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Talking about Tactical Urbanism at the APA Conference

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Here LA’s Amber Hawkes joined a panel of colleagues at the American Planning Association’s California Conference earlier this week to talk about making positive change in cities, in particular through temporary installations and pilot projects. The panel walked through insights relating to conceiving and carrying out urban ‘pop-ups’, getting into the nitty gritty of what it takes to pull them off and make them memorable and one-of-a-kind.

Amber’s co-panelists were from City Fabrick in Long Beach, PlaceWorks in San Francisco, and the City of Livermore Planning Department.

Calling All Vinyl!

Here LA is piloting a fence beautification project, using woven strips of re-purposed vinyl advertisement and construction signage to transform chain link fences.  The decorated fences will add color and 'vigor' to the street while helping to reduce waste by re-using all sorts of temporary signage from construction sites and businesses around LA.

To get started, we need your help - Let us know how we can rescue your organization’s decommissioned vinyl signage and put it to use! Send us an email at hello@here.la to donate your used vinyl today! 

Here LA Designated Best Emerging Firm in LA

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The American Planning Association, Los Angeles (APA LA) has just announced their 2018 winners and Here LA has won the Emerging Planning and Design Firm award!

Every year, APA Los Angeles celebrates the region’s most outstanding planning work, it’s hard-won victories, best practices, and thought-leaders dedicated to the place-making profession. Award submissions are voted on by a panel of experienced judges who are dedicated to highlighting the projects, plans, or people that demonstrate the power of great planning.

Thanks to the panelists and congratulations to the winners!  We hope to see you at the Awards Gala in June:

Date: June 7, 2018
Time: 6pm-10pm
Eli and Edythe Broad Stage, Santa Monica College Performing Arts Center

Come and See Here LA at the ASLA Conference

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Here LA will be at the ASLA Conference this weekend. We hope to see you there!

Co-Directors Shannon Davis and Amber Hawkes will be meeting up with an ASLA Field Session walking tour "Lessons About Safety: Urban Design for Better Security" to talk about lessons learned from the MyFigueroa streetscape project, which the two were involved with for many years from early concept phases through approval.  The Field Session includes a walking tour that takes participants through Wilshire Grand, City National Plaza, Maguire Gardens, and Downtown LA's city streets. Shannon and Amber's talk will focus on urban design best practices relating to safety and security - ways to passively and actively design for safety.

Friday, October 20, 12noon-4:45pm

Register for the session here. 

Also, be sure to come and see Here LA Urban Designer's Chad So in 2x1 Visions of Los Angeles - a program curated by LALA (Los Angeles Landscape Architecture). 30 participants will speak for one minute each on the image of the Los Angeles landscape, perceived or real.  2x1 Visions will be held in in the courtyard of the A+D Museum. 

Sunday, October 22, 6:30-10:30pm

See more information here. 

 

 

 

See you at the New Urbanism Film Festival this Weekend!

Here LA Workshop

Join Here LA's Co-Directors Shannon Davis and Amber Hawkes at the 5th Annual New Urbanism Film Festival this weekend, a four day event in Los Angeles October 19-22, 2017.

The festival screens short and feature length films about the urban environment.  Shannon and Amber are part of two panels that follow short film screenings about street art and tactical urbanism, sharing Here LA's stories and insights about bringing beauty and fun to the urban realm:

Tactical Urbanism Short Films, Thursday, October 19th, 7:30pm

Street Art Short FilmsFriday, October 20th, 9:30pm

Get tickets to the Festival and read more about it here

Testing, Testing: Temporary Urban Murals

Here LA is in the workshop this week exploring public murals as a city place making tool. Murals add character and aesthetic values to the public realm, but more importantly they tell stories set in time and space. This week we are testing materials, application methods, and installation techniques.  Stay tuned for more in the coming months.

 

 

Having Fun In Front of the Green Screen

Here LA's Amber Hawkes and Shannon Davis visited Planetizen's LA office today in Koreatown to film a segment for Planetizen Courses about First/Last Mile and 'Storytelling'.  Amber and Shannon discussed their experience helping to craft the First/Last Mile Strategic Plan and open-source process for LA Metro, sharing lessons learned and best practices from over the years, as the process has been applied to some of the 88 cities in LA County.   Here LA's discussions about Storytelling today were about everything from visual communication to tactical and pop-up urbanism - essentially finding ways to touch the hearts of people participating in the Planning process. Getting people to see, feel, smell, and hear the possibilities of an enhanced community and encouraging Urban Planners to Think Big.

