Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Thanks For A Great Year!

Thanks to everyone who made it out to our very wet Go For The Gold event and especially to James Rojas for leading our transit and culinary explorations along the Gold Line Extension.

And a special thanks to everyone who has made it out this year to any of our events - we appreciate your support and encouragement as we plan more events for 2010. Have an idea for an event? Let us know.

And what else did we do this year?
In November we joined our friends at Ball-Nogues Studio in Downtown LA during Art Walk for a screening of the High-Energy Double Channel videos by Cal Artians.

In October, we were "on hiatus" but missed you too much!

In September teamed up with our friends at Curbed LA and Greenmeme for Park[ing] Day LA! de LaBbers and neighbors stopped by as we transformed a parking space located in front of LOCAL restaurant into a sustainably designed pocket-park.

In August, we braved the heat to tour Vista Hermosa Park with landscape architect Mia Lehrer and explored the park's walking trails, streams, meadows, oak savannahs, picnic grounds, and a nature-themed playground. Our friends from Coolhaus stopped by with specially-themed Mia-inspired ice cream sandwiches.

In July, we headed east - way east, to explore LA's thriving Tiki culture. Joining forces with Popsicles for Everyone, whose most recent project, Tikitown, USA looks at the rise and fall of Tiki culture in Los Angeles, we embarked on a three-stop Tiki Trek.

In June, we took to the streets for our first (but hopefully not last) annual Design-n-Dim Sum bike ride. Adam and Josef of Flying Pigeon guided a large group of cyclists through Lincoln Heights to Chinatown, stopping along the way to visit Fung and Blatt in their studio, and Fifth Floor Gallery and LOC, ending at Ocean Seafood for dim sum.

In May, we learned the ancient art of origami with Studio 1060, including our friends Bo and Hisako at Bunch Design, Catherine Garrison Architect, Debi Van Zyl and Design Garage Inc. Not only did they provide us with a great space in Boyle Heights, and a fantastic Butter Bar, but they also kindly taught everyone how to construct paper modules for our three-dimensional origami wall, now gracing Studio 1060.

In April we hosted a Garden Party. On top of the Flat Building rooftop, architect Alexis Rochas schooled us on the challenges of urban agriculture as we toured SYNTHe. Afterwards we filed downstairs into the swanktastic Blue Velvet and sipped Champagne and lemon-spiked Hefeweizens while a brunch with produce snipped from that very rooftop was brought out in three beautifully-plated courses.

In March we combined two of our favorite things - cocktails and preservation at Cole's. Restaurant group 213's designer Ricki Kline gave us a tour of the restored space, including their speakeasy The Varnish, in the back room.

In February we headed to Lincoln Heights for a tour of the Daly Lofts, architect and writer Joseph Giovannini’s first major LA project. Formerly a telephone trucking garage, this 23,000 square-foot structure now houses a series of trippy, sculptural modern live-work lofts.

Last Jan we took a break to recover from City Listening, a gathering of several local design and architecture writers to read stories about LA in the performance space at the former office of GOOD magazine.

What does 2010 have in store? Stay tuned here and on Facebook as we announce our next events.

Happy holidays to all!

Monday, November 16, 2009

December de LaB > Go For The Gold!


Join us December 12th for a food tour of the new Gold Line extension! The MTA's James Rojas will be leading us on a guided tour of the metro stops through the eastside LA, and we'll explore some of the food in these diverse neighborhoods.

Dec 12th is also the Feast of Guadalupe so we'll see some of the shrines, decorations and celebrations in honor of the holiday.

Our itinerary:
2pm: Meet at the Gold Line platform in Union Station
1st Stop: ELA Civic Center. Visit the newly renovated urban center with library, amphitheater and pond.
2nd Stop: Indiana: We'll stop at the Mercado for tacos or grab the original raspadas (ice cones)
3rd Stop: Mariachi Plaza: Tacos! Mariachis!
4th Stop: Little Tokyo: Our last stop will be for green tea ice cream, and depending on how we feel, drinks at Far Bar or another nearby watering hole.

