Final Projects: Group XX - 'glass, concrete and stone, it's just a house not a home'

  • Residency Show

1137 S Cochran Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90019

An exhibition by the MAK Center Artists and Architects-in-Residence.

A reception was held that included a Powerpoint presentation of A Dearth of Resources as (Design) Innovation by kabru (Christoph Kaltenbrunner). It was not uncommon for political circumstances—such as war, customs and trade relationships—to restrict the use of certain materials. During World War II, the manufacturing of armaments restricted access to metals. One result was the innovative use of plywood by mid-Century architects and designers, including Frank Lloyd Wright, Richard Neutra, Friedrich Kiesler, and Rudolph Schindler. Kaltenbrunner investigated the historic and current uses of plywood, focusing on designs by Charles and Ray Eames, the architecture of the Case Study Houses, and aeronautics uses by Howard Hughes. He exhibited the results of his research through digital presentation, diagrams, sketches, and found plywood samples.

Songül Boyraz showed Borderline, a video installation investigating political and social issues of immigration and related economics, focusing on the border between Mexico and the U.S as well as the presence of immigrants on Los Angeles city streets often forced into low-income, day-labor jobs. She strove to communicate personal motivations and strategies for survival amidst a foreign environment.

Hans Schabus‘s project In search of the endless column (Western River, Los Angeles) sought to uncover the presence of the concretized L.A. River, a natural phenomena that lies hidden from the majority of the city. Schabus was fascinated by the tendency of a river to form the city that grew around its bounty, and wondered what it can reveal about Los Angeles, a city that has turned its back, in a sense, on nature. After detailed analysis of the river and its relationship to the city grid via the Thomas Guide map, Schabus plotted his course for a week-long walk of the 52 miles of river. He had systematically documented the 100-plus bridges that span the river, showcasing the difference in type and purpose for the region. For the exhibition, Schabus displayed the maps, drawings, and photographs that framed his experience of these landscapes.

The work of Topalovic & Princen focused on observing and describing “anti-cities”: wild cities, shrinking cities, leisure cities. A conceptual pilgrimage to Los Angeles, the “historical” capital of anti-cities, was at the core of their investigations. Sunday Canon by architect Milica Topalovic was a non-narrative video installation which observed the transformation of scenery in-between events — a religious service and a multimedia show taking place in Anaheim’s Crystal Cathedral, known for its worldwide broadcast of the Hour of Power. Not showing the actual on-air programs, but the shadow that they cast, the video looked into the daily routines of the Cathedral staff. Through their mundane, unconscious movement, slowly and repeatedly, a church was dismantled into a media-spectacle space, and the other way around. Also at the Crystal Cathedral, public space designer Bas Princen photographed the intertwining patterns of its media technology infrastructure with its glass-filled contemporary architecture. He exhibited these large format photographs, titled Utopian Debris, as well as other photographic abstractions of the suburban city. In addition, he printed a small book of 12-15 photographs.