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Design and Architecture


Host Frances Anderton looks at design and architecture from a Los Angeles perspective.


Santa Monica, CA




Host Frances Anderton looks at design and architecture from a Los Angeles perspective.






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

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LA architect rebuilds after Woolsey Fire and reflects on living in the wildland-urban interface

Geoffrey von Oeyen completed a dream house for his brother, only to see it destroyed by the Woolsey Fire two years ago. As he nears completion on the rebuild, he reflects on living in the wildland-urban interface. Also, Janna Ireland is on a mission to tell stories about Black people and their creativity. She talks about her new photo book of buildings by the architect Paul Revere Williams.


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Roman Mars turns ‘99% Invisible’ city into a 100% visible book

Roman Mars has spent 10 years using his radio show “99% Invisible” to reveal the everyday quirks and delights of cities. Now he’s co-written a book called “The 99% Invisible City: A Field Guide to the Hidden World of Everyday Design.” Mars talks with DnA about tales from LA, writing for print v. radio, and whether he secretly yearns to be a designer.


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In an age of loneliness, Treehouse offers community that’s carefully curated and designed

Americans are experiencing an epidemic of loneliness. A coliving project in Hollywood was designed to remedy it. Then came a pandemic. Ten months after its opening, DnA explores the design of Treehouse with creative director Sean Knibb, architect Jeff Soler, and reporter Adriana Cargill. Some residents also share how the project just might be what the doctor ordered at a time of extreme isolation.


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Air conditioning becomes a weapon against infection, D.J. Waldie finds the soul in Los Angeles

Ventilation has become a life or death issue as as experts find that COVID-19 infections increase in poorly ventilated interiors. DnA looks into the extreme measures being taken to improve air conditioning and asks whether outside air is cheaper and healthier. D.J. Waldie has a writerly gift for divining the “sacred ordinariness” in the fabric of Los Angeles. In his new book “Becoming Los Angeles: Myth, Memory, and a Sense of Place,” Waldie reckons with himself and the region in a post-George Floyd world, while illuminating details of LA life, from telecopters to the tiles at Union Station.


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How Bill English helped create the computer mouse, and the effort to change the face of architecture

California has around 21,000 licensed architects, and 300 of them are Black. SoCalNOMA (National Organization of Minority Architects) hopes to change that through its Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Challenge. SoCalNOMA President Lance Collins also talks about decolonizing architecture education and finding an African American architectural language. Computer engineer William English made the mouse a reality. His son John reflects on his father’s work, how William English felt about Apple’s version of the mouse, and how the mouse got its name.


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City of Santa Monica lets restaurants serve in parking lanes, taking on the primacy of the automobile

The restaurants on Santa Monica’s Main Street took a huge hit from the COVID-19 shutdown. So the city government, restaurant owners and nearby residents hatched a plan: get rid of parking and give over the space to diners. In doing so, they created European-style al fresco dining, and took on the primacy of the automobile in Los Angeles. They also presented restaurants with a design challenge: how do you make a patch of asphalt with heavy concrete barriers into an attractive destination?


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XPRIZE’s $1 million face mask contest, and the link between urban design and immunity

XPRIZE is offering $1 million to designers of a protective face mask that people will actually want to wear. Also, many buildings and neighborhoods are designed in a way that help cause chronic health conditions like type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Dr. Richard Jackson, pediatrician and city design consultant, talks about why well-lit staircases, green roofs, bike lanes, and pleasant sidewalks matter, especially in the time of coronavirus.


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For an art conservator, it's hard to say goodbye to Confederate statues

Statues of slave traders and Confederate leaders are being toppled or defaced during protests following the killing of George Floyd. How does that feel to a conservator who has worked on some of them? Andrew Baxter installs and restores sculptures and monuments, including the statue of Robert E. Lee in Richmond, Virginia. He talks about his craft, the criticism he has received, and his growing “awakening” about whether symbols of racism should go.


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How structural racism shaped LA, and what developers can do about it

Redlining, restrictive covenants, urban renewal, and building freeways through communities of color are all ways Los Angeles was shaped by structural racism. Now gentrification is a challenge. Real estate development consultant Judith Taylor explains how race has shaped place, and the work she is doing to bring equity and local investment into new development in South LA.


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Google and Twitter tell staff to keep working from home. What will happen to creative offices?

Big tech companies have remade the workplace in recent years with creative offices designed to stimulate disruption. Now Google and Twitter are telling employees they can keep on working at home — indefinitely. What does that mean for the workplace as a hub of ideas and socializing?


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Can LA be greener, cleaner, slower following COVID-19?

LA City Councilman Mitch O’Farrell talks about his plan to incentivize telecommuting after stay-at-home orders are lifted and other ideas for a greener, cleaner LA. Also, futurist Liam Young says there’s a path toward a slower pace and deeper humanity.


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Coronavirus tests the values of global cities like LA

The pandemic has brought many people pain and anxiety. To Wouter Vanstiphout, a professor of “design as politics,” it has also brought clarity about the weaknesses in the “shiny global city” and its culture, economy and values. Vanstiphout asks if cities based on tourism, fossil fuels and hypercompetitiveness can survive the coronavirus.


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Based on past pandemics, coronavirus will bring changes to buildings and cities

Pandemics can bring about innovation, especially in design and architecture. Sam Lubell talks to DnA about changes that may come to buildings and urban design in response to COVID-19.


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Interior designer Kelly Wearstler can help make your home work for you

You are working at home. But is your home working for you? Kelly Wearstler has some tips to improve your interior, at whatever scale.


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Kelly Wearstler shares tips from her interior design MasterClass

Kelly Wearstler has held reign in interior design since arriving in Los Angeles in the 1990s. She’s now teaching an online MasterClass. Her tips for improving one's space might be timely for people sheltering in place.


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Construction continues as coronavirus grinds economy to a halt

LA’s construction sites are still a hotbed of activity, deemed an essential service. Could they become hotbeds for COVID-19 too?


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White House urges Americans to wear face masks in public. Here’s how to make your own

The CDC is recommending that all Americans should wear cloth masks or other face coverings if they go out in public — amid new concerns that infected people with no symptoms can still spread COVID-19.


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Long-time champion of public space reflects on impact of coronavirus on city life

LA was once a destination for people who wanted to get away from crowded East Coast cities. The ideal was a single home with a yard and a car in the driveway. But over the last few decades, planners, designers and activists like Aaron Paley (co-founder of cicLAvia) have worked tirelessly to transform the Southland into a more social place, where people use mass transit and gather in streets and parks.


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Do handsewn face masks protect against coronavirus?

As hospitals, clinics and other community organizations face a shortage of masks during the COVID-19 outbreak, homebound sewers have stepped up to help, from DIY crafters to fashion companies. Are homemade masks helpful to medical staff?


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With spring design fairs and travel on hold, LA designers get creative with constraints

In a normal year, many Angeleno designers and showroom owners would be packing their bags soon to head to Milan for Salone del Mobile, the massive furniture fair. But now Italy is on lockdown, and the fair has been postponed, along with High Point Market in North Carolina and numerous other expos, fairs and festivals. Salone and High Point, originally scheduled in April, have moved to June, assuming quarantines have lifted. How are Los Angeles designers and showroom owners responding?