Please bring CASH for the day, and rsvp to hello [at] designeastoflabrea [dot] org if you plan on attending.

[Photo by Alissa Walker]

Saturday, November 7, 2009

November de LaB > CalArtian Screening @ Art Walk > Nov. 12



Organized and curated by Cal Arts educator and artist Nancy Buchanan, the special screening will feature work by Cal Artians Megyn Cawley, Kaylan George, Jacob Jones, Steven Klems, Pele Kudren, Alex Lorge, Sarah Manuwal, Natasha Mendonca, Asher Price, Jemes Raymond, William Sabiston, Kim Strouse, and Alice Wang, who will each present a total of 4-minutes of video.

Nancy's own work, which examines social and political issues, particularly themes of power and personal place, will also be featured.

Since their move to downtown LA, Ball-Nogues Studio has become both design lab and gallery. Each month during Art Walk, they open their space to the public to showcase the work of creative friends and peers engaged in their own creative explorations. de LaB hopes to collaborate with Ball-Nogues on something special very soon. For now, we hope you can join us for this visual adventure! No RSVP necessary.

Thursday, November 12
7:30pm to 11:30pm

Ball-Nogues Studio
410 S. Spring Street
Los Angeles, CA 90013
(213) 458-3673

For more information, visit this page.

Image: Kaylan George Film Teaser

Monday, October 26, 2009

October Hiatus

Yes, we know it's very Hollywood to say we're going on hiatus, and then never return, but in this case we mean it. Work, travel and other obligations mean October has gotten away from us, but we'll be back with another great event in November.

In the meantime, enjoy our pics from September's Park[ing] Day on Facebook (psst, have you joined our group yet?) and check out some of these other great events going on in the next few weeks:
And we're always looking for great ideas for future events. Got one? Hit us up at hello [at] designeastoflabrea [dot] org.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Save the Date! Sept de LaB> Park[ing] Day LA Sept 18th


We are teaming up with our friends at Curbed LA and Greenmeme for Park[ing] Day LA! Come join us as we work together to transform a parking space located in front of LOCAL restaurant into a sustainably designed pocket-park.

Come by, enjoy a lemonade, and enjoy the fruits of our labor. More details on our future pocket-park and what you can do to help to come.



in the meantime, here's more on Park[ing] Day:

Too often, when people think of Los Angeles they envision a maze of asphalt, smog and traffic congestion. The automobile reigns supreme and as a result one’s ability to navigate through the City becomes compromised with the burden of too many vehicles clogging the road. Sidewalks have been narrowed and opportunities for open space, parks, civic plazas and public places have been sequestered into the hills, which unfortunately are often inaccessible to anyone without an automobile. Despite being home to one of the largest urban parks in North America (Griffith Park), Los Angeles significantly lacks adequate & accessible open space, urban parks, plazas and civic centers.

In 2005, the Rebar group, a small group out of San Francisco, opened eyes worldwide by transforming a metered parking spot into a park-for-a-day in an effort to make a public comment on the lack of quality open space in American cities. Their goal was to reprogram the urban surface by reclaiming streets for people to rest, relax and play and to:

  • Promote a critical dialogue among artists, designers, activists, citizens, corporations, and government regarding the need for urban open space and they way in which streets are currently used.
  • Energize civic life by questioning basic assumptions about urban space while offering provocative and meaningful alternatives.
  • Connect artists, designers, and activists with ways to permanently reclaim the street for people.

Monday, August 17, 2009

August de LaB > Picnic In the Park @ Vista Hermosa Aug 29


You asked for it and we answered. Many of you asked for a landscape architecture event, so we went to one of the best - Mia Lehrer.

Take a tour and bring a picnic! Landscape architect Mia Lehrer is giving us a tour of the Grand Prize-winning 9.5 acre park Vista Hermosa Park located near downtown.

The park features walking trails, streams, meadows, oak savannahs, picnic grounds, and a nature-themed playground amidst native Mediterranean vegetation. We're meeting at 4pm on August 29th by the grotto and waterfall for a walk through the park, followed by a picnic. Bring a sandwich, salads, and drinks. Our friends from Coolhaus will be on hand for ice cream sandwiches with a special Mia-themed flavor!

