Top Design Events for LArchictecture Month — and Beyond

Design Events - H 2015
Courtesy of West Edge

From public displays (WestEdge Design Fair) to closed networks (Design Leadership Network), there's an abundance of SoCal showcases for aficionadoes.

The best event in design and architecture that you can’t go to this season is the Design Leadership Network Summit, a closed network of top industry professionals. It runs from Oct. 27 through 29, and if you just can’t stay away, please don’t gate crash – it’s open to anyone who cares to apply for membership. A reception and dinner at the Four Seasons will launch the event focusing on art and design in L.A. The Hollywood Reporter contributing culture editor Degen Pener will lead a conversation with L.A.-based designers Adam Blackman and David Cruz of Blackman Cruz, Gerard O’Brien of Reform Gallery, and Johnson Hartig of Libertine, exploring influences and influencers of west coast style.

Featured speakers at the summit include LACMA director Michael Govan, dinner and a conversation between Frank Gehry and biographer Paul Goldberger at the Disney Concert Hall, and panels with designers like Tony Ingrao, Suzanne Rheinstein and Mark Rios

The best event you can go to is the WestEdge Design Fair from Oct. 22 through 25 at The Barker Hanger in Santa Monica, with an opening night benefit gala for A+D Architecture and Design Museum. Now in its third edition, the growing show reflects Los Angeles’ increased presence on the design scene with over 150 exhibitors and seminars targeting both design professionals as well as consumers. Fifteen panel discussions will cover topics like "Hollywood in Your Own Home — Set Decorator Secrets," with Emmy Magazine editor Juan Morales leading a discussion among members of the Set Decorators Society of America about how to bring movie magic to ordinary spaces. 

Sort of the Slamdance to WestEdge’s Sundance, Core77 Conference 2015 – Designing Here/Now will coincide with the larger event, running Oct. 22 through 24 in various venues around town, including Vibiana Los Angeles, the city’s first cathedral, in the heart of downtown. Buses leaving downtown’s Ace Hotel will take participants on field trips to places like Wet Design, famous for the Bellagio fountain in Las Vegas. NASA’s Jessie Kawata’s will lead a presentation on Design Thinking for Space Exploration.

The L.A. chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA|LA) will be holding the AIA Design Awards Oct. 29 at the Aratani Theatre in the Japanese American Cultural & Community Center. Honorees will be divided into two groups, those who have completed buildings and Next LA, saluting works yet to break ground. Founded in 1900, AIA|LA is among the national organization’s largest chapters, representing many of North America’s leading architect and design firms. The post-awards party will be hosted by nearby A+D Museum.

If, after all that, you’re still jonesing for design, get your fix at Art San Diego 2015, in Balboa Park, Nov. 5 through 8. Now in its seventh year, this growing market will feature over 500 artist and 60 exhibitors from nearly a dozen countries. Art collectors will have ample opportunity to meet the artists, and can attend panels, parties and discussions on topics like art in Cuba.

And if you’re willing to travel further afield, you could do a lot worse than the inaugural Chicago Architecture Biennial, through Jan. 3. Broadly themed “The State of Architecture,” the brand new event is drawing many from the world of architecture to the city that gave us artists like Louis Sullivan and Frank Lloyd Wright. The festival takes place throughout Chicago, with focal points like the downtown Cultural Center and artist Theaster Gates’ Stony Island Bank.There will be tours, conferences and exhibitions on and around the campus at University of Chicago, including Katarina Burin’s "Petra Andrejoba-Molnar — Contribution and Collaboration" at the Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society, and Jessica Stockholder’s "Rose’s Inclination" at the Smart Museum. 

And if that’s still not enough for you, then see a specialist. Or you can look here for seminars, courses and lectures on architecture and design throughout Southern California this fall.