Here's an excerpt from the full LA Times piece:
"Frustrated by what he considered to be the dull appearance of U.S. paper money, Richard Smith, a creative director at the marketing firm Sullivan, set up the Dollar ReDe$ign Project and received beautiful new designs. But, he said, "The most interesting ideas I got were those that went beyond traditional currency.'"
Currency design is deeply tied to functionality. Despite the fact that credit cards and mobile payments are eclipsing cash, I don't think paper money will disappear right away. I do hope, though, that just as we reform and innovate the ways we pay, we take a fresh look at the outdated--and perhaps even dysfunctional--design of paper money.