Address: 100 N. Toluca Street
The park is on First Street west of the 110 (Harbor Freeway) between Beaudry and Glendale Blvd.

Parking is available in the park. Enter the West Gate on Toluca, or the South Gate on 1st Street. From both, walk north across the Upper Field to reach the grotto.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

July de LaB > Tiki Trek on Thursday, July 23!


It's summer. We're hot, you're hot, and what else is hot? Tiki! From the new outpost of Trader Vic's downtown to the throwback palapas of Luau in Beverly Hills, Tiki is seeing a resurgence all over town. So we're joining forces with Popsicles for Everyone, whose most recent project, Tikitown, USA looks at the rise and fall of Tiki culture in Los Angeles and the remnants it has (or has not) left behind. So what is Tiki? And what does Tiki mean beyond torches and kitsch? We're gonna find out with a three-stop Tiki Trek on Thursday, July 23. Grab your Hawaiian shirts (grass skirts optional) and meet us anywhere along the way:

6:30-8:00pm Join us in Rosemead at a well-preserved gem of the Tiki era, Bahooka, where there are over 100 aquariums and any drink can be served flaming. Tiki scholar Mirta Viviane Gilson will school us on Tiki history and Kyla Fullenwider will fill us in on the rest of the events planned for Tikitown USA. We can order Polynesian-inspired grub and, to help you recover from your drive, everyone gets one free Mai Tai!
Bahooka
4501 Rosemead Blvd
Rosemead, CA 91770
View on Google Maps

8:30pm-9:00pm We'll drive a few blocks away to Kona Kai Apartments, an amazing example of the Tiki buildings that are found in high concentration in this neighborhood. A resident will let us inside this apartment complex to show us some of the original details, and what was changed during the 1988 renovations.
Kona Kai
6415 Rosemead Blvd.
San Gabriel, CA 91775
View on Google Maps

9:00pm-'til close Then we'll head west and have a nightcap with anyone who couldn't make it out to Rosemead at the Tiki Ti, the Silver Lake Tiki institution. Hear more about the Tiki Ti's unique connection to LA's Tiki culture while you have a Ray's Mistake (but if you have more than one, we recommend taking public transportation home).
Tiki Ti
4427 Sunset Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90027
View on Google Maps

Let us know if you can make it on Facebook so we can get a rough headcount. And use the messaging abilities there to find carpools and share rides. For our intrepid Metro riders, the 489 Express bus leaves from 1st and Hill downtown and pretty much drops you off at Bahooka's door (you can hitch a ride with someone back to LA). The Metro Red Line and 2 bus are close to Tiki Ti. Plan your trips at Metro.net. We look forward to seeing you!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Thanks for Coming to Our Design-n-Dim-Sum Ride!

Thanks to all the intrepid people who braved the cloudy skies and light morning sprinkle to come out for our first-ever Design-n-Dim-Sum Ride.  

We started with a quick two block test drive up Figueroa to Fung + Blatt where gracious Alice and Michael welcomed us with sweet, summer crudites and a tour of their airy warehouse space.  They've got a great trapezoidal adjacent studio space for rent, if any of  you creative types are searching for a new design lab!  And if Alice's felt confections weren't felt before, they sure are now! 
From there, de LaB took to the streets (or rather took over the streets) and made it to C-town in record time, via  Mom's Tamales (Mama delivers, people!) and the interesting route that our friends at Flying Pigeon mapped out for us.  We even had time to make a quick stop above the Cornfield for a photo to show our solidarity for California Parks.  LOC welcomed us into their secret Chung King Alley sanctuary, and Fifth Floor gave us a peek at their "Looking for Work" exhibit before taking us through Hong Kong alley to Robert's very own above-Fifth Floor loft space.  Dim sum at Ocean Seafood did not disappoint (no one was accosted by the baby octopus!)  Some worked off their dumplings by making the return trip by bike, others opted for the Gold Line.  Oh, and a few lucky people practiced reclaimed design snagging some authentic chinese lanterns from the trash can....  Overall, it was a lovely afternoon of great company, inspiring design, light cardio, and good nosh.
A deep quad-felt thanks to Adam and Josef from Flying Pigeon for being our guides and hosts.  And a special thanks to Fung and Blatt for opening up their studio despite our interrupting a working Saturday!  And to Fifth Floor and  LOC for letting us traipse through their homes!

