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New design lecture series hopes to invigorate Las Vegas architecture

The Downtown Backyard Project set up their mini-urban park in a 9-foot by 14-foot wide parking space in the Arts District, Downtown Las Vegas, in support of Park(ing) Day, a world wide event to promote green spaces in urban environments, Friday Sept. 21, 2012.
Photo: Christopher DeVargas

Local architecture and design nonprofit COLAB Las Vegas has announced its inaugural Spring Lecture Series, a six-part event March 6 through April 29 to be held at art galleries throughout Las Vegas.

The series will exhibit the work of six architects from design firms across the Southwest and will feature discussions about their work and how innovative design ideas can be implemented in Las Vegas.

“There’s been frustration that local artists keep leaving to look for inspiration outside Vegas, but then they don’t come back and implement it here,” says COLAB founder Amy Finchem.

“This series is about looking outside our city for inspiration, to highlight great design work that's going on elsewhere and reflect on similarities and differences. We want to try to bring in ideas from areas where the climate might be similar and to see what architecture can come from that,” she says, adding that the series is intended as much for the public as it is for the local design community.

A launch party and reception for the series will be held before its first lecture with architect Lance O’Donnell at COLAB Gallery in Art Square at 5:30 p.m. March 6.

Other lecturing architects include Matthew Trzebiatowski of the Phoenix firm Blank Studio Architecture on March 11; James Richard of the Phoenix firm Richard + Bauer on March 18; Luis Ibarra and Teresa Rosana of Tucson’s Ibarra + Rosana on April 1; Hardian Predock of Venice, Calif.’s Predock_Frane Architects on April 15; and Anne Mooney of Salt Lake City’s Sparano + Mooney on April 29.

COLAB also will host a “State of Design in Las Vegas” panel discussion in collaboration with Desert Companion magazine on Feb. 26 at the Amanda Harris Gallery of Contemporary Art. The event will be moderated by Desert Companion Editor Andrew Kiraly and will feature discussions with local design professionals in the fields of architecture, interior design and landscape architecture about the relationship between design in Las Vegas with its broader community.

COLAB, which was launched last April, completed a funding campaign Feb. 17 on the crowdfunding website, raising $7,775 from grassroots contributors to go toward its $24,000 in annual operating fees. Its lecture series and panels are sponsored by local art and design businesses.

“This was our first major fundraiser, so it’s humbling to see people putting big dollars and a lot of encouraging words to the project, even if we didn’t meet our goal,” Finchem says.

For times, location information and other details, go to COLAB’s website.

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Andrea Domanick is a reporter covering arts, entertainment and the behind the scenes stories of life in Las Vegas. Before ...

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