The LADG (Los Angeles Design Group), render of The Kid Gets Out of the Picture: Three Acts toward a Picturesque in Reverse, Materials & Applications, 2016, Los Angeles. Courtesy of Materials & Applications.
By the early-nineteenth century, practitioners of the English picturesque had invented a catalog of objects that worked to produce the pictorial effects of landscape painting within real space. Lumps, clumps, and masses made it possible, in a sense, to occupy the picture. In the contemporary image-saturated milieu, a reverse operation is more pressing—how might one extract qualities of the image in three dimensions to produce novel engagements with audience, program, and space? The Kid Gets Out of the Picture is a cycle of three shows that returns to the catalog of nouns developed by the picturesque to ask how these tactics can be deployed in reverse, extracting the qualities of images and literalizing them in the real world.
Andrew Atwood is a principal of First Office, an architecture practice cofounded with Anna Neimark in downtown Los Angeles. Atwood has taught at both SCI-Arc and USC, where he has offered design studios and visual studies seminars. First Office's work has been exhibited in the United States and abroad, at venues including the Beijing Biennale, the Pacific Design Center, the Storefront for Art and Architecture, and an upcoming show at the MAK Center, Los Angeles, among others. With Neimark, Atwood has published articles in Project journal, the Think Space Pamphlets series, and Perspecta. In addition, First Office has completed projects in San Francisco, Afghanistan, and Los Angeles.
Claus Benjamin Freyinger (or “Benjamin,” to his friends) is coprincipal and cofounder of the LADG (Los Angeles Design Group). Freyinger holds a BA in art history from Boston College with a minor in fine arts from the Ludwig Maximilian’s University in Munich, Germany. Freyinger received his MArch from the University of California, Los Angeles, in 2005. Prior to working in the field of architecture he gained fine art curatorial experience working for the Peggy Guggenheim Collection of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation in Venice, Italy.
Andrew Holder is a designer, critic, and occasional author. He is currently the 2012–13 Oberdick Fellow at the University of Michigan and coprincipal of the LADG, where his design interests include re-purposing common or outmoded drawing techniques, inventing architectural characters, and inducing states of play in an audience. Holder has held teaching appointments at UCLA, SCI-Arc, and Otis College of Art and Design, and is a frequent guest critic at institutions across the country. Holder received his MArch degree with distinction from the University of California, Los Angeles, and graduated summa cum laude from Lewis and Clark College with a BA in political science. He is a Truman Scholar and a recipient of the Oberdick Fellowship, an AIA certificate, the Robert B. Pamlin Jr. Fellowship, and the Barbara Hirschi-Neely Scholarship.
Jason Payne is principal of Hirsuta and associate professor of architecture at UCLA. A member of the inaugural class of Columbia University's "Paperless Studio," Payne engages in work that reflects the paradigmatic shift of methods and sensibilities from the traditional to the digital in architectural design. His research and practice engage two problems central to discourse and scholarship in the field: theorizing architectural form as it is impacted by developments in computation and advancing architecture's capacity to absorb principles from other fields. Projects such as Purple Haze (a 2006 MoMA/PS1 finalist) and NGTV™ Bar (a 2006 AIA Design Honor Award winner) exemplify this impulse. Recent projects, including Raspberry Fields, Rawhide, the Planetesimal Series I and II, and the texts "The Ambivalent Object" (Project) and "Projekti Bunkerizimit" (Log) reinforce Payne's position at the leading edge of contemporary architectural thought.
Jia Gu is a designer and curator with a special interest in critical and conceptual practices in art and architecture. She is the executive director of Materials & Applications and holds a BA in visual arts with honors from UCSD and a master's of architecture with honors from UCLA. She is currently pursuing a PhD in architecture at UCLA.
Courtney Coffman is a designer and writer based in Los Angeles. She coorganized On the Road Project LA—a public, yearlong series of architecture, art, and design programs intended to frame a moment in time within the contemporary context of Los Angeles. She holds a master's of arts in architecture (UCLA A.UD Critical Studies) and a master's of architectural studies in criticism from the Ohio State University's Knowlton School of Architecture.
Founded in 2002, Materials & Applications (M&A) is an open-air, outdoor exhibition space dedicated to advancing new and underused ideas in art, architecture, and design. M&A's mission is to provoke new work through exhibitions and public programming, in the form of open calls, temporary architectures, curated performances, and happenings. M&A plays a key role in the framing of architectural culture in Los Angeles, not only as an independent and public venue for the circulation of ideas, events, and objects, but also as a critical and discursive platform where work itself—including new lines of research, new material and conceptual explorations, and new formats and technologies—is constantly being generated. Recognizing that designers and architects often have limited resources for cultural engagement, M&A offers itself as a temporary "headquarters" for each project to encourage new encounters and participation in the greater Los Angeles community.