Check out the photos here. We are SO going to do this again so look for another great design ride in 2010.  And check back soon for details on our upcoming July event.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Design-n-Dim Sum Ride> Links and Learn


There's been a few articles/posts recently about some of the sites we'll be visiting this Saturday on our Design-n-Dim Sum Ride:
  • Check out Fung + Blatt's Mount Washington residence, now front page on Dwell.com.
  • So timely...check out this little ditty by David Keeps on Fifth Floor's new "Looking for Work" exhibit, opening this Saturday night. Come on the design-n-dim-sum ride for a sneak peek and maybe stick around for the opening night party! (Note that Ali Jevanjee, whose Chung King Alley loft we'll also be seeing on Saturday, will be debuting his new line of laminated plywood furniture as part of the exhibit.)
  • Yet another cool post about one of the design labs we'll be visiting this Saturday!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Take Our de LaB Survey and You Might Be Headed to Dwell on Design!

We're busy planning more parties, more events and more tours but in order to make de LaB the best it can be, we want to hear from you! We've put together a de LaB survey to find out what you'd like to see in the next few months, years, decades.

And because we know you're busy, we're sweetening the deal. At the end of the survey, simply enter your email and be entered into our drawing. One winner will be headed to Dwell on Design here in LA June 26-28 with a three-day Dwell Conference Plus ticket valued at $149!

Your ticket will get you in to a one-day conference curated by the editors of Dwell, including a keynote by Daniel Pink, plus two days of trade show access, and lots more panels including an entire Sunday devoted to design and food. Thanks to our friends at Dwell!

Please take a few minutes to fill out our de LaB survey by Monday, June 15 at noon. If you don't win, we also have special Dwell on Design discount codes especially for our de LaB friends:

Exhibition Plus (Weekend Pass) only $10 with this special code: DWELL49A
Conference Plus (3 Day Pass) from $49 with this special code: DWELL942L
Register at dwellondesign.com

Thanks, as always, for your support!

Friday, June 5, 2009

June de LaB > Design-n-Dim Sum Ride

Bring your bikes and join de LaB as we hit the streets for the first-ever design-n-dim sum ride!  Check out the details below and please be sure to RSVP so that we have an accurate head count for the restaurant.

RENDEZ-VOUS
We're meeting at Flying Pigeon LA at 10am on JUNE 20th and taking off by 10:30am. Adam and Josef are offering a special de LaB discount of 10% off ALL PRODUCTS in the store (except drinks) so come a bit early if you want to check out the wares. Who knows, you might walk away with a new bike!

For those of you without your own bikes, Flying Pigeon is offering FIVE rentals. The first five people to RSVP will get to ride a 'pidge' for the day. For everyone else, feel free to use our Facebook page and your own resources to borrow a bike for the day.

Location: 3714 N. Figueroa St., Los Angeles, CA 90065
Time: 10 to 10.30am, June 20th
















FIRST STOP: Fung + Blatt
We'll pop up the street for a peek inside this innovative studio and a tasting of chilled and refreshing crudites, straight from the Fung + Blatt garden (perfect for a hot summer day!)

Location: 3927 N. Figueroa St., Los Angeles, CA 90065
Time: 11 - 11.30am



















SCENIC RIDE: Flying Pigeon
Next, the guys from FP are taking us through a bit of LA history, through Lincoln Heights, past the old Department of Water and Power storefront, the old Chinese funeral home at Five Points, Young Nak Church, and down across the train yard on the Pasadena bridge into Chinatown. It's not a tough ride, but be sure to bring water!

