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Preview: KCRW's Design and Architecture

Design and Architecture

Design and architecture shape our world. On DnA: Design and Architecture, host Frances Anderton talks to designer, users and critics about the latest in products, fashion, architecture and more, in Los Angeles and beyond. Photo credit: Marc Goldstein

Copyright: KCRW 2018

The density bill is dead. What's next for housing?

Wed, 18 Apr 2018 14:30:00 -0700

A controversial bill that would have led to more high-density housing in California died in a legislative committee this week. Why did SB 827 fail, and what’s next in the fight to build new housing?

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Will SB 827 smash local control?, Boyle Heights artists

Tue, 17 Apr 2018 14:30:00 -0700

A proposed state law could radically change California’s residential neighborhoods. Supporters hope the bill will create much-needed housing in the state’s growing cities. Critics say it will ruin their communities. And, Boyle Heights art galleries have been the target of an anti-gentrification campaign by artist-activists. One gallery owner offers to shut down to symbolically “acknowledge their practice.”

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The challenge of building new housing in density-resistant Los Angeles

Wed, 11 Apr 2018 14:30:00 -0700

A has a massive housing problem. There are a number of initiatives to resolve the homeless crisis and the creation of more affordable housing. But, do any of these solve the basic problem in LA, which is resistance to the construction of new housing?

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Zuckerberg Testifies, House of Dust, Bombay Beach Biennale

Tue, 10 Apr 2018 14:30:00 -0700

Facebook has tweaked its design to give users clearer control over their information. Can these changes help the social media giant become “friends” again with its users? The Bombay Beach Biennale has come to the Salton Sea. How do the locals feel about the influx of art and opera? And CalArts marks the 50th anniversary of the “House of Dust,” a house inspired by a computer-generated poem.

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Driverless Cars, LA’s Chief Design Officer

Tue, 03 Apr 2018 14:30:00 -0700

California is beginning to allow the testing of self-driving cars with no humans at the wheel. Critics say the technology is not ready for the roads, but supporters say autonomous vehicles will make streets safer. And Christopher Hawthorne is leaving his post as the Los Angeles Times’ architecture critic to take up a new job as the city of LA's first-ever Chief Design Officer. What does that job entail exactly?

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Self-driving cars move forward, with roadblocks

Wed, 28 Mar 2018 14:30:00 -0700

As Uber investigates last week’s fatal crash in Tempe, Arizona involving a self-driving car, the company has decided to pull its application to test self-driving cars on California streets. What does this mean for California's plans to continue testing autonomous vehicles?

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Bridges and Walls: The Fourth Border

Tue, 27 Mar 2018 14:30:00 -0700

The final episode of DnA’s Bridges and Walls examines the "fourth border,” the Southland’s seashore. Undersea fiber optic cables connect the world, but why is Hermosa Beach a popular landing site for them? What price do we pay for our digital connections? And we'll consider an alternate route for traffic-weary Angeleno commuters: a ferry service between the beach towns.

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Fixing Westside traffic with a ferry service

Thu, 22 Mar 2018 14:30:00 -0700

Traffic is so awful that dreaming up alternative transit routes is now an LA pastime. And for those sitting on the 405 or PCH, one idea that is being floated -- excuse the pun -- is the idea of ocean-based transit.

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Bridges and Walls: The Future of Freeways

Tue, 20 Mar 2018 14:30:00 -0700

Los Angeles has fallen out of love with freeways. Or has it? Freeways were once liberating bridges between communities. Now they are polluting, rush-hour parking lots that form walls within LA. DnA looks at the health impact of living near freeways, a proposed new freeway in the High Desert and what freeways might look like in the future.

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Lucas Museum lifts off in Expo Park

Wed, 14 Mar 2018 14:30:00 -0700

Construction broke ground today on the new Lucas Museum of Narrative Art. The museum is located in LA’s Exposition Park, and will house the art collection of "Star Wars" creator George Lucas. It’s a big arrival for the neighborhood, and it comes in the form of what looks like a giant silver spaceship -- with gardens.

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Bridges and Walls: Invisible Walls

Tue, 13 Mar 2018 14:30:00 -0700

There are walls that impact the communities they contain, but are naked to the eye. On today’s “Bridges and Walls” episode we explore three examples of invisible walls: the boundaries that mark gang territories; zoning codes that divide communities; and the West LA eruv, a ritualistic fence that allows Orthodox Jews to perform certain tasks on Shabbat, the traditional day of rest.

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Dying mall Westside Pavilion to have new life as offices

Wed, 07 Mar 2018 14:30:00 -0800

It’s happening all over the US -- a phenomenon known as dead mall syndrome. A mix of overbuilding of malls in recent decades coupled with dramatic changes in retail habits has caused the demise of many malls. Some however are getting a new lease of life, as something else. And that’s what’s happening to the Westside Pavilion on Pico at Overland in West LA.

