Design and Architecture

Design and Architecture

Host Frances Anderton looks at design and architecture from a Los Angeles perspective.

Frances Anderton

Frances Anderton

Host/Producer, Design and Architecture

Frances Anderton is host of DnA: Design and Architecture, a weekly radio show broadcast on KCRW NPR station in Los Angeles.

For many years she produced KCRW's acclaimed current affairs shows, To The Point, and Which Way, LA?, hosted by Warren Olney.

With producer Avishay Artsy she created Bridges and Walls, a series about the barriers and connections--both metaphorical and physical--shaping life in California today; it was supported by the California Arts Council. This led to a new series, airing summer 2018, called This is Home in LA: From the Tent to the Gigamansion (and Everything In Between.)

Anderton also curates events and exhibitions; these include the architecture section of the 2010 California Design Biennial, Action/Reaction, at the Pasadena Museum of California Art; and Sink Or Swim: Designing For a Sea Change, a critically received exhibition about resilient architecture, shown from December 2014 to May 2015 at the Annenberg Space for Photography.

She has served as correspondent for the New York Times and Dwell magazine. Her books include Grand Illusion: A Story of Ambition, and its Limits, on LA’s Bunker Hill, based on a studio she co-taught with Frank Gehry and partners at USC School of Architecture.

Honors include the Esther McCoy 2010 Award for her work in educating the public about architecture and urbanism from USC School of Architecture’s Architectural Guild; she was SCI-Arc’s "Honored Guest" at its 2018 Main Event.

Anderton was raised in Bath, England, and studied architecture at the Bartlett at University College London. She subsequently became associate editor of the Architectural Review. Her first assignment was life-changing: to produce a special report on new architecture in Los Angeles.

Published in December 1987, this issue put a spotlight on the experimental design of Frank Gehry, Morphosis, Eric Owen Moss, Hodgetts & Fung and other West Coast talents.

Anderton fell in love with LA, and moved there in 1991, becoming editor-in-chief of AIA/LA’s monthly publication L.A. Architect.

After the 1992 Rodney King riots, KCRW radio station launched Which Way, LA?, hosted by Warren Olney, and Anderton determined to work on that show, setting her on a road that lead to DnA: Design and Architecture, which brings design alive with stories of how it shapes lives, in LA and beyond.