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Notebook on Cities and Culture S2E2: The Crushing Burden of History with Frances Anderton

Colin Marshall sits down in Ocean Park with Frances Anderton, host of KCRW’s Design and Architecture and Dwell magazine’s Los Angeles editor. They discuss how her countrymen Reyner Banham, David Hockney, and Christopher Isherwood opened up the idea of Los Angeles to England, vague as the understanding of its cityscape remained; the modernism of Los Angeles then emblematized by its freeways and its architectural freedom from the crushing burden of history, as unlike her native Bath as possible; how Paris’ Pompidou Centre and the mere image of sliding glass patio doors shaped her architectural consciousness; the rise of preservation in Los Angeles, and how it might take an outsider to clearly see the movement’s potential to hinder eccentricity; the American tendency to prostrate ourselves before whatever seems sufficiently old; how stark early-sixties modernism rose in Los Angeles without actually displacing anything, except on Bunker Hill; Chris Burden‘s ideas about the super-fast self-driving car as the transportation of his future, and his generation’s implicit yearning to bring back 1962; how she figured out that radio was indeed a suitable medium for the discussion of design, architecture, and aesthetics, especially when it can include conversations about such subjects with the likes of Moby; and what Moby’s architecture blog says about the surreality of Los Angeles, as well as where she still finds that surreality herself after 21 years in the city.

Download the interview from Notebook on Cities and Culture’s feed or on iTunes.

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