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Patio shade made from Tyvek squares in Echo Park

August 3, 2011 |  6:00 am

Materials & Applications sunshade

Designer Kate Moxham and the architecture research group Materials & Applications have transformed the patio behind an Echo Park literacy center into a captivating -- and shaded -- reading space using little more than the synthetic material Tyvek.

Materials & Applications "Superscript""The short story is that I wanted a shade for the back area to accommodate more students," emailed Joel Arquillos, executive director of the nonprofit 826LA center, which provides free workshops and one-on-one tutoring after school for students 6 to 18.

Wedged between colorful storefronts along Echo Park Boulevard, the once-scorching space is now protected by hundreds of folded Tyvek squares attached to a braided stainless steel net.

"It's beautiful and the kids love it," 826 programs coordinator  Marisa Gedney said. "It adds a lot of character. It was just too bright before."

The installation, titled "Superscript," was assembled by volunteers over several months. When the sun hits the floating flags, student writings from workshops and tutoring sessions are illuminated.

"Superscript" can be viewed from the alley behind the center, 1714 W. Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles.

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-- Lisa Boone

Photo credits: Scott Mayoral

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