Friday, June 2, 2023

DnA Newsletters

What's so Special about Vienna? What is Hip Hop Architecture? Are you a Maximalist or Minimalist?

Get answers to these questions and more in my twice-monthly newsletter for KCRW public radio station and its audience of design and architecture enthusiasts. It contains news, musings and a round-up of "Design Things To Do." 

To subscribe to the newsletter, click here

Read latest and past issues by clicking on the links, below:

November 7, 2023
Is "New Dork City" the answer to California's housing stalemate?; Design Things to Do: A+D Museum is back with a new home and fundraiser, KAOS Theory at Artform Studio and on Artbound film about Angel City Press, Common Ground at Construction Specifiers Institute, Design for Dignity at AIA/LA, David Netto at Arcana Books on the Arts, LAF hosts Under The Influence at Manola Court, It's About Time at Brand Library, Westedge Design Fair is back, Inglewood Cathedral at Arcane Space Gallery, Don't Call Me Ugly tour by LA Conservancy; What I'm Digging: "Lamb Mowers" in suburbia, Miranda on the Florentine Codex, Scott Power in convo with Prime and Man One.
October 24, 2023
Driven Angelenos and their future as California becomes a gerontocracy; Design Things to Do: Modeling Sound with Frank Gehry and Esa-Pekka Salonen at the Walt Disney Concert Hall on its twentieth birthday; Pictures in the Garden by Matt Wedel, at L.A. Louver gallery; Art in the Garden, by Chris Wolston, at Hotel Bel-Air; Judy Baca and artists paint another stretch of The Great Wall of Los Angeles, at LACMA; John Waters, Pope of Trash, on show at the Academy Museum; Hollywood Forever Cemetery adds the Gower Mausoleum and Columbarium; a "thereminist" named Armen Ra performs at Marta; What I'm Digging: the new no-brand Barnes & Noble; Bad Bunny in drag; the many accomplishments of Annie Philbin, including the latest Made in L.A., as she departs the Hammer Museum.

October 12, 2023:
Saving the Schindler House; Recalling Wayne Ratkovich, saver of fine buildings destined for the wrecking ball; Design Things to Do: The Beauty & Mischief of Blackman Cruz; Culver City Art Walk and Roll; Crossing Design Borders: A Conversation with Mark Rios; Dwell Time: Rose Lowinger talks with Carolina Miranda about her new memoir; Procession: Performances and Festival honor the history of the LA River; Crafty Fundraisers: FORT: LA at the Mosaic Mansion/Craft Contemporary to honor Suzanne Isken; What I'm Digging: Shetland TV series; Cold Plunges; Save Iconic Architecture.     
September 28, 2023
A riff on the topic as Simon Doonan's latest book Maximalism: Bold, Bedazzled, Gold, and Tasseled Interiors is published (Image above: staircase at Kips Bay Showhouse in NY, designed by Sasha Bikoff, photo by Nicholas Sargent); Design Things to Do: Darius Airo's work on show Casual Banter, at Face Guts; Parties to celebrate 102 Years of Nuestro Pueblo: The Watts Towers of Simon Rodia; The Good Future Design Alliance (GFDA) takes on Design Waste; Marina Otero and Liam Young in conversation at the Hollyhock House, at LA Forum's Under the Influence 002; OCMA First Anniversary Week of fun; What I'm Digging: Men Thinking About Rome; Philip Kennicott's brilliant take on A/C addiction; Five Places LA, featuring Shana Nys Dambrot and Laurie Lipton.

Live Long and Prosper!                                                                                                                        September 13, 2023

The Nimoy, formerly The Crest Theatre, opens with Musil-designed murals revived; Design Things to Do: Derrick Adams: Come As You Are opens at the Gagosian Beverly Hills; Adaptive Reuse at the California Club; Close to the Edge closes with two fun events (a talk with Prime; a symposium with Sekou Cooke); A Wondrous World of new shows at LACMA; Delightful Houses discussed with FF&P; Gary Leonard talks at Los Feliz Library; What I'm Digging: Shopping lists in the 17th century; Monique Birault's Cromolyn Collection of lamps; a fab Reggio school in Madrid, Spain, that teaches sustainability without being preachy.

