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Between the Lines

October 22, 2019 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm PDT


“Between the Lines”

How the 2028 Olympics & Paralympics can be a catalyst for bringing programmable public spaces to LA Metro corridors.

Los Angeles is a privatized city that has historically lacked public open space, ranking 66th in the country. Within its 4,751 square miles sprawl, there are too few places for people to congregate and recreate, especially along light rail and bus rapid transit lines, which offer a new way to experience the city.

As the region works to increase our mobility in time for the 2028 Olympic & Paralympic Games, millions of people will be successfully traversing 10 – 40 miles stretches without a car — all the way from Westwood to Downtown, Long Beach to Montclair, Santa Monica to Hollywood. But what about the points in between, the parts of the county that are not key Olympic destinations, but that hold cultural value for Los Angeles? How can they be strategically amplified to provide important cultural connections to visitor’s understanding of the county at large?

As part of a larger agenda, how can the Olympics & Paralympics be a catalyst for bringing these much needed public spaces to the county, that will help build civic pride as well as provide accessibility and connectivity? This panel, organized by Lorcan O’Herlihy Architects [LOHA], will look at how the 2028 Olympics & Paralympics can build upon the success of the LA’s past efforts in ‘32 and ’84, and investigate how we can employ the same kind of resourcefulness and ingenuity to the upcoming games, ultimately creating public spaces that can remain as permanent fixtures in the region.

How can we unlock the latent potential of the county’s existing infrastructure to create design interventions in key sites, such as pavilions, seating structures, and amphitheaters, that can serve as performance spaces, public art projects, rest areas, commercial and dining spaces? And how can we ensure an ecosystem of greater cultural inclusion so that more neighbor groups and community-based organizations can help program and benefit from these spaces?

What will these spaces look like in a denser and more transit-connected Los Angeles? Where will these in-between spaces be situated? How can we engage with the City, County, Metro, arts organizations, and commerce to provide an economic and cultural stimulus for surrounding communities?

As the 4th in a series of AIA|LA’s ongoing panel discussions about preparing our region for 2028, LOHA has identified this critical issue and convened a group of thought-leaders to further examine the inherent strengths of the ‘in-between’.


Lorcan O’Herlihy, FAIAFounding Principal, LOHA
Yuval SharonArtistic Director, The Industry
Letitia Fernandez IvinsSenior Manager, Transportation Planning (Arts & Design), METRO
Kristen GordonEconomic Development Deputy, Council District 8, City of Los Angeles
Betty AvilaExecutive Director, Self Help Graphics & Art

Moderated by Sinead Finnerty-Pyne – Project Strategist, LOHA

Speaker Bios:

Lorcan O’Herlihy, FAIAFounding Principal, LOHA

Lorcan O’Herlihy FAIA, founder and principal of LOHA, seeks opportunities to engage the ever-changing complexities of the urban landscape while embracing architecture as a catalyst of change.

Since LOHA’s inception in 1994, these urban and social concerns have been paired with an interest in artistry. Lorcan spent his formative years working in New York and Paris on the Grand Louvre Museum as a designer at I.M. Pei Partners. The project, in which the harmonious coupling of art and architecture was paramount, instilled a passion toward aesthetic improvisation and composition which eventually found its way into Lorcan’s own work. Lorcan has also worked as a painter, sculptor, and furniture maker. The methodologies of material exploration and formal inflection, derived from the looseness of abstract art, have played a significant role across all media and are a critical driver of his architecture.

Lorcan’s professional practice has run in parallel to his academic and intellectual pursuits, enriching and heightening both. He received a Master of Arts in History and Critical Thinking from the Architectural Association in London, writing a dissertation on social connectivity and generative urban strategies. He has taught and lectured extensively over the last decade, including at the Architectural Association in London, Southern California Institute of Architecture [SCI-Arc], Cranbrook Academy of Art, Columbia University, Carnegie Mellon University, Pratt Institute, and the National Building Museum in Washington D.C. He is currently an Adjunct Professor at the University of Southern California.

In 2004 the Architectural League of New York selected Lorcan O’Herlihy as one of the eight “emerging voices” in the United States. In 2009, Lorcan was elevated to the prestigious College of Fellows of the American Institute of Architects, an honor awarded to members who have made significant contributions to the profession. Lorcan’s commitment to design excellence in commercial, educational and residential projects has earned over 90 national and local design awards, including the AIA CC Distinguished Practice Award, AIA Los Angeles Firm of the Year Award, and in 2018 LOHA was awarded the status of #1 Design Firm in the US according to Architect Magazine’s Architect 50. Lorcan serves on the Board of Directors of Storefront for Art and Architecture. He is a licensed architect in California, Michigan, Florida, and North Carolina and is a GSA Design Excellence Program Peer.

