DEAR FRIENDS OF THE L.A. FORUM —
Somehow, it is already April. As we work on exciting programming for 2023 and beyond, we want to acknowledge everyone who helped us make 2022 a success: our friends, supporters, participants, collaborators, members, as well as our Advisory Board, and you, our readers, many of whom belong to more than one of those groups.
We look forward to expanding our perspective to encompass both local and international contexts, as we continue to instigate dialogue and raise questions. We are sensitive to systemic racial inequities, only highlighted by the pandemic; to the crisis of the unhoused; and to a trend of imperiled civil rights in the US and elsewhere, among other threats. We aim to expose hidden, erased and unseen issues, and to engage in productive debate about the role of architecture and design in our diverse and evolving city of Los Angeles.
Some highlights from the past year:
- Five Places L.A. podcast: The L.A. Forum launched this living documentary of the city out of curiosity for people’s experiences of Los Angeles and a belief that sharing stories is a simple but profound way to increase understanding and connection. Five Places has featured Carolina A. Miranda, the arts and urban design columnist for the Los Angeles Times; pro skater Lizzie Armanto; architectural journalist Sam Lubell; and artist Laurie Lipton, among others.
- Under the Influence: We also launched a series of conversations that bring together international and local designers to discuss the influence of Los Angeles modernism in iconic spaces of that era. Our first event featured David Godshall of Terremoto, a landscape architecture practice in Los Angeles, and Wonne Ickx of Productora, an architecture practice based in Mexico City.
- House tours: During 2022 we organized curated architectural house tours including the Fleischmann Residence by Productora and Terremoto; The Wonderland houses by Mutuo and Puente Alameda; Twin Peaks + Stiff Peaks, by OAK and Ben + Skins respectively; and the West L.A. House by Clive Wilkinson Architects.
- Welcome Back! Newsletter and Event: Our Welcome Back! Summer 2022 Newsletter asked participants to engage in conversation about space in a post-pandemic world. Participants were provided balloons as a “canvas” and invited to write, diagram, and draw their thoughts about our world after the pandemic. The balloons were arranged as an installation in the Helms Design Center during a community discussion moderated by Frances Anderton.
- Delirious LA (DLA): Our interview series showcased Janna Ireland: You Really Could Spend your Whole Life in Paul Williams Buildings, Pollyanna Rhee: Bookended by Disaster, and Carolina Miranda: Five Places L.A. (coinciding with the launch of our podcast).
- The Five Places L.A. podcast will feature upcoming guests including artist Gary Baseman, graphic designer April Greiman, architect J. Yolande Daniels, architect Julie Eizenberg, and many more.
- ‘Under the Influence’ will host between two and four conversations each year in architecturally significant locations.
- We will continue producing publications, hosting interviews, and curating house tours. Additionally our board of directors has been engaged in exploring new program ideas on topics that affect our city and the L.A. community at large, including a creative event on the subject of housing, with Frances Anderton.
Fleischmann Residence House Tour. Architect: PRODUCTORA; Landscape Design: TERREMOTO (DavidGodshall); Color Consultant: Still Room (Jessica Fleischmann); Photo:Rory Gardiner.
I am grateful to have served as the President of the Los Angeles Forum in 2022, together with Vice-President Souris Hong , and I would like to thank everyone for their support and dedication, especially the hard-working Board of Directors, the L.A. Forum Advisory Board, and our Administrative Assistants, Daniela Martinez and Vi Phan, who all made 2022 a successful and meaningful year.
I’d like to take this opportunity to thank our outgoing 2022 Vice-President Souris Hong, whose passion, energy, and insight will be dearly missed. Heartfelt thanks also to our outgoing board members: Gregory Van Grunsven, Edward Ogosta, Antonio Pacheco, Ismaelly Pena, Luciana Varkulja, and Jayna Zweiman. Many thanks and farewell to Daniela Martinez, our valued Administrative Assistant.
I am excited for this second term as President of the Los Angeles Forum in 2023 together with the recently elected leadership of the L.A. Forum: Vice-President Anali Gharakhani, Vice-President of Information Emmanuelle Bourlier, Co-Vice-Presidents of Grants Lorena Garcia and Monica Lamela, Vice-President of Membership Development Nate Cole, Vice-President of Operations El Larson, Vice-President of Fundraising Donatella Cusma, and Interim Minister of Finance Quynh Nguyen.
Finally, a warm welcome to our 2023 incoming board members: Marissa Gluck, El Larson, Roberto Paz, Mandi Roberts, and Louis Weiss. The complete 2023 board is listed here.
I look forward to what’s to come!
President, Los Angeles Forum for Architecture and Urban Design