On Today’s DnA: Theatrical design

I’ve been lax in reporting on the goings-on behind-the-scenes at DnA since I felt so far removed from the scene for so long. But there is some very exciting design and architecture news happening over at KCRW, not the least of which is that my dear friend Clive Wilkinson, the George Clooney of the local architecture community, was picked to design KCRW’s new station. A tip of the martini to Clive!

On today’s show, Frances talks to the architects behind a few other cultural behemoths which open or re-open next month:  The Mark Taper Forum downtown (right) and The Broad Stage in Santa Monica. I’m probably most excited for the Mark Taper Forum revamp by Rios Clementi Hale because the 1967 building is by one of my favorite LA architects, Welton Becket, who you’ll know from such hits as the Capitol Records Building, the Theme Building at LAX and the Cinerama Dome. The brand-new Broad Stage, on the other hand, is, like every other new cultural building in LA lately, named after the deep-pocketed Eli Broad, who also seems to have a thing with architects named Renzo (Piano did BCAM, Zecchetto did The Broad Stage). If you want to hear more about Broad’s quest for citywide domination, read the ever-delightful Jade Chang’s piece on the philanthropist in Metropolis, where she says he “wields his vast fortune like a blunt instrument.” Careful!

Also on today’s show: Talking about the future of production design with Alex McDowell, who is responsible for the look of tons of movies including Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The Corpse Bridge, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Fight Club and anything else that freaked you out in the last 15 years or so. We also have the lovely Elena Manferdini, who I previously captured during her show at SCI-Arc, and the British design writer Liz Farrelly talking about her favorite fake vs. real architectural experience in LA.

But that’s not all! Perhaps the biggest news for DnA this month is that we now have a blog! Frances has been doing an amazing job recounting her design adventures, even all the way from Denver where she’s currently reporting from the Democratic convention for To The Point. I’ll be contributing, too, as well as doing some event coverage. So along with your listings for design events to add to the DnA calendar, be sure to point me towards the next design party! I’m sure I won’t need much pointing.

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