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Photo: The Creatures of Comfort Sequoia Dress

Sneak peek at KCRW's new home 11 MIN, 27 SEC

KCRW's new building, designed by Clive Wilkinson Architects
Photo by Avishay Artsy

After 33 years broadcasting out of an airless and fluorescent-lit basement on Santa Monica Community College campus, KCRW will soon move into a bright new above-ground building, designed by Clive Wilkinson Architects, that is far more welcoming to the public.

Wilkinson, whose past projects include the first Googleplex in Mountain View and ad agency TBWA/Chiat Day's offices in Playa Vista, was tasked with building a ground-up structure for KCRW on a satellite SMC campus that would join two classroom buildings, one dating to the 1970s, one new.

The three structures make up the Center for Media and Design and form a satellite campus at Olympic and Stewart, walking distance from the Expo Line. The three surround a plaza and together they form a broadcast station and school for students of communications and media design.

Wilkinson knit together the buildings with beige brick and yellow fiber cement panels. It feels somewhat industrial, somewhat Pop. The yellow signals public areas like the large staircase that projects from the building, and a shared outdoor terrace.

Inside you'll find a light, large open plan office space, punctuated by by two bright orange glass conference rooms and one that has a fluorescent yellow-painted wall and floor. Studios are clad in wood. In a nod to the long, creative years in the loved-but-hated bunker, staff will eat lunch in a gathering space with an outdoor terrace, named The Basement.

But the most radical departure from the present home is the public space. KCRW listeners will be invited to attend concerts and news and talk events held at an outdoor stage in the plaza or inside in the performance studio where MBE will be recorded.

Clive Wilkinson and his team began work on KCRW's new building around a decade ago. A Santa Monica bond measure paid for the construction and KCRW capital campaign donors -- over 5,800 families who gave a dollar or more -- paid for the broadcast equipment and technology.

After some construction delays the building is now nearing completion and on Saturday supporters will get a sneak peek.

DnA toured the campus with Clive Wilkinson, who talks about his choice of "happy colors", why context matters more than "frivolous technological developments," and why staffers don't need to worry about "getting above themselves" in the new building.

KCRW's veteran staffers Ariana Morgenstern, Steve Herbert, Matt Holzman and Bob Carlson share their thoughts on the move.

When asked if she will miss our longtime digs, Morgenstern said the big windows in the new building are going to be a joy for the Vitamin D-deprived station staff with their "studio tans," and bands will love having an audience when they perform. She added, with a smile, "I'm going to miss the stink sometimes. I will miss not having a sink in the kitchen. I will miss those days when the air conditioner goes out and everybody's in a sauna."

Clive Wilkinson, Clive Wilkinson Architects (@clive_wilkinson)

LA Weekly: KCRW breaks ground on their new, ultra-modern headquarters
Closer look at Clive Wilkinson's plans for KCRW and Santa Monica College
KCRW to leave 'creative dungeon' for new above-ground studio complex
KCRW's Capital Campaign

Women's fashion and the male gaze 15 MIN, 55 SEC

Examples of modest fashion in high design
(L-R) Céline, Rennes, Creatures of Comfort

Should women consider their clothing choices when working in the world of men? That's been one of the many heated topics raised by the current debate surrounding sexual harassment.

Gymnast Gabby Douglas, fashion designer Donna Karan and Big Bang Theory star Mayim Bialik all managed to enrage many women recently, when they suggested they might consider the wisdom of wearing highly provocative clothing.

But clothing projects a message, and this DnA explores the semiotics of dress in the worlds of design and fashion - and how women "manage male expectations" while being fearlessly themselves.

Joan Barton, contractor with Dirty Girl Construction, explains why she won't dress to impress for the building site. It's all about setting a "tone for your goal."

Writer Naomi Fry talks about affluent young city women who are dressing down, in costly and unflattering garb that evokes religious cults, designed by likes of design Celine, Rachel Comey, Number Six and Maria Cornejo. She ponders whether this trend is about averting the male gaze or a "humblebrag" by attractive young women who can put the proverbial "sack over their heads" and still look gorgeous.

Ingalill Wahlroos-Ritter, dean of Woodbury University's School of Architecture, tells DnA how women architects staked a position in the profession in equal-opportunity power suits and now have the freedom to dress in idiosyncratic outfits that express a "total design philosophy." And they don't have to be black.

She talks about architects' love of detail, a word rooted in the French word for tailoring, and how this expresses itself in designs with unusual profiles that are not necessarily about "form hugging" but about "showcasing an artistry and craft."

Naomi Fry, freelance journalist
Ingalill Wahlroos-Ritter, Woodbury University (@WoodburyU)
Joan Barton, Dirty Girl Construction (@DirtyGirlInc)

Modest dressing, as a virtue
Women, fashion has you covered
'Menocore' is as much about wealth as it is about age
How the internet made modest fashion cool
'Modest fashion' fans are covering up - and making waves in USA
The great cover up: why we're all dressing modestly now
Modest fashion is everywhere — for good and bad

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