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La Burbuja has landed! Hear how the designers turned an ambitious concept into a cool silver and hot pink place where people want to confide their stories -- with Hugo Martinez, Christin To, Megan Pryor, Wendy Carrillo and Carlos Moreno. Plus, women designers are the flavor of the summer. Why? Hear from Bill Stern, Tibbie Dunbar, Gere Kavanaugh and Iris Anna Regn.

Banner image: (L-R) Christin To and Megan Pryor in La Burbuja. Photo by Eric Pearse Chavez

Guest Interview A Bubble Built for Storytelling 11 MIN, 23 SEC

La bubble

Three months ago, we launched a competition for a sound booth for Sonic Trace, a show of stories from immigrants from Mexico and Central America produced by Anayansi Diaz-Cortes and Eric Pearse-Chavez. A month later we announced the winner, Hugo Martinez, who, together with his partner Christin To, had designed La Burbuja or Bubble -- a silvery globe with a womb-like interior with comfy cerise seating. We asked them to build it for $5000 and have it ready by the end of August. And we knew that the very features that made their scheme so alluring –– the curves, the upholstery, the smooth silver surface -- would be very challenging to build. We even wondered if they’d be able to pull if off. One week ago, Sonic Trace and KCRW hosted a party at Guelaguetza, the famous Oaxacan-style Mexican restaurant. And there in the corner of the room was the La Burbuja. And it was a very cool silvery pod, with a very hot pink interior –- far pinker than we had anticipated. Along the way, Hugo’s brother-in-law, Evaristo Cardenas had suggested they make it rosa Mexicano -- Mexican pink. And people at the party, KCRW listeners, including immigrants who had come to share their stories with Sonic Trace  were being drawn to the orb, climbing inside and relaxing into its soft seating. Frances speaks to Wendy Carrillo about her experiences inside the bubble, and architectural assistants Megan Pryor and Carlos Moreno about building it.

If you'd like to donate to La Burbuja, the Kickstarter fundraiser has already met its goal but will still be taking donations for a few more days.

Bubble in studio

The bubble coming together at Mat-Ter's studio

Under construction

Forming the orb of the sound booth

Bubble half built

Installing the hot pink plush interiors

In action

The bubble in action, photo by Javier Cabral 

The team created a slideshow to show their process, which you can also view over at Flickr.

Hugo Martinez, Architectural Designer at Mat-Ter
Christin To, Architectural Designer at Mat-Ter
Megan Pryor, Architectural Designer
Carlos Moreno, Architecture Student, Intern at Mat-Ter
Wendy Carrillo, Journalist and Political Analyst (@wendycarrillo)

Guest Interview The Summer of Designing Women 13 MIN, 30 SEC


This summer there are two exhibits that single out the work of women designers: The Autry National Center in Griffith Park is showing California's Designing Women, 1896-1986a show of 46 women designers working in furniture, products and textiles dating back to the Victorian era. Over at A+D Museum in Midtown, there is a show called Come In: Les Femmes!, a show of contemporary installations and artifacts designed by some of LA’s leading female designers and architects. Next month, the City of Santa Monica will showcase contemporary women architects at the Annenberg Community Beach House to mark the centennial of architect Julia Morgan, designer of Hearst Castle, and the Marion Davies estate, now the Annenberg Beach House.

Now this is 2012; if you heard our earlier segment and the voices of young architectural designers Christin To and Meaghan Pryor, or if you’ve heard of famous architects like London-based Zaha Hadid or Chicago’s Jeanne Gang or LA graphic designer Deborah Sussman, you might think that design is an equal opportunity occupation for men and women. But it’s not, for a variety of reasons. Bill Stern is executive director of the Museum of California Design and curator of California’s Designing Women, and he explains why he felt the need to single out female designers. A+D executive director Tibbie Dunbar explains the idea behind her show. And Frances also speaks to the designing women themselves: Gere Kavanaugh, designer of colorful textiles and objects, came to California in 1960 and recalls attending an opening at Herman Miller, in a field that was then predominantly male. And architect and designer Iris Anna Regn, who is featured in the Come In: Les Femmes! show, explains how the industry has changed.


Gere Kavanaugh: Mini Triangle Circa 1975; Textile. Printed cotton; Manufactured by Geraldine Fabrics (Los Angeles, California); Collection of Gere Kavanaugh; Photo: Museum of California Design 


Three Edge Scissor announcement by Emily White


Dress by Elena Manferdini


Iris Anna Regn's piece at the A+D

Top image: Gere Kavanaugh: Dickey Birds Circa 1975; Textile. Printed cotton; Manufactured by Geraldine Fabrics (Los Angeles, California); Collection of Gere Kavanaugh; Photo: Museum of California Design 

Bill Stern, Executive Director, Museum of California Design
Tibbie Dunbar, Director of A+D Museum
Gere Kavanaugh, Principal of Gere Kavanaugh Designs
Iris Anna Regn, Architect and Designer at Durfee Regn


Frances Anderton

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