John Chase Memorial Fund

In memory of John Chase, the Los Angeles Forum for Architecture and Urban Design annually grants an award in his name to a project inspired by the urban issues he believed in. The John Chase Memorial Fund (JCMF) aims to highlight new critical voices that contribute to contemporary urban thinking in Los Angeles in a unique and personal way. We are thrilled to keep the celebration of John alive with this endeavor.

The award is granted each year to help fund a particular project. Projects may include exhibitions, publications, lectures, panel discussions, tours, or other events.

About John Chase

John Chase (May 21, 1953 – August 13, 2010) was a fixture in the Los Angeles design community for decades and the LA Forum is indebted to his vast contributions, both as a board member and as a critic of the public realm.

John was a walking man committed to recognizing accidental public spaces and improving the built environment. He was a stylish blithe spirit, instigating serious debate while making us laugh.

The Urban Designer for the City of West Hollywood for 14 years, Chase was a Board Member of the LA Forum from 1990-95. He was the co-editor of one of the LA Forum’s most significant publications, Everyday Urbanism, and wrote essays for Experimental Architecture in Los Angeles as well as articles for other Forum publications and the Forum Newsletter. In 2010, he contributed to the Forum’s Dingbat 2.0 Competition as a member of the jury, a participant in the panel discussions, and a source of substantial knowledge and energetic support throughout the entire project. A noted author on the subject of Southern California vernacular architecture, he repeatedly expressed his delight and gratitude at seeing the renewed attention paid to a subject he loved so much.  With John Beach he wrote one of the definitive articles on dingbat apartment buildings in ‘The Stucco Box’, the first essay of his book Glitter Stucco and Dumpster Diving.



2013 Winners Announced!

The LA Forum is proud to announce that the 2013 John Chase Memorial Fund has been awarded to Andrew Kovacs and Laurel Consuelo Broughton for their proposal Gallery Attachment.

Premised as a literal inversion of the classic white box gallery into an independent, freestanding, small-sized architectural object, Gallery Attachment promises to question perceived notions of both exhibition and public space and create an opportunity for a new conduit of architectural thinking for both architectural allies and strangers alike. Located in a to-be-determined residual public space in Los Angeles, Gallery Attachment will be built of both designed and existing components in a participatory design effort; within the assembledarchitectural object, spaces for display will be created and defined. Gallery Attachment will grow and change over time as additions to the installation are made by an invited group of architects, designers, and artists. Each participant will add an exterior attachment to the overall object and provide a designed object for display within the interior. Gallery Attachment aims to be both container and content; exhibition space and object; art gallery and public space.

Gallery Attachment will be led, designed, constructed, and curated by Andrew Kovacs and Laurel Consuelo Broughton. Collaborators from Los Angeles as well as national and international participants also will contribute to the project. Research and design for Gallery Attachment is underway with installation of the architectural object scheduled for September 2014. Gallery Attachment will be on view to the public through September 2015. A number of events structured around and at Gallery Attachment are planned.

For more information about the John Chase Memorial Fund, please e-mail the LA Forum at

Call for Proposals for 2013 John Chase Memorial Fund

The Los Angeles Forum for Architecture and Urban Design announces a Call for Proposals for the 2013 John Chase Memorial Fund.

The JCMF is chiefly intended for projects that foreground criticism, speculation, and maybe even a bit of fiction. Collateral components may include pop-up events, temporary interventions, visual essays, or multimedia pieces. Projects should strive to maneuver within both ‘designed’ and ‘vernacular’ environments, offering reflections and acute observations on the often blurred boundary between these two urban conditions.

Both individuals and organizations are encouraged to apply.

Proposals are evaluated on their potential to positively add to current urban discussions in Los Angeles.

Current funding allows for an award of approximately $500-$1000.

How to Apply

Proposals can be submitted online at:

2013 Schedule

Call for Proposals Announced August 15

Applications Due September 27

Recipient(s) Notified Late October

Announcement of Award at ForumFest November 9


For more information, please contact the LA Forum at:

Past recipients of the John Chase Memorial Fund

In 2011 the JCMF was granted to deLAB to create a pocket-guide map to complement the event John Chase’s West Hollywood.  The walk was held in May 2011 and in January 2012 a pocket-guide map designed by Keith Scharwath was made available. Limited print editions of this pocket-guide will be available at the WUHo gallery or by request.

To contact deLAB to order a copy of the pocket-guide, click here.

Photo from John Chase's West Hollywood Walk, May 2011 - Image: gelatobaby

Pocket Guide, all images: Keith Scharwath

In 2012 the JCMF was awarded to Duc Le (M.S. Arch Woodbury University) to partially fund his installation of the Sun-Bedazzler. In fulfillment of his graduate thesis project, he re-imagined the parking spot as a sun-drenched oasis. In the newfound tradition of parklets—the micro parks that incrementally take back the street for leisure—the temporary Sun-Bedazzler reprogramed surface parking through the introduction of architecture as an extension of surface. His bold design made the case for a small, incremental approach that has big, long-lasting impact on the built environment.


Click here to submit an application for the 2013 John Chase Memorial Fund.


To make a tax-deductible donation to the John Chase Memorial Fund: