LA Beyond Cars

Featuring Ideas for Los Angeles

LA Beyond Cars is a multimedia experience showcasing concepts, ideas, and musings from around the world on the future of Los Angeles, a future beyond just cars.  Opening on July 29, 2010, the exhibit ran through the month of August in the Jewel Box at City National Plaza (525 S. Flower Street).  After the exhibition’s closing at this location, the installation will continue to travel throughout Los Angeles and California in an effort to excite and educate the city!  Click here to view gallery of exhibit space.

Exhibition Introduction

What if we could change our city?

What if we could shorten our commute?

Can public space traverse train tracks and connect divided communities?

Can transit stations create new hubs of community activity?

Will High-Speed Rail transform the way we build cities?

Will we need cars?

LA is at a crossroads. It has grown from distant communities of missionaries and rancheros to a diverse yet separated community of suburbs, and now to an unhappily joined community of industries and sprawl. The growth of Los Angeles as a de-centralized city has created a playground for the automobile — where no less than a six lane freeway will do, massive parking lots litter the built environment, and traffic strikes fear into anyone looking to traverse the city.

This is not to say that the automobile is no longer relevant, but rather public life and– more importantly–pedestrian life has suffered as a result of the pervasive car culture. This exhibition is intended as a catalyst for change, as a means to promote tangible and ideological rail proposals to provoke a civic discussion amongst Angelenos as we re-strategize rail and public space in the City.

The proposed project is a massive undertaking that holds the opportunity to both heal the wounds of past infrastructure mistakes which have divided our communities and breathe new life into our urban cores. When high-speed trains arrive, we can either continue building automobile-oriented developments or we can build a new image of our City.

‘Lets see.’


Throughout the month of August, LA Beyond Cars became a hotbed for events, programs, community workshops, and meetings.  We are happy to say that over 5000 students, professionals, children, and parents visited the exhibition.  Special thanks to our sponsors for their help and support in organizing the summer program.  Below are  descriptions of our three biggest events.

Opening Night

On Thursday, July 29, the exhibition LA Beyond Cars opened with a special event includingfood by Drago Centro, a cash bar, and live music to celebrate the future of our high-speed city.  Our sponsors, invited guests and media were welcome for a preview of the exhibition and a guided tour.

GOOD Magazine Event

On August 18, GOOD Magazine collaborated with railLA, the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition, the Coalition for Clean Air, and de LaB for a special event about the possibilities of an auto-independent LA.  Attendees were encouraged to use alternative means of traveling to the event.  Attendees also participated in James Rojas’ interactive city planning workshop to imagine an LA beyond cars.

Pecha Kucha #25

Originally started in Tokyo as a way to bring designers together  in an informal way to share, chat, and learn about their work and interests, Pecha Kucha has become a global phenomenon.  Through the format of 20 slides x 20 seconds, Pecha Kucha #25 offered stories and musings of  nine presenters from around Los Angeles.  Presenters included Kristofer Lamey, Sheri Zampelli, Noemi Selisker, Ron Milam, Hong Joo Kim, James Rojas, Erik Alden, Paul Davis, and Zane Tatum, who shared personal anecdotes about alternative modes of transportation, the potential of programmatic integration, and sustainable technologies of the past, present, and future.  Jonathan Louie, Program Director, moderated the discussion.

Exhibition Credits

Curator: Jonathan Louie

Design Team: Jonathan Louie, Erik Alden, Artur Grochowski, Ashley Zarella Hand, Joshua Van Blankenship, Sebastian Munoz, Dan Schoedel, and Benjamin Grobe

Graphics and Branding:
Kellie Konapelsky

Acoustic Consultants: Paul Chavez and Harman Kardon

Video Consultants: Acoustic Dimensions

Printing Collaborators: Indie Printing, Feathers Printing

Furniture: EIS Studios, J1 Studio, Oscar Corletto, Karni Hadidian

Scaffolding: Izmi Creations, Southwest Scaffolding

Special Thanks To: Stephen Glassman, Craig Janssen, Nick Frankie Carranza, Jessie Severyn, Eva Sobesky, Zane Tatum, Andrew Allison, Vance Breshears, and Simon Pastucha.


For all Press Contact Inquiries regarding the Exhibition, its exhibited works and future plans, please see our Press Kit or contact Jonathan Louie at [email protected].

We need your continued support to ensure that future events are a success. Whether in-kind or cash donations, please let us know you would like to get involved here.