Tom Bradley International Terminal _ LAX

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For those of you who grew up in the Los Angeles area, you know that LAX has always been a terrible terrible place.  First, it’s very far away, all the way by the beach.  And not Santa Monica Beach, but the area-next-to-the-sewage-treatment-plant beach.  Second, traffic.  Third, the Tom Bradley International Terminal.

I think it was universally recognized that flying internationally out of LAX was not fun.  Unlike its Asian and European counterparts, the Tom Bradley International Terminal was a boring and dark place, didn’t have enough security gates, had terrible food, and smelled of recycled air.

But for the past 3 years, the terminal has been undergoing a $1.9 billion renovation - in fact building a brand new building and demolishing the existing one.  On September 2013, the Los Angeles International Airport opened the first phase of the new Tom Bradley International Terminal.  Demolition is still in progress, but phase two should be completed by 2015.

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The new terminal is designed by Denver-based Fentress Architects.

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In addition to new gates and waiting areas, the terminal has been outfitted with a blinding amount of boutique shops and local restaurants (Umami, ink.sack).

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In addition to a new sterile and modern terminal, the project also installed 7 public video art installations, over 19,000 ft of screens, throughout the length of the terminal.  Some of the video installations are interactive, reacting directly with sound and actions to the movement of strolling-by passengers.

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The largest of these installation, located in the terminals “Great Hall”, features about four hours of film from 40 short videos, depicting various snippet of LA life, architecture, and travel.  The installation also reacts with the 5-story “Time Tower” at the top of the hour. 

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Feature Designer: Sardi Design
Executive Content Producer: Moment Factory

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An interesting new take on “modern” architecture and the airport typology, particularly before my flight to design-forward Scandinavia.

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3rd Annual Super Sloppy Chili Cheese Dogs _ Los Angeles Marathon

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It’s become a celebration for me whenever an event closes the streets of Los Angeles. To some, any closure is a nuisance and hindrance to their LA commute - even on a Sunday.  But for me, these events bring out some of the most creative collateral projects and experiments, such as the LA Marathon Crash Race or danceLAvia. The rarity and enormity of closing an entire street in Los Angeles is such a feat that some of the projects take on an equally outrageous - yet poignant - spin. One such project is the Stupid Company’s annual Super Sloppy Chili Cheese Dogs

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For the past 2 years, good buddies Alex and JP have been feeding the tired and exhausted runners of the LA Marathon - at mile 3 in Echo Park.  And what better energy food than Chili Cheese Dogs.  You have your protein, your carbs, and your dairy, all essential to a successful marathon running experience.  I finally was able to partake in the experience this year, and thoroughly enjoyed the sloppy experience.  It’s in this urban laboratory of Los Angeles and the community who actively engage with it that makes me love this city so much.

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Sunset Bouleard in Echo Park after the marathon.

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Sunset Junction

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The Echo Park Bike Posse’s LA Marathon Crash Race after-party.

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Heartbeat Stephanie _ Toy Lofts, Downtown LA

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Good buddy Stephanie recently donated a kidney to her father.  To mark the successful occasion, she and Brian held a celebration with friends and family at artists’ Sasaki’s loft in Downtown LA, where Stephanie had her heartbeat drawn.

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From Brian: You all know that Stephanie donated a kidney to her father in December. Knowing that this was a big event in both of our lives, I decided that I wanted to somehow record the event as a before and after, a milestone.

After doing a little soul searching we thought it might be interesting to engage Sasaki, a friend of ours who records peoples heartbeats as artwork, as a means of marking those points in time.

We decided to make our pre surgery record a relatively private matter, not only because we were unsure about how we would feel having ourselves recorded, but also because we genuinely didn’t know what was going to happen moving forward and wanted the moment to be our own.

The “after” portion is slightly different. The surgery was successful and not only do Stephanie and her dad feel great, they look great as well. So, given the resoundingly positive outcome of the experience, we figured why not turn the record into a more celebratory occasion and take the opportunity to surround ourselves with the friends and family who we cherish the most.

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Stephanie, with her pre- and post-surgery heartbeat paintings behind her.

