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Author and Architect Donald MacDonald Offers a New Edition of "Democratic Architecture"

Aired on Thursday, June 25th.

We offer a chat with Donald MacDonald, a San Francisco-based architect with 40+ years of experience in architecture, planning, contract documents, and construction management. He was the major architect of the Bay Bridge's Eastern span, redesigned elements of the Golden Gate Bridge, and has designed bridges across the U.S. as well as internationally -- and he also, way back when, studied with famed architect Bruce Goff at the University of Oklahoma. MacDonald joins us to talk about his influential book, "Democratic Architecture: Practical Solutions to Housing Crises," which is now appearing in its third edition. In this book, he argues that -- given America's troubled housing market and the growing divide between rich and poor -- we as a nation need thought-out, well-planned solutions to such problems. Thus MacDonald aims to offer viable and affordable solutions in this regard and raises questions not just about housing policy, but about larger political and ethical issues. In a work containing more than 100 photos and drawings, he carefully critiques post-WWII housing nationwide, and then puts forth innovative designs for low- and lower-middle-income housing, emphasizing all the while increased opportunities for home ownership, detached homes and multi-unit buildings, and alternative types of housing for people of various lifestyles. As MacDonald notes in this book: "As we work toward creating a more just and humane society, embracing and celebrating the diversity of our shared experience, our design and architecture must similarly embody the best aspects that define our democracy. To do anything less would, at the least, squander a tremendous opportunity and, perhaps more significantly, diminish the potential of our contributions as citizens and professionals."

Rich Fisher passed through KWGS about thirty years ago, and just never left. Today, he is the general manager of Public Radio Tulsa, and the host of KWGS’s public affairs program, StudioTulsa, which celebrated its twentieth anniversary in August 2012 . As host of StudioTulsa, Rich has conducted roughly four thousand long-form interviews with local, national, and international figures in the arts, humanities, sciences, and government. Very few interviews have gone smoothly. Despite this, he has been honored for his work by several organizations including the Governor's Arts Award for Media by the State Arts Council, a Harwelden Award from the Arts & Humanities Council of Tulsa, and was named one of the “99 Great Things About Oklahoma” in 2000 by Oklahoma Today magazine.
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