(What is) The Nature of Los Angeles: CONVERSATION 4: Collectivities
Saturday, March 16, 2013, 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM
900 Exposition Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90007

(What is) The Nature of Los Angeles:
CONVERSATION 4: Collectivities

A panel series free & open to the public:

Where: The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County

Times Mirror Room ground floor
Saturday, March 16 2013, 4-7pm

Architecture and Design Inspired by Nature

From part to whole, from local to global, from micro to macro, all aspects of life are related. Drawing inspiration from nature’s interconnectedness allows designers to consider opportunities for elegant solutions to the ecological pressure that humans place on the planet. The infinite range of possibilities provided by nature’s dynamism, adaptability and connectedness allows for novel ways to help reduce and rebalance our footprint. Doing so will earth and help achieve the goal of producing an integrated built and natural ecosystem, fusing the disparate relationships between artificial and natural.

The complex interplay between the natural and artificial landscape of Los Angeles provides a platform to explore the lessons offered by the natural world. It is boundless in its periphery as it morphs from mountain ranges to the coast. It is a city containing many forms of diversity - in people, in structures, flora and fauna. These characteristics allow experimentation to flourish, and are the ideal setting for the application of design innovations inspired by nature.

Parking $8 in the Museum’s Car Park on Exposition Blvd. and Bill Robertson Lane | Expo Rail Line: Vermont station

4:00 PM to 5:00 PM Guided visit to NHM exhibits (15 people RSVP here or AIA|LA COTE Facebook Page


John Harris Vertebrate Paleontology, NHM Chief Curator

Simon Adlam, NHM Director of Exhibits

5:15 PM to 5:30 PM Panels Introduction

5:30 PM to 6:15 PM PANEL 1 - How can nature in Los Angeles inspire creative thinking

Moderator: Stephanie Pincetl, Ph.D. Director of the California Center for Sustainable Communities, California Center for Sustainable Communities at UCLA. She is an expert in bringing together interdisciplinary teams of researchers across the biophysical and engineering sciences with the social sciences to address problems of complex urban systems and environmental management.

Yoseph Bar-Cohen, Ph.D., Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) Senior Scientist and Group Supervisor. Yoseph  is a physicist specializing in electroactive materials/mechanisms and ultrasonic NDE. He is Editor/Co-Author of “Biomimetics: Nature-Based Innovation”, 2009; and “Biomimetics: Biologically Inspired Technologies”, 2005; as well as the Biomimetics Book Series - CRC Press / Taylor & Francis Group

Claire Wathen coordinates corporate programs and communication the Centre for Bioinspiration. As a function of San Diego Zoo Global, the mission of the Centre is to be a worldwide resource and model for biologically inspired technology transfer and commercial development. Claire facilitates corporate programs including innovation workshops and an annual bioinspiration conference. Additionally, Claire acts as the liaison among the organization’s diverse conservation research and species experts to identify and develop nature-inspired discoveries.

Eric Olsen is practicing architect in Los Angeles and Associate Professor at Woodbury University’s School of Architecture. His practice focuses on the creative application of emergent technologies. He holds a patent for his electro conductive wallboard and a provisional patent for a solar, water-disinfecting tarpaulin. His work has been widely exhibited and published in venues including the Netherlands Architecture Institute, Salone del Mobile Milano, ICFF New York, Metropolis Magazine, and Architecture Magazine.

Philip Rundel, Ph.D. is a plant ecologist and UCLA faculty member in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability. He is the Director of the Mildred E. Mathias Botanical Garden at UCLA, and also serves as Faculty Director of UCLA Stunt Ranch Santa Monica Mountains Reserve.

6:15 PM to 6:30 PM BREAK

6:30 PM to 7:15 PM PANEL 2 - The application of bio-inspired design: animal skins and building envelops

Moderator: Sam Lubell is the West Coast Editor of the Architect’s Newspaper. He has authored four books about architecture and written for several newspapers and magazines. Sam studied architectural history at Brown University. His next book, and accompanying exhibition at the A+D Museum, "Never Built Los Angeles" (Metropolis Books), will be released this summer.

Russell Fortmeyer, is an electrical engineer and sustainability consultant in the Los Angeles office of the global engineering firm, Arup. He is part of the applied studies faculty at the Southern California Institute of Architecture and a board member of the LA Forum for Architecture and Urban Design and the LA Chapter of the USGBC. His book, "Kinetic Architecture: Designs for Active Envelopes," which explores the historical and contemporary development of dynamic facades, is forthcoming from Images Publishing in 2013.

Shauna Price, Ph.D., is an evolutionary biologist who received her degree from UCLA. Her research focus is the evolution of a diverse group of Neotropical ants. She combines molecular and morphological data to examine trait evolution, biogeographic patterns, and species coexistence in these ants. Shauna has also contributed to multiple bio-inspired design projects, including the book "Architecture Follows Nature: Biomimetic Principles for Innovative Design.", by CRC Press.

Tom Wiscombe, AIA, SCI-Arc Faculty, is founder and principal of Tom Wiscombe Design, an internationally recognized office operating at the forefront of contemporary design. His work stands out in terms of its synthesis of form, pattern, color, and technology into singular, irreducible constructions. ICON Magazine has named Wiscombe one of the “top 20 architects in the world who are making the future and transforming the way we work”

Partner: Natural History Museum of LA
Organized by: AIA|LA COTE (Ilaria Mazzoleni, Assoc. AIA and Deborah Richmond, AIA - co-chairs)

AIA Los Angeles COTE seeks to explore, discuss, compile and broadcast information within the AIA and among the general public about the impacts, both positive and negative, of the city’s urban geography.