Location: Highland Park to Chinatown, via Lincoln Heights
Time: 11.30am to 12.30pm

CHUNG KING LOFT TOUR: Fifth Floor + LOC
Once we roll into Chung King Court, we'll head to Fifth Floor to catch our breath and check out Robert's awesome upstairs loft. He's also offering a special 10% de LaB discount for all products in the gallery.

Walk three minutes down the alley to check out LOC's modern live/work space. Ali Jeevanjee and Poonam Sharma take simple plywood to a whole new level of cool in their groovy indoor/outdoor pad, which was recently featured in the Los Angeles Times. You'll see what we mean.

Location: Chung King Court + Road
Time: 12.30pm to 1.30pm
















THEN, DIM SUM: Ocean Seafood
By this point, we'll have worked up a crazy appetite and we'll head over to Ocean Seafood for some delicious dim sum. Only word of caution: avoid the fried baby octopus! We're going dutch on this so don't forget to bring cash.

RETURN TRIP:
Fearless riders can head back the way we came or take the Gold Line
back up to Highland Park. Hop off at Heritage Square. (Or better yet, head to the Mountain Bar to hydrate on beer as we wait for the afternoon to cool off...)

Since this is one of our more complicated events, here's the gist:

- Don't forget to RSVP.
- Let us know if you want to rent a bike. We only have FIVE.
- Bring lots of water.
- Bring cash for dim sum.

RSVP required. E-mail us at hello[at] designeastoflabrea [dot] org.

PS - If you're RSVP'd via Facebook, you're cool.  Just be sure to e-mail us directly if you need to rent a bike!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Save the Date - June de LaB

We're kicking the summer off with a few of our favorite things...bikes, design, and some dim sum! Join us Saturday, June 20th as we hit the streets for the first-ever de LaB Design-n-Dim-Sum Ride.

We'll rendez-vous in Highland Park with our friends at Flying Pigeon and Fung + Blatt before making our way to Chinatown to visit Fifth Floor and LOC on Chung King Road. Then, dim sum and Tsingtao! We're working out the details and will soon post more information on how/when to RSVP.

In the meantime, here's some info on our awesome hosts:

Flying Pigeon via LA Weekly. Simply put: one great idea, two brothers, and a bunch of rad bikes. http://www.laweekly.com/2009-04-23/la-vida/la-people-2009-bicycle-oven-39-s-josef-and-adam-bray-ali-spokesmen/

Formed in 1990 by Alice Fung and Michael Rosner Blatt, Fung + Blatt Architects works in the areas of residential, commercial, and community-based design. Fung + Blatt have also crossed over into fashion and product design with their wearable and livable collections.




Opened in January of 2008, Fifth Floor is a hybrid art/design gallery in the heart of LA’s Chinatown. Owner, Robert Apodaca’s background in architecture sees that the space delights in a mixture of contemporary art and design. Work by varying artists, designers, and architects rotate through the exhibition areas every month to two months; all the while, a steady base of unique accessories, jewelry, furniture and design objects remain on display. Many of these hand-made objects are available nowhere else besides Fifth Floor.

LOC was recently featured in the LA Times. Ali Jevanjee and Poonam Sharma have masterfully transformed their second story double apartment into an airy, modern, light-filled workspace without changing the exterior shell or affecting the charm of their Chung King Alley abode.

Thanks For Coming To In The Fold!

Thanks to everyone who came to our collaborative origami event this month, In The Fold.

Our deep appreciation to everyone at Studio 1060, including our friends Bo and Hisako at Bunch Design, Catherine Garrison Architect, Debi Van Zyl and Design Garage Inc. Not only did they provide us with a great space in Boyle Heights, and a fantastic Butter Bar (seriously, did you try the jalapeno?), but they also kindly taught everyone how to construct paper modules for our three-dimensional origami wall, now gracing Studio 1060. Around 50 design-minded Angelenos crossed the bridge into Boyle Heights to enjoy wine, beer, micheladas and the ancient Japanese art of paper folding. More photos from the event are available here and on our facebook page. We're close to announcing our June event (which will require an RSVP), so make sure you stay in the loop by subscribing to our newsletter (over there to the right) for all the details.

