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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

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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Can we better protect ourselves from mudslides?

Wed, 10 Jan 2018 14:30:00 -0800

Authorities in Santa Barbara County are performing rescue operations as mudslides and debris have led to multiple deaths, dozens of injuries and have left hundreds of people trapped in their homes. Is there a way to protect communities and homes from mudslides going forward?

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Bird scooters, Metro innovation, road diets

Tue, 09 Jan 2018 14:30:00 -0800

After the battle in Playa del Rey, have road diets been run off the road? The head of Metro’s Office of Extraordinary Innovation describes how you can pitch bold new transit improvements. And the scooter-sharing startup Bird in Santa Monica has taken flight, but it’s also ruffled feathers at City Hall.

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Pot shops bet on high design

Wed, 03 Jan 2018 14:30:00 -0800

California’s recreational pot marketplace is open for business and, already, sales are booming. Take yesterday, for example: marijuana sales jumped more than 300 percent above last month’s daily average. That’s according to the company Green Bits, which tracks pot sales. Even in its early days, it’s becoming clear that recreational marijuana is for sale in stores that don’t look much like the stores of old.

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Bonaventure's architect, changing Culver City

Tue, 02 Jan 2018 14:30:00 -0800

The Westin Bonaventure Hotel defined 1970s Los Angeles. DnA remembers its creator, John Portman. Tech and entertainment companies are descending on Culver City. We’ll hear about the big changes coming to the one-time “Heart of Screenland” -- and meet two young developers who believe in brick-and-mortar retail.

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Dar Williams on how to rebuild small town America

Tue, 26 Dec 2017 14:30:00 -0800

Singer-songwriter Dar Williams has spent years on the road and along the way she learned a lot about America’s small towns and what makes them thrive. She talks about her book, What I Found in a Thousand Towns, and plays songs that relate to those themes. 

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Selfie Museums, Chicago Architecture Biennial

Tue, 19 Dec 2017 14:30:00 -0800

There’s been a trend of so-called "selfie museums" in LA, with “made-for-Instagram” sets designed for taking flattering self-portraits. So how does selfie culture jibe with “high art”? Meanwhile, Los Angeles-based curators bring new architectural ideas to the Windy City. But are they “boring”? And, one of Apple’s first “town squares” opens in Chicago too.

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The rise of selfie museums

Tue, 12 Dec 2017 18:44:00 -0800

Coming in January, you'll be able to buy tickets to the Museum of Selfies in Glendale. It's part of the trend this past year of "made-for-Instagram" museums, collections of colorful sets designed for taking flattering self-portraits.

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Designing in the fire zone, LACMA's bridge

Tue, 12 Dec 2017 14:30:00 -0800

Fires in Southern California have forced thousands of people to evacuate their homes. Author and designer Wade Graham says we are "enmeshed" in fire-prone landscapes and need to respond through smart design and policy. And LACMA’s proposed expansion by Swiss architect Peter Zumthor is nearing reality. Will the gallery spanning Wilshire Boulevard feel like a freeway overpass, or a sculptural work of art?

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Skirball Fire threatens Getty Center

Wed, 06 Dec 2017 18:44:00 -0800

The Skirball Fire east of the 405 freeway has made the commute through the Sepulveda Pass a scary experience. And the nearby Getty Center has closed because of outside air quality. But management is confident the buildings -- and the art -- will come out unscathed.

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Wedding cake, Museum of Failure, Syd Mead

Tue, 05 Dec 2017 14:30:00 -0800

We love a good success story, but we love an epic fail even more. DnA visits the Museum of Failure. We also talk to "visual futurist" Syd Mead and architect Craig Hodgetts about creating a "plausible reality." And we hear about the art of cake-making from a West Hollywood baker.

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Lights out for Vermonica

Wed, 29 Nov 2017 18:44:00 -0800

The sculptural installation Vermonica is an "urban candelabra" of 25 Los Angeles street lamps installed in an East Hollywood parking lot in 1993. Artist Sheila Klein's project was supposed to only last a year, but this month, after 24 years, it was removed at the insistence of the developer, who plans to renovate the shopping center.

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KCRW's new building, modest fashion

Tue, 28 Nov 2017 14:30:00 -0800

KCRW is coming up for air. We take a sneak peek at the station's new building, designed by architect Clive Wilkinson. And why are some affluent young city women dressing like members of religious cults? A look at the new modesty in fashion, and how women architects dress to express a "total design philosophy."

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Wende Museum, Beautify Earth

Tue, 21 Nov 2017 14:30:00 -0800

Los Angeles is seeing an explosion of murals. Would you like to paint one? Hear about the movement to "Beautify Earth." And a World War II armory becomes the permanent home for the Wende Museum of the Cold War, just as Russia-US relations revive old tensions. But what do former East Germans think about it?

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Meet Gita and 'Dirty Girl' Joan Barton

Tue, 14 Nov 2017 14:30:00 -0800

Can a robot get people walking again? Meet Gita, a cargo carrier on wheels created by the same company that designed the Vespa scooter. And "Dirty Girl Construction" founder Joan Barton shares her thoughts on building -- and triumphing -- in a man's world.

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A step up for Culver City

Wed, 08 Nov 2017 18:44:00 -0800

The Culver Steps, a mixed-use development planned for the heart of Culver City, broke ground on Wednesday. Mayor Jeff Cooper called it "the last piece of the downtown puzzle."

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