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Bridges and Walls: LA River, part 2

Tue, 06 Mar 2018 14:30:00 -0800

The Los Angeles River in downtown is getting new bridges and parks. But with the greening of the river may come “green gentrification.” DnA tours a disused railyard that will be turned into a park, hears about dreams for changes in the Lower LA River and talks to architect Frank Gehry and other stakeholders about LA County’s updated masterplan for the entire 51 miles of flood channel.

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Visual design in this year's Oscar nominees

Wed, 28 Feb 2018 14:30:00 -0800

It’s the Oscars this weekend, and most of the buzz is about the acting honors and the horse race for best picture. But there’s a whole community in LA that will be watching for winners in the below-the-line categories whose creative talents do not typically become household names. That includes sound, editing, and the production and set design that can make or break a movie.

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Bridges and Walls: LA River, part 1

Tue, 27 Feb 2018 14:30:00 -0800

Eighty years ago this week, rain poured down on Los Angeles. Floods washed out roads, bridges and thousands of homes. The devastation led to total channelization that would forever shape -- and divide -- Los Angeles. Now efforts are underway to build new bridges, bring back wildlife and forge new connections at the LA River. But with those efforts come anxiety about change.

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Orange bridge over trickling water

Wed, 21 Feb 2018 14:30:00 -0800

The LA City Council approved a new bridge this week to cross the Los Angeles River. It would connect Frogtown, otherwise known as Elysian Valley, to Taylor Yard, a former railway site in Cypress Park. And it would be for pedestrian and cyclists only. No cars allowed. Its bright orange color is eye catching, but the price may also take your breath away. And it’s just one of three bridges now being planned to span the river.

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Bridges and Walls: Wildlife Crossing

Tue, 20 Feb 2018 14:30:00 -0800

Wild animals need to roam, but our freeways are in the way. Now a proposed bridge over the 101 would allow mountain lions and other wildlife to cross safely over the freeway and improve their access to food and mates. But can humans and predatory animals coexist in the city?

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Bridges and Walls: High Speed Rail

Tue, 13 Feb 2018 14:30:00 -0800

California’s biggest infrastructure project is a high-speed rail network that would connect San Francisco, the Central Valley and Los Angeles, bridging communities cut off by the state's difficult geography. However, farmers see the train as driving a wall through their land. Despite widespread criticism, parts of the route are being built in Fresno, opening up new opportunities in the Central Valley.

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Bridges and Walls: The Border Wall

Tue, 06 Feb 2018 14:30:00 -0800

Can a wall also act as a bridge? The U.S.-Mexico border wall stretches along 700 miles. It divides two nations that are strategic allies and trading partners, and continues to divide Americans along partisan lines. It also “brings people together in really remarkable and interesting ways,” and DnA tells their stories.

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Rebuilding infrastructure and the border wall

Wed, 31 Jan 2018 14:30:00 -0800

In his State of the Union address, Trump talked about rebuilding infrastructure, but offered no specific projects and vague plans for how to pay for them. Meanwhile he said almost nothing about building the border wall, a common refrain since the early days of his campaign.

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IKEA’s success, North Westlake Design District, Joel Chen

Tue, 30 Jan 2018 14:30:00 -0800

The founder of furniture giant IKEA has died. What was the legacy of Ingvar Kamprad? Historic Filipinotown is set to get its own design district, but many residents are unhappy with the idea. And a collection of LA’s veteran antiques dealer Joel Chen is going on the auction block at Christie’s. He talks about a life in objects.

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Angelenos innovate as mass transit use falls

Wed, 24 Jan 2018 14:30:00 -0800

Metro ridership continues to decline, but the agency is seeking innovative ideas for alternative modes of transit. Angelenos are offering many solutions to the region's mobility problems. Culver City residents heard one such idea on Monday night, when representatives from Elon Musk's Boring Company pitched a high-speed network of underground tunnels.

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The new company towns, AIA awards, federal courthouse

Tue, 23 Jan 2018 14:30:00 -0800

Silicon Valley is embracing the idea of the company town, as even high-paying tech companies struggle with the high cost of housing. A westside school district also considers building homes for its teachers. The new downtown federal courthouse wins a major design award, but did an aversion to postmodernism lead the same jury to withhold this year’s 25-year award?

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Could there be new uses for city-owned land?

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 14:30:00 -0800

Did you know the city owns almost 9,000 parcels of land and properties across LA County? LA City Controller Ron Galperin released a map last year of unaccounted-for property, with a view to making the city more accountable and transparent, as well as pushing elected officials to amplify the value and best use of these sites.

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Catherine Opie's "The Modernist," Mike Kelley’s “Kandors”

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 14:30:00 -0800

LA photographer Cathy Opie has made a short film about an arsonist who loves mid-century-modern LA houses so much, he’s driven to destroy them. And the late LA artist Mike Kelley was obsessed with Kandor, Superman's hometown on the planet Krypton. Both artists address the utopian ideals of modernist architecture, and what happens when those ideals fail to materialize.

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