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Cage Aux Folles Metal Working Workshop _ South LA

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The newest installation going in to Materials & Applications’ Silver Lake courtyard will be Cage Aux Folles by architect Warren Techentin.  However, it’s being constructed and pre-assembled 8-miles away in South LA.  I rode down to the Slauson workshop of Ramirez Ironwoks to volunteer in the construction of the steel tube structure.

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The Presence of the Past: Peter Zumthor Reconsiders LACMA _ LACMA

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I think many Angelenos would agree that the eastern campus of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art is cluttered, difficult to navigate, and not the best public frontage or “front door” for the museum campus.  But it wasn’t always like that.  William Pereira’s original 1965 master plan called for a pleasant entrance courtyard off of Wilshire, surrounded by a trio of core buildings.  Hardy, Holzman, Pfeiffer Associates’ 1986 addition esentially created a wall along Wilshire Blvd., eliminating the open frontage to the museum.  Pity.

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So this exhibit of Peter Zumthor’s vision for a new LACMA campus is funny in that, like its predecessors, it reimagines a new campus without these original core museum buildings.  This plan, and those famously proposed by OMA, call for the demolition and removal of all existing structures, and developing a new mega-museum building, one that houses all the museum’s functions under one roof.  Nice.  But maybe too easy? Is there nothing redeemable about the existing master plan to be salvaged?  It would be a much bigger feat, and more admirable, if architects were able to reuse some parts of the original buildings, tapping into the sentimental and emotional connections people have with the existing campus.  Instead of simply starting over?

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Mimi & Jordan’s Wedding Invitation

This invitation tickled me.  Mimi designed the whole thing, drawn by hand.  It’s in the same aesthetics as the Save-The-Date Poster she and Jordan sent.

Now that you all know the address of the wedding and reception, I’m expecting you all to be there.  Kidding.

I liked the invitation so much, that I didn’t send back the RSVP Card.  Woops.  Mimi shouldn’t have made it so beautiful.  

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Good Bomb _ Jordan High School, South LA

With just some paint, plants, and fabric, good buddy Mariana Blanco of Hoodablah, along with some creative minds like Graham Keegan and Adi Goodrich, put together a great urban intervention with a “good bomb” in the lunch area of an asphalt jungle at Jordan High School, south LA.  

What’s a “good bomb”?  In Mariana’s words: “We basically are going to take memorial day weekend, while the kids are gone, and volunteers like us are going to transform the lunch area. Then Tuesday, when the students come back, they’ll have a new, exciting lunch area, and we’ll have made their day, if not the rest of the year and more. We are going to film it, and that video will be used to hopefully inspire others to “good bomb” in their own communities.”

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Clocks @ LACMA, Donuts @ ForYourArtLA

Biked down to LACMA with Kevin Biggers at 10:30pm in hopes of catching the  midnight passage of Christian Marclay’s 24 movie The Clock.  ”It is in effect a clock, but it is made of a 24-hour montage of thousands of time-related scenes from movies and some TV shows, meticulously edited to be shown in “real time”: each scene contains an indication of time (for instance, a timepiece, or a piece of dialogue) that is synchronized to show the actual time.”

Unfortunately, we didn’t arrive until 11:15pm, and by then, the line was all the way onto Wilshire Blvd.  We were still standing in line when midnight struck.  Within 5 minutes there was a large exodus of spectators.  So we stayed and caught the passing of 1am.  Needless, we got a lot of scenes from horror movies, bedside nightstand clocks, late night phone calls, etc.  What a treat.  I was in a trance watching the movie.  I highly recommend it to all those who are as deficient of attention as I am.

Around 1:15am, Kevin, Avishay, Marya, Tommy and I walked over to ForYourArt's new LA gallery space for Around the Clock: 24 Hour Donut City, “a 24-hour pop up donut shop, giving away donuts from LA's best known donut shops.  Donut and Clock: two round but seemingly unrelated objects that will be synchronized for this 24-hour event.”

They quickly ran out.  I only ate half a donut.  

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Mimi & Jordan’s Save-The-Date

This tube came in the mail the other day.  Pleasantly surprised to find Michelle and Jordan’s Save-The-Date tucked inside.

The poster is appropriately and delightfully designed for them.  Can’t wait for the real invitation to arrive.  I’m expecting someone to pop up out of a cake.  A chocolate truffle cake.  With bacon on top.

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