Architect Alice Kimm, of John Friedman Alice Kimm Architects, is Chair of Undergraduate Studies and Associate Professor of Practice at USC’s School of Architecture. Before participating in a panel on whether downtown L.A. will ever work, she explained in the Zócalo green room that she would never want to read minds, but she would love to have X-ray vision—to see what people are hiding in their pockets.
What’s your favorite condiment?
I’m Korean so I have to say kimchi. I’ll eat kimchi with steak, with anything.
What’s your favorite Korean restaurant in L.A.?
I don’t have a particular favorite because it depends on what you’re eating. But a lot of us tend to go to Chosun Galbee, coming from USC or some downtown event. It’s a well-designed space with great food. That’s a good bet.
If you could annex any country to the U.S., which would you choose?
I wish I were more well traveled, and I could probably give you a better answer. If you asked me what state, I would say Hawaii, for obvious reasons. I’d want to annex Hawaii to California—I’d want it a little bit closer to home.
What superpower would you like to have?
I know I don’t want to be able to read minds. But I think I would love to have X-ray vision. There’s something about being able to see what people are hiding in their pockets that’s very appealing to me.
How does someone know when you’re embarrassed?
I will turn very red. Of course that might just come from alcohol, too, so they’d have to be able to distinguish between the two.
What’s your most useless kitchen gadget?
Oh, I have many useless kitchen gadgets. I actually never use a wedding gift that was given to us—a juicer. So I would say that’s the most useless one that we own.
What’s the best gift you’ve ever been given?
Honestly, this is going to sound kind of funny, but it’s the wallet I carry. It’s actually my third of the same wallet, but I love my wallet. The first time it was given to me was as a gift from my husband. It’s a Comme des Garçons passport wallet, so it’s very big, and I have everything in it!
What’s your biggest pet peeve?
People who are always whining about the past.
Who was your childhood hero?
It was actually Neil Armstrong. When I was young I wanted to be an astronaut.
What’s your favorite color?
Pink! Do you like the chairs [at Grand Park]? I love the chairs.
Where do you come up with your best ideas?
In the bathtub.