Scratching the Surface

Jarrett Fuller

Scratching the Surface is a podcast about design, theory, and creative practice. Hosted by Jarrett Fuller, each episode features wide-ranging conversations with designers, architects, writers, academics, artists, and theorists about how design shapes culture. Previous guests include architecture critic Paul Goldberger, MoMA design curator Paola Antonelli, architect and OMA partner Reinier de Graaf, Pentagram partner Michael Bierut, RISD President Rosanne Somerson, writer Kurt Andersen, and designer Jessica Helfand. Featured in Architectural Digest, Dezeen, Curbed, and Eye. New episodes every other Wednesday.

All Episodes

Fleur Watson is the Executive Director and Chief Curator for the Centre for Architecture Victoria | Open House Melbourne and the author of the new book, The New Curator: Exhibiting Architecture and Design. She previously was curator at Design Hub Gallery at RMIT and an editor-in-chief at Monument magazine. In this episode, Jarrett and Fleur talk about her new book, evolving practices of curating design, design as process, and the move from editing to curating. Links from this episode can be found at scratchingthesurface.fm/202-fleur-watson. — If you enjoy the show, please consider supporting us on Patreon and get bonus content, transcripts, and our monthly newsletter! www.patreon.com/surfacepodcast

Nov 24

41 min 3 sec

Charles Saumarez Smith is the author of The Art Museum in Modern Times, an architectural history of art museums. He previously was the Secretary and Chief Executive of the Royal Academy of Arts in London and before this served as director of both the National Portrait Gallery and the National Gallery. In this conversation, Jarrett and Charles talk about the relationship between architecture and museums, the role of the museum director, and administration as a form of research.Links from this episode can be found at scratchingthesurface.fm/201-charles-saumarez-smith. — If you enjoy the show, please consider supporting us on Patreon and get bonus content, transcripts, and our monthly newsletter! www.patreon.com/surfacepodcast

Nov 10

45 min 22 sec

Jarrett Fuller is a designer, writer, educator, and host of Scratching the Surface. In this special episode celebrating both Scratching the Surface’s fifth anniversary and our 200th episode, Jarrett turns the tables on himself and and answers questions submitted by listeners like who would he like to bring back from the dead to interview? How’s the show changed in five years? What’s the role of design school? What did he want to be in middle school? What non-design books influenced his thinking? Links from this episode can be found at scratchingthesurface.fm/200-jarrett-fuller. — If you enjoy the show, please consider supporting us on Patreon and get bonus content, transcripts, and our monthly newsletter! www.patreon.com/surfacepodcast

Oct 27

48 min 35 sec

Esther Choi is a multidisciplinary artist and architectural historian. In 2019, she published Le Corbuffet, a Fluxus-inspired artist's book that adopts the form of a cookbook and in 2020, she started Office Hours, a socially-engaged initiative that cultivates the sharing of knowledge among practitioners who identify as Black, Indigenous, and People of Color. In this episode, Esther and Jarrett talk about working between photography and architectural theory, genres of writing, and building a body of work that’s hard to define. Links from this episode can be found at scratchingthesurface.fm/199-esther-choi. — If you enjoy the show, please consider supporting us on Patreon and get bonus content, transcripts, and our monthly newsletter! www.patreon.com/surfacepodcast

Oct 13

58 min 56 sec

Nina Paim is a designer, researcher, curator, educator, and activist. She is currently the director of Futuress, an editorial platform about feminism, design, and politics. She co-edited the book Design Struggles: Intersecting Histories, Pedagogies, and Perspectives and edited Taking A Line for A Walk. In this episode, Jarrett and Nina talk about Futuress and ideas around feminist publishing, how she got into design, and creating spaces for dialogue within and around graphic design. Links from this episode can be found at scratchingthesurface.fm/198-nina-paim. — If you enjoy the show, please consider supporting us on Patreon and get bonus content, transcripts, and our monthly newsletter! www.patreon.com/surfacepodcast

Sep 29

49 min 50 sec

Guus Beumer was the general and artistic director of Het Nieuwe Instituut from 2013 to 2021. Before this, he was director of NAI Maastricht and Marres Center for Contemporary Culture. In this episode, Jarrett and Guus talk about the founding of Het Nieuwe Instituut, institutional administration as a design process, and balancing stability and instability in cultural institutions. Links from this episode can be found at scratchingthesurface.fm/197-guus-beumer. — If you enjoy the show, please consider supporting us on Patreon and get bonus content, transcripts, and our monthly newsletter! www.patreon.com/surfacepodcast

