Farmlab Public Salon
James Rojas
Simon Pashuca & Georgia Sheridan
Friday, March 14, 2008 @ Noon-2pm
Free Admission

3-D, Participatory City Building Workshop
Using Found & Recycled Objects

About the Workshop

Using a medley of recycled materials, participants will be introduced to an innovated way to understand urban design and planning process. Participants will run through an exercise that uses 3-dimentional forms to discuss land use and urban design and planning. Urban design and planning is a multidisciplinary process involving everyone. The model building exercise allows participants to think of their planning goals in physical terms. It also shows participants how difficult it is to build the "ideal city" even when given a clean slate.

About the Workshop Organizers

Native Angelino James Rojas is community activist and a project manager for the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, Central Area Team, where he programs millions of dollars in pedestrian and urban design projects throughout Los Angeles County. Mr. Rojas co-founded the Latino Urban Forum (LUF), to help promote sustainable development in Low-income communities. LUF is a group of architects, urban planners and community activists interested in improving the built environment through transportation, open space and urban planning/design. LUF organizes residents around projects that celebrate public space and transportation, including the Expo Light Rail, Evergreen Jogging Path, Cornfields State Park, South Central Community Farm and the Nacimiento Bike Tour of nativity scenes in East Los Angeles .

Simon Pastucha lives without a car in the Los Angeles region. He is with the Urban Design Studio of the Los Angeles Department of City Planning. He began his 20-year career after graduating from California State Polytechnic University Pomona with a degree in Landscape Architecture with an emphasis on sustainability and large development projects. His experience covers projects worth over 20 billions dollars. He has processed projects ranging in size from complex single family and condominium subdivisions to commercial and industrial projects of over to 2,000,000 square feet. He served as Chief Planning Deputy for Councilman Michael Feuer working on major planning, transportation, neighborhood projects and planning legislation. He was a key part of the Charter Implementation Unit of the Los Angeles Department of City Planning, where a small team brought the existing land use codes into compliance with the new City Charter. He worked on amendments to the Los Angeles Municipal Code regarding reducing impediments to new housing, adaptive reuse of existing structures, and code simplification. He created and supervised the Expedited Processing Section of the Los Angeles Department of City Planning. It set records for reducing the time from application to written decision. He currently works in the new Urban Design Studio of the Los Angeles Planning Department. The mission of the Urban Design Studio is to integrate urban design into the development of City policy by doing real planning, being efficient and effective, developing innovative solutions and engaging the community.

Raised in the artsy mountain town of Santa Fe, NM, Georgia Sheridan has bounced across the United States and globe before landing in Los Angeles. The daughter of an artist and lawyer, Georgia studied political science and fine arts during her undergraduate education at Emory University , writing her honors thesis on the use of think thank research in Congressional policymaking. After college, she followed her political interests to Washington , D.C. and worked for in the health law section of Fulbright & Jaworski LLP. Having second thoughts about law school and curious about her sister’s degree in Architecture, Georgia started looking into design related professions. When Hurricane Katrina hit the southeastern coast, Georgia found her calling and quickly applied to graduate school. She quit her job to travel throughout South Africa and SE Asia before arriving in Los Angeles to get her masters degree in Urban Planning at UCLA. While attending UCLA, Georgia worked with Walker Wells at Global Green USA, helping plan a green school symposium and writing a research report on carbon neutral policies for cities. She now works in the Planning Department for the City of West Hollywood and is writing a report on long term sustainable policies to expand the reach of the City’s Green Building Program to the public right-of-way through green streetscape design. At UCLA, Georgia helped start the student interest group design and development (d2), working to expand the design reach of urban planning at UCLA.

Photos courtesy James Rojas; photos by (top): Deniz Durmus, and (bottom), James Baker

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