Lauren Bon has been at work "undeveloping" a Los Angeles River adjacent property, regenerating the soil to form a novel urban ecosystem. Four years into this work, her Metabolic Studio has created a self-generating and self-complicating urban haven best illustrated by the biological diversity that has re-emerged. They are looking to reinvigorate the endangered life web by creating urban island ecologies that can flourish. Her talk will explore the ways that she and her studio practice are pushing the ecological maturity of the sites they are working on and how this can be understood as a useful and necessary work of art.

Bon is an environmental artist from Los Angeles. Her practice, Metabolic Studio, explores self-sustaining and self-diversifying systems of exchange that feed emergent properties that regenerate the life web. Some of her works include: Not A Cornfield, which transformed and revived an industrial brownfield in downtown Los Angeles into a thirty-two-acre cornfield for one agricultural cycle; 100 Mules Walking the Los Angeles Aqueduct, a 240-mile performative action that aimed to reconnect the city of Los Angeles with the source of its water for the centenary of the opening of the Los Angeles Aqueduct.

Her studio’s current work, Bending the River Back into the City, aims to utilize Los Angeles’ first private water right to deliver 106-acre feet of water annually from the LA River to over 50 acres of land in the historic core of downtown LA. This model can be replicated to regenerate the 52-mile LA River, reconnect it to its floodplain and form a citizens’ utility.

Past Mitchell Visiting Professors

Andrew Schachman (2020-2021)
Joshua G. Stein (2019-2020)
Matylda Krzykowski (2018-2019)
Ekene Ijeoma (Spring 2018)
Ben Hooker (Fall 2017)

About the Mitchell Visiting Professor

The William Bronson and Grayce Slovet Mitchell Visiting Professor in the Department of Architecture, Interior Architecture, and Designed Objects is appointed to contribute experimental practices to an interdisciplinary community of artists and designers. The Mitchell Visiting Professor holds a full-time, one-year appointment to teach two, three-credit courses or one six-credit course a semester. In addition, the Mitchell Professor delivers a public lecture or organizes a public program as part of the department's Mitchell Lecture Series.