Commune with the DNA of Los Angeles                                                                                               August 29, 2023

"Commune with the DNA of Los Angeles," says FORT: LA's Russell Brown as he captures Stilt Houses on Screen; the campaign to stop the Canyon Hills development as attitudes to land-use change; Beverly Hot Springs saved, for now; Design Things to Do: Alfredo Boulton at the Getty Center; Threading the Needle at Angel City Brewery; Solving the Puzzle of Adaptive Re-Use; Prime Time at Helms Bakery District; What I'm Digging: the anniversary of LA buses; a new playground at Nickerson Gardens; Zócalo's California-as-destroyer take on Barbenheimer; Falling Felines (and Sassy Chickens) delight.               

What a Load of Hot Air                                                                                                                            August 9, 2023

The case for more passive cooling, less air conditioning. Trees saved in Beverly Hills. Design Things to Do: Teena Apeles writes about 52 Things to Do, and I reflect on getting around LA on the Metro, while Design Things to Do includes: Bossa Nova and Brazilian Design at Sossego, Printed Matter’s 2023 LA Art Book Fair, Dominique Moody's Sacred Studio, Multifamily Glam Walking Tour with Yours Truly. What I'm Digging: the news about a Renter's Caucus in Sacramento, Homeowners Fighting in The Owners, Rapper's Delight and Feline Figures.

Trouble in Paradise                                                                                                                                       July 26, 2023

Is it Goodbye to Beverly Hot Springs? News: A beloved natural spa (in a delightful fake grotto) may be sacrificed to make way for new homes. Can't we have both? Design Things to Do: An Evening of Urbanism + Unearthing a Black Aesthetic; The Art of Ruth E. Carter; Interstellar Fun at Wende Museum; Black California Dreamin' at CAAM; Tiki Tales on Catalina. What I'm Digging: a "documentary" about NEOM; Swimming in the Seine; eating al fresco on the roof; and mourning the amazing Sinéad O'Connor.

From the Garden of Alla to Barbie's Dreamhouse                                                                                       July 13, 2023

Goodbye William Kelly, beautiful man who co-created a beautiful place; more coverage of Common Ground and why we should care about the second stair; Design Things to Do: A conversation about Vertical Shared Access Reform; An Evening of Urbanism; the remarkable Alla Nazimova, her legendary home and hotel, and a play about her at Theatre West; Museum as Medium for photographer Elizabeth Gill Lui; Fun with cardboard at Rediscover; Barbie, the movie, promises a design fantasia; What I'm Digging: Old Glory, Outlander and anything that supports green canopy; and the Lincoln Lawyer.

A Journey around my Own City                                                                                                                    June 29, 2023

Exploring the Regional Connector and the new public art; Design Things to Do: At LACMA, Women Defining Women in Contemporary Art of the Middle East and Beyond, Afro-Atlantic Histories, Coded: Art Enters the Computer Age, 1952–1982 and Sam Francis and Japan: Emptiness Overflowing; ALL CHILL brings "ice cream with a mission" to Leimert Park; The Flower Show celebrates the artistic view of flowers by Alison Saar, David Hockney, Henri Matisse, the architect Thom Mayne and more. What I'm Digging: Loren & Rose and Dolly Lowe.

Close to the Edge                                                                                                                                        June 15, 2023

Close to the Edge: The Birth of Hip Hop Architecture, created by Sekou Cooke, comes to Helms Bakery District. If you are wondering if Hip Hop is a new architectural style, "how Hip-Hop Architecture is produced is more easily described than what it looks like,” says Cooke. Also, CicLAvia comes to South LA for Juneteenth; fabulous Oceanside Architecture is the topic of a conversation presented by FORT: LA at Sossego; LA Design Festival celebrates summer with "design for the people"; What I'm Digging: Donuts, the edible ones, and Doughnut, the economic theory. One Margherita.

