LA Experience

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Heading out to do a case study on Miracle Mile was one of my unforgettable moments in first year studio.  One thing I regretted not doing while I was there was to experience different architectural exhibits near Museum Row.  Last Saturday, I felt the need to complete my Wilshire experience by going to LACMA and the MAK center.  My first stop was at the Mackey Garage Top, to see Sommer and Denari’s ‘Smooth Matter’ exhibit.  To my surprise, the exhibit was located on top of a makeshift garage behind the main building.  I made my way up the flight of stairs and the first thing that caught my eye was a glass panel that resembled something like a spider web.  At closer inspection, I notice that there are layers of fine lines encased in the glass.  I was first confused at what appeared to be splotches and lines but after reading the pamphlet, I realize that these portraits were 2D representations of landforms.  What impressed me was how Sommer was able to translate these chaotic ‘freeform’ panels into actual topological landforms using NURBS, a type of computer modeling.   At the center of the gallery, you can see a model that represents a smoothened ‘Oceanic Surface’ arising from the chaos of conflicting vectors.  My thoughts after seeing this exhibit was seeing connections between the artist’s renditions of freeform surface art to our concept of datum plane manipulations.

On the second part of my trip I went down the street towards LACMA to visit the contemporary art gallery.  I made it my way through top floor of the where I saw the first exhibit ‘Think Pink’, by Stephen Prina.  The furniture displayed in the gallery are actually replicas of Schindler designed furniture, but every piece was painted entirely pink.  This reminded me of the pink benches and chairs I saw in Grand Park in a field trip a few weeks earlier.  Pink furniture stuck out prominently as figures against the white background, which I thought was part of the artist’s statement.  Another exhibit that I liked was Chris Burden’s ‘Metropolis II’ – a hot wheels inspired cityscape of epic proportions.  Its complex traffic circulation is modeled after LA.  Upon closer inspection of model, one can fight odds and ends of just about anything including mosques and a miniature Eiffel Tower.  My final exhibit led me Richard Serra’s ‘Band’, which was a large structure that curves throughout the room.  I realized how an architect can make several spaces just by using one continuous line.  It was fun following the wall that led you ‘in and out’ of the large spaces.  My trip to LACMA and the MAK Center was worth the experience because it taught me how to appreciate not only architectural work, but I saw how fine art can influence great structures through color and form.

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