Parking Day LA
Conceived by REBAR, a San Francisco-based art collective, PARK(ing) Day is a one-day, global event where artists, activists, and citizens collaborate to transform metered parking spots into “PARK(ing)” spaces— temporary public parks—for one day.
When Lehrer Architects LA heard of this event, the designers decided to have an “after hours” internal design competition. The staff immediately started putting ideas in motion working collaboratively in the RaD (Research and Development) Room, a workshop at the LA office. For some it was an engineering problem; for some it was a political statement; for others it was a space-making exercise.
The final design concept, entitled “99 Gallons Per Mile,” was to visualize the carbon footprint of a modern sport utility vehicle, titled 99 Gallons Per Mile. To complete this, the LA staff designed and built the void of a typical SUV, to scale, out of FSC certified melamine. The final product also had to be mobile, allowing for off-site installations. The team embraced this challenge by designing a panelized system that could quickly be bolted together the morning of the event, and for subsequent events. To truly visualize the carbon footprint, the team came up with an idea to measure the amount of carbon dioxide emitted by the vehicle every mile. Various internet sources gave the approximate figure of 1.57 pounds of carbon dioxide per mile. To visualize this, the LA Team converted pounds to volume which fills 99 one-gallon balloons.
The design unveiled on September 21st, 2007, in front of LA’s office in Silverlake, will be a day all staff and friends of LA will not forget. Joined by friends, family, passersby and media alike, the design team encouraged all to take a seat, in the LA designed red lounge chairs, and to contemplate the message. So far, the media coverage for LA’s design includes: Architect Magazine Online, The Architects Newspaper, Current TV and the Los Angeles Times.
2007 Sept LA Times Newspaper Lisa Boone Promoting green space, one city parking meter at a time
2007 Sept/Oct Architect Online website Stephani L. Miller Park(ing) Day Celebrates, Promotes City Parks
2007 Oct The Architects Newspaper Newspaper Sam Lubell Car Parks
2007 October Current TV Televsion Alex Reiter, Producer Parking Day
2007 Fall/Winter Overview - Franklin Hills Residents Association Newspaper Bruce Carroll LA Ponders Paucity of Parks & Parking
2008 January aia.org website Michael J. Crosbie Sustainability: Takin' It to the Streets
2008 September Los Angeles Downtown News Newspaper Sam Hall Kaplan Beauty at Curb Level
2008 October The Architects Newspaper Newspaper Alissa Walker Gimme Shelter