A year ago I set out to launch the Architectural Association Visiting School Los Angeles (AAVSLA). I wanted to capitalise on LA’s attributes as the World’s entertainment capital and a unique venue to launch and showcase innovative projects in music festivals, media, entertainment and architecture.
California is home to cutting edge festivals with lasting impact on design, art and technology. New entertainment concepts and productions that captivate the world’s attention for hours a day in every possible media format are conceived and brought to life in L.A. The city is also fertile ground to a wide variety of architectural designs and styles. Some of the biggest names in architecture are represented in the city’s urban landscape: Charles and Ray Eames, Richard Meier, Frank Lloyd Wright, Frank Ghery, Morphosis, Roto Architects… to name just a few.
This is the fertile ground that informed the AAVSLA. The workshop was predicated on a brief that asked students to imagine, design and create a kinetic structure for a music festival of their choosing.
Musical festivals are becoming very important for artists and fans alike who increasingly value shared experiences and emotions; through the concerts themselves and the experiences of eating, drinking, and sometimes sleeping in the same bass-pumping arena for days, a new culture of active entertainment is born. Festival goers don’t want to be just passive observers when they LIVE in the festival. Everything has to be interactive! This is the reason why the world around them must enliven their senses. Their eyes, ears, fingers, and even mouths are a part of the experience. The music and concerts tend to take care of the aural and sometimes visual experience, but it is up to the art and other installations at the festivals to keep the party going when the band leaves the stage…
Under Poetic Kinetics guidance and expertise in the music festival industry, myself and AA tutor Devin Gharakhanian, students would be presented with typical variables of the festival world: client needs, atmospheric and budget constraints, replicating the iterative, fast pace environment at which architecture and entertainment work together to create unique experiences. Students would work on their own design and digital models and modify them according to client desires and venue logistics. They would learn the importance of problem-solving and how that goes hand-in-hand with innovation to achieve the desired and inspired result.