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Frances Anderton is widely recognized as the leading voice of the Los Angeles architecture and design communities. As the executive producer and host of KCRW’s “DnA: Design and Architecture,” “To the Point,” and “Which Way, LA?” Anderton has spent the past 20 years exploring the intersection of people, design, fashion, politics, and architecture in Los Angeles and beyond. Speaking openly with the Conversations audience, Frances shared the story of how she was inexplicably and irreversibly drawn to Los Angeles’ vibrant, idiosyncratic culture. Having experienced firsthand the self-segregating nature of the architecture community, she made it her mission to connect the public with the worlds of architecture and to communicate design in a way with which everyone could relate. Frances discussed the challenge of communicating predominantly visual ideas over the radio, and how she overcomes this through storytelling that focuses not just on how things look, but puts them in a social context that connects them with conflict, humor, and emotion. She explained how the Internet has introduced a new space for more “niche” discourse, but has also created the need for talk radio to compete with algorithmic “robot” services like Spotify and Pandora. Frances engaged us in an interactive dialogue about L.A. traffic, the ever-evolving modes of urban mobility, and her vision for what Los Angeles will be like, 20 years from now.

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