Sep 15

47 min 36 sec

Aric Chen is a curator, writer, and design historian. He was recently appointed the general and artistic director of Rotterdam’s Het Nieuwe Institute (The New Institute) and previously served as curatorial director for Design Miami, curator at large for M+ and creative director of Beijing Design Week. He also is a professor and founding director of the Curatorial Lab at the College of Design and Innovation at Tongji University. In this episode, Jarrett and Aric talk about the value of wide interests and multidisciplinary careers, building M+’s collection, and what he hopes to do in his new job.Links from this episode can be found at scratchingthesurface.fm/196-aric-chen. — If you enjoy the show, please consider supporting us on Patreon and get bonus content, transcripts, and our monthly newsletter! www.patreon.com/surfacepodcast

Sep 1

46 min 25 sec

Bryony Quinn is a writer, editor, and educator. She teaches in design programs at the University of East London, London College of Communication, Royal College of Art, and Camberwell College and has written or edited for a variety of publications and books like Bricks from the Kiln and Failed States. In this conversation, Jarrett and Bryony talk about her move from illustration to writing, how she teaches writing to design students, and the role of editing. Oh, and punctuation. Links from this episode can be found at scratchingthesurface.fm/195-bryony-quinn. — If you enjoy the show, please consider supporting us on Patreon and get bonus content, transcripts, and our monthly newsletter! www.patreon.com/surfacepodcast

Aug 18

50 min 19 sec

Zak Kyes is the creative director and founder of Zak Group where he leads projects for cultural and commercial clients across scales and mediums. From 2006 to 2016, he was the art director of the Architectural Association School of Architecture in London and in 2007 he curated with Mark Owens Forms of Inquiry: The Architecture of Critical Graphic Design. In this episode, Jarrett and Zak talk about design as a type of cultural production, what he learned from working with architects, and rethinking our definitions of culture. Links from this episode can be found at scratchingthesurface.fm/194-zak-kyes. — If you enjoy the show, please consider supporting us on Patreon and get bonus content, transcripts, and our monthly newsletter! www.patreon.com/surfacepodcast

Aug 4

41 min 53 sec

Tereza Ruller is an Amsterdam-based designer and educator. She is the co-founder of The Rodina, post-critical design studio with an experimental practice drenched in strategies of performance art, play, and subversion. She’s also the author of Action to Surface, a theory of performative design. In this conversation, Jarrett and Tereza talk about what performative design is and how designers can use it in their work, using design as a critical practice, and when the designer appears in the work. Links from this episode can be found at scratchingthesurface.fm/193-tereza-ruller. — If you enjoy the show, please consider supporting us on Patreon and get bonus content, transcripts, and our monthly newsletter! www.patreon.com/surfacepodcast

Jul 21

48 min 55 sec

Tobias Revell is a designer, artist, educator, and administrator. He is currently Program Director of Graphic Design at the London College of Communication, a founding director of the design research consultancy Strange Telemetry, and is working on a PhD in Design at Goldsmiths. In this conversation, Jarrett and Tobias talk about working between art and design, the intersection of creative practice and administration, and the evolution of speculative design practices. Links from this episode can be found at scratchingthesurface.fm/192-tobias-revell. — If you enjoy the show, please consider supporting us on Patreon and get bonus content, transcripts, and our monthly newsletter! www.patreon.com/surfacepodcast

Jul 7

50 min 50 sec

Glenn Adamson is a curator and writer who works at the intersection of craft, design history, and contemporary art. He’s the author, most recently, of Craft: An American History. He previously was the director of the Museum of Arts and Design, head of research at the V&A, and curator at the Chipstone Foundation. In this conversation, Jarrett and Glenn talk about the understanding craft and its role in society, how he put together his new book, and how craft and design are different. Links from this episode can be found at scratchingthesurface.fm/191-glenn-adamson. — If you enjoy the show, please consider supporting us on Patreon and get bonus content, transcripts, and our monthly newsletter! www.patreon.com/surfacepodcast

Jun 23

58 min 48 sec

Michael Kimmelman is the architecture critic at The New York Times. Prior to this role, he created the Abroad column while based in Berlin and was the chief art critic. He’s also the founder and editor-at-large of Headway, a new venture focused on global challenges and progress. In this conversation, Jarrett and Michael talk about how he transitioned from writing about art to architecture, the role of the critic at a place like The New York Times, and how architecture discourse has changed over the last decade. Links from this episode can be found at scratchingthesurface.fm/190-michael-kimmelman. — If you enjoy the show, please consider supporting us on Patreon and get bonus content, transcripts, and our monthly newsletter! www.patreon.com/surfacepodcast

