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DNA: Design & Architecture-logo

DNA: Design & Architecture


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.

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.
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Santa Monica, CA




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.






1900 Pico Blvd. Santa Monica, CA 90405 310-450-5183


Catherine Opie's "The Modernist," Mike Kelley’s “Kandors”

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.

Duration: 00:28:39

Can we better protect ourselves from mudslides?

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?

Duration: 00:04:39

Pot shops bet on high design

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.

Duration: 00:04:18

Bonaventure's architect, changing Culver City

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.

Duration: 00:28:27

Dar Williams on how to rebuild small town America

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.

Duration: 00:29:12

Selfie Museums, Chicago Architecture Biennial

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.

Duration: 00:29:18

The rise of selfie museums

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.

Duration: 00:04:23

Designing in the fire zone, LACMA's bridge

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?

Duration: 00:29:04

Skirball Fire threatens Getty Center

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.

Duration: 00:04:04

Wedding cake, Museum of Failure, Syd Mead

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.

Lights out for Vermonica

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.

Duration: 00:04:26

KCRW's new building, modest fashion

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."

Duration: 00:28:43

Wende Museum, Beautify Earth

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?

Duration: 00:28:37

Meet Gita and 'Dirty Girl' Joan Barton

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.

Duration: 00:28:42

A step up for Culver City

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."

Duration: 00:04:47

Tunnels, planes, and art and architecture in the desert

Los Angeles has tunnel vision. DnA tours the Downtown Regional Connector, as Elon Musk digs his own tunnel. United Airlines flies its last Boeing 747 flight. DnA meets nostalgic pilots and hears about what's coming next for airline passengers. Plus, Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA is not over. DnA takes a road trip to see three desert shows.

Duration: 00:29:06

LA's historic Lincoln Heights Jail to be repurposed

The five-story Lincoln Heights Jail opened in 1931 and has housed everyone from Al Capone to people arrested during the Zoot Suit Riots and the Watts Riots. It was finally decommissioned in 1965, but its long and sordid story is about to get a new chapter, with a planned redevelopment that will turn it into a bustling residential and commercial destination.

Duration: 00:04:29

Border wall, Renzo Piano, densifying the dead

The prototypes for the new US-Mexican border wall are now built, but will President Trump's dream of a big, beautiful wall materialize? Or will it be just a beautiful patch? Architect Renzo Piano takes a cinematic approach to designing the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures. And as cities change, so too do their cemeteries, with suburban lawns giving way to tall and dense mausoleums.

Duration: 00:28:20

The land deal that brought the Dodgers to LA

Everyone's excited about the Dodgers once again being in the World Series. But the Dodgers may have never left Brooklyn 60 years ago if it wasn't for a deal hatched between city officials and a real estate businessman to turn Chavez Ravine into a baseball field.

Duration: 00:04:16

The birth of Dodger Stadium, 'Design, Bitches'

As the World Series kicks off at Dodger Stadium, we'll look at how the construction of the stadium at Chavez Ravine symbolized the birth of modern Los Angeles. And we meet the two women architects behind the firm "Design, Bitches." They’re currently converting the Highland Park Masonic Temple into a buzz-worthy events space.

Duration: 00:28:32

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