Adobe Stock / "Andy"

Los Angeles has appointed its first chief design officer, reports CityLab writer Benjamin Schneider. The 14-year Los Angeles Times architecture critic Christopher Hawthorne will play a key role in shaping development occurring in the city—from the rapidly expanding metro system, to countless Olympics-adjacent infrastructure improvements, to the thousands of residential units and shelter beds needed to address a housing and homelessness crisis.

“All these projects will change the landscape of the city, and when we have one chance to do it, you need to do it right,” said Billy Chun, the deputy mayor for economic development, in whose office Hawthorne will work. “Christopher has been the inner architectural voice of the city … so we felt like we needed to bring him in.”

Hawthorne wants to use his perch to make the city’s buildings and public spaces more beautiful, inclusive, and efficient. (In addition to having direct input on public works, he will continue to use his platform to advocate for good design on private projects, he said, and regional projects outside of city limits, like new metro stations.) He will also have the opportunity to think through some of the larger challenges that face booming cities like Los Angeles.

Read More