Seeding the City: Nature in LA in the 21st Century

Saturday, April 23, 2022
11:00 – 5:00 PM
Campus-Wide Event

The Southland was once a garden of Eden. Now, as Los Angeles continues to build up its cityscape, connection to the land is out of reach for many. This rupture was underscored by the pandemic, when access to clean air, open space, plants and pets became an essential tonic.

But talented and creative designers are finding ways to green the City in ways beyond the traditional backyard, injecting trees onto rooftops, flowers under transit lines and plants into defunct concrete pools. They are reclaiming the wild and bringing back long-vanished birds and bees. Artists and writers are creating works reflecting on new ways of coexistence with all species.

Seeding The City celebrates the 21st century garden in Los Angeles with a daylong program of talks, tours, and popups, featuring some of LA’s leading landscape designers and thinkers, including:

Andrea Richards and Teena Apeles (We Heart LA Parks) • Community planners John Kamp and James Rojas • Current Shapes founders Danica Durant and Francisca GonzalezFibershed CollectiveFlowertruckLA • Filmmaker Marianne Gerdes • Terremoto’s David Godshall • landscape designer Brandy Williams • Chess sets by Griffith Chess Designs • Ikebana installation by Ravi GunewardenaDean Howell of Gruen Associates • Artist & Architect James Hubbell • Chef & Host of KCRW’s Good Food Evan Kleiman Flora Lee of MAD • NAHR’s Ilaria Mazzoleni and Richard MolinaMichele McRae from LA Neighborhood Land Trust • Artist Stephanie Kerley-SchwartzOlga Severina of Poster Territory • Soil expert Danielle Stevenson • Artist Hung Viet Nguyen • Art book enthusiast Jason E.C. Wright.

Plus Marketplace and Demos • Co-opportunity Market Bike Blender • Screen Printing Workshops • Film screening of Fantastic Fungi • Family art activities with Valentina M. Quezada and Yuliya Sigalova • Truffle Pasta tasting with Pasta SistersBiophilia Poster Garden.

Scroll down to find out about all the events!


Take the Expo to see us!

8745 Washington Boulevard, Culver City

In Harmony with Nature: The Architectural Work of James Hubbell

11:00 – 5:00 pm

Wander through this exhibition of stunning architectural work by the painter, sculptor and architectural designer James Hubbell, shown for the first time in Los Angeles. Hubbell has spent 60 years designing and making buildings, artifacts and artworks inspired by the forms, colors and materials present in nature. See images of his famed chapel at The Sea Ranch, community built schools in Tijuana, parks that span the cultures of the Pacific Rim, and Ilan-Lael, his self-made home, workshops and foundation in Julian near San Diego.

Make your own creation while there: stop by the Butterfly station in the heart of the exhibition and decorate a paper butterfly to leave on the wall or take along with you.

Photo of The Sea Ranch Chapel by Craig Tooley

From the Ground Up –
Fibershed Marketplace and Demos

11:00 – 5:00 pm

Join a collective of artists and producers who create art with plant and animal material grown, foraged, and cared for in our ecosystem. The Southern California chapter of Fibershed will present local plant and animal fibers as well as garments from the Slow and Local Clothing Project for you to touch and feel. Angie Correa, principal of These Hands are Made of Gold, will demo Natural Dyeing from the Kitchen and Garden, with special guests Climate Reality Project and Fair Trade LA. Artist Lea Feinstein will present an installation of her nature inspired paintings.


Signs of Spring Screen Printing Workshop

11:00 – 5:00 pm

Join Fibershed members, Francisca Gonzalez and Danica Durant, pattern, textile and color designers at Current Shapes, for a Signs of Spring Screen Printing Workshop.  Transform layers of color and shapes into playful patterns and take home your very own creation: a hand-printed market bag! Gonzalez and Durant will show you the basics of pattern design, color, and printing.

Limited space available, so please be sure to sign up ahead of time at EventBrite to claim your spot. Walk-ins are welcome depending on open spots left. No previous experience needed. Children are welcome. (Bring an apron or wear clothes you don’t mind getting a little color on!)

Workshop Fee: $20.00 (plus applicable fees if purchasing through Eventbrite). 15 guests per time slot.

Sign ups through Eventbrite

Workshop #1: 11 am to 12 pm
Workshop #2: 12:30  pm to 1:30pm
Workshop #3: 2 pm to 3 pm
Workshop #4: 3:30 pm to 4:30 pm


Flower Building

12:00 – 4:00 pm

Ravi GuneWardena, an architect and partner at Escher GuneWardena, has been a practitioner of ikebana (the Japanese art of flower arranging) since 2005 under the tutelage of Haruko Takeichi, a Riji level master in the Sogetsu School of Ikebana. He is the current director of the Los Angeles branch of the school. In real time, watch Ravi as he creates a large-scale evolving ikebana arrangement incorporating living and dried plant material combined with construction debris, textiles and other surprising elements

Soil and the Magic of Mushrooms

12:00 pm

Soil is the key to life on our planet. Yet much of it is despoiled, by overbuilding and overfarming. At this interactive talk, learn about how to sort out good dirt from bad, and how to remediate it for your back yard or an urban site, at an interactive discussion with Danielle Stevenson, environmental scientist and founder of D.I.Y. Fungi, and designers Ilaria Mazzoleni and Richard Molina, thought leaders at NAHR (Nature, Art and Habitat Residency). You’ll also hear about the magic of mushrooms in cleaning toxic soil, market mushrooms and cooking trends with host of KCRW’s Good Food Evan Kleiman, and enjoy a Truffle Pasta tasting with Helms partner, Pasta Sisters.


