KCRW's DnA: Design & Architecture

KCRW's DnA: Design & Architecture

United States

From your iPod to the Freedom Chair to the Walt Disney Concert Hall, design and architecture shape our world. On DnA: Design and Architecture host Frances Anderton talks to design world leaders about the latest in products fashion graphics architecture and more in Los Angeles and beyond.


Bus ridership declines in LA  

Ridership on LA Metro buses continues to decline across Los Angeles. Passengers say the service needs improvement. Metro now wants to overhaul the system's 170 lines and 15,000 stops, and is conducting a study due out in April, 2019. How are other cities dealing with this issue?

The Art of Manufacturing, Apple's new headquarters  

What's one mile around, has a four-story glass door, and looks like a spaceship? DnA gets a tour of Apple's new headquarters in Cupertino. And we learn about Los Angeles' creative economy, and why LA is a hotbed for manufacturing.

Border wall builders, private art museums, Stamen Design  

An LA city councilman wants companies who want to do business with LA to disclose if they're also working on the US-Mexico border wall. Forget old-school bar graphs and pie charts -- depicting data has become an art form. And another private art museum opens soon in Los Angeles, but this one takes you into the fascinating world of freemasonry.

Uber at the LA Times, Preserving LA, 'The Handmaid's Tale'  

Uber moves into the Times Mirror Square complex in downtown LA. Preservationists want Frank Gehry to incorporated a mid-century bank into his mixed-use project on Sunset. And Hulu's The Handmaid's Tale uses color and costume to make a dystopian story visually stunning.

Ron Finley saves his garden  

South LA's "Gangsta Gardener" has won out. Ron Finley, a community gardener and activist for healthy food in underserved neighborhoods, has managed to overcome a threat of eviction after successfully buying his property from an Agoura Hills developer.


Michelle Obama, LA 2024, Vespertine  

Vespertine fuses taste, sight, sound, smell and touch in a novel eating experience coming to Culver City. We'll hear from chef Jordan Kahn and architect Eric Owen Moss. Bill Hanway updates us on LA's 2024 Olympic bid, on the eve of a visit from the International Olympic Committee. And former first lady Michelle Obama tells architects why they matter.

African-American architect Paul Revere Williams gets AIA's top honor  

Paul Revere Williams was a trailblazing African-American architect in Los Angeles. This week the American Institute of Architects is set to honor him with a posthumous Gold Medal for lifetime achievement.

Neutra landmark, Thom Mayne's home, I.M. Pei turns 100  

Pioneering architect Richard Neutra's Silver Lake home has been added to the list of national historic landmarks, with an assist from Rep. Adam Schiff. Thom Mayne's new house in Cheviot Hills replaces the former home of writer Ray Bradbury, and the neighbors like it! Paul Revere Williams posthumously gets AIA's top prize, and I.M. Pei turns 100.

A new park springs from ancient soil  

This Saturday, Los Angeles State Historic Park will celebrate its newly-renovated green space with a party that's been 16 years in the making.

Symbols of protest, lighting up EDM festivals  

The Women's March made a huge impact, in part because of its widely worn pink knitted "pussyhat." Does the March for Science need its own unifying symbol? Lighting designer Steve Lieberman is "the man behind the lights" for the country's leading electronic music festivals and nightclubs. He talks about his early experiences with rave culture, and what it takes to spark the excitement of today's EDM fans.

Santa Monica's historic Sears store to be repurposed  

When the Sears store in Santa Monica opened in 1947, thousands of people lined up around the block to get in. Seventy years later, it is being mothballed, joining hundreds of other closures of US department stores.

LA cleantech's future, music photographer Mick Rock  

As President Trump embraces dirty fuels, what happens to LA's burgeoning cleantech industry? Start-up companies are planning for an uncertain future but staying optimistic. Veteran photographer Mick Rock defined a musical era. Now the camera has been turned on him. Mick Rock and Barnaby Clay talk about capturing glam and its legacy in Shot! The Psycho-Spiritual Mantra of Rock. 

Border wall designs pour in, but is the project even real?  

Hundreds of companies have expressed interest in participating in the construction of a new US-Mexican border wall. The designs range in terms of materials, shapes and complexity. But many questions still remain about the project and how it will be funded.

Drought-friendly lawns, gangsta gardener, Aeron chair  

Fear of drought has inspired a new look in landscaping. But could an abundance of rainfall bring back bad old habits? Plus, gangsta gardener Ron Finley fights for his Eden in South LA. And Aeron chair co-designer Don Chadwick explains why designers should not be "dumbhanded."

Watergate Offices, Trump Hotel; 'The Price of Illusion'  

Joan Juliet Buck was fired from the helm of French Vogue and later wrote an ill-timed profile of a tyrant's wife. Now she examines her life in The Price of Illusion. And architecture meets politics in the Watergate complex and Trump's hotel in DC's Old Post Office Building.

Parker Center one vote away from demolition  

The former headquarters of the LAPD avoided a date with the wrecking ball Wednesday after a vote on its fate was postponed due to a clerical error. But city leaders are still moving ahead, despite concerns from preservationists.

Building homes near freeways, 'Rick Owens: Furniture'  

The White House wants to roll back fuel economy standards. Could that mean more air pollutants coming out of car tailpipes -- just as LA is seeing a surge of home construction along freeways? And a fashion world provocateur, Rick Owens, talks about designing furniture inspired by land art and brutalist architecture, and raising existential questions on the runway.

How DC's post office became Trump Hotel  

In Washington, DC, the historic Old Post Office Pavilion has earned a second life as Trump International Hotel. The luxury hotel with a restaurant and bar has become a favorite hangout for the DC elite. It’s also earned criticism -- including a lawsuit by owners of a nearby wine bar -- because President Trump, his family and White House staffers continually promote the hotel.

Big plans for tiny houses, homes for hope  

The tiny house movement is booming, even though in most places, people can't legally live in them. But that didn't stop a group of enthusiasts from learning how to build one at CAFAM. What will they do with their tiny homes? And as Angelenos have passed measures to build more housing for the homeless, a group of architecture students is trying to speed up access to shelter -- with designs for temporary housing with "curb appeal."

Measure S was defeated. Now what?  

An effort to slow development in Los Angeles has failed, with Measure S receiving less than a third of LA voters' support. So what's next?

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