Each summer Downtown Los Angeles is home to one of the most creatively-energized film festivals - The Los Angeles Film Festival. This year the festival, hosted by Film Independent, will be taking place from June 13-23. Archinect had the honor to co-host a competition to design the VIP Director's Lounge for this year's event, alongside Film Independent and Designer Pages, with an esteemed jury consisting of director Alexei Tylevich (Logan & Sons/LOGAN); architect Barbara Bestor (Bestor Architecture); actor Nick Offerman; Kimberly Brooks, from Huffington Post Arts; Megan Reilly, from westedge Design Fair; and designer Shawn Gehle (Gensler).
What is your professional background? Where did you study?
Ivan Blanco: My professional background is a bit varied. I went to Architecture school at USC. However, before, during and after that I have always been interested in technology, manufacturing and industrial design. I have always tried to expand my design education whenever I could. While at USC, I took a summer off to study Industrial Design at Elisava in Barcelona. For a while, I was also taking courses at Art Center School of Design. Two of my first jobs out of school were working for Industrial Design firms that mainly focused on furniture and architectural products.
What attracted you to this competition?
I'm a huge movie buff. Film is something that allows me to just escape for a while. Be it an action flick or a documentary, movies allow me to be somewhere else or experience something new. To me the thought of creating an environment that did the same thing was really exciting.
Describe your concept for the LA Film Festival Director's Lounge.
My concept was really trying to explore the idea of the film experience. Film can be a lot of things to different people, however one thing that rings true is that it's a visual story that you can become a part of. I attempted to use windows as a metaphor. By creating a series of vignettes, I was trying to create this idea of a dreamscape where stories reside in some kind of physical form. It wasn't important to create specific "scenes" or a representation of something but really just trying to create an emotion or glimpse into someone's film.
What do you hope guests at the event will remember about your design?
I don't really mind too much if guests remember specific design elements of the lounge. My hope is that they remember what they feel or what kind of memories or thoughts they contemplated when they first experienced the space.
Who, in the film industry, would be your dream client?
My dream client would probably be someone like Brad Pitt or Edward Norton. Someone that has used their resources and influence to make a difference for people in regards to the built environment. The world probably doesn't need another high-end residence, although there is nothing wrong with that. Especially in today's economy, almost any architect or designer would be lucky to have the commission. But to be a part of a project where I can use my skills and experience to make a difference in peoples lives would be cool.