Escape Carmageddon in Little Tokyo’s Future City

Today is the opening of the first ever Little Tokyo Design Week: Future City in downtown Los Angeles, California, branded with the iconic animated action hero, Astroboy.  The Little Tokyo Design Week celebrates the power and energy of cutting edge design and technology emerging from Japan and its intersection with current trends materializing in Los Angeles.  The LTDW will present a series of programs that integrate Little Tokyo’s Big Three cultural institutions; Japanese American National Museum (JANM), Japanese American Cultural and Community Center (JACCC), and The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA, community partners, retailers, and restaurants and will engage local and international designers, artists, architects, filmmakers, corporations, and students from the Southern California region to explore possible scenarios for a “New Urban Lifestyle.”

While the event actually kicked off last night with an introduction by the visionary behind Design Week, Hitoshi Abe and endorsements by a who’s who in Little Tokyo and Japanese-American relations, including the Consul General Junichi Ihara.  Of course it wouldn’t be an event in Little Tokyo without a Kagami-biraki, a ceremony performed at celebratory events in which the lid of a sake barrel is broken open by a wooden mallet and the sake is served to everyone present.

The ceremony was followed by a VIP preview of the assortment of container galleries throughout the public plazas filled with art, design, robots and more. Glimpse into the future of design with the student exhibitions created by students from UCLA, SCI-Arc, Art Center College of Design and USC.  Intermixed are exhibits from sponsors Toto, Toyota and Daiwa House, who are showcasing an amazing self contained home.  Fallout fans should think mini-vault, as it is a self contained living unit for two people.

While it’s not yet Friday, partygoers can take advantage of the pub crawl that begins at 7:00 PM tonight and includes 14 area bars and pubs.  Some of the other highlights for the weekend include an outdoor film screening of Tonari No Totoro, PechaKucha night on Saturday at 8:00 PM and the official after party and cosplay contest at the JACCC plaza, starting at 10:00 PM.  The whole thing wraps up Sunday, with the presentation of the Golden Astroboy award presentation for the best artist made container.  With Carmageddon also going on this weekend, it’s the perfect opportunity to forget about your car and hang out in one of the trendiest locations in downtown L.A., Little Tokyo.  There are plenty of public transportation options available to give you some ‘green cred’ and possibly save you some gridlock headaches.

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