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Park(ing) Day 2012: On Friday, L.A. designers take to the streets

September 20, 2012|By Susan Carpenter
  • Duc Le lounges on his temporary structure to be installed in a metered parking space as part of 2012 Park(ing) Day.
Duc Le lounges on his temporary structure to be installed in a metered parking… (Duc Le )

Good luck parking at the corner of Beverly Boulevard and Martel Avenue in West Hollywood on Friday. The parking spot in front of L.A. Eyeworks won't be available to cars because it will be occupied by sunbathers, mini golfers and visitors stopping for a cup of coffee.

Something similar will be happening near the Coolhaus ice cream truck in Culver City, where a metered parking space will host a tee-pee confessional for people talking about how they spend time in parks.

These installations are part of the festivities known as Park(ing) Day, taking place Friday. Park(ing) Day is an annual worldwide event for artists, designers -- anyone, really, who’s inspired to take over parking spots and turn them into miniature parks, or parklets, for the day. Founded in 2005 by the San Francisco design studio Rebar, Park(ing) Day has grown into a phenomenon: Last year 975 mini parks were set up in 162 cities in 35 countries.

How many Angelenos will participate this year is unknown since registration is not required and participation is often spontaneous. But a few highlights:

"The Sun-Bedazzler"

What it is: An elaborate wooden deck designed as an extension of the sidewalk where visitors can get tan, work on their putting skills or just hang out. The deck is a static piece for Park(ing) Day, but "conceptually, if a car does not need to park there, then the deck could flip on its side or live in that residual curb space," almost like a pocket table or door, said Duc Le, a graduate design student at Woodbury University School of Architecture.

Location: L.A. Eyeworks, 7386 Beverly Blvd., West Hollywood

"Parkside Confessionals"

What it is: A tee-pee constructed from recycled cardboard tubes. The structure will serve as a confessional for visitors to describe how they spend their time in parks. The tee-pee connects to a walkway that leads to a second parking space and a native tree "where people can hang their confessions," said David Powell, a project landscape architect with Ahbe Landscape Architects in Culver City.

Location: Coolhaus, 8588 Washington Blvd., Culver City

"Soft Publics"

What it is: A "mobile media system made of a registered vehicle, a registered trailer and a mobile panel" that connect together and house a small vertical garden planted with herbs, said Mike Manalo, a partner at the Rare Studio. The design firm collaborated with de Lab to create the space. "It ties in to the adjacent business, which uses fresh local organic farming for their restaurant," Manalo said. (Full disclosure: Some of the folks behind de Lab are contributors to L.A. at Home.)

Location: Local, 2943 W. Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles

susan.carpenter@latimes.com

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