Rewilding the Streetscape

1:00 pm

Meet David Godshall, principal and co-founder of TERREMOTO, the landscape architecture office behind Platform Park in Culver City, Test Plot in Elysian Park and many other conceptually adventurous gardens. Godshall will talk about native planting and why it is essential to “rewild” the cityscape of Los Angeles. Joining him will be landscape designer and contractor Brandy Williams of Butterfly Garden. Brandy installed a sensory garden at her home, welcoming pollinators with native plants and friendly non-natives. David will bring his truck full of native and edible plants, for viewing and for purchase, and show how you can rewild your home, office or even your sidewalk!

Gardens on the Roof

2:00 pm

As cities explode worldwide and buildings encroach on our natural environment, architects and builders are looking for ways to bring nature into and onto buildings. Hear from Flora Lee, Associate Partner at MAD Architects, about bridging the divide between nature and the built environment, modeled in projects like Gardenhouse in Beverly Hills. Also hear from Gardenhouse Landscape Architect, Dean Howell, ASLA, and Director of Landscape Architecture at Gruen Associates, about why gardens on roofs are essential to new developments and design challenges — such as how to get trees to grow several stories off the ground!

Photo by Nic Lehoux

A Growing Passion

3:00 pm

Meet Marianne Gerdes, filmmaker and executive director of Ilan-Lael, James Hubbell’s home and foundation in Julian, near San Diego. She will discuss the inspiration she draws from his design approach, as well as her own work making films about nature in cities and the wilderness in California, entitled A Growing Passion.

Film Screening: Fantastic Fungi

4:00 pm

Screening of Fantastic Fungi, the revelatory documentary about mushrooms and how they support planetary life.

Pedestrian Plaza on Helms Avenue

Meet the KCRW Team!

11:00 am – 3:00 pm

Stop by the KCRW Booth and chat with the Street Team to learn about everything KCRW has to offer, check out their exclusive merch, and grab a free sticker. While you’re there, pick up a “seeded” leaf to plant at home.


Building the Nature City

12:00 – 4:00 pm

Use your hands and senses to build the nature city of your dreams. Join James Rojas and John Kamp, community planners and authors of Dream Play Build, to build an interactive model inspired by the Helms Bakery District and nearby surroundings. Participants are encouraged to take a self-guided, nature-city scavenger hunt and collect the sights, smells, sounds, feelings, and moods of the District, to serve as inspiration for model-building on Helms Walk. Over the course of the day, the model will change and evolve based on the creative ideas brought by the participants.


Cycle Your Way to a Free Smoothie!

12:00 – 4:00 pm

Hop on the Co-opportunity Market Bike Blender and create a FREE smoothie! The Co-op’s stationary bike uses pedal power to blend up delicious smoothies made with 100% organic ingredients from the Co-op.


Coloring Station

12:00 – 4:00 pm

Show your love for Los Angeles parks in bold color by visiting The We Heart L.A. Parks booth in front of the Helms building. There, L.A. based creative collective Narrated Objects will be hosting all-day, family-friendly art activities, including a coloring table featuring pages from their book, We Heart L.A. Parks: A Coloring +Activity Book Celebrating Public Parks in the City of L.A. and an artist-led drawing workshop with Valentina M. Quezada at 1 pm. Plus, the book’s non-profit partner, the Los Angeles Neighborhood Land Trust, will be on hand to discuss ways in which communities can work together to create new parks!


8723 Washington Boulevard, Culver City

Biophilia Poster Garden

12:00 – 5:00 pm

Wander through a forest of posters on the topic of biophilia, the innate desire by humans to connect with nature. Biophilia is produced by PosterTerritory, a global poster design project founded by graphic designer Olga Severina. All the posters on display were printed in Severina’s native Ukraine in 2021. Purchase a framed poster, bag or t-shirt in support of the humanitarian efforts in Ukraine.


Urban Plant House Art Project

12:00 – 5:00 pm

Stop by our indoor garden for a nature-inspired activity that’s fun for kids and adults alike. Design a terracotta pot home for your new mini-succulent plant with artist Yuliya Sigalova who will be on hand to provide inspiration for your drawings of leaves, landscapes, geometric patterns or your very own creative vision. While supplies last.


Chess & Checkers in the Park

12:00 – 4:00 pm

Stop off for a mental stretch in the “Chess Garden,” created by set designer and Studio II artist Stephanie Kerley-Schwartz and featuring custom chess and checkers sets by Griffith Chess Designs designer Cyrice Griffith who forms breathtakingly unconventional game landscapes from found objects that she has sourced and curated.  A perfect gift for the fine art collector or connoisseur of the gambit in your life.



Art in Support of LA Family Housing

All Day

Stop by Room & Board to view the work of artist Hung Viet Nguyen who paints Landscape as a visual expression of the senses rather than literal representation of specific landmarks or locations. Inspired by his many travels and the experience of place, it is memory, along with the emotion and spirit of each space that he translates into a semi-abstract expression of what it felt like to be there.


Show & Tell at Arcana Books

2:00 – 4:00 pm

Join artbook enthusiast Jason E.C. Wright, founder of Burntsienna Research Society, for a ‘Show & Tell’ at Arcana: Books on the Arts. He will share books on gardens and green spaces as considered by artists, architects, photographers and designers.


Blooms at Buttercup

2:30 – 4:30 pm

Pop over to H.D. Buttercup for FlowertruckLA, a farm-to-vase company that offers the freshest selection of flowers, including many seasonal assortments. Purchase fresh flowers and get a mason jar with seeds to grow your own garden of blooms, while supplies last.


We would like to thank all our partners and our media sponsor, KCRW!