Yuval SharonArtistic Director, The Industry

Described by The New York Times as “opera’s disrupter in residence,” director Yuval Sharon has been creating an unconventional body of work that seeks to expand the operatic form. He founded and serves as Artistic Director of The Industry in Los Angeles, an acclaimed company devoted to new and experimental opera that has brought opera into moving vehicles, operating train stations, and various “non-spaces” such as warehouses, parking lots, and escalator corridors. Sharon conceived, directed, and produced the company’s acclaimed world premieres of Hopscotch, Invisible Cities, and Crescent City. He also devised and directed the company’s two “performance installations”: In C at the Hammer Museum and Nimbus at Walt Disney Concert Hall. His stage productions in more conventional spaces have been described as “ingenious” (New York Times), “virtuosic” (Opernwelt), “dizzyingly spectacular” (New York Magazine), and “staggering” (Opera News). He is the recipient of the 2014 Götz Friedrich Prize in Germany for his production of John Adams’ Doctor Atomic, originally produced at the Staatstheater Karlsruhe and later presented in Seville’s Teatro de la Maestranza. Sharon also directed a landmark production of John Cage’s Song Books at the San Francisco Symphony and Carnegie Hall with Joan La Barbara, Meredith Monk, and Jessye Norman. His most recent production was Peter Eötvös’s Three Sisters at the Wiener Staatsoper, which lead Opernwelt to call him “one of the most interesting arrivals on the musical landscape.” His production of Cunning Little Vixen, originally produced at the Cleveland Orchestra, will be the first fully-staged opera ever presented in Vienna’s historic Musikverein in October 2017. Sharon currently has a three-year residency at the Los Angeles Philharmonic, where his projects will include newly commissioned works, site-specific installations, and performances outside the hall. Major upcoming productions include an original setting of War of the Worlds, performed both inside and outside the concert hall simultaneously (Fall 2017); a staging of Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde with Gustavo Dudamel at the LA Phil (Spring 2018); Lohengrin for the Bayreuth Festival (Summer 2018), and Magic Flute for the Berlin Staatsoper Unter den Linden (February 2019). Sharon was honored with a 2017 MacArthur Fellowship and a Foundation for Contemporary Art grant for theater. He serves on the board of Opera America, the Artist Council for the Hammer Museum, and as a Fellow for the LA Institute for Humanities.

Letitia Fernandez IvinsSenior Manager, Transportation Planning (Arts & Design), METRO

Letitia Fernandez Ivins is a Senior Manager of Transportation Planning (Arts & Design) with Los Angeles Metro. She works with artists and collaborates across disciplines and communities to produce art experiences that amplify the texture of place, enhance the transit experience and support mobility for people. Projects within her portfolio range from large-scale integrated permanent artwork installations to community-based creative placemaking/keeping initiatives. As an educator and culture worker, she supports new platforms for artistic practice at the intersection of art, social engagement, health and urbanism. Ivins has worked in the nonprofit arts sector for over 19 years at the Getty Foundation, Ryman Arts and the Los Angeles County Department of Arts & Culture. She is board secretary with the Pilipino Workers Center, advisory committee member of the LA County Cultural Equity and Inclusion Initiative, adjunct faculty with Claremont Graduate University’s Arts Management Program and a member of the Dahlia Heights Elementary School Cultural Awareness & Social Justice PTA committee. In her free time, Ivins plays and coaches soccer while raising two young girls.

Kristen GordonEconomic Development Deputy, Council District 8, City of Los Angeles

Born and raised in Los Angeles, Kristen Gordon is an urban planner committed to equitable development. She currently serves as an Economic Development Deputy for LA City Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson, where she focuses on housing, economic development, transportation, and planning for South Los Angeles. She previously worked as a Planning Assistant for the Los Angeles Department of City Planning. Ms. Gordon holds a B.A. in Urban Studies from UC Irvine and a Certificate in Real Estate from USC Ross.

