On Saturday I had the good luck to wander around the East side of L.A. on the Materials and Applications Studio Tour. Though it's always nice to see how creative types work, what was most fascinating about this tour was that each of the firms on it doesn't practice architecture in any typical way. They're just as interested in art installations as they are in slick residences. In some cases, they could scotch residences all together and only do scrappy, urbanistic work. What's more, each firm—from the design-build work of architeture outfits Oyler Wu Collaborative and Urban Operations, to the public art work of Ball Nogues Studio and Didier Hess, to the biomorphic tech work of P-A-T-T-E-R-N-S—views architecture as the point of departure for their work, not necessarily the endpoint. It was a great tour and just one of the many events taking place out here as part of the L.A. Design Festival. With Dwell on Design still to come, there's plenty of great design events right now in Los Angeles.