Design and Architecture

By KCRW, Frances Anderton

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A thoughtful look at architecture and design in the modern age.

Episode Date
Morphosis designs OCMA, is childhood overdesigned?

Orange County Museum of Art gets new a museum designed by Morphosis Architects, and it tips its hat at Richard Serra’s “Connector.” Will it bring urban life to suburban Costa Mesa? And design critic Alexandra Lange explores “good” toys and playgrounds and wonders if children would be just as free and creative if left to play with a cardboard box.

Jun 19, 2018
Orange County Museum of Art gets a Morphosis-designed home

The Orange County Museum of Art closes this weekend. But not forever. After 41 years in Newport Beach, it’s moving to its new permanent home in Costa Mesa. And one of LA’s best-known architects, Thom Mayne and his firm Morphosis, has designed it.

Jun 13, 2018
Big dreams for North Korea, Santa Monica takes on e-scooters

A historic summit between President Trump and Kim Jong-un raises hopes among Korean-Americans. Could brothers and sisters reconnect? Could technology and infrastructure in the hermit kingdom make a great leap forward? And Santa Monica considers a pilot program for dockless e-scooters, as competition heats up between rival companies. Will it limit a popular, clean, first mile last mile solution -- or contain a public nuisance?

Jun 12, 2018
Celebrating LA’s “crazy, weird” design community

Starting Thursday, LA’s design community will congregate at the four-day Los Angeles Design Festival (LADF), an annual celebration that celebrates our city’s rich design culture. It includes four days of conversations, studio tours, design shows, and parties all centered at ROW DTLA in downtown LA’s industrial district.

Jun 06, 2018
Kate Spade, Santa Monica’s little secret, Ruth E. Carter

We remember fashion icon and handbag designer Kate Spade. The arrival of autonomous vehicles and online shopping has Santa Monica considering the way forward in a future disrupted by tech. Ruth E. Carter designed the costumes for "Black Panther" and tells DnA about creating an identity on screen for a community long left out of the picture.

Jun 05, 2018
Plastic straw ban takes effect in Malibu

If you’re at a restaurant or cafe in Malibu and ask for a straw, starting June 1 you won’t be given a single-use plastic straw. The same goes for stir sticks or other plastic utensils. The environmentally-oriented beach town is just one of a growing number of cities outlawing single-use plastic implements.

May 30, 2018
Interview Magazine folds, Soviet Hippies

We bid farewell to Andy Warhol’s Interview, and talk to artist and celebrity photographer Matthew Rolston about working for the magazine, and the creation of the “glamour- industrial complex.” And the hippie movement may have begun in California, but it spread across the globe - even beyond the Iron Curtain. We visit an exhibition of Soviet hippie culture at The Wende Museum.

May 29, 2018
The creative economy rises in California

A decade after the Great Recession, how is Los Angeles doing? A new study out this week looks at creative economy jobs in California, and finds they now exceed the pre-recession peak in 2007. That’s just one finding from the annual Otis Report on the Creative Economy. But costs of participating in the creative economy are growing too.

May 23, 2018
Electric Jaguar, Venice Biennale, rethinking Yamashiro

Saturday's royal wedding ended with the newly married Duke and Duchess of Sussex driving off in an electric car: a retrofitted 1968 E-Type Jaguar. Can all classic sports cars go clean? We also get a preview of the U.S. Pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale. And we hike up to Yamashiro, the faux-Japanese hilltop restaurant in Hollywood, as part of our ongoing look at identity in design.

May 22, 2018
A car-free bridge over the LA River

This week officials broke ground on a $16 million bridge over the LA River that connects Atwater Village and Griffith Park. You can walk or bike, or even ride a horse over it. One thing you can’t do? Drive on it.

May 16, 2018
Homeless in Koreatown, Deconstructing Kanye

Koreatown residents are fighting to keep homeless housing out of their neighborhood. What does this mean for efforts to build a shelter in every LA council district? And hip-hop mogul Kanye West has huge ambitions that include his own design and architecture businesses. But could his recent controversial statements about race and politics derail these ambitions?

May 15, 2018
Solar panel installations will soar under new rules

Starting in just two years, any new homes built in California will have to include solar panels and other energy-efficiency measures. Those are among the new energy standards that The California Energy Commission unanimously approved Wednesday.

May 09, 2018
Baja Funk, Women Cyclists

As tensions simmer along the US-Mexican border, we look at cross-border design collaborations between San Diego and Tijuana. And does gender determine where you ride a bike? We’ll hear about efforts to get more women into cycling, and whether "bro culture" affects the planning of bicycle lanes.

May 08, 2018
Could an aerial tram solve Dodger traffic jams?

If you've ever been stuck in traffic trying to get to Dodger Stadium, there's a possible end in sight to your frustration. Metro officials are considering a proposal for an aerial tram that could take you from Union Station to the stadium in 5 minutes.

May 02, 2018
LAFC’s new stadium, Roma Agrawal

The Los Angeles Football Club's new soccer stadium made its debut on Sunday. The designers used virtual reality, Hollywood storytelling and assistance from soccer supporters to bring it to life. And in our series on identity in design, structural engineer Roma Agrawal - who worked on The Shard in London, the tallest building in Western Europe - tells us about her mission to bring more women into the profession.

May 01, 2018
A new home for LA’s new soccer team

The new $350 million dollar arena of the Los Angeles Football Club sounds huge - 22,000 seats – but its owners say it will feel intimate. The Banc of California Stadium has the steepest seating bowl in Major League Soccer, at 34 degrees, and features shops, restaurants, and an events center.

Apr 25, 2018
SCI-Arc in Mexico City, Identity in Design

President Trump may diss Mexico but designers and architects are flocking there. Now SCI-Arc has set up a satellite school in the capital and LA is learning from Mexico City. And, the buzz is starting for “Crazy Rich Asians.” Nelson Coates talks about the “unbelievable unabashed joy” of working as production designer on the movie and the role of identity in design below the line.

Apr 24, 2018
The density bill is dead. What's next for housing?

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?

Apr 18, 2018
Will SB 827 smash local control?, Boyle Heights artists

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.”

Apr 17, 2018
The challenge of building new housing in density-resistant Los Angeles

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?

Apr 11, 2018
Zuckerberg Testifies, House of Dust, Bombay Beach Biennale

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.

Apr 10, 2018
Driverless Cars, LA’s Chief Design Officer

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?

Apr 03, 2018
Self-driving cars move forward, with roadblocks

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?

Mar 28, 2018
Bridges and Walls: The Fourth Border

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.

Mar 27, 2018
Fixing Westside traffic with a ferry service

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.

Mar 22, 2018