USC logo

Marissa Gluck: “I would have given you a very different answer before November 2016”

Published by USC Bedrosian Center on

by Brettany Shannon

Hello, again, LA#Itself listeners! I hope you’ve had a great year since last fall, if not politically, at least personally. I know we’ve all been through a lot in the last year. Each daily news cycle equals one normal administration’s, and our Commander in Tweet’s increasingly unstable attacks on our social and institutional norms provide us with new ways to feel personal heartache and existential dread, along with shame and confusion about where our country is headed.

So while last season we talked with people in various sectors to make the larger argument about digital communication’s lasting effect on how we construct, literally and metaphorically, our cities, in light of our political chaos, I’ve decided to simultaneously widen and narrow our focus this fall. We’ll still hear from a variety of people: a digital research strategist, a historian, a performing arts center director, a public art curator and researcher, fashion bloggers, and a health care professional. But we’re looking specifically at how these Angelenos use digital communications to preserve, resist, and heal. So if you like technology, culture, politics, policy, and Los Angeles – or even just one of those things – we hope you’ll enjoy this second installment of LA#Itself.

The fall’s first guest provides us with an insider’s view into these three themes, preservation, resistance, and healing. Marissa Gluck is a digital research strategist who’s worked in tech since the mid-90s, an urbanism and architecture writer, and a principal of the design-cum-civic engagement non-profit Design East of La Brea, or de LaB. Through her unique bundle of expertise, Marissa gives us insights into how her three fields engage with issues of culture, identity, and civic participation. This long, fun conversation is about how Marissa is, above all, an interlocutor, and how she uses empathy and storytelling to make things accessible to her audience, whoever they are at the time. Thanks again for listening and let us know what you think of the conversation on Twitter (Bedrosian, me), Facebook, or email.


We talk about a lot, right? Reading James Damore’s Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber and Curbed urbanism editor Alissa Walker’s Mansplaining the City together gives us a perspective on the current crisis of masculinity.

Definitely enjoy Marissa’s witty and accessible writing: Bettina Hubby Turns Her Breast Cancer Recovery into an Art Project for LA Weekly, This App May Tell You How Much a Piece of Art Is Worth for Los Angeles magazine, A Shave, a Haircut, and a Blood-Pressure Test for The Atlantic, and the Danielle Brazell profile, Out of the Museum, Into the City for Curbed.

And, of course, please do check out de LaB on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and follow Marissa on Twitter.


LA#Itself is produced by Aubrey Hicks, Jonathan Schwartz, and myself, and mixed by Corey Hedden.

Bedrosian Center