On This DnA: Birthing A Hot Pink Bubble; Giving Voice to Women in Design

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Since its inception ten years ago, DnA has discussed design happenings in LA and beyond. With the launch of a competition to find a designer for a sound booth for Sonic Trace, KCRW and DnA became pro-active in creating a design project. And it’s been a very interesting process.

Today’s show features the last installment of a journey that began three months ago and culminated at a party two weeks back when the almost-complete Burbuja was revealed — far pinker than anyone had anticipated (Rosa Mexicano/Mexican Pink is the interior color), and quite seductive, as evidenced by the numbers of couples who wanted to sink into its comfy seaty in the cocoon-like enclosure. We’ll hear from the designers about the challenges involved in turning an idea into a reality, and from people who came to share their stories (see Sonic Trace producer Eric Pearse Chavez in the bubble with Sonic Trace teen reporter Luis Sanchez, middle, and high school teacher William Heuisler, right).

One thing that emerged during the process was the contribution of two women: co-designer Christin To and friend and fellow architecture grad Megan Pryor (seen in the photo, above left, by Eric Pearse Chavez; To is on the left). The two worked day and night, taking many trips to Home Depot, in an effort to work out, with Hugo Martinez and his builders, how to make the bubble, from constructing the sphere to determining finishes for every layer.

They were a reminder of women’s growing strength in the design field, a theme we discuss in the second half of the show, which asks why three museums are showcasing women in design this summer.

‘California’s Designing Women, 1896-1986’, curated by Bill Stern of MOCAD and featuring work by 46 designers including Gere Kavanaugh, right, in photo by Nancy Louise Jones); and A+D Museum has a show of contemporary installations and artefacts called Come in! Les Femmes (exhibitor Emily White’s three-edged scissor announcement, left) ; next month the Annenberg Beach House will display work by today’s women architects to honor a matriarch in the field, Julia Morgan, designer of many landmarks including Hearst Castle and the Marion Davies Estate (now the Annenberg Beach House) whose centennial is this year.

We’ll hear from the show’s curators as well as exhibitors Gere Kavanaugh and Iris Anna Regn about the challenges facing women designers notwithstanding the success of designers and architects such as Zaha Hadid, Jeanne Gang or LA’s own Deborah Sussman.

Today’s show airs in the middle of the station’s pledge drive. So if you believe that KCRW should cover design and architecture, support the show and the station, by calling during airtime (2:30 — 3PM today). And thank you for all your support over the last decade.