Here LA welcomes urban designer Chad So to the Team

Here LA is pleased to welcome Chad So to our team as Urban Designer!  Before joining Here LA, Chad worked at LA Department of Transportation (DOT) and North East Trees. Chad graduated from Cal Poly, where he studied Landscape Architecture.  We look forward to drawing, thinking, and working with Chad!

Here LA's Shannon Davis and Amber Hawkes are teaching at UCLA

Shannon and Amber are teaching Visual Communication for urban planning Masters students this quarter at UCLA's Luskin School of Public Affairs along with Georgia Sheridan, AICP, Transportation Planning Manager at LA Metro. Shannon and Georgia will also be speaking at the American Planning Association National Conference in New York in the Spring. 

Read: Lessons from Don Draper for Urban Planners

Job Opportunities with Here LA

Here LA is looking for bright and motivated urban designers to join our team

Positions available include:

  • Urban Designer
  • Urban Design Intern

Here LA is a small interdisciplinary design practice that improves the public realm.  We are dedicated to solving complex urban challenges through creative processes and design-thinking that build on the stories of a place. We believe that good design creates happier people, stronger interactions and relationships, and a healthier community.  Our work ranges from the conceptual design of public spaces, parks, and streets to strategic planning relating to growth and change, mobility, and sustainability.  Many of these projects also fold in aspects of tactical urbanism and creative community engagement.  

The positions available will work on the full range of the firm’s projects, in particular, development of urban design concepts, graphic illustrations, plans, maps, infographics, and presentation and outreach materials.  The ideal candidates would have strong verbal and visual communication skills – the ability to translate dense planning topics and concepts into eye-catching and easy-to understand graphics and visual stories.  Ideal candidates would also have a deep interest and inquisitiveness in urban planning topics and urban form in Los Angeles and further afield. 

Proficiency in InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop, Sketchup, and CAD is required. Additional graphic software experience is a plus.

Intern: Must be enrolled part- or full-time in an Urban Design or related Master’s-level program.  

Urban Designer: Master’s Degree required, with at least one year of experience in the field.

How to Apply: Interested individuals should send their resume and portfolio (and any questions) to hello@here.la.  Please no phone calls. The positions are available immediately and compensation will be commensurate with experience.  Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis. 

Here LA wins South Park Star Award

Last night at the South Park BID's Annual Meeting, Here LA was awarded the South Park Star Award, in recognition of our urban design and planning services in the district.  South Park BID has spearheaded or supported a huge amount of awesome urban design projects, many of which Here LA designers Amber Hawkes and Shannon Davis have been lucky to help out with, from conceptual design to planning.

Hope Street's The Spot: A temporary linear park or greening along Hope Street, one of South Park's "Main Streets."

MyFig: Just recently broke ground.  Will transform the Figueroa Corridor into a complete, multimodal street from Downtown to Expo Park, along with a separated bikeway, one of the first in LA.

South Park Green Alley: The BID, Council District 14, and City of LA will be transforming an existing alley in South Park into a green alley. The project is one of 3 alleys in Downtown LA chosen as pilot projects under the DTLA Forward initiative.  

LA Streetcar: Restoration of the Historic Streetcar Service in Downtown LA through the historic core.

Drawing Designs for 20+ Acre Site

Here LA has been selected to generate conceptual urban design alternatives for a 20+ acre sites in Central CA. Today in our design workshop we are generating design concepts and loading studies for the sites, looking at creative mixtures of uses, 'flex barn' building typologies, alternative energy generation, and new street arrangements.  

Augmented Reality for Urban Planning

Fun conversations with Legacy Interactive about the future of virtual and augmented reality technologies in the urban realm.  Here we are trying out one of their new headsets. The better the technology gets, the more opportunities we have to creatively fold virtual and augmented platforms into our work, for example by letting people see what a high-speed rail station will look like in the future or by connecting two people in totally different locations immediately and in real time through a virtual portal or socializing space.  Let the experimentation begin!

Check out the dialogue at the Sydney Design Festival about interactive technologies and their impact on and potential within the architecture, planning, and development realms.