The Oughts (or the Noughties) Revisited

It’s that time of year, for looks-back and ahead, an end-of-year ritual that is amplified by being the end of the decade, so everywhere you look print and broadcast media are running “best-of,” “worst-of,” “cleverest invention,” “most embarrassing moment” stories. It’s such a cliche that DnA was very tempted to counter-program. But the fact is this decade has been quite extraordinary in many ways, not all of them good, from terrorism and war to a historic US presidential ¬†election and from economic bust to boom to bust again. For design it’s been a decade in the spotlight, marked by astonishing advances in architectural form, made possible by the computer (think CCTV building), as well as the growth of a global social justice through design movement (advanced by the likes of Cameron Sinclair’s Architecture For Humanity), also enabled by the computer, via the social networking sites that have defined this decade. It’s also been astounding time for product design (think iphone, for starters) as well as for a total reevaluation of design’s larger purpose. A decade that began with GM’s launch of the Hummer has ended up defined by the Prius, reflective of the birth (or rebirth, if you remember the 1970s) of a green revolution that is become so mainstream that LEED is a household term and the president makes weatherizing the centerpiece of a jobs stimulus plan. Tuesday’s DnA will not explore every aspect of these themes, but the show takes a look at some of the aspects of the oughts, or (noughties) in LA and beyond: products and the way we use them, with brilliant LA Times columnist Dan Neil; an offbeat list of Best Buildings in LA, not all of them famous or even beautiful, with Dakota Smith of Curbed LA; a look at the notion of a “creative economy” that drives LA, with Otis school’s Sammy Hoi, and a choice of books, some of them capturing the zeitgeist, by Fast Company’s and DnA’s Alissa Walker. Hope you enjoy the show.