Friday, June 2, 2023

DnA Newsletters 2023

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:

The Joy of Maximalism -- 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.

September 13, 2023

Live Long and Prosper! 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.

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.               

August 9, 2023:

What a Load of Hot Air: 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.

July 26, 2023

Trouble in Paradise: 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.

July 13, 2023

From the Garden of Alla to Barbie's Dreamhouse: 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.

June 29, 2023:

A Journey around my Own City: 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.

June 15, 2023:

Close to the Edge: The Birth of Hip Hop Architecture (above, in photo by Erik Bardin), 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.

June 1, 2023:

What's so Special about Vienna?: a look at "Red Vienna" and its social housing program that has captivated housing experts from California (exemplified in Karl Marx-Hof, below); 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. 

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.

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.

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 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.

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.

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.

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.

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?


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DnA Newsletters 2023

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