Materials & Applications

Materials & Applications

Nonprofit

Materials & Applications (M&A), shares and demystifying concepts in art, architecture, and sustainable design in an outdoor courtyard open to the street 24 hours a day. Our projects create collaborative opportunities across disciplines and to explore new projects in public space. Our primary goal is the advancement of public participation in the built environment by inspiring visitors in their surroundings - while … Read More Materials & Applications (M&A), shares and demystifying concepts in art, architecture, and sustainable design in an outdoor courtyard open to the street 24 hours a day. Our projects create collaborative opportunities across disciplines and to explore new projects in public space. Our primary goal is the advancement of public participation in the built environment by inspiring visitors in their surroundings - while they explore the latest ideas in architectural design and theory on an experiential level. We push the application of materials beyond the limits of typical commercial, residential, and traditional gallery-based projects, towards more flourishing environments.

For ten years, M&A has transformed a parking lot in Silver Lake into an internationally-acclaimed center for materials research and artistic expression on an architectural scale exhibiting large-scale installations. M&A projects at this site are designed by artists and architects and built with volunteers from the community - winning three American Institute of Architects (AIA) awards, as well as other design awards and recognitions. M&A produced the inaugural performance for The Getty’s Pacific Standard Time with Judy Chicago - coordinating hands-on workshops for the public alongside the legendary artist to create an environment out of 25 tons of dry ice. The founder, Jenna Didier received the Neutra Spirit award 2010 and the Silver Lake History Collective award in 2011 for a lasting contribution to the cultural fabric of the Silver Lake district.

While M&A has been committed to working with “sustainable” materials and environments long before the term was popular, projects that have specifically sought to bring public attention to environmental and sustainability issues include a pneumatically-operated origami robotic garden by Eddy Sykes and the community-designed Taco Garden which explored sustainable gardening techniques in an aquaponics garden that re-circulated rainwater for growing tilapia and other fish taco ingredients—onions, cilantro and tomatoes.

Via a series of hands-on bilingual workshops commissioned by the Los Angeles Environmental Affairs Department, M&A managed the successful transformation of another blighted parking lot into a rainwater capturing surface with edible perimeter plantings tended by grateful mixed- use building residents and employees. Some benefits were: decreases in stormwater runoff from the parking lot, decreases in heat island effect, increases in social engagement between building residents and employees working downstairs. Prior to our work, then had not even been introduced.

Under its latest Urban Applications initiative which includes START SEEING UGLY!, M&A seeks to expand its activity into the larger Los Angeles area. Urban Applications is currently a finalist for an $350k ArtPlace grant from the NEA for the public art component of the Paseo and further development of its program.

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