Memrise

My wife told me about this free educational app for learning a new language, Memrise, and I’m enjoying it tremendously so far. I’ve been trying to learn Korean, and have made some good progress. The app is based around flash-card memorization with audio queues. The native speaker pronunciation is great. It’s available for mobile phones and for your laptop, and perhaps more importantly, it’s fun.

Paul Rand: A Designer’s Art

Consensus says Paul Rand (1914-1996) is one of America’s, if not the world’s, most important graphic designers. He famously developed posters, corporate identities, and logos for the likes of IBM, UPS, and ABC. He also taught at Yale for 30 years. The good people at Princeton Architectural Press have just published this new edition of Rand’s critically-acclaimed, and long out-of-print hardcover monograph, which is the best account of his important work. A Designer’s Art includes two hundred illustrations, twenty-seven essays, and a new afterword by Steven Heller. [Read More]

Another One Bites The Dust

Here’s a recent article by Brian Addison for Longbeachize, about another great mural in Long Beach getting buffed out. Since I’ve helped manage the POW! WOW! LONG BEACH art festival for the last two years, several people have contacted me to ask for more details. I should clarify that this is not in fact a POW! WOW! LONG BEACH mural, but a collaboration between POW! WOW!’s founder, artist Jasper Wong, and Microsoft. That said, I really loved the mural, and ArtX’s stated reasoning for buffing it out doesn’t quite gel with me. On the other hand, it’s their wall, and (I assume) they can do whatever they want with it, legally speaking. If we penalize property owners for buffing out murals, then less and less property owners are likely going to generously donate their walls to the cause of public art.

Worst

Awesome Los Angeles-based artist Benjie Escobar unveils a new body of work at Espacio 1839 in Mariachi Plaza, Boyle Heights this evening! It’s from 8pm to 11pm.

RKP Vs. Too Short’s Boombox

Last week, I was lucky enough to drop in on Los Angeles artist Reef Kills Pop who was just finishing up his latest installation – at an undisclosed location in the heart of Downtown Los Angeles. The space belongs to famous Bay Area rap icon Too $hort and it serves as a recording studio, complete with a soundproof booth in one corner. Reef hit everything except the carpets and it looks amazing.

Homes for Hope

I was tempted to post about Super Bowl ads or some recent political shenanigans, but instead I’ve opted for a great real-world solution to a huge problem in Los Angeles (and many cities around the world): homelessness. This article from Co.Exist highlights the MADWORKSHOP x USC School of Architecture project, Homes for Hope, which aims to fight homelessness here in LA with well-designed $25K living pods (modular, portable, single unit-occupancy housing units).