Friday, April 24, 2009

May de LaB > In The Fold


In the Fold

Origami Night at Studio 1060

Join us as we use the ancient art of Japanese paper folding to create a three-dimensional wall.

Our friends at Bunch Design, Catherine Garrison Architect, Debi Van Zyl, and Design Garage Inc. in Boyle Heights - all located at Studio 1060 - will teach us how to make a simple module and we'll assemble the wall as the night progresses over drinks, snacks and conversation.

About Bunch:
Bunch Design was created in 2008 as a multi-disciplinary design office based in Los Angeles and New York City.

The firm's main objective is to bring together a universe of ideas, people, and objects and to organize them into something meaningful.

Bunch Design practices contemporary design, art and cultural analysis.

Got a question? Email us at hello [at] designeastoflabrea [dot] org.

Date: Thursday, May 7th, 2009
Time: 7:00-10:00pm
Location: 1060 E. Cesar Chavez Ave, LA CA 90033

View Larger Map

There is limited parking in the office lot and the surrounding area is somewhat industrial. Please carpool/bike/use public transit if you can!

Thanks For Coming to Our Garden Party!


Thanks to everyone who came out for our Garden Party this month (and apologies for anyone we were not able to accommodate, space was tight!). About 60 extremely well-dressed design fans—seriously, you guys look good in daylight—gathered on the Flat Building rooftop as Alexis Rochas schooled us on the challenges of urban agriculture on a brilliantly sunny day. Afterwards we filed downstairs into the swanktastic Blue Velvet and sipped Champagne and lemon-spiked Hefeweizens while a brunch with produce snipped from that very rooftop was brought out in three beautifully-plated courses. Thanks to everyone at ForYourArt, LA Art Weekend, Blue Velvet, and of course Alexis for such a perfect day high above LA.

You can read more about the event over at Curbed, and thanks again to Jessica Ritz for including us in the LA Weekly's new Squid Ink blog (even though we're sorry you hurt your foot on the door—yikes! Don't sue us.). And you can also check out lots of photos on Facebook. If you have more coverage, please point us towards it so we can link you up, or upload your photos to our Flickr group. We've got May's event almost ready to announce, so stay tuned by subscribing to our newsletter (over there to the right) for all the details. And have a great weekend!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Garden Party Is Sold Out!

Thanks to overwhelming interest we've reached capacity for our April 4th Garden Party at SYNTHe/Blue Velvet.

If you've already RSVP'd, expect a confirmation email in the next few days.

We're also taking names for our wait list. You can add yourself to the wait list here, and if space opens up, we'll let you know.

Looking forward to seeing everyone on April 4th!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

April de LaB > Garden Party

UPDATE: We are now SOLD OUT, but add yourself to the wait list here. Who knows, you might get lucky.

Join us for our first ever daytime de LaB! On Saturday, April 4, we're throwing a Garden Party as part of the fabulous LA Art Weekend. We'll start with a tour of SYNTHe, a unique urban agriculture structure located on the roof of The Flat building, hosted by architect and SCI-Arc professor Alexis Rochas. Then we'll head back downstairs for a prix-fixe lunch at the ground-floor Blue Velvet, where we'll enjoy a three-course meal prepared with organic produce raised on the rooftop!

12 noon: Meet at Blue Velvet
12:15pm: Head upstairs to tour SYNTHe rooftop garden with Alexis Rochas (ladies, heels are not recommended)
1pm: Back at Blue Velvet, menu below ($20 per person, drinks additional)

Blue Velvet/The Flat
750 Garland Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90017

Space is limited!
RSVP required, first come, first served: email us at
hello@designeastoflabrea.org


Menu:
First Course (choice of)
Scottish Salmon
White bean ragout, kale, smoked tomato, grapefruit

Fresh Pistachio Falafel
Eggplant, figs, tomato, black olive oil

Second Course (choice of)
Braised Beef Short Ribs
Brown butter beet béarnaise, pickled root vegetables, fondant potatoes, lavender beef jus

House Made Tagliatelle
Market fresh vegetables

Third Course
Vanilla Crème Fraiche Panna Cotta
blackberry espuma and confit, passionfruit sorbet,thyme scented wafer

