One of Los Angeles’ most sly urban characteristics is its sprawl: by being so large, its widely cast net defies characterization while also incubating remarkable experimentations. A few outstanding selections from that mélange are the members of Out There Doing It -- a collection of architects and designers curated by the LA Forum “as diverse as they are interdisciplinary”. These emerging professionals “actively question how architecture is represented, conceptualized, materialized, and publicized” -- encouraging accountability throughout the design process. The 2013 OTDI participants are: Anna Neimark of First Office, Bryony Roberts, ALLTHATISSOLID, and Design, Bitches.
Inspired by Russian suprematism and Metallica, practicing in bathrooms and coffeehouses, these designers cover ideas as expansive as the L.A. basin, in all its nooks and crannies. The 2013 OTDIers just completed their final event at ForumFest, the LA Forum’s annual fundraiser (this year honoring Michael Maltzan), and previously were featured in a panel discussion moderated by Mohamed Sharif, as well as a “real time drawing event” at Space 15 Twenty.
Here’s a snapshot of these makers and shakers, courtesy of the LA Forum:
ALLTHATISSOLID is a collaborative design and research practice based in Los Angeles, Kuala Lumpur, and Seoul. Strewn across the Pacific Rim, each project uniquely choreographs its own set of contemporary agendas while absorbing local complexities. Our design approach biases an open and interdisciplinary process that encourages material and cultural contamination so that every architectural response is thickly layered. In doing so, these environments expand the field of possibilities and intensities of interaction available to sympathetic users and constituencies. As the firm’s name suggests, our research and practice seeks to develop objects, architecture, and urbanism across scale and typologies so that pre-existing categories mutually inform and distort one another. This approach privileges an understanding of the built and natural environment as ecologies of responsive and informational systems. Through methods of projective modeling and innovative fabrication techniques, ALLTHATISSOLID hopes to find new social and sensational ensembles within the designed world.
Design, Bitches is a collaboration that embraces the intrinsic paradoxical ugly beauty of our surroundings. We admire combinations of “this” AND “that” rooted in the cultural collisions and the history of architectural experimentation in Los Angeles, our home turf. Our geographic location is essential to our work. We are avid observers and our
connectivity to the city provides us with wider influences seen through the lens of our everyday experience. We enjoy working in tandem—bouncing off one another and doing a little of everything. We strive to remain true to ourselves in our work and our interests unabashedly unforced or strained by popular discourse, trends and opinion.
Our work is philosophically at the corner of architecture, culture & pop. We value creative editing without blacklisting—nothing is off limits. Car washes, Miu Miu, the smell of fresh rain on oily asphalt, Michel Foucault, The Roots, anime, termite tents- all equally inspiring & up for grabs. We enjoy messing with people’s heads through perceptual tricks, optical illusions, and distorted perception. We are inspired by artistic & cultural mix-masters and enjoy intertwining dream-like illusions and the natural sensory beauty of the California landscape—wide vistas, Santa Ana winds, road trips, the colors of smog-tinted sunset and the ocean.
We are un-interested in making precious places and lean towards the creation of place which is a bit odd yet comfortable- places in which people want to stay. We are advocates of an architecture that is accessible to a broader audience & connected to every day life. We are inspired by how people adapt to their space and devise creative solutions to informally marry beauty and function.
Catherine Johnson & Rebecca Rudolph are both native Californians and licensed architects. Catherine received her MArch from SCI-Arc and her BIARC from the University of Oregon, Rebecca received her MArch from SCI-Arc and a Master of Philosophy from the University of Paris VIII.
ANNA NEIMARK OF FIRST OFFICE:
Anna Neimark is co-founder of First Office, a design studio that focuses on form through a critical engagement with the conventions of architectural drawing. Recent publications include an article, “The Infrastructural Monument, Soviet Works under Construction and in Representation” in Future Anterior, as well as a series of essays co-authored with Andrew Atwood: “Zoopol, A Monument to the Animal Kingdom” in Project, “How to Domesticate a Mountain” forthcoming in Perspecta, and “Abstraction Returns” in Think-Space. Anna is full-time faculty at SCI-Arc. She received a BA in Architecture from Princeton and an M.Arch from the GSD.
Bryony Roberts teaches architecture at SCI-Arc in Los Angeles and is the principal of Bryony Roberts Studio, a Los Angeles-based research and design practice. After earning her BA from Yale University in Studio Art and Humanities, she earned her Masters in Architecture at Princeton University, and worked in the architectural practices of WORKac in New York and Mansilla + Tunon in Madrid. Her practice, Bryony Roberts Studio, engages research and design projects from the scale of installations to residential architecture to urban design, and has exhibited work in Los Angeles, Houston, Berlin, and Rome. She taught previously as a Wortham Fellow at the Rice School of Architecture and last summer was the Artist-in-Residence at the Neutra VDL Studio and Residences.