Betty AvilaExecutive Director, Self Help Graphics & Art

Betty Avila’s work has centered on the intersection of the arts and social justice, with particular focus on community building, public space, and youth empowerment. She has held positions with the Getty Research Institute, The Music Center and the Levitt Pavilion MacArthur Park. Betty joined the Self Help Graphics and Art leadership in 2015, an organization with a 46-year nationally-recognized artistic legacy of empowering the Chicana/o and Latinx communities of Los Angeles through the arts. She sits on the board of Arts for LA, The Center for Cultural Innovation, and was a founding board member of People for Mobility Justice, (formerly Multicultural Communities for Mobility), which exists to support low-income communities of color that bike, walk and use public transit in Los Angeles County. Betty has been invited to speak for the Ford Foundation, The Getty Foundation, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, California Association of Museums, Western Art Alliance and more. She regularly advocates for the arts at the government level, including speaking to the California State Joint Committee on the Arts in Sacramento shortly after the Ghost Ship fire (Oakland) on the need to view artists from a workforce and economic development lens and underscore the need for artist resources.

In 2017, Betty was named one of C-Suite Quarterly Magazine’s NextGen 10 in Philanthropy, Arts and Culture and an Impact-Maker to Watch by City Impact Labs. She received her B.A. in Literature at Pitzer College, has an M.A. in Arts Management from Claremont Graduate University, and is a 2008 Fulbright Fellow to Korea.

Sinead Finnerty-Pyne – Project Strategist, LOHA

Sinéad Finnerty-Pyne has been with LOHA since 2016 and is part of the firm’s leadership team. She is responsible for identifying future projects and collaborations, in addition to leading the firm’s public relations and outreach efforts, and producing exhibitions and publications. Sinead has over fifteen years of experience in curatorial practice, exhibition production, and studio management at small and midsized institutions throughout the region. She has worked closely with artists and curators to produce a number of public and institutionally housed projects with artists such as Daniel Buren, Richard Jackson, Yoko Ono, Bruce Nauman, Analia Saban, and Barbara T. Smith.

Sinéad is the former Gallery Manager/ Assistant Curator at Armory Center for the Arts in Pasadena, CA. She completed studies at University College Dublin, Ireland and received her B.A. in Art History from Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles. Sinead earned an M.A. in Museum and Curatorial Studies at California State University, Long Beach, where she received the Collage of Art Outstanding Thesis Award for her paper “Outward and Boundless: Painting in the Age of Expansion.”


Designing an Inclusive Olympics in 2028:  In 2018, HANSON LA hosted an AIA|LA roundtable discussion that brought a diverse group of stakeholders together to discuss how we can best establish a regional framework to advocate for achieving greater business and cultural inclusion as we prepare our region for the 2028 Olympics. Douglas Hanson, AIA, ASID led a discussion with Michael Owh – Chief Procurement Officer, City of Los Angeles, Paul Prejza – Executive Vice President, Sussman/ Prejza, Roland Wiley, AIA – Principal, Business Development, RAW International and Stephanie Wiggins – Deputy Chief Executive Officer, METRO.

Take-aways included:  
1.  Identify and connect with other organizations to collaborate with multi-disciplinary partners.  
2. Place emphasis on connecting deeper with social justice groups and community-based organizations. 
3.  Utilize technological innovations to improve the procurement and project delivery process, so that it increases the opportunity for smaller firms to serve as prime contractors. 
4.  Expand the focus of ‘preparing for the Olympics’ to also involve improving the connective tissue of the city so that the improvements last well beyond the Olympics.  
5. Establish goals and metrics to achieve a lower carbon footprint and strive for a Zero-Net Energy Olympics and beyond.  
6. In the spirit of inclusion: when we refer to the Olympics, we should also expand the discussion to talk about the Paralympics and adaptive sports.
An Inclusive Framework:
As our public agencies begin to prepare for the 2028 Olympics & Paralympics, how can the AIA (and other professional organizations like LABC, LA Chamber, ASLA, AIGA, etc) advance a framework to ensure that certain small business inclusion protocols and procedures are exercised & implemented?  What does success look like? What are the guidelines/ performance measures to ensure that we get there?
Although we will need to do minimal construction because most of the facilities will be created by other public agencies (and/or will have already been built), we all know that we will have much to do to ‘prepare’ our public realm in some advanced degree.  So what’s the plan to include everyone in that opportunity to ‘prepare the scene’ and to ensure a unique visual identity, sense of place and experientially inclusive region by the year 2028?
The AIA|LA invites you to join us as we curate a series of discussions on how to best prepare our region for optimal inclusion by 2028.


October 22, 2019
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm PDT
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Lorcan O’Herlihy Architects
4106 West Jefferson Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90016 United States
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