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Save The Date - April De LaB


Save the Date! Our next de LaB will be on Saturday April 4th
Blue Velvet brunch/ tour of roof garden with Alexis Rochas in association with LA Art Weekend

We're working out the details now for our first daylight de LaB event and will post those as soon as we confirm the time. In the meantime, here is some info on the project we'll be touring:

In a city covered by over 4,000 square miles of asphalt and cinder block, the green roof movement may have just won a serious coup with SYNTHe, an urban rooftop garden prototype designed by SCI-arc professor and architect Alexis Rochas. Located atop the Flat, a downtown Los Angeles residential mid-rise building, SYNTHe is a fertile oasis in the sky that will ultimately grow a variety of edible plants. Through an active collaboration between students, faculty, and city officials, SYNTHe proves that green roofs could indeed have a fruitful future in LA.

SYNTHe is a self-sufficient ecosystem that could offer a myriad of environmental benefits. Besides helping to filter pollutants, increasing thermal insulation of the roof, and reducing storm water runoff, the roof top garden sets forth a complete productive cycle. Food will be grown, consumed, and ultimately returned to the cycle in the form of compost on the premises.

The design features an alternating landscape of hard and soft surfaces that knit together to form a series of platforms. A prefabricated, suspended metal blanket and specialized recycled plywood frame outline a series of grow channels which are filled with an engineered growth medium (which is much lighter than natural soil). The undulating surface negotiates the space around existing HVAC and mechanical rooftop equipment, offering a 100% usable surface that is tiered for maximum solar exposure.

The prototype garden, part of the Los Angeles Community Garden Council program, is planted with fruit trees and vines, and herbs and vegetables that will be tended and used by residents and the chefs of the well-known ground floor restaurant, Blue Velvet.

SYNTHe: An Urban Rooftop Garden Prototype in Los Angeles
by Haily Zaki

Monday, March 9, 2009

Some Recent Cole's Coverage

some recent press coverage of Cole's renovation and the opening of The Varnish:

And from LA Weekly's Gold Standard email newsletter (sign up here):
Cedd Moses might be bar owner/restaurateur equivalent of Tom Gilmore when it comes to maverick downtown entrepreneurs. That's just one take; argue this issue and hear what others have to say while eating, drinking, and learning about the celebrated and debated Cole's on Monday, March 9 from 7-10:00 p.m. with a tour at 8:30. Sponsored by de LaB (Design East of La Brea), a group that gathers folks to raise awareness of the built environment and special projects in locales west of a certain avenue, 213 designer Ricki Kline (also of Seven Grand, Golden Gopher and Broadway Bar) will discuss the creative process behind rehabilitating the treasured landmark. Add Cole's to the list of eateries de LaB has temporarily transformed into lively educational venues, including the Edison, Kitchen 24, and Blue Velvet (coming next month). Explains co-organizer Alissa Walker, "we're huge fans of everything Cedd Moses and 213 are doing for downtown so it was a natural choice to have an event at Cole's. It will be such a treat to have designer Ricki Kline tell us how he was able to acquire all those gorgeous period details in the just-opened bar The Varnish." Bonus! Sample Sasha Petraske and Eric Alperin's masterful cocktails at the aforementioned speakeasy -- we won't say anymore -- and take advantage of special French dip and drink discounts offered to event participants. 118 E. 6th St., Downtown, (213) 622-4090.


-Jessica Ritz

Thursday, February 26, 2009

March de LaB> Viewing The Varnish Reminder

March is almost upon us, which means we're ready for our next de LaB event!

Los Angeles' history echoes at Cole's, Originator of the French Dip, housed since 1908 in the hollow of the Pacific Electric building, once the nucleus of the Pacific Electric railway network. After a yearlong renovation, Cole's recently reopened, keeping many of the original details, including glass lighting, penny tile floors, historic photos, and the 40-foot mahogany bar.

Restaurant group 213's designer Ricki Kline will be giving us a tour of the restored space, which will include the soon-to-open now open speakeasy The Varnish, in the back room.