What's so Special about Vienna?                                                                                                                June 1, 2023

A look at "Red Vienna" and its social housing program that has captivated housing experts from California; Adaptive Reuse 2.0: the City of Los Angeles expands the ordinance allowing the conversion of offices into housing/Design Things to Do: Kellndorfer at Neutra VDL House; Last Remaining Seats; Hammer considers L.A.’s Housing Crisis, with KCRW’s Anna Scott; Pride Week; Male Edition: The Art of Men’s Style; Los Angeles Design Festival/What I'm Digging: Bureau des Legendes; books by Eleanor Catton. And cats. 

Gloria Molina, remembered                                                                                                                       May 17, 2023 

Gloria Molina, remembered; protective trees both real and sculpted will memorialize murdered Chinese; Cassina opens supersize showroom; MyGBCE comes to SoLA Beehive; tarot card readings at the MAK Center and "collective care" at LA State Historic Park; California Photography Now at LA County Fair; Fun at Eurovision and Goodbye to Sumiko.

Staying Connected                                                                                                                                      May 3, 2023  

A meditation on loneliness and housing and land-use, prompted by the Surgeon General's "National Framework" on rebuilding social connection; MADE in Beverly Hills celebrates old Hollywood glamor; try out “conceptual scents” at the LA Scent Fair at Craft Contemporary; Legends 2023 comes to LACDQ; ceramics "converse" at LACMA; AIA/LA opens the doors to (W)rapper (and a talk with Eric Owen Moss) and other buildings at ArchFest; spring shows open to the public at SCI-Arc and Otis College of Art and Design; The Diplomat and Birnam Wood are What I'm Digging.

Hot Tips for a Busy Week                                                                                                                          April 18, 2023

A tribute to Mary Quant and her belief in the future; a “smog eating” mural is unveiled in East LA; Earth Day brings Seeding The City, a Climate Change conference and last sighting of Lauren Bon's Underland; the LA Times Festival of Book brings hundreds of authors and events to USC (including Yours Truly at the Angel City Press booth and on a panel about how to solve the housing crisis); MADE in Beverly Hills pulls lets people step over the threshhold of Hollywood landmarks including a tour of the swanky Trousdale Estates.

April Delights                                                                                                                                             April 4, 2023 

The Georgian makes a comeback, with a nod to Santa Monica's "Bay City" days; rewilded gardens are on show for all to see; more about Seeding The City as it brings Fairy Gardens, wild animal drawing classes to Helms Bakery District; AIA/LA invites emerging and established firms to show their creativity in designing denser housing for Los Angeles; a preview of the designers who'll turn Coachella into a public art pop-up; the Battle of the Oranges and more on (W)rapper.

Look at Me                                                                                                                                               March 21, 2023 

An argument for more "eyes on the train" as ridership drops on mass transit; a defense of Eric Owen Moss's "menacing cyberpunk" (W)rapper; a welcome to Bowie in the USSR at the Wende Museum; the PDC Spring Market; Design by Diversity Day, Small Infrastructures, Seeking Zohn, The Other Art Fair; Flowerboy Project/Sean Knibb's spectacular Digital Flowers, soon to go on show, up large, at Helms Bakery District.

News Galore                                                                                                                                            March 8, 2023 

David Chipperfield wins the Pritzker Prize; in Women's History month, a celebration of Marie Louise Schmidt, creator of the blockbuster -- and block-shaper! -- 1936 California House and Garden Exhibition; lessons from the demolition of Hotel Pennsylvania; Joe Osae-Addo back in LA; Clive Piercy on show; Puss in Boots a furry wonder.

Back in the Mix                                                                                                                                     February 22, 2023

Designers Yves Behar and Sebastian Errazuriz debate A.I. and how much it will impact their creativity; art, furniture and art-furniture goes on show in cool spaces at the Cody House and a Marta installation; Samara Joy, M3GAN uncut, and the "scary" 15-minute city.

Hello, I'm Back                                                                                                                                         February 7, 2023

Frieze and Modernism Week come to town; Livable Communities Initiative seeks ideas for the ideal street; designs for a Memorial to massacred Chinese people go in front of the public; in Black History Month, consider the semantics of African-American or Black?


DnA Newsletters

What's so Special about Vienna? What is Hip Hop Architecture? Are you a Maximalist or Minimalist? Get answers to these questions and mor...