Forum 1, December 17th, 2009: Learning from Your Favorite Public Space in Los Angeles



The Forum at: Torti Gallas and Partners, 523 W 6th Street, Suite 212, Los Angeles, CA

The Social at: Seven Grand Bar

515 W 7th Street, second floor, Los Angeles, CA

When: December 17, 2009, 7-9pm


The first meeting of the Emerging Urban Designers Forum took place at the Downtown LA offices of Torti Gallas on December 17, 2008. Despite the weather the turnout was strong and the discussion lively.

Amber Hawkes, chair of the forum, introduced the intended format of the forum: to have a focused discussion followed by more casual conversation at a local café or bar. The forum will visit architecture and urban design offices throughout Los Angeles.  The forum will begin meeting regularly at urban design offices around Los Angeles to discuss the practice and future of urban design in LA. The forum for emerging urban designers meets from 7-8 pm to discuss relevant topics and explore the work and offices fellow designers. Forum topics and locations are decided by the group each month. Between 8-9 pm we continue the conversation at a nearby bar or cafe in a casual setting.

The conversation covered topics ranging from public space in Downtown, transportation, planned and ad-hoc parks to questions about urban design practice such as project site visits and time allotment.  The Forum announcement asked participants to:

Chose one of your favorite public spaces in LA.  It could be a sidewalk, a park, a plaza, an alley, transit station, or building.  What lessons have you learned from the way it works and the way it is designed? How does this place inform your approach to designing spaces? What does it feel like to be there? What makes it unique?  Bring something that captures the essence of your favorite place, an image, printout, book, sketch, thought.

The next meeting was tentatively scheduled for Wednesday, January 28, 2009 at the offices Thomas P Cox Architects in Downtown LA.