Cocktails around 7, tour and presentation will begin around 8:30.
118 E 6th St.
Los Angeles, CA

Get Directions on Google Maps

There should be plenty of street parking available.

Cole's has kindly offered to extend their happy hour specials to de LaB attendees throughout the night. Enjoy "Swell Well" $2 off, $1 off all Drinks/Beer/Wine and $4 Half Dips. Thanks to our friends at 213!

Please drop us a line, leave a comment, or RSVP on our facebook page so we can get a rough estimate of how many people are attending. Looking forward to seeing everyone there.

[Image of vintage cash register at The Varnish via Mattatouille]

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

This Just In: River Liver Photos


If any of you missed (or want to remember) the de LaB River Liver event hosted last August by green meme, our friend and amazing photographer Adam Latham has just posted a new gallery of pics from the party.  (And yes, that is a giant pink My Little Pony....because nothing says fun like a trip to Ponyville!)  See you all in March!


Wednesday, February 11, 2009

March de LaB> Viewing The Varnish

Save the Date! Monday, March 9th.

Los Angeles' history echoes at Cole's, Originator of the French Dip, housed since 1908 in the hollow of the Pacific Electric building, once the nucleus of the Pacific Electric railway network. After a yearlong renovation, Cole's recently reopened, keeping many of the original details, including glass lighting, penny tile floors, historic photos, and the 40-foot mahogany bar.

Restaurant group 213's designer Ricki Kline will be giving us a tour of the restored space, which will include the soon-to-open speakeasy The Varnish, in the back room.

More details to follow, including drink specials for de LaB.

Cocktails around 7, tour and presentation will begin around 8:30.

UPDATE: Cole's has kindly offered to extend their happy hour specials to de LaB attendees throughout the night. Enjoy "Swell Well" $2 off, $1 off all Drinks/Beer/Wine and $4 Half Dips. Thanks to our friends at 213!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

de LaB>Daly Lofts recap!

In February we headed to Lincoln Heights for a tour of the Daly Lofts, architect and writer Joseph Giovannini’s first major LA project. Formerly a telephone trucking garage, this 23,000 square-foot structure now houses a series of trippy, sculptural modern live-work lofts that defy definition.

After cocktails and Mexican pastries (courtesy of Joseph) in one of the lofts, we embarked on a tour of the building that felt like one part funhouse, one part Death Star. Later, Joseph showed us a slideshow that featured some of the optical illusions and axonometric shapes in the other units. It left about 40 de Labbers seeing in the fourth dimension…or maybe it was the pineapple vodka cocktails with lime ice? Thanks to Joseph and everyone who attended on what was a viciously rainy night!

Photo from our friends at ArchNewsNow.

Read more about the Daly Lofts at Curbed and ArchNewsNow.

Also, a bit of news from de LaB headquarters: Marissa Gluck, editor extraordinare at Curbed LA and gal about (the east side of) town, is joining our de LaB planning team. She’s already hard at work cooking up something delicious for our March event. Welcome, Marissa!

-Alissa Walker

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

de LaB > February 5th!


We opted to let Obama (and the Ox) have the month of January, but please join us in February for the first de LaB of the new year!

This month we’re heading to Lincoln Heights for a tour of the Daly Lofts, architect and writer Joseph Giovannini’s first major LA project. Formerly a telephone trucking garage, this 23,000 structure now houses a series of trippy, sculptural modern live-work lofts that defy definition. Once you’re inside, it’s hard to leave. The optical illusions and axonometric shapes and spaces will have you seeing the fourth dimension! If you’re like us and dig the fourth dimension, feel free to talk to Joseph about the three or four remaining units that are available for rent!

After our return from the fourth dimension, we might head to Barbara’s for some nosh.

Thursday, February 5
7 to 10pm

Drinks and bites at 7pm
Tour begins at 8:30pm
Park on the street. Buzz unit #11 when you get there.

Daly Lofts
2450 Daly Street
Los Angeles, CA 90031
Link to Google Maps

Photo from our friends at ArchNewsNow.