Photo by SKD's LA Street Scenes via LAist Featured Photos on Flickr.
This post is part of a series dedicated to the 13th Venice Architecture Biennale. Over the next couple weeks, Architizer will feature on-the-ground reports, along with profiles of firms and projects—including the Department of D.I.Y.—showcased in the U.S. pavilion’s exhibition, “Spontaneous Interventions."
The Los Angeles-based Department of D.I.Y. is a guerilla-style group that champions bicycling and green spaces. Their tactics are generally unlawful (yet harmless).
Case in point: In 2009, members posted a sign on a fence surrounding a dirt lot that proclaimed the site would be transformed into a “park for the people.” It was to be named after Alprentice “Bunchy” Carter, a 1960s black activist, according to Architect magazine. The crew tossed “seed bombs” over the fence, in hopes the seeds would sprout and fill the lot with wildflowers (see video below). The group has also hung up realistic traffic signage with bike-friendly messages; one portrays a bicycle with the words “Caution: Please Pass With Care.”
The LA Department of D.I.Y. is one of the 124 projects featured in the "Spontaneous Interventions" exhibition at the 2012 Venice Biennale. As part of the show, filmmaker Kelly Loudenberg created a video installation in which she asked exhibition participants to discuss their aspirations and concerns for the American city while pretending they were running for office or advising elected officials.
Here, “Stanley Cousins” encourages viewers to rise up and get involved in creating safer, more livable cities. As he states: “We want you to reimagine what your space could look like and actively change it.”
Stanely Cousins of Department of D.I.Y. from Architizer on Vimeo. Video credits: Kelly Loudenberg, producer/editor; Louie Metzner, assistant editor; Alexandra Tell and Andreas Jonathan, production assistants.