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Design and Architecture

Author: KCRW

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Host Frances Anderton looks at design and architecture from a Los Angeles perspective.
127 Episodes
Marciano Art Foundation is closing. The news came days after visitor services associates announced their intention to unionize. DnA attends a protest outside the Wilshire museum to hear about the role of low-paid labor in the highly lucrative world of contemporary art.Plus, more changes are coming to Museum Row, but LA-based architects aren’t getting to design them. We look at the shortlist for the La Brea Tar Pits expansion, and the role of localism in a global architecture profession.
The co-founder of Studio 54 is opening a new boutique hotel in West Hollywood. Veteran hotelier Ian Schrager talks about his colorful life and career creating spaces to attract the in-crowd. And filmmaker Matt Tyrnauer tells us about the dramatic life and civic impact of Schrager. DnA also visits another site that was designed as a social magnet: Horton Plaza, a postmodern icon designed by the late architect Jon Jerde. But the 1985 mall has become a ghost of its former self. DnA learns what’s in store for the complex and how some San Diegans are honoring a building that brought them much joy.
The Getty Fire has spread to hundreds of acres, with tens of thousands of people forced to evacuate. But the Getty Center, with its priceless collection of art and artifacts, was designed to withstand the flames. Plus, how safe is the fire retardant that air tankers are spraying onto the flames?If you’re planning to dress up for Halloween, you may be thinking of those old spooky favorites: a mummy, a vampire, Frankenstein’s monster. But have you ever wondered about the origin stories of those scary creatures? You can find out at the Natural History Museum, in an exhibit called “Natural History of Horror.” And, sneaker culture has become a nearly $20 billion industry in the U.S. alone, but it’s also a celebration of design innovation. Sneakerhead and KCRW DJ Anthony Valadez joins us for a tour of Sneakertopia, a new pop-up themed experience at HHLA. We also meet curator Justin Fredericks and artists Man One and Sophie Mazzaro.
Saudi Arabia has an image problem. But it has become a new frontier for American artists and designers. We look at the controversy surrounding site-specific art festival Desert X's planned expansion to Saudi Arabia, and we talk to an LA-based consultant for the futuristic megacity of Neom. Both are bankrolled by Mohammad Bin Salman, the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia. How do designers deal with the blowback?
Gov. Gavin Newsom signed 18 bills last week to boost housing production. Does this mean the housing crisis is solved? DnA talks to Angela Brooks and Larry Scarpa about the “elephant in the room” that was left out of the bills, and their NEST 'kit-of-parts' that they believe can build affordable housing faster.And, RuPaul has brought drag into the mainstream, but it’s hardly a new phenomenon. In his new book "Drag: The Complete Story," Simon Doonan recounts the history of cross-dressing and why it’s booming now.
Remember Cross Colours? The LA-based urban streetwear line was a hit in the early 90s, with bright, bold designs and uplifting messages about unity. Now the label is back, and the California African American Museum is celebrating with a retrospective that shows its impact on the mainstream fashion industry.Plus, Forever 21 may not last forever. But the demand for cheap clothing has not gone away. Fashionopolis author Dana Thomas tells DnA about the human and environmental costs of fast fashion, and how we can slow it down.
The coworking giant WeWork said it would raise world consciousness and rebuild cities, with help from architect Bjarke Ingels. Now it has pulled its IPO, after firing its CEO last week. Where does that leave WeWork and coworking spaces in general? We hear about LA's booming coworking scene, how spaces are differentiated through design, and we’ll talk to the founder of Epiphany Space, which aims to raise consciousness in a very different way.And, what do autographs reveal about Los Angeles? Josh Kun’s "The Autograph Book of L.A.: Improvements on the Page of the City” uses the LA Public Library’s extensive autograph collection to explore who gets to leave their mark.
The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens was established 100 years ago. But Henry Huntington’s footprint was far bigger than that. DnA looks at the man who was “probably the most important urban planner L.A. has ever had,” and at 1919, an exhibition about that turbulent year. Plus, Paul Fortune came to LA for sex and drugs and wound up with a glittering design career. He talks about “Notes on Decor, etc.”
Will an all-electric Porsche drive sports car lovers to embrace clean energy vehicles? Can an adult video site help clean up plastic trash in the oceans? DnA looks at the climate messaging coming from unexpected quarters, even as the White House tries to roll back environmental protections. And we meet the folks with the future in their hands: teenagers. Santa Monica High School climate activists share their thoughts on taking inspiration from Greta Thunberg, on educating adults and the need for a Green New Deal.
After it opened in 1989, Santa Monica’s Third Street Promenade became one of the most popular shopping and entertainment destinations in the world. But the Internet has changed how we shop, watch movies and order food. So business leaders and designers have launched Promenade 3.0. Will lawn games, public seating and Instagram moments make it a must-visit place once again?And, coastal cities around the world are facing rising sea levels. What can we learn from Lagos? Hear from Nigerian-born architect Kunlé Adeyemi, designer of an acclaimed floating school.
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