[The LA Forum is currently working on updating our archives. The following text describes events in the early years of the Forum through the mid-90’s. More extensive information for programming events from roughly 2000 onwards is included in the main programmatic sections of the website accessible from the main page – under Lectures, Series, Special Events, etc.]
The Forum’s special events include visits to the top of city hall and freeway overpasses, a theory reading group, fax-in projects, debates, provocations, and collaborations with other community groups.
During the Winter of 1987, the Forum organized “Suggestive Spaces.” Participants gathered at four locations which articulated the elements of the Los Angeles environment in built form: the top of City Hall, a freeway overpass, a filtration plant and an oil refinery. Panel discussions and lecturers evaluated the hidden systems made evident at these places. The Forum also brought together local and national critics with the winners and second place finalists of the West Hollywood Civic Center competition for a discussion of the emerging urbanism and architecture of that new city.
Following the lecture series “Moving Targets,” the Forum presented a special event consisting of a panel discussion on the development of Hollywood and discussions with such architects as Thomas Mayne and artists such as Alexis Smith.
During the Spring of 1988, a dozen members of the Forum gathered bi-weekly in a reading group, “Theory Toward Architecture,” which the Forum co-organized with SCI-Arc. Princeton lecturer Mark Wigley and Princeton Professor of Religion and Director of Afro-American Studies Cornel West were guest speakers.
“Living on the Edge: Towards an Architecture of Housing ” held during the Fall of 1988, focused on the housing crisis in Los Angeles and explored new models for buildings which could provide both shelter and accommodation. Comprised of three panel discussions, one tour and a design charrette, this event series began with the premise that housing should be both a home and the basis of a larger community. The series, held at the Museum of Contemporary Art’s library, started out with a panel on “Case Studies: Experimentation and Research in Los Angeles Housing,” which was followed by “The Shelter Crisis” and ended with “A House in Not a Home: Community Building.” The panel included local curators, city representatives, professors of architectural history and writers.
During March of 1991, the Forum, as part of Westweek, encouraged participation in “L.A./Overlay” a fax-in project which was displayed at the Forum’s “Spring Fling” party and benefit.
The Forum joined forces with the AIA in October 1991 to present “Voyant: An Exchange of Conspiratorial Viewpoints” a debate between Eric Owen Moss and Thom Mayne at the Pacific Design Center.
In May 1992, to celebrate the release of the Rizzoli published Forum book, Experimental Architecture in Los Angeles, Forum members gathered in Thomas Solomon’s Garage, an art gallery, for a book signing with the authors.
Following the Los Angeles Uprisings of ’92, the Forum brought its members together to discuss and determine what members could contribute to the rebuilding of Los Angeles. In November 1992, the Forum and the National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA) organized a discussion held at Ward A.M.E. Church called “Alternative Disorders: On Designing Communities” with panelists: Dr. Eugene Grisby, III, Director of UCLA Center for African American Studies; Professor Gilda Haas, UCLA Professor and Grassroots Organizer; Tony Massengil, Community Organizer; Jackie DuPont Walker, Developer and Director of Rebuild L.A. Over the last year, Forum members have actively participated in the Design Professionals’ Coalition, a consortium of organizations and individuals in the design field formed in response to the Uprisings. This participation has included charrettes to design low-income housing and weekly strategy meetings.
To celebrate the release of Forum Publication No. 11, Building Paranoia by Steven Flusty, the Forum sponsored a bookrelease party at Forum Zero bookstore, a lecture and booksigning at Midnight Special books and the Southern California Institute for Architecture (SCI-Arc). Flusty appeared on public radio station KPCC to discuss the book on “Cityscapes” with Sam Hall Kaplan and Larry Mantel.
In response to an on-going debate which originated in Culver City over the question of whether architecture (and specifically the architecture of a project architect) can qualify as public art under that city’s art in public places ordinance, the Forum and SCI-Arc sponsored a panel discussion on 12/7/94 titled, “Artists, Architects, and Public Art.” The free public event was held in Eric Owen Moss’s recently completed building “The Box,” and was attended by 300 people. Panelists included Eric Owen Moss, Barbara Goldstein, Mark Lere, Joseph Giovannini, and Joe Lewis.