00:00:00 | 3:02:50




Photo: Ana Serrano's "Cartonlandia" (2007) at CAFAM's exhibition The US-Mexico Border: Place, Imagination, and Possibility (Avishay Artsy)

Goodbye street lights, hello 'smart nodes' 10 MIN, 58 SEC

Workers install a "smart node" on Wilshire Boulevard. It's part of a
pilot project led by the City of LA's Bureau of Street Services.
Photo by Avishay Artsy

There's an experiment going on in Los Angeles right now - to replace streetlights with multi-functional "smart nodes" that are part of a networked system of city infrastructure.

DnA happened upon the installation of a "smart node" on Wilshire Boulevard, designed by Australian lighting company Ene-hub. It's a slender, slate grey, segmented pole. Inside several of these sections is electronic equipment.

Once online, this pole has the capacity to offer a menu of options: 4G and 5G network capacity, Wi-Fi, smart controlled LED lighting, electric vehicle car charging, public address speakers, help points, USB charging ports, LED lighting. "And then there's spare capacity because technology is evolving very quickly over time," said Ene-hub director Robert Matchett.

Ed Ebrahimian, director of the city of LA's Bureau of Street Lighting
Photo by Frances Anderton

The company is working alongside Ed Ebrahimian, director of the city of LA's Bureau of Street Lighting. He sees many prospects for the "smart node" besides lighting.

"We can have sensors installed on street lighting poles, like CO2 sensors, like temperature, or even gunshot detection sensors. We can have cameras, we can stream video. So, sky's the limit, frankly," Ebrahimian said.

And what happens to LA's streetlights? The Smart Node is a test of what might be a replacement for all of the city streetlights, and as the technology evolves, Ebrahimian predicts the LED lighting will get warmer.

Robert Matchett, Ene-Hub
Ed Ebrahimian, Los Angeles Bureau of Street Lighting

The LED street lights in Los Angeles are getting smarter
Check out LA's historic street lamps at the museum at the Bureau of Street Lighting

CAFAM goes to the border 8 MIN, 52 SEC

"The Wall: A Border Game" by Ronald Rael and Virginia San Fratello,
at CAFAM's exhibition "The US-Mexico Border: Place, Imagination, and Possibility."
Photo by Avishay Artsy

Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA is the mammoth presentation of Latino and Latino American art and design. It was recently described by the New York Times as "A Head-Spinning, Hope-Inspiring Showcase of Art." "In Latin American Los Angeles," they wrote, "bridges soar, walls fall."

One of the shows that is particularly timely, in view of DACA and President's Trump's plans for a new border wall, is the show at the Craft and Folk Art Museum, or CAFAM, The US-Mexico Border: Place, Imagination, and Possibility.

There, curators have assembled an eclectic display of art, craft and architectural designs, by Ana Serrano, Tanya Aguiñiga, Ronald Rael and Virginia San Fratello, Guillermo Bert and many others, that grapple with the border in very different ways.

The border is "a place where two countries overlap… For other people it's been a wound, a separation... And for some artists it's been a way of looking at this area and trying to come up with a creative solution for how we live in a situation that's created by the border," said CAFAM's executive director, Suzanne Isken.

Suzanne Isken, Craft and Folk Art Museum (@CraftAndFolk)
Holly Jerger, Craft & Folk Art Museum (@CraftandFolk)
Guillermo Bert, multi-media artist (@guillermobert)

Pacific Standard Time spotlights the arts and crafts made along the US-Mexico border
'Pacific Standard Time LA/LA:' artists without borders
A head-spinning, hope-inspiring showcase of art
For artists, the US-Mexico border is fertile territory

What happened to the Crenshaw Cowboy? 8 MIN, 29 SEC

Lovell Moore, the "Crenshaw Cowboy," on board one of his sculptures.
Photo by Gideon Brower

A Los Angeles street artist named Lovell Moore, known as the "Crenshaw Cowboy," has been entertaining thousands of motorists with his trash sculptures, dance moves and motivational signs for years.

But earlier this month, he disappeared along with his sculptures from his usual spot on the 10 freeway on-ramp at Crenshaw Boulevard.

Neither the Los Angeles Police Department, the Sanitation Department nor Caltrans will take responsibility for removing his work. And now he is back on the freeway on-ramp, at least for a while.

Independent producer Gideon Brower has been following the ups and downs of Moore's creative life.

Gideon Brower, Independent Producer (@GideonLA)

The Crenshaw Cowboy's on-ramp art installation has been cleared away

Subscribe to the DnA newsletter

Exploring ideas big or small, local or international, with a look at their impact on our daily lives.


More From Design and Architecture


Latest From KCRW

View Schedule


View All Events


Player Embed Code