Jun 9

51 min 8 sec

Todd Oldham has designed fashion and furniture, books and interiors. He’s also published books on Charley Harper, Alexander Girard, Nest, and Joan Jett. In this wide-range and inspiring conversation, Jarrett and Todd talk about growing up in creative households, Todd’s move from fashion to book publishing, and building a multidisciplinary practice. Links from this episode can be found at scratchingthesurface.fm/189-todd-oldham. — If you enjoy the show, please consider supporting us on Patreon and get bonus content, transcripts, and our monthly newsletter! www.patreon.com/surfacepodcast

May 26

49 min 21 sec

Alexandra Cunningham Cameron is a curator of contemporary design and the Hintz Secretarial Scholar at the Cooper Hewitt Design Museum. At Cooper Hewitt, she organized the first retrospective fashion designer Willi Smith that includes an exhibition, book, and online archive. Previously, she was a curator at Design Miami and the editor in chief of The Miami Rail. In this conversation, Jarrett and Alexandra talk about finding definitions for design, the relationship between literature and design, and institutional critique. Links from this episode can be found at scratchingthesurface.fm/188-alexandra-cunningham-cameron. — If you enjoy the show, please consider supporting us on Patreon and get bonus content, transcripts, and our monthly newsletter! www.patreon.com/surfacepodcast

May 19

51 min 25 sec

Willo Perron is a designer, creative director, and partner of Perron-Roettinger whose work spans branding, interiors, and live performance. Willo has designed stage sets, packaging, and marketing material for artists like Kanye West, JAY-Z, St. Vincent, and Rihanna as well as branding and retail design for Adidas, Yeezy, and American Apparel. In this episode, Jarrett and Willo talk about the term ‘creative director’, his self-education in design, and the overlap between retail spaces and live performance. Links from this episode can be found at scratchingthesurface.fm/187-willo-perron. — If you enjoy the show, please consider supporting us on Patreon and get bonus content, transcripts, and our monthly newsletter! http://www.patreon.com/surfacepodcast

May 12

47 min 45 sec

Deyan Sudjic likely needs no introduction. From 2006 to 2020, he was the director of London’s Design Museum, he was a founding editor of Blueprint, editor of Domus from 2000 to 2004, and was an architecture and design critic for The Observer and The Guardian. He’s also published a handful of books and has taught at both Kingston University and The Royal College of Art. In this conversation, Jarrett and Deyan talk about the threads that unify all this work, the power of museums, and how each generation of design writers are responding to the generation before it. Links from this episode can be found at scratchingthesurface.fm/186-deyan-sudjic.

May 5

46 min 10 sec

Mike Essl is dean and associate professor at Cooper Union. He co-founded the design firm The Chopping Block, worked at Mule Design, and has taught at Parsons School of Design and School of Visual Arts. In this episode, we talk about disciplinary boundaries in design education, how teaching reignited his love for design, and why Cooper Union changed his life. Links from this episode can be found at scratchingthesurface.fm/185-mike-essl.

Apr 28

52 min 4 sec

Beatrice Galilee is a curator, critic, and editor. She’s currently the founder and executive director of The World Around and is the author of the new book, Radical Architecture of the Future. She previous was the curator of contemporary architecture and design at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, architecture editor for Icon Magazine, and has curated exhibitions and written for publications all around the world. In this episode, Jarrett and Beatrice talk about blurry definitions of architecture, working in an institution versus going independent, and finding new ways to talk about architecture and design. Links from this episode can be found at scratchingthesurface.fm/184-beatrice-galilee.

Apr 21

53 min 12 sec

Dori Tunstall is a design anthropologist, public intellectual, and design advocate who works at the intersections of critical theory, culture, and design. She’s currently the Dean of Design at Ontario College of Art and Design and previously taught at Swinburne University and the University of Illinois Chicago. In this episode, Jarrett and Dori talk about the intersection of design and anthropology, finding new forms for sharing knowledge, and the work of decolonizing design programs. Links from this episode can be found at scratchingthesurface.fm/183-dori-tunstall.

Apr 14

51 min 2 sec

Brendan Cormier is a curator, editor, and designer. He’s currently a design curator at the Victoria & Albert Museum and was previously managing editor of Volume magazine and an urban designer and planner. In this episode, Jarrett and Brendan talk about how urbanism influences his work as a curator, using objects to tell stories, and the intersection of editorial and curatorial practice. Links from this episode can be found at scratchingthesurface.fm/182-brendan-cormier.

Apr 7

47 min 58 sec

Milton S. F. Curry is dean and professor at the University of Southern California School of Architecture and holds the Della & Harry MacDonald Dean’s Chair in Architecture. He previously taught at University of Michigan Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning, Arizona State University, Harvard, and Cornell. He also edited the journals Critical Productive and Appendx. In this episode. Jarrett and Milton talk about the citizen architect, the relationship between critical theory and design, and the limits of design thinking. Links from this episode can be found at scratchingthesurface.fm/181-milton-curry.

Mar 31

50 min 45 sec

Jeanne Gang is an architect, teacher, and the founding principal and partner of Studio Gang. The studio’s research-driven practice encourages intellectual curiosity and formal exploration across projects ranging from books and publications up to skyscrapers and urban planning. In this wide-ranging conversation, Jarrett and Jeanne talk about the role of research in the design process, building a studio culture that encourages curiosity, and how the idea of ‘actionable idealism’ drives all her work. Links from this episode can be found at scratchingthesurface.fm/180-jeanne-gang.

Mar 17

43 min 25 sec

Sarah Meister was recently named the next executive director of Aperture, beginning in May 2021. Before this she was a Curator in the photography department at MoMA since 2009. In this episode, recorded before her appointment at Aperture, Jarrett and Sarah talk about the challenges in curating photography when everyone is a photographer, the parallels between design history and photography history, and the role of the curator in a world increasingly dominated by images. Links from this episode can be found at scratchingthesurface.fm/179-sarah-meister.

Mar 10

57 min 47 sec

Karla Britton and Robert McCarter are the editors of Modern Architecture and the Lifeworld: Essays in Honor of Kenneth Frampton, a fascinating collection of writing that responds to, expands upon, and honors the great architecture writer, educator, and historian Kenneth Frampton. In this episode, Jarrett talks with Karla and Robert about the Frampton’s legacy, his interest in connecting architecture to the wider world, and how they assembled this excellent new book. Links from this episode can be found at scratchingthesurface.fm/178-robert-mccarter-karla-britton.

Mar 3

55 min 30 sec

Ashley Mendelsohn is an architecture curator, educator, and multidisciplinary designer focused on engaging and strengthening communities by demystifying the barriers to access and understanding. From 2015 to 2020, she was the Assistant Curator of Architecture and Digital Initiatives at the Guggenheim Museum and previously founded the 40 Kirkland Gallery at Harvard GSD. In this episode, Jarrett and Ashley talk about moving between design and curation, teaching architecture to high school students, and making architecture more understandable for a general audience. Links from this episode can be found at scratchingthesurface.fm/177-ashley-mendelsohn.

Feb 24

1 hr 2 min

Nina Valerie Kolowratnik is an architect, researcher, and PhD candidate at the Human Rights Centre at Ghent University. Her research focuses on indigenous people’s knowledge in human rights courts, migration, and notational systems. She’s the author of the book The Language of Secret Proof: Indigenous Truth and Representation. In this episode, Jarrett and Nina talk about architecture education and how it influences her current work, the role of architecture in a legal context, and why she’s now studying law. Links from this episode can be found at scratchingthesurface.fm/176-nina-kolowratnik.

Feb 17

52 min 17 sec

Julia Watson is a designer, activist, leading expert on indigenous technologies. She’s the author of Lo—TEK: Design for Radical Indigenism, teaches in the design programs at Harvard and Columbia, and runs Julia Watson Studio, an experimental landscape and urban design studio. In this conversation, recorded live at the 2020 AIGA Design Conference, Jarrett and Julia talk about what we can learn from indigenous design, resisting high-tech solutions, and how to better design with nature. Links from this episode can be found at scratchingthesurface.fm/175-julia-watson.

Feb 10

45 min 58 sec

Daniel Barber is an Associate Professor of Architecture and Chair of the Graduate Group in Architecture at the University of Pennsylvania Stuart Weitzman School of Design. His research focuses on architecture and climate change, both historic and contemporary. He is the author, most recently, of Modern architecture and Climate: Design before Air Conditioning. In this episode, Jarrett and Daniel talk about the new book, how air condition changed modern architecture, and how we can better engage with the climate crisis. Links from this episode can be found at scratchingthesurface.fm/174-daniel-barber.

Feb 3

47 min 28 sec

Denis Weil is the dean of IIT Institute of Design in Chicago. After studying chemical engineering, Denis has worked across every sector of the design industry, from product design to marketing, including leading design and innovation at McDonald’s, studying civic design at Harvard, and serving as an innovation fellow for Bloomberg Philanthropies. In this wide-ranging conversation, Jarrett and Denis talk about how this background informs his work at IIT, the role of the designer in civic engagement, and the limits of design thinking. Links from this episode can be found at scratchingthesurface.fm/173-denis-weil.

Jan 27

49 min 15 sec

Martha Thorne is the Dean of IE School of Architecture and Design and the executive director of the Pritzker Architecture Prize, a latter of which she’s held since 2005 and will be stepping down from next month. Previously she was Associate Curator of Architecture at the Art Institute of Chicago. In this episode, Jarrett and Martha talk about the expