Art series draws upon issues of concern


La Jollans got a rare opportunity to hear from Los Angeles Times architecture critic Christopher Hawthorne in the first talk of the “Dialogues in Art and Architecture” series held at the La Jolla Athenaeum on Feb. 19.

“The idea was to kind of explore how architecture and planning and planners might respond to two really different crises: one is the immediate short-term economic crisis, what that means for cities, and then the longer-term sort of environmental planetary crisis,” said Hawthorne of his talk, titled “Architecture During Times of Economic Downturn.”

Hawthorne also covered topics such as how architecture changes during a transition from a time of plentiful funds to a recession, what happens when government becomes the primary patron of architecture as opposed to commercial clients, how architecture affects our environment, and how the stimulus bill recently passed by Congress will affect architecture and infrastructure.

Hawthorne is also the author of a book on green residential architecture titled “The Green House.”

Event coordinator Joyce Cutler-Shaw said the series was created to present “a projective look at our region and relationship to the larger country … and issues of concern in terms of design, in terms of housing, in terms of environment and ecological issues … and how it relates to San Diego.”

She said they are “bringing in people who have expertise, from other parts of the world, other parts of the country, other parts of the region, to provide a kind of provocation to a rather conservative city, and to bring ideas that can be meaningful to us, and hopefully over a long period to provide change and innovation here.”

The other two lectures will be held at 7:30 p.m. March 5 and April 9 at the La Jolla Athenaeum.

The first, Matthew Coolidge, director of the Center for Land Use Interpretation, will discuss examining culture by means of looking at features of landscapes.

The second, Koan Jeff Baysa, who is a practicing medical doctor in addition to being an art collector, curator and writer, will talk about how he went from medicine to international art.

“Dialogues in Art and Architecture” is sponsored by the San Diego Council of Design Professionals, the San Diego New School of Architecture and the San Diego Architectural Foundation.

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