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Climate activism goes mainstream, from Porsche to porn

Will an all-electric Porsche drive sports car lovers to embrace clean energy vehicles? Can an adult video site help clean up plastic trash in the oceans? DnA looks at the climate messaging coming from unexpected quarters, even as the White House tries to roll back environmental protections. And we meet the folks with the future in their hands: teenagers. Santa Monica High School climate activists share their thoughts on taking inspiration from Greta Thunberg, on educating adults and the need...


Promenade 3.0; Kunlé Adeyemi

After it opened in 1989, Santa Monica’s Third Street Promenade became one of the most popular shopping and entertainment destinations in the world. But the Internet has changed how we shop, watch movies and order food. So business leaders and designers have launched Promenade 3.0. Will lawn games, public seating and Instagram moments make it a must-visit place once again? And, coastal cities around the world are facing rising sea levels. What can we learn from Lagos? Hear from Nigerian-born...


Music Center Plaza; LA’s new tree czar

The Music Center Plaza, opened in 1964 with a design by architect Welton Becket, has been reimagined for pedestrians rather than cars. “We had to walk a line between preserving as best we could what was here, but making it work better for the changing urban environment that we have here,” said architect Bob Hale. And Los Angeles has a new city forest officer, starting Tuesday. Rachel Malarich has two big goals: adding 90,000 trees to LA’s streets and private yards, and increasing the tree...


Fifteen strangers share a house; Bird’s sustainability pitch

A large two-story Craftsman house on a residential street in Koreatown has been subdivided into 15 single-occupancy bedrooms and bathrooms, and common living and dining areas. “Cohaus” creates community and adds density without changing the architecture. But at least one neighbor is not happy with this arrangement. We find out why. And, Bird electric scooters are everywhere. But critics say they’re not as eco-friendly as the company has presented them. Bird’s head of sustainability explains...


Reimagining Museum Row; upending the general contractor industry

Museum Row on Wilshire Boulevard is in the midst of some big changes, with major projects at the Petersen, Academy Museum, LACMA, La Brea Tar Pits and Craft Contemporary. Will these schemes be united, and how will they greet the street? And we'll hear about three architectural firms competing to reimagine La Brea Tar Pits. Plus, working with a general contractor can often be a challenge, whether you're building a house or looking to remodel. The start-up Sweeten wants to disrupt the general...


Sumptuous swimming pools; AfriCOBRA’s black power art

Summer in Southern California means swimming pools, and those glittering havens from the heat are celebrated in the new book “Splash: The Art of the Swimming Pool,” a collaboration between photographer Tim Street-Porter and his wife, the designer and writer Annie Kelly. Plus, we meet two artists from AfriCOBRA, a Chicago-based collective formed in the late 1960s that made art to empower black communities. Their work is part of the blockbuster show “Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black...


Dodger Stadium upgrades; an ADU is born

Let’s play ball! There’s a $100 million renovation coming to Chavez Ravine. Janet Marie Smith of the Dodgers gives us the rundown, and architecture critic Paul Goldberger discusses the evolution of the American ballpark. Plus, the city hopes Accessory Dwelling Units, or ADUs, can be an answer to the housing shortage. And they’ve built one to prove it. We’ll hear about lessons learned from a little house in a backyard in Highland Park.


Remembering César Pelli; Sowden House parties on

The designer of “The Blue Whale” has died. The Argentinian-born architect Cesar Pelli of the Petronas Towers and other landmarks passed July 19 at age 92. We’ll hear about his mark on LA, where he created glass-skinned buildings inspired by local artists, including the colorful, if controversial, Pacific Design Center. And a classic LA house with a dark past has become a party house with a purpose. We’ll meet the new owners (and their seven Persian cats) of the Lloyd Wright-designed Sowden...


Hollyhock House; Space Age Design; Guo Pei

Frank Lloyd Wright’s Hollyhock House has become Southern California's first UNESCO World Heritage site. Why did it earn this distinction, and how will it cope with a flood of new visitors? Starburst signs and Satellite shopping centers... Apollo 11 launched 50 years ago on Tuesday, marking a high point in the space age. We'll look at how space exploration shaped LA's landscape. And we’ll go see the fabulous outfits by Guo Pei, a Chinese designer who was born in a time that rejected fashion,...


Crystal Cathedral’s resurrection; billboards on the Sunset Strip

When Philip Johnson built the Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove for televangelist Robert Schuller in 1980 it was called "the largest glass building in the world." Now it’s the new home for Orange County's Catholics, renamed Christ Cathedral, and architects Johnson Fain have dialed down the sunlight with a bold screen of “quatrefoils.” And, the City of West Hollywood is in the midst of creating digital billboards that are visually appealing without offending residents. We'll hear about how...


Jony Ive leaves Apple; LA’s time capsule

When longtime Apple chief designer Jony Ive announced he was jumping ship, markets shook. How much is good design worth? We talk about what’s next for Apple, Ive and the branding of consumer technology. Plus, will we have dogs in 60 years? A time capsule at Fort Moore Pioneer Memorial captures the values and anxieties of Angelenos today.


Selgascano in LA; The Weather Machine

Spanish architecture firm Selgascano is taking over LA with brightly colored plastic and lots of plants. DnA visits their Second Home Hollywood, Serpentine Pavilion at the La Brea Tar Pits; and Sam First, a jazz club at LAX. And, forecasts are more accurate than ever. Andrew Blum says props should go to the creators of the weather prediction “machine” and explains how this global science project is now under threat just as storms are growing in size.


Flying taxis coming to LA; fining landlords for vacant units

Uber wants to add app-based flying taxis to LA's airwaves. Uber Air is set to launch in 2023, and the company has enlisted eight firms to create (pro bono) concept designs for what they call “skyports.” Can drone taxis remedy LA traffic jams, or just add to transit inequity? And, the city has a housing crunch, but are lots of apartments sitting empty? Some city officials want to impose a vacancy tax on landlords and property owners who keep homes vacant.


Santa Monica Airport’s future; fashion designer Halston

Santa Monica Airport is expected to close by 2028 and be replaced by a park, and this weekend the city will begin digging up both ends of the runway. But the transition is worrying folks who see a clean, green, quieter future for aviation; and people who believe the Westside needs housing more than it needs another park. Plus, a new film about the life and times of Halston combines high style with corporate drama. We hear about an American fashion designer’s fabulous rise and meteoric fall.


Taking pride in LA’s LGBT Center; getting the goods at LACMA

LA Pride takes place this weekend and among those celebrating will be the new residents of the LA LGBT Center. The center was founded 50 years ago and a major upgrade was designed to bring LGBT youth and seniors together in a very modern family. And, have you ever wondered how an artwork winds up in LACMA’s collection? Think of it like a dating show that matches wealthy donors with curators and the objects they desire.


Digital billboards resurface in fight over visual blight

Los Angeles is considering revising its regulations around billboards to allow more digital signs all around Los Angeles. But activists say the proposed rules would allow for Las Vegas-style digital billboards far and wide. For this episode of DnA on ATC, KCRW’s Frances Anderton talks with Larry Perel about the signs of what’s to come.


A turf war in Westwood; climate change at the Aquarium

The Aquarium of the Pacific's new $53 million wing "Pacific Visions" aims to alert visitors to climate change, and what to do about it, through high-tech entertainment. How are visitors reacting? And neighbors in West LA are fighting over a proposal to turn a grassy field into a multi-use, synthetic grass sports field. The project is meant to serve as a memorial for a 12-year-old boy who died last year. But it's erupted into a turf war that involves class, access to public space, and a fight...


Shade; Cey Adams; Jason Wu

In sunkissed Los Angeles shade is a luxury. Reporter Sam Bloch explains why, and what needs to change for Mayor Eric Garcetti to plant 90,000 trees. The exhibition “Contact High” goes back to the early years of hip hop. Graffiti and graphic artist Cey Adams talks about a career shaped by that era. Jason Wu made a splash in fashion very young. Now he passes on lessons learned to students at Otis College of Art and Design, through a love for 1950s-era uniforms.


LA’s dirty air; Lovell Health House

Los Angeles-Long Beach has once again been cited the nation’s capital for dirty air, just as LA Mayor Eric Garcetti has made cleaning the air a central plank of his green new deal. We'll look at why the Southland’s air is dirty despite cleaner cars, and why automating the ports may not be the solution. And a classic modernist house is in distress and may be looking for a buyer. We tour the Lovell Health House with the owners and preservationists eager to restore it.


Historic neighborhoods and SB50; fashion designer Rudi Gernreich

A bill in Sacramento called SB50 would override local zoning rules to legalize small and mid-size apartment buildings around public transit and job centers. How will the bill affect LA's historic residential neighborhoods? And fashion designer Rudi Gernreich used clothing as a medium for his progressive views on sex and gender. A new show at the Skirball Cultural Center tells his story, and shows the outlandish outfits he created.