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The Broad Art Foundation is halfway done. Charles Renfro talks about turning a high-concept design into a reality, and Linda Taalman and Michael Govan discuss the fusion of conceptual art and architecture. Plus, did Restoration Hardware go too far when it knocked off Emeco's Navy Chair? Marissa Gluck explains the complexities of design copyright.

Banner image: Bennett Stein

Guest Interview Knockoff Artists: How Design Copycats Flaunt Design Copyright 5 MIN, 54 SEC


It's a design industry problem that was described by the New York Times as being “as irritating to furniture manufacturers as lice are to elementary school parents: a perennial problem and devilishly hard to eradicate.” The problem is knockoffs: copying a designer's product and often selling it for far less. Earlier this month, it was revealed that Restoration Hardware was offering a too-close-for-comfort take on Emeco’s Navy Chair, which they even had the audacity to name the Naval Chair. The chair was taken off the market, and Emeco filed a suit against the company. Can designers protect themselves from such flagrant fakery? Marissa Gluck, a Los Angeles-based consultant with Radar Research, explains the complexities of design copyright.

Top image: Emeco's Navy Chair on the left, Restoration Hardware's Naval Chair on the right, via UnBeige 

Marissa Gluck, design writer (@marissagluck)

Guest Interview Can the Broad Art Foundation Transform Grand Avenue? 9 MIN, 27 SEC


A few years ago, New York’s High Line architects Diller, Scofidio + Renfro won the commission to design Eli Broad’s art foundation, located opposite MOCA on Grand Avenue. The self-described, “unreasonable” Broad has not wasted a minute, and the Broad Art Foundation building is around halfway complete (we last checked in during January of 2011). Architect Charles Renfro was in LA last week, talking at Woodbury University about the firm’s work, which is known for its theatricality or what they describe as “mise-en-scene.” While there Frances sat down with Charles to talk about the project—from its conception to the status of its complex construction, and most importantly, what it can do for Grand Avenue. 

broad twilight

The Broad-in-progress, photo by Bennett Stein

broad hole

The "hole" in the middle of Grand Avenue, opposite The Broad, photo by Frances Anderton

Top image: A rendering of the completed building

Charles Renfro, Scofidio + Renfro

Guest Interview A 'Quasi Legal Skyscraper' in Pasadena 8 MIN, 19 SEC

small skyscraper

In Pasadena at One Colorado Court, you’ll find a “small skycraper” created by artist Chris Burden with architects Taalman Koch. It’s not actually that tall, at 35 feet high, but Small Skyscraper, subtitled “Quasi Legal Skyscraper,” feels like a tower because it’s so slender, at 10 by 10 feet wide, built of extruded aluminum, with four wooden floors. It was conceived ten years ago as a kind of folly: the largest structure allowable that you could build without needing a building permit: 35 feet tall and no larger than 400 square feet. The project was part of a series of collaborations with artists, initiated by Taalman Koch called Trespassing: Houses by Artists. Linda Taalman of Taalman Koch is the co-designer with Burden and talks about the point the project was hoping to make. The project was sponsored by the Armory Center for the Arts and it was previously shown at LACE gallery.  


The Small Skyscraper at One Colorado Court and an explainer of the project by Chris Burden, photos by Frances Anderton

Linda Taalman, Taalman Koch Architecture
Chris Burden, Artist

Guest Interview Walter De Maria's Art in 'Cosmic' Harmony with LACMA's Architecture 5 MIN, 13 SEC


When LACMA's Resnick Pavilion was first opened, a lucky few art insiders got to see an artwork installed there by Walter De Maria. It was a piece that LACMA director Michael Govan had imagined for that space. Now it has been reinstalled, in the central third of the Pavilion: The 2000 Sculpture is made of 2000 individual pieces of plaster, each arranged in such a precise manner that it moves beyond mathematics into poetry. Govan describes the incredible power of the site-specific work. The 2000 Sculpture is on show through April of next year.



Walter De Maria, The 2000 Sculpture, 1992; Collection of Walter A. Bechtler-Siftung, Switzerland; Photo © 2012 Museum Associates/LACMA

Michael Govan, Los Angeles County Museum of Art (@LACMA)


Frances Anderton

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