MARMOL RADZINER Design Principal Ron Radziner, FAIA, presents a lecture reviewing the firm’s past in founding Heavy Trash in 1998: an anonymous guerilla arts organization that took its socially conscious ideas about urban issues to the city streets.
Armed with the hope that their convictions would become city-wide actions, Heavy Trash created urban art installations designed to draw attention from the community and the media to specific urban issues. Heavy Trash members volunteered their personal time to build disposable art objects and public installations, that simultaneously presented particular civic issues.
Past examples include the “Aqua Line” announcing a fictitious metro link from downtown Los Angeles to Santa Monica through erected billboards in public transport-deprived West Los Angeles. Another is the metal staircase (constructed in the architects’ workshop) affording anybody access to a public park that had been fenced off.
Each of these “events” reveal the firm’s socially conscious ideals and its guerilla
tactics in attaining them. Such actions resonate with the architects in emphasizing the role of the architect in our community. Over the course of its existence, the group’s urban interventions garnered press from local and national publications, including LA Weekly, Los Angeles Times, and The New York Times.
The lecture is a part of AIA San Francisco’s Architecture and the City Festival: “Play: Design in Action.” Marmol Radziner’s client programs often entail specific budgets and city impositions, challenging the architects to develop solutions to navigate city restrictions. In doing so, they encountered issues regarding urban conditions that they wanted to address. The result was Heavy Trash.