My aunt lives in East Hollywood in a house that’s on the side of a hill. It’s a very rectangular, pre-post modern architectural house that looks like a suitcase jutting out from a mountain. When my grandfather (A big influence stylistically on me: rest in peace, sir.) visited the house, he notoriously called the place a “trailer on the side of a hill.” This was his ineloquent and curt way to say, “Hey: you live in a very boxy place with a great view.” I’ve coveted the house for a long time (and my Aunt knows it) but I’ve also been looking for my own alternative to her place. What’s the latest entry into this series? LA architecture firm J,P;A‘s Sessa Residence.
Ever since our first visit to Palm Springs a few months ago, we were entranced by The Parker. It is a lush green oasis within the oasis that we only believed we would be staying at in our dreams. Every time I talk to someone about Palm Springs I always bring up The Parker: it is the embodiment of what Palm Springs can and should be. It is like the pure essence of the desert resort town contained into a grassy, bush lined maze of opulence. It is a ridiculous place and it is a special place–and we were very lucky to have spent two nights there during our last visit.
Oyler Wu is architectural duo Dwayne Oyler and Jenny Wu. You’ve probably seen their twisting metal works around town and, if you’ve ever walked Hyperion, you’ve probably noticed an intriguing aluminum gate surrounding a rectangular building: that’s their offices. You also may be familiar with their work for SCI-Arc since they’ve done a handful of projects with the Arts District based institution. Their latest is called Stormcloud and it was made for the school’s annual gala. It’s basically an avant garde tent that looks like a pointy cloud captured in the arms of steel grids.
Ding Dong! “This is your captain speaking,” and so began every communication from our pilot for the evening. Last Saturday, the A+D Museum hosted their annual gala, Celebrate. To highlight the design process, this year’s theme was Celebrate: The Journey. For a museum that’s moved around more than NBC’s fall lineup, the travel motif was A+D’s tongue-in-cheek way to poke a little fun at itself while showcasing travel-themed artwork from a luminous list of artists, designers and architects.
If Los Angeles had a town crier for design and architecture, her name could be Frances Anderton. The writer and radio personality has dedicated her life to both worlds and has ushered in a culture of speaking to what physically surrounds us in Los Angeles. Her show DnA on KCRW has recently boomed into a more active, “multi-platform” space for discussion about what she describes as “who and what matters in our designed world.”
When we meet in the basement studios of KCRW, Frances sits in a recording studio with her back facing an operating board. She has a glass of water and a small bag of mixed nuts with her, two items undoubtedly invaluable for the always working journalist. She wears a comfortable petrol blue cardigan, a worn, early Star Trek shirt, and a block necklace made by her young daughter that spells her name: the outfit is a fitting representation of her intellectual and accessible point of view.