I first met Moshe Safdie around 1990 when the Skirball Museum staff began to work in earnest on the planning of this cultural center. Over the years of our collaboration with him, he would mention in passing his work in Canada, Israel, and India, and I was always amazed at how he could juggle so many projects at once—no doubt due to the talented team he has assembled.
As I prepared for the opening of Global Citizen: The Architecture of Moshe Safdie—a recent Domus story describes the exhibition and Safdie’s architecture very well—I began to consider how to address topics at the heart of his design philosophy. [Moshe Safdie’s “first principles” include Humanizing the Megascale, Building Responsibly, and Responding to the Essence of Place.] I didn’t want to offer yet another lecture course on architectural history. Instead I wanted to engage our audiences more deeply in notions of urban design and sustainability.
I decided to collaborate with a remarkable group of folks out of New York called Reboot Stories. They are led by Lance Weiler, a storyteller, entrepreneur, and alumnus of the Sundance Screenwriting Lab. Named by Wired as “one of 25 people helping to re-invent entertainment and change the face of Hollywood,” he is recognized as a pioneer in the way he mixes storytelling—a key mode of presentation at the Skirball—and technology. Lance had come to the Skirball a few years ago with his young son to visit Noah’s Ark at the Skirball™, and he immediately saw that our way of communicating an ancient tale and its values was innovative, making us a promising partner for collaboration.
Lance and I talked about his diy days project. Described as “a roving gathering focused on turning inspiration into action,” diy days take place all over the world—from Sweden to Poland to Turkey to Belgium to Los Angeles. Inspired by Global Citizen—which addresses Safdie’s senior thesis on how architecture could solve sustainable design problems for mass housing—Lance and I decided that a diy days program in Los Angeles could focus on designing a sustainable future for our city and beyond.
Coming up on November 16, diy days @ the Skirball will bring inspiring thinkers and doers (check out the impressive roster of speakers here!) to demonstrate how ideas for good can be transformed into action for good. Participants will be able to select from a number of workshops that demonstrate cutting-edge ways that technology, partnered with creative ideas, can be used to solve some of society’s most pressing problems. For example, Nirvan Mullick, who brought us Caine’s Arcade and Imagination Foundation, will lead an open-design session on the challenges of building a sustainable model for education. Tech entrepreneur Tara Tiger Brown, founder of LA Makerspace, will elaborate on how makers, tinkerers, and DIYers can create, collaborate, and innovate while learning. In the afternoon, participants will work and play together—whether collectively shaping a sci-fi narrative about a future we all aspire to… or competing for micro-funds and free office space to turn a vision into reality… or hacking a solution centered on helping an individual in need.
Registration is FREE and easy. Go to www.la.diydays.com and sign up today! And see you Saturday, November 16, 10:00-6:00 p.m.