

    The first three stops on the tour in Silver Lake were all within walking distance of one another. Here's a portion of the tour headed up to the offices of P-A-T-T-E-R-N-S on N. Occidental Blvd.

  • 
  Once we arrived at P-A-T-T-E-R-N-S, we were met by Marcelo Spina who showed us his firm's work in organic and more "spiky" forms. They're quite technically savvy there, and much of their design is to do with advanced computer modeling. You can see prototypes and play with new materials on the wall behind Marcelo. A very different vibe than Materials and Applications.

    Once we arrived at P-A-T-T-E-R-N-S, we were met by Marcelo Spina who showed us his firm's work in organic and more "spiky" forms. They're quite technically savvy there, and much of their design is to do with advanced computer modeling. You can see prototypes and play with new materials on the wall behind Marcelo. A very different vibe than Materials and Applications.

  • 
  Here's a lamp that P-A-T-T-E-R-N-S did for the recent Venice Architecture Biennale. Marcelo told us about the processes—vacuum molding, bending, etc.—that go into the product.

    Here's a lamp that P-A-T-T-E-R-N-S did for the recent Venice Architecture Biennale. Marcelo told us about the processes—vacuum molding, bending, etc.—that go into the product.

  • 
  We traipsed a good several blocks in the L.A. heat to get to our next destination: the home and office of John Southern and his firm Urban Operations.

    We traipsed a good several blocks in the L.A. heat to get to our next destination: the home and office of John Southern and his firm Urban Operations.

  • 
  The design-build firm specializes in residential work, but this model here is a cast for a concrete planter for a design for a park at nearby Sunset Junction. Their scheme wasn't ultimately chosen, but I liked the nearly topographic form that the cast leaves behind for the planter.

    The design-build firm specializes in residential work, but this model here is a cast for a concrete planter for a design for a park at nearby Sunset Junction. Their scheme wasn't ultimately chosen, but I liked the nearly topographic form that the cast leaves behind for the planter.

  • 
  As we headed back to our cars it only took half a block to come across one of Urban Operations' projects: this pocket park on Silver Lake Blvd. It had been just a triangle of asphalt for ages before Southern and his team transformed it into a lovely landscape.

    As we headed back to our cars it only took half a block to come across one of Urban Operations' projects: this pocket park on Silver Lake Blvd. It had been just a triangle of asphalt for ages before Southern and his team transformed it into a lovely landscape.

  • 
  You get a clue that metal fabrication is a particular skill of Oyler Wu Collaborative as soon as you show up. The layered, tectonic fence that surrounds their home and studio is just a taste of the kind of work that they do in art installations and on the facades of buildings.

    You get a clue that metal fabrication is a particular skill of Oyler Wu Collaborative as soon as you show up. The layered, tectonic fence that surrounds their home and studio is just a taste of the kind of work that they do in art installations and on the facades of buildings.

  • 
  Dwayne Oyler took me out back of his house to show me a graduation pavilion for the Southern California Institute of Architecture that should go under construction next week. It's an impressive model and organized around the principles that underpin knitting. Can't wait to see it finished.

    Dwayne Oyler took me out back of his house to show me a graduation pavilion for the Southern California Institute of Architecture that should go under construction next week. It's an impressive model and organized around the principles that underpin knitting. Can't wait to see it finished.

  • 
  Little surprise that model-making should also be one of their strong suits.

    Little surprise that model-making should also be one of their strong suits.

  • 
  The final stop on the tour was at the downtown offices of the architecture/art/design firm Ball Nogues. Gaston Nogues was there with his son to show us around the dynamic, messy space.

    The final stop on the tour was at the downtown offices of the architecture/art/design firm Ball Nogues. Gaston Nogues was there with his son to show us around the dynamic, messy space.

  • 
  This gives you an idea of the space that keeps the team hard at work. I loved all the mismatched chairs, tools scattered about, and surfeit of models and mockups. Rather the opposite of the comme il faut architecture offices you see in movies.

    This gives you an idea of the space that keeps the team hard at work. I loved all the mismatched chairs, tools scattered about, and surfeit of models and mockups. Rather the opposite of the comme il faut architecture offices you see in movies.

  • 
  This model is a bit of Glob, a paper pulp product they mix up at Ball Nogues and then cast over balloons. The inspiration for this material, and its subsequent art installation, was paper drink carrying trays you might get to tote a quartet of Big Gulps.  Don't miss a word of Dwell! Download our  FREE app from iTunes, friend us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter!

    This model is a bit of Glob, a paper pulp product they mix up at Ball Nogues and then cast over balloons. The inspiration for this material, and its subsequent art installation, was paper drink carrying trays you might get to tote a quartet of Big Gulps. 

    Don't miss a word of Dwell! Download our FREE app from iTunes, friend us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter!

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