Last week KCRW joined forces with hundreds of others to support A+D Museum, an indie architecture and design institution located opposite the mighty LACMA (and about to open a very interesting show of designs for an age of diminishing water, called Drylands Design). 100s flowed over from ogling the newly arrived rock at LACMA, AKA Levitated Mass, to come ogle amazing  “wearable art” — dresses, hats, scarves created by architects, artists and designers by the likes of Richard Meier, Trina Turk, Mehrdad Yazdani and John Baldessari – that was on sale to raise funds for the museum (in an auction co-hosted by Charles Phoenix and yours truly, below, in a dress designed by architect Elena Manferdini).

One of the attendees was Moby, electronic dance music supremo, who it turns out has another life as an architecture “dilettante.” He has moved recently to LA and is so excited about its buildings that he is celebrating them in a smart and architecture-jargon-free photo blog called Moby Los Angeles Architecture Blog. While we were awaiting the start of the fundraiser, we got a chance to talk about his blog (seen chatting a small office at A+D) and you can hear that interview on today’s DnA.

One of Moby’s main points about LA is that it is wonderfully random, with oddball and unrelated buildings co-existing, and with an affordability for “weird, creative types” that you can no longer find in his native New York, now in his view a “playground for hedge fund managers.”

The other part of our show today in fact looks at the part of LA that was in fact intended for hedge fund managers, its financial, corporate heart. We look at the changes going on at the building that was in its 1970s heyday the epitome of corporate values, both architectural and institutional: the former Arco Plaza, now City National Tower and Paul Hastings Tower. Now two design firms, Gensler and SAA, have taken up residence there, and made a statement about the current trends in workplace design with their spaces, as well as endeavored to shape them to be more open and accessible to passers-by in a downtown that they see as becoming increasing pedestrian-friendly.

I got interested in what was going on in the complex after seeing, in the space of a week, the Gensler and SAA offices, then a surreal dance performance on the 51st floor by Heidi Duckler Dance Troupe and then spotted the same space being used as a set in the movie, In Time.  Find out about these efforts to reinvent a 70s tower for the 21st century, on today’s show. Hope you enjoy it.

 

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