Downtown Design

One of the most glamorous design events of the year will take place at the end of this month in Los Angeles. As a breeding ground for high style, chic design and innovative products, LA seems well placed to host this citywide celebration of design known as LA DesignWeek.

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By  Charlotte Butterfield Published  March 2, 2006

One of the most glamorous design events of the year will take place at the end of this month in Los Angeles. As a breeding ground for high style, chic design and innovative products, LA seems well placed to host this citywide celebration of design known as LA DesignWeek. Thousands of designers are expected to attend the four-day event, with each day focusing on a different design district around the city to feature a full schedule of innovative products, showroom displays, leading industry speakers and of course stylish Hollywood networking events. Designers will have the opportunity to experience firsthand the ideas and innovations being generated on the West Coast, view the latest developments from leading design firms and assess what they are doing to add value to living and working environments. In addition the latest thinking in design, sustainability and some of the most important themes influencing the environments of today and tomorrow will be discussed. Over 250 exhibitors will participate including Boffi, Linea, Haworth, Eames, Hennessey & Ingalls, Knoll, Steelcase and Teknion. A major focus of the exhibition will be NeoCon West, hosted in Downtown Los Angeles. Held at the L.A Mart Design Centre — the West Coast’s largest exposition and conference centre for commercial interiors — this event will be a major resource for commercial interior designers keen to view the latest developments in healthcare, retail, institutional and hospitality interiors. A highlight of this event will be an innovative display, created to showcase how the contemporaneous design community anticipates spaces of the future to be designed. Many top international manufacturers are due to participate including Gensler, Langdon Wilson and HOK. Another exhibit ‘Fine Living 2026’ will demonstrate how the shape, function and style of the living/working environment is about to transform how design, technology and new product innovations will propel the overall architecture of tomorrow’s urban dwelling. A range of educational seminars will be offered to keep up to date with the latest trends in commercial interiors. Leading industry figures are lined up to present keynote speeches at the event. Providing a unique perspective will be Pritzker prizewinning architect Rem Koolhaas. Founder of the Office for Metropolitan Architecture in 1975, Koolhaas was recently involved with designing the Netherlands Embassy in Berlin and the controversial Public Library in Seattle. Michael and Katherine McCoy will be discussing their pioneering work in furniture, interior, product and graphic design for clients such as Formica and Knoll, for whom they designed the award winning Bull Dog Chair. Another keynote, Michael Vanderbyl, has gained international prominence in the design field as a practitioner, educator, critic and advocator. His San Francisco firm Vanderbyl Design has evolved into a multidisciplinary studio. Also speaking will be Eva Maddox, a designer who has achieved a significant amount of notoriety for her accomplishments as an architect and interior designer. As well as receiving over 70 awards, she has also gained recognition for developing the concept of ‘branded environments’ — a design sensibility that argues that anyone who walks through the door of a workplace ought to be able to decipher immediately what the organisation stands for.

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