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LA-Más: “Our proposal is going to be so radical because it’s going to be possible”

Published by USC Bedrosian Center on

by Brettany Shannon

Hello and welcome again to Los Angeles Hashtags Herself. This season we’re amplifying the critical and relevant work that women do in and for the city and people of Los Angeles. In most cases this season, that work is achieved through particular prisms, such as research, education, journalism, art, or activism. But this week’s guests, LA-Más co-executive directors Elizabeth Timme and Helen Leung, work literally in and for the city and people of Los Angeles.

Frogtown-based LA-Más is a design and policy advocacy nonprofit whose mission is to “help lower-income and underserved communities shape their future through policy and architecture.” Timme and Leung’s shared vision for urban growth that is “equitable and self-directed—where the best local solutions are brought to a city-wide scale” motivates and informs this mission. But what makes it possible is their collaborative practice which brings together the elements of architecture and policy at their best: imagination, aesthetics, democracy, empathy, transparency, investigation, and social justice. Elizabeth and Helen don’t want decorative veneers, they want community-led and serving change. To that end, their work includes small business projects, alternative housing paradigms, public realm interventions, community plans and outreach efforts, and public art and architecture exhibitions.

LA-Más is changing the way we understand and experience Los Angeles communities. Listen to this great conversation to learn how Elizabeth and Helen achieve this. Spoiler alert: they collaborate and, as Elizabeth says, they seek out radical solutions within the possible approaches.

Many thanks to Elizabeth and Helen for hosting me in their Frogtown office and to you, as always, for listening. Leave us a review and tell us what you thought of the conversation on Twitter (Bedrosian, me), Facebook, or email.


Do peruse the website to see all LA-Más’ projects, and keep up with them through their monthly newsletter, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, or email. You can donate too!

If you’re ever in Frogtown, visit the office just across the street from Spoke Bicycle Café, and mark your calendar for the 2018 Frogtown Art Walk on September 22.

LA#Herself is produced by Aubrey Hicks, Jonathan Schwartz, and myself and mixed by Corey Hedden. Stream the interview on this page, or you can download it and subscribe through ApplePodcasts, Soundcloud, or GooglePlay.

Bedrosian Center