Nothing better defines the perils of suburban sprawl than the front lawn. One of the scariest moments in Tim Burton's Edward Scissorhands was not the boy in the S&M gear with the killer fingers but the endless stretch of perfectly manicured green in the town beneath the manse where he was made. Collaborators/spouses Jenna Didier and Oliver Hess have taken their front lawn at Materials & Applications and done just about anything the coteries of brilliant young architects they attract can do to a front yard. Their space on Silver Lake Boulevard surprises passersby with amazing contraptions and experiments that play with issues important to contemporary architecture, from new materials to sustainability, alongside projects that play with the often ridiculously wonderful possibilities of the built environment. 1619 Silver Lake Blvd., Silver Lake. (323) 913-0915,

—Andrew Berardini

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