One of the most exciting aspects of the current climate of interdisciplinary practice in contemporary visual culture is the incursion of architecture and industrial design into the fine-art arena — and SCI-Arc is a big part of why that’s happening. Technically an architecture-based academic program, its embrace of visual art, urban social theory and progressive material and engineering technologies produces graduates with inclusive experimental courage. Two of the best known are Benjamin Ball and Gaston Nogues, whose design firm has become one of the most acclaimed practitioners of artful architecture in L.A. in the 20-ish years since they graduated the program. Their latest return to the on-campus gallery, Ball-Nogues Studio: “Yevrus 1, Negative Impression” is a triumph of this fusion approach to the future of design. (Yevrus is survey, backward.) Creating a structural framework using VW Bugs and speedboats as well as a haul of “non-architectural artifacts,” through an advanced 3-D digital modeling process and using a compressed paper-pulp building material of their own invention, they've constructed a room-sized sculptural environment that simultaneously references both the disposable and enduring qualities of manmade objects, and the environmentally physical and societal memories they leave behind. Following the June 1 opening reception, Ball and Nogues appear in conversation at the gallery on Friday, June 25. SCI-Arc, 350 Merrick St., dwntwn.; Fri., June 1, 7-9 p.m.; exhibit runs daily, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., thru July 8; free. (213) 613-2200,

June 1-July 8, 2012

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