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2010 was hard on the design and construction industry in LA. But at the end of a difficult year, DnA looks at the upside and finds the place with "no there there" uniting around a quest for community. Los Angeles design experts share their favorite projects; Maureen Sullivan, Lisa Watson and residents discuss design by women for women at the Downtown Women’s Center; and designer Raul Rodriguez, manager Robert Cash and others discuss the collective design spirit that animates the Rose Parade.

Banner image: City of Torrance float, designed by Raul Rodriguez, before flowers are added

Guest Interview Bright Spots in a Bad Year 7 MIN, 17 SEC

Even if 2010 was tough on the design and construction industry in LA there were still some—even surprising—bright spots. DnA asked some design and architecture experts to offer their choice of the best thing to happen to the built environment in the past year, and found that creating community was a dominant theme. Hear Juan Devis, Christopher Hawthorne, Linda Dishman, Sam Lubell, Rochelle Mills, Guy Horton and Katherine Perez on such highlights as connecting neighborhoods with the Expo Line, taking back the streets with CicLAvia and bringing fine architecture to Skid Row.

Rochelle Mills, South Los Angeles Area Planning Commission
Sam Lubell, architecture writer
Juan Devis, KCET (@jdevis)
Katherine Aguilar Perez, Executive Director, Urban Land Institute Los Angeles
Christopher Hawthorne, Los Angeles Times (@hawthorneLAT)
Linda Dishman, Los Angeles Conservancy (@LAConservancy)
Guy Horton, DnA Design Journalist (@GuyHorton)

Guest Interview Designing Women at the Downtown Women's Center 11 MIN, 40 SEC

Women are the fastest growing homeless population in the country. So the Downtown Women's Center has opened a new complex that includes permanent residences, a day center, as well as a store and café, on Skid Row. The architect Maureen Sullivan, of Pica + Sullivan Architects, DWC executive director Lisa Watson and DWC residents talk about the healing power of good design—by women, for women.



 Downtown Women's Center




 The store at the Downtown Women's Center




 Chris Gonzales shows off her room at the

Downtown Women's Center

Maureen Sullivan, Architect and Principal, Pica + Sullivan
Lisa Watson, Executive Director, Downtown Women's Center
Fannie Mayfield, Visitor, Downtown Women's Center
Chris Gonzales, Resident, Downtown Women's Center

Guest Interview The Passion Behind the Rose Parade 10 MIN, 3 SEC

The Rose Parade has been rolling through the streets of Pasadena for an astounding 122 years. But rather than wither under the onslaught of competing entertainments, it has bloomed into a massive event, uniting thousands of designers and volunteers in the annual creation of the floats. DnA talks to veteran float designer Raul Rodriguez, his manager Robert Cash, floral director Jim Hynd and others about the passionate commitment and collective design process behind the New Year’s Day floral spectacle.



Discover float, designed by Raul Rodriguez, before flowers are added



Volunteers at work on Fiesta Parade Floats



City of Torrance float, designed by Raul Rodriguez, before flowers are added

Robert Cash, General Manager, Raul R. Rodriguez Design, Inc.
Jim Hynd, Floral Director, Fiesta Parade Floats
Raul Rodriguez, Designer and Principal, Raul R. Rodriguez Design, Inc.


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