Frances Anderton is the Executive Producer and of KCRW’s DnA: Design and Architecture, a multi-platform exploration of who and what matters in our designed world – on radio, podcast, blog and at public events. For many years she produced KCRW’s award-winning national and local current affairs shows, To The Point, and Which Way, LA?, hosted by Warren Olney.
Ms. Anderton is a frequent public speaker and writer on architecture and design. Her writings have appeared in many publications, including Dwell, the New York Times and KCET’s Artbound. Most recently she published a book, Grand Illusion: A Story of Ambition, and its Limits, on LA’s Bunker Hill, based on a studio she co-taught with Frank Gehry at USC School of Architecture, that explored decades of flawed planning efforts on downtown’s Grand Avenue.
Ms. Anderton also produces design events. This year she will curate DIEM 2013 (Design Intersects Everything Made), the annual design event for the West Hollywood Design District. In 2010 she curated the architecture section of the California Design Biennial, Action/Reaction, at the Pasadena Museum of California Art; she is currently preparing an exhibit of photography of architecture in the wake of disaster for the Annenberg Photography Space, to open in 2014.
Ms. Anderton has been featured on TV and documentary programs, including KCET’s, “Global LA” about John Parkinson’s work in LA, to coincide with the 2012 Olympics, and KCET’s “Departures” series, about architecture in Venice, CA. She was featured in the documentary films Visual Acoustics: The Modernism of Julius Shulman, and A Necessary Ruin: The Story of Buckminster Fuller and the Union Tank Car Dome.
Anderton has received many awards for her work. In 2010 the USC School of Architecture’s Architectural Guild gave her their sixth Esther McCoy Award for her work in educating the public about architecture and urbanism. The Museum of California Design (MOCAD) will give her its 2013 Henry Award for Outstanding Contributions to California Design.
Raised in Bath, a historic spa town in England, she spent a gap year in Florence, Italy, rehabilitating a casa colonica. She then studied architecture at University College London (Bartlett School), and subsequently traveled to Jaipur, India, to study the haveli courtyard house for a Royal Society of Town Planning paper. She became associate editor of London-based Architectural Review, which gave her a life-changing assignment: to produce a special issue (Dec. 1987) on new architecture in Los Angeles.
Having fallen in love with LA, she moved there in 1991, to become editor-in-chief of L.A. Architect.
After the Rodney King riots, she heard Which Way, LA? and determined to work on that show. She later brought her love of design and architecture to KCRW and believes her background in politics and current affairs gives her a unique vantage point on architecture and design.