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The Los Angeles Forum for Architecture and Urban Design is pleased to announce the return of ForumFest!

Join us at Griffin Enright Architects’ recently completed St. Thomas the Apostle School on April 2, 2011 to celebrate another productive year of Forum activities, kick off our exciting 2011 season, and help raise the funds that are crucial to making it all happen.

The night’s activities will include building tours led by the architects; a silent book auction that will feature signed architectural monographs as well as selections from our Forum Portfolio series, and will also include a raffle for a Verner Panton chair donated by Vitra; cocktails, as well as food provided by Bling Bling Dumpling and Fruit and Flour; and finally, the announcement of a new annual event to honor the memory of our friend, former board member John Chase. Tom Schnabel of KCRW will DJ the event.

Special thanks to our sponsors St. Thomas the Apostle School, Blueprint, Colornet Press, and Woodbury University, as well as our contributors AHBE Landscape Architects, Architects’ Newspaper, Arktura, Boffi, D+ Con Construction, Daly Genik Architects, Fred Fisher and Partners, Gehry Partners, Gensler, Griffin Enright Architects, House & Robertson Architects, Inc., Ilan Dei Studio, Hinerfeld-Ward, Inc., Koning Eizenberg, LA AIA, Merry Norris Contemporary Art, Morphosis Architects, Pamela Burton & Company, Taylor & Company, Thornton Tomasetti, Osborn, SCI-Arc, Warren Techentin Architecture and WD Partners.

For ticket prices and purchase, go to laforum.org/tickets, and for sponsorship information, please email forumfest@laforum.org.

PLEASE SAVE THE DATE:

FORUMFEST 2011

April 2, 2011, 7:30-10:30

St. Thomas the Apostle School

2632 West 15th Street, LA, CA 90006

St. Thomas the Apostle School - Image courtesy Griffin Engright Architects

Overview of 2010 LA Forum Programming:

2010 was particularly eventful. We launched our new website in March, and update the content often – browse the site to find an archive of Forum publications, past events, and future activities. The new website is not only an electronic newsletter, but also a publishing platform for creative work. The home page features our Online Gallery, which has showcased new work by artists and photographers such as Deborah Hede and Ken Ehrlich. The site also plays a central role in making available the important work the Forum has produced over the years to casual readers and researchers alike.

Early 2010 also saw the publication of Meet the Nelsons, the sixth volume of the Forum Pamphlet Series. The book documents “The Nelsons,” Wes Jones’s notorious comic strip that appeared in ANY Magazine (Architecture New York) from 1994 to 2001. At once a critical send-up of 1990s architectural discourse and a masterfully executed homage to the traditions and techniques of comic book art, “The Nelsons” addresses themes ranging from the legacy of the machine aesthetic to the challenges of virtuality to key disciplinary personalities such as Buckminster Fuller and Manfredo Tafuri. Many thanks to SCI-Arc for hosting the book launch.

In the spring, the Forum organized Dingbat 2.0, a competition which challenged designers to re-envision Los Angeles’ ubiquitous Dingbat apartment building and its urban context to offer a revised vision for Los Angeles itself. Over 80 architects and designers from 18 countries tackled the challenge of formulating a new housing model. The winning projects were selected by a jury of distinguished local and national architects, planners and theorists, and were exhibited at the WUHO gallery in Hollywood along with historical documentation of dingbat prototypes. Two panel discussions were held during the exhibition, which considered “Dingbat as Urban Typology” and “Dingbat as Cultural Icon”. The Forum is planning a publication to document the competition results, the exhibition content, and the legacy of the building type.

The summer is always the busiest time for the Forum. With the Exhibition Series beginning in May, the momentum continues through the end of fall. Our initial exhibit, The Page, featured single ‘pages’ from books by 33 artists and also included individual chair designs by Board alumni Tom Marble, Tim Durfee, and Warren Techentin, along with current board members Ingalill Wahlroos-Ritter and Gloria Lee, and a reading area by alumni Dan Herman. Sandwiched around the Dingbat 2.0 Exhibition, we ended the season with Connection Points: Konrad Wachsmann Reconsidered, which featured analytical drawings and models by John Enright of three structural systems from the infamous designer.

During the summer, the Forum continued its long-running series On the Map under the title Habitation. The series explored housing at a number of scales, sites, and development processes. We visited five residential projects throughout the city, including Ric Abramson’s contemporary Harper Apartments at a designated historic site in West Hollywood to Michael Maltzan’s affordable housing at the New Carver Apartments downtown. With single family homes by Predock_Frane and multi-family projects from DSH (a rehabilitation of an earlier R.M. Schindler apartment complex) and Pugh+Scarpa also represented, the series explored various forms of living in Los Angeles as well as the contingencies which effected their construction.

To bring the year to a close, we organized the Out There Doing Series around the idea of In Medias Res, the narrative device that begins a story in the middle or at the end. At each lecture, a designer presented recent work followed by a theorist providing critical commentary. Participants were Andrew Atwood with response from Marcelyn Gow, Herwig Baumgartner and Scott Urui of B+U with response from Stephen Philips, and Elena Manferdini with response from Dora Epstein Jones.

After a long hiatus, April 2011 will see the return of ForumFest. This year, we’ll celebrate the Forum and launch our 2011 season of programming. As in years past, we depend on the ForumFest to generate much needed revenue through memberships and donations that will support our programming for the year.

We also have plans for a major Retrospective to celebrate our 25 year anniversary in 2012. Efforts are underway to produce an exhibition of the work that the Forum has generated, inspired, and commissioned since its founding in 1987 and to speculate on future trajectories. By commemorating what has passed, we intend to invigorate the present by engaging those who shape the future.