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.


Lucas Museum to come to LA  

The force is apparently with Los Angeles. That's because LA beat out San Francisco for filmmaker George Lucas's new blockbuster museum. It's a big win for Southern California, and the complex is expected to be a boon for South LA.

Connected tech at CES, Battersea's future  

As everything from a hairbrush to a bikini becomes "smart," has the "Internet of Things" gone too far? DnA checks out the latest "smart" technology at CES. And we visit London's famed Battersea Power Station, where a massive high-end development anchored by Apple and a new US Embassy are revitalizing a rundown neighborhood. But some Londoners are asking, what's in it for us?

CES preview, designing the golden arches  

CES, the massive Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, turns 50 this year. Is it still relevant? And the fast food empire we know as McDonald's started as a burger stand in San Bernardino. Lisa Napoli explains how the post-World War II building boom of freeways and suburbs birthed a food culture.

Year in review, Vern Yip, United Artists Theatre  

A look back at 2016, losses and gains in design, architecture and a changing Los Angeles. Don't splurge at that New Year sale! Interior designer Vern Yip's new book advises people on how to carefully create beautiful spaces, with the help of a ruler. And we look at the rise and fall and rise again of a historic theater on DTLA's Broadway.

Star architects come to LA, but will they get to build?  

Three star architecture firms from Europe have been tapped by LA developers to design massive, dense, infill developments in LA. It's exciting news for anyone who follows architecture. But will they get to realize these projects in a region that is resisting dense development even as it faces a huge housing crisis?

Artist evictions; should a mid-century bank be saved?  

The Ghost Ship fire in Oakland has added to the insecurity of life for artists who've been occupying LA's warehouse spaces. And the City of Los Angeles approved a large Frank Gehry-designed project, but a mid-century bank building is complicating the plans.

Seniors evicted in Westwood; 'I Hate the Internet'  

Seniors are being kicked out of a Westwood Village independent living facility to make way for a luxury makeover. Is that an eviction too far? And did the Internet destroy hyper-gentrifying San Francisco -- and create a president? I Hate the Internet author Jarett Kobek says yes.

'La La Land,' Mann house, underwater pavilions  

Los Angeles is a character in the romantic musical La La Land, from famed landmarks to infamous freeway traffic jams. The Germans come to the rescue of a Modernist house in the Pacific Palisades built by "father of German democracy" Thomas Mann. And artist Doug Aitken's latest installation involves diving gear and a trip to Catalina.

A streetcar is desired in downtown LA  

The effort to bring a streetcar back to downtown Los Angeles passed another hurdle this week. The LA City Council voted 13-0 to approve a 3.8-mile route that includes Grand Park, the Convention Center, the Fashion District, and theaters and shops along Broadway.

Cuban architecture, Lewis MacAdams  

Fidel Castro is dead. What might his passing mean for the historic city of Havana, where development was stalled for almost 60 years? Lewis MacAdams, poet-activist, passes on the torch at Friends of the LA River. We discuss the future of the LA river with MacAdams and FOLAR's new Executive Director, Marissa Christiansen.

LA River's leading advocate Lewis MacAdams steps down  

The Los Angeles River is losing one of its fiercest advocates. Lewis MacAdams founded Friends of the Los Angeles River three decades ago, and will soon step down as president.

SUVs are back, the family behind Wilshire Grand  

The return of SUVs was the big trend at this year's LA Auto Show. And what is the future of electric mobility under a Trump administration? And the longtime LA architecture firm A.C. Martin Partners is putting the finishing touches on Wilshire Grand Center. Cousins Chris and David Martin discuss the challenges of building LA's tallest skyscraper and the firm's future.

Wilshire Grand nears completion  

There's a new supertall building in town. If you've been anywhere near downtown LA, even miles away, you've seen it go up.

Architects and Trump, a slow tech movement  

Architects erupt over a memo supportive of President-Elect Donald Trump, issued by the American Institute of Architects. And some Silicon Valley insiders are comparing tech to big tobacco or even gambling -- eager to sell people on a pleasure that is dangerously addictive. Is it time for a "slow technology" movement?

Angelenos vote for density and transit  

Voters in Los Angeles on Tuesday agreed to tax themselves to pay for mass transit, homeless housing, and parks. They also want developers to pay for affordable housing. And Santa Monica voters rejected a controversial anti-density measure.

A New Hope for Lucas Museum in LA, The Wangs vs. The World  

Los Angeles and San Francisco are competing to play host to George Lucas’ Museum of Narrative Art, which comes with a site-specific design by Ma Yansong. Jade Chang draws from her experience covering LA’s art and design scene in her first novel,"The Wangs Vs. The World."

Big pot embraces high design  

Voters in California will decide next week whether to legalize recreational marijuana. Meanwhile, the fast-growing cannabis industry is turning to high-end product design and sleek new dispensaries to attract new customers and clean up its image.

Designing dispensaries, the southland's growing pains  

How does the booming marijuana industry shed its illicit image and attract new customers? By turning to high-end product design and sleek new dispensaries. And Santa Monica residents will vote next week on Measure LV. Will it slow growth or create new problems? The initiative is being closely watched as a bellwether for development in the Southland.

Frank Gehry strips down on Sunset  

A Frank Gehry-designed project on Sunset Boulevard is moving forward, despite neighborhood opposition.

Designing your life, ghostland  

Can you "ideate" and "prototype" your way to a better, more fulfilling life? That’s the premise of the book Designing Your Life, though some designers question the use of "design thinking" as a means of career counselling and self-investigation. And in time for Halloween, the book Ghostland explores what kinds of architectural details make a place feel haunted, as well as what stories of hauntings tell us about our own prejudices and biases.

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