April 16, 2013
Originally published in Global Style
With its diverse architectural landscape and community that thrives on robust design discourse, Los Angeles is an ideal home for the annual Dwell on Design show. In June, the city will, once again, host and inspire the great minds who descend upon it each year, further elevating our collaborative exploration of the built—and even the unbuilt environment.
Goodell monorail made in la

The city’s unrealized projects include a 1962 monorail proposal. Photo courtesy Los Angeles Metropolitan.

Courtesy of 
Los Angeles Metropolitan
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Frank gehry walt disney concert hall

Architect Frank Gehry’s Walt Disney Concert Hall was among the catalysts for downtown L.A.’s recent revitalization.

Courtesy of 
David Wing (Jef Raskin)
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Department of water power building corner

Department of Water and Power Building Corner with Fountains, 1965, photographed by Julius Shulman. Photo © J. Paul Getty Trust

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Contemporary art made in la

Jef Raskin, designer of Bloxes and inventor of the Macintosh computer, circa 1970. “Architecture 
and the arts in 1970s L.A. contributed to the sense that anything
is possible here—that rules can 
be broken.” 
—Kimberli Meyer, director, 
Mak Center Photo by: David Wing

Courtesy of 
Julius Shulman
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Grand boulevard made in la

Lloyd Wright’s 1925 Civic Center plan. Photo by: Eric Lloyd

Courtesy of 
Julius Shulman
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Eames house entry made in la

“One cannot overstate the importance of the Eames House,” says architect Frank Escher, who 
will join the discussion on 
its restoration.

Courtesy of 
David Wing (Jef Raskin)
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Lax airport made in la

“There is no such thing as L.A. architecture. The diversity of styles and traditions 
is what makes L.A. so unique.” 
—Sam Lubell, 
cocurator,
 A+D museum Photo by: Shutterstock

Courtesy of 
David Wing (Jef Raskin)
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Goodell monorail made in la

The city’s unrealized projects include a 1962 monorail proposal. Photo courtesy Los Angeles Metropolitan.

Image courtesy of Los Angeles Metropolitan.

In concert with the Getty’s Pacific Standard 
Time Presents: Modern Architecture in L.A. initiative, which consists of citywide exhibitions throughout the spring and summer, Dwell on Design will welcome a panel made up of curators from the Getty Center, MAK Center, and the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) for a discussion on underexplored periods of L.A. modernism, including the 1970s and the contemporary modernist era. The Getty Research Institute’s architecture and design curator Christopher Alexander will discuss Overdrive: L.A. Constructs the Future, 1940–1990; Christopher Mount, guest curator at MOCA, will cover A New Sculpturalism: Contemporary Architecture from Southern California; and a curator from the MAK Center will present Everything Loose Will Land, which takes its name from the Frank Lloyd Wright quote: “Tip the world over on its side and everything loose will land in Los Angeles.”

Unbuilt
It is impossible to know 
what Los Angeles might look like today if every architect had his or her druthers. That idea prompted the A+D Museum to conjure Never Built: Los Angeles, an exhibition of unrealized L.A. projects, which the curators will preview onstage at Dwell on Design. Museum director Tibbie Dunbar will join Sam Lubell, who is cocurating the exhibition with Greg Goldin, and Jenny Myers from Clive Wilkinson Architects, who is designing the exhibition, in 
a discussion of L.A.’s 
unbuilt world and its 
untold ramifications. “Each one of these projects would have made their own impact on the city,” says Lubell. “The biggest changes would have come about through plans in the first half of the century for new subways, parks, and urban centers. The city would have been greener, more mass-transit oriented, and more connected. Each successive project could have added another piece of excitement, a remedy to the city’s woes, or—in some cases—caused even more problems.”

Reborn
L.A.’s Case Study Houses, 
which in her 2001 essay “Born-Again Modernism” the late Ada Louise Huxtable called “beacons of the future in the ’50s,” have become the baby boomers of the architectural milieu—aging and in need of a plan. Case Study House #8, aka the Eames House, and its 250-year plan, which maps out its preservation and restoration, will be the subject of a Dwell on Design panel featuring representatives from the Eames Foundation, the Getty Conservation Institute, and architectural firm Escher GuneWardena. Another local icon, LAX, was renewed in 2000 by architect Ted Tokio Tanaka with a program that included artist Paul Tzanetopoulos’s pylons of light, whose changing colors were inspired partly by the cultural fabric of L.A. “The installation is meant to inspire calm,” says Tzanetopoulos, who will share with the Dwell on Design audience the philosophy behind the design. 
“And it is now a part of L.A.”

Dwell on Design
June 21-23
L.A. Convention Center
Over three days at Dwell on Design, more than 200 presenters will join Dwell editors on three stages for discussions, keynotes, and symposia that expand the parameters of how we contemplate design. Head to dwellondesign.com to buy tickets now.

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