KAI FACT magazine
State-of-the-art values born from organic practices.
FACT  No.08

State-of-the-art values born
from organic practices.

Updating the world standard

Los Angeles is the center of the West Coast and the leader of its unique relaxed atmosphere. Skateboards, surfing, movies, etc. have a powerful influence naturally spreading around the world. From the root of her organic culture, Los Angeles has been creating an evolved culture that often runs counter to what is considered common sense.
A lot of people enjoy the blue skies and the white beaches. This amenity is the heart and soul of Los Angeles. The oceanfront walk that continues from Marina del Rey to Santa Monica welcomes us with its unchanging scenery every time.
  • Behind Santa Monica Pier, there is the famous amusement park ‘Pacific Park’ and a lot of people visit there. It is also popular as a classic Los Angeles photo spot combining a beach, the sunset, and a Ferris wheel.
  • Venice Skate Park is famous worldwide. In addition to the lamps, stairs and handrail sections have also been installed. Since there are always many spectators, it may be tough to skate unless you are quite good at it.
  • A Volkswagen van flower shop in one corner of Abbott Kinney. Food trucks are common in Japan but flower trucks are rare. From such a small shop, you can see that people in L.A. have unfettered ideas.
  • The old-fashioned hamburger shop ‘Apple Pan’ preserves the good old American flavor. Despite their age, the veteran staff are very prompt and work confidently with expert skill.
  • A market under a blue sky on a street corner where delicious bread and plants are sold. The market is not too commercial, organized naturally by the local community. A close community is formed in such a natural manner.
  • ‘The Arts District’ is an area where hip stars gathered long ago. Of course, there are not only art galleries, but also artistic health-oriented food and drink restaurants in the neighborhood which are popular among local people.
  • Los Angeles is big and even if you go to the trendy areas, the shops can be very scattered and difficult to visit on foot. Atwater Village is a compact area where you can visit most of the shops in about a 10-minute walks.
  • There is a lot of street art such as graffiti and stencils in the arts district area. You will be drawn to the aroma of art that permeates the whole city.
  • The work space ‘WeWork,’ which has extended to more than 40 places around the world, mainly in the United States, is an advanced form of co-working space that you can use all over the world if you become a member.
Even though L.A. is a car-dependent society, there are not many highways and traffic congestion in Los Angeles is a serious problem. However, traffic congestion in the evening can be iconic to Los Angeles.
It is overwhelming to see such a huge assortment of CDs. ‘Amoeba Music’ is a large-scale CD shop of a kind that has become rare in Los Angeles. Even if the CD as a medium declines, let’s hope that this shop will remain as a cultural transmission point.
  • The Walt Disney Concert Hall by architect Frank Gehry is outstanding. It looks like sculpture and has become a downtown icon. The acoustic design of the music hall is by a Japanese man, Yasuhisa Toyoda.
  • The Arts District, which arose as artists’ squats (illegal dwellings), started in warehouses in the factory area. The area is overflowing with galleries making use of large garages and lofts, an exhibition ground for people’s creative expression.

While relaxing, work on your own style.
A generous spirit that lives in creativity.

Many of the ideas now commonly talked about, such as D.I.Y., localism, community, startup, work-life balance, sharing, etc., were nurtured on the West Coast. Los Angeles is the center of this current and filled with an easy atmosphere. Where are her unique creative innovations that stimulate the world coming from other than her relaxed nature?

Paul Takahashi, who was born and brought up in Los Angeles, is the ‘L.A. creator’ who is interested in skating and surfing. He has his own apparel brand, DJ’s at his own parties and has established an internet radio station. He is naturally, and simply pursuing what he really likes and that attitude shines.

‘Because the traffic jams in L.A. are terrible, I prefer a downsized life and work style from home,’ says Ryan Upton, an architect working in his own studio at home. ’Compared to New York, Los Angeles is pretty relaxed and you have some space in your brain to think slowly.’ When you receive creative stimulation, if you can’t digest it and utilize it for your next action, it can be useless. His relaxed mind seems to be the foundation of his unique creativity.

Svenja Altan, who moved from Berlin to Los Angeles and launched a branch of the PR company ‘Bold,’ compared the two countries. ‘People in L.A. are open to any possibility and often ask me unique requests. Such a positive attitude not limited to one’s occupation or position widens the ability of creators,’ says Altan.

Jessica Koslow, is making sugar-free fruit jam and working quite busy days. ‘After experiencing various occupations, I gravitated to the food industry. Whether it is an extension of your work or a totally different thing, L.A. is a city where you can always have a dream and have the opportunity to realize it.’

There is not only looseness but also a tolerant attitude which acknowledges various possibilities that seems to be the source of creating new values.
  • Born in Los Angeles, loves skateboarding and surfing. In 1996, launched the apparel brand ’SARCASTIC.’ Major figure in the L.A. underground music scene.
  • Not only designing shops such as blue bottle stores, designing products as well. Co-operating in ‘wrk-shp’ with Airi Isoda, a fashion designer.
  • In 2010, launched ‘Bold,’ a PR company dealing mainly in apparel in Berlin, and opened a Los Angeles branch in 2014. BMW, Casio, Asics, etc. are the main clients.
  • Opened cafe SQIRL in Silver Lake in 2011, committed to quality materials, making sugarless jam, always filled with fans.

Los Angeles | Article List

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