Best of Southern California Architecture & Design


This summer, Artbound celebrated its one-year anniversary and finished its second season of programming. Season 2 took our exploration of Southern California's cultural landscape to new heights: from the banks of the Tijuana river to underneath the Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes, from the vast high desert of the Antelope Valley to the beaches of San Diego. We explored art in museums and scrawled on sidewalks; performances under the stars and in the spotlights onstage. Since January, we've published 225 new articles, produced 14 short documentaries, and broadcast three hour-long television episodes.

Today, we look back at five of this season's most memorable articles on Southern California architecture & design. Los Angeles has been called a city of houses, and the description fits. Our contributors traversed the area's eclectic terrain of homes, tracked the Eastside's changing visual landscape, and discovered what it means to "Ikea-fy" a neighborhood. Enjoy!

Eclectic Revisited: Preserving Venice's Architectural Context

Binoculars Building in Venice, Calif. | Photo: Larry Underhill.

The Los Angeles Conservancy leads tours of Venice's more eclectic buildings to advocate for the preservation of historic L.A. structures.

Architectural Sculpture: Bruce Nauman's 'Untitled (Equilateral Triangle)'

"Untitled (Equilateral Triangle)" | Photo: Joshua White.

The proximity of Bruce Nauman's sixteen-foot-high outdoor object to the Rudolph Schindler House asks the viewer to recalibrate their understanding of both architecture and art production.

Against the Elements: The Art and Science of Preserving the Watts Towers

The Watts Towers, <em>Nuestro Pueblo</em>. | Photo: Ellen C. Caldwell.

Due to its unconventional construction, new scientific methods are being used to repair and stabilize the Watts Towers.

Once More, With Feeling: Stephen Prina's History Paintings

Installation view, Stephen Prina, "As He Remembered It (detail)," 2011, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, © Stephen Prina. | Courtesy of  Galerie Gisela Capitain, Cologne, and Petzel Gallery, New York. Photo © 2013 Museum Associates/LACMA.

At LACMA, Stephen Prina displays 28 hot pink plywood replicas of built-ins that legendary architect R.M.Schindler originally designed for two custom homes in L.A.

Frederick Fisher: L.A.'s Maverick Architect

Sunnylands Center & Gardens at the Annenberg Retreat at Sunnylands | Courtesy of The Annenberg Foundation Trust at Sunnylands.

Frederick Fisher takes a practical approach to architecture, a restraint that belies his early years working alongside Frank Gehry's expanding architectural vocabulary and flourishing fame.

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section header: disciplines
icon, Architecture/ Design discipline

Architecture/ Design

California becomes an international export by redefining the concept of city and home.

icon, Community Arts discipline

Community Arts

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icon, Cultural Politics discipline

Cultural Politics

Funding bubbles, cultural deserts and the politics of access to the arts in the 21st century.

icon, Film & Media Arts discipline

Film & Media Arts

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icon, Literature discipline


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icon, Multi-Disciplinary discipline


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icon, Music discipline


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icon, Performance discipline


Staging the drama of California through dance, music and theater.

icon, Visual Arts discipline

Visual Arts

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