This edition of the ongoing ima Design Series focused on the beautiful City of Laguna Beach and began by analyzing the Montage Resort. The resort sits on a seaside cliff and was designed as a craftsman estate nestled in the juncture of Laguna’s white sandy beaches and sloping topography. ima’s staff studied the resort grounds, including the Mediterranean style garden with fruit trees, berry bushes and five raised planter beds providing a year-round source of fresh produce used by the resort’s restaurant to craft drinks and cuisine. The resort also hosts museum-quality fine art celebrating the early California Arts & Crafts movement as well as the work of current regional artists.
Next, the group met with local artist Bing Wong at Laguna’s Main Beach. Bing is an experienced designer and artist whose style includes illustrations that look like they have been airbrushed. She discussed style tips to improve the hand sketching skills ima designers use regularly in creating and communicating new concepts and designs.
Lastly, ima staff toured Heisler Park where they met with the City Arts Commissioner, Mary Ferguson. Mary took the group on a guided tour explaining the park’s public art and landscape integration. The group agreed this was the highlight of the trip, seeing how a city noted for its integration of the artistic community incorporated art in the city spaces.
Closing the day, the group met at Watermarc Restaurant and engaged in an open discussion about what they learned and enjoyed. Overall the group had a great time experiencing the local art. Dan Dobson, an ima designer, said “Laguna Beach is typically extolled as an art mecca, so learning about the organizations and initiatives fostering this image by commissioning/installing the art was extremely beneficial in understanding how the city has continued to develop that reputation.”