Thursday, July 18, 2024

A Long Beach design district? Downtown wants to create just that—and it deserves one


A Long Beach design district is what is being proposed by architectural firm Studio One Eleven—a worthy cause given the neighborhood’s rich cultural attachment to design ideals. Because of this, the group will host a free panel discussion to converse about just that. Come Thursday, July 18, the studio will open its doors from 5:30PM to 7:30PM to host some of the field’s leading figures and talk about the importance of such cultural districts.

It will be one of three conversations surrounding arts, architecture, and culture. The next two? In September and October.

Why DTLB is the perfect home for a Long Beach design district

Last year, the L.A. Design Festival opted to make Downtown Long Beach one its three hubs. As a result, this was a huge discernment for the festival’s layout: From coverage by Architectural Digest to KTLA to the Los Angeles Times, the festival—an annual event that, at least historically, tends to keep its presence to Los Angeles proper—is a big event. And it explores architecture, textile-making, street art, interior and landscape design…

And its choice to include Long Beach for the first time spoke volumes.

They hosted a block party. They brought in artists to design posters to be hung on a construction wall along The Promenade in front of what is now The Inkwell residential building. Tours of Studio One Eleven, the Billie Jean King Library, Lincoln Park, and Long Beach Museum of Art’s Downtown extension. Expert panel discussions surrounding local art exhibitions, design, architecture as a cultural signifier…

This year has proven no different: DTLB is a cultural hub for lovers of all forms of design

Because of the spirit of 2023, event-centric happenings around design has extended into this year.

On the third Saturday of every month, LB Heritage hosts architectural tours. Long Beach Architecture Week was one of its most successful yet, with one event providing the public’s first glimpse of the restoration of the historic 440 Elm building. Confluence explored movement, art, education, and medicine back in early June. Long Beach Walls—despite some potentially devastating setbacks—kicked off its ninth year of putting up murals around the city.

And Studio One Eleven has been hosting multiple art walks, including one that invited folks into the former Acres of Books space. And they will be hosting another one come July 13:

  • ManiFEST, a North Pine neighborhood wellness event, will be hosted at the Molina Healthcare parking lot (4PM to 7PM)
  • Screening of Geoffrey Bawa’s film “The Genius of the Place,” showcasing Sri Lanka’s premier Architect, with a panel discussion at Studio One Eleven (4PM to 6PM)
  • The Promenade will have art activations at InkWell, Raven and Wolves, ISM, Ordinaire, and Intertrend
  • Acres of Books will feature an exhibition by Space Time Collaborative
  • While West Community Festival at Altar Society, curated by local leader and all-around cultural guru Senay Kenfe

So when and where is this panel discussion about a Long Beach design district?

The Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at CSULB and Studio One Eleven will be hosting the inaugural panel discussion for a series exploring the creative economy. “The Making of a Design District,” will take place on Thursday, July 18, from 5:30PM to 7:30PM at Studio One Eleven in Downtown Long Beach

“This event will introduce the concept of a downtown design district to the Long Beach community, examining it through business, community, and economic lenses,” said Sinead Finnerty-Pyne of Studio One Eleven. “The discussion aims to provide attendees with valuable insights into the lessons learned from the creation of other successful design districts—both locally and nationally—as well as an opportunity to share what this might look like for Long Beach.”

The panel includes:

  • Kiana Wenzell, Co-Executive Director at Design Core Detroit and Director of the Detroit Month of Design
  • Angela Anthony, Brand Ambassador and Communications Director at Helms Bakery District in Culver City 
  • Moderated by Sinead Finnerty-Pyne, Director of Marketing and Special Projects, Studio One Eleven

This event is supported by generous donations from The Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and in-kind support from Intertrend and ISM Brewing & Kitchen. To RSVP for your free ticket, click here.

Brian Addison
Brian Addison
Brian Addison has been a writer, editor, and photographer for more than a decade, covering everything from food and culture to transportation and housing. In 2015, he was named Journalist of the Year by the Los Angeles Press Club and has since garnered 25 nominations and three additional wins. In 2019, he was awarded the Food/Culture Critic of the Year across any platform at the National Arts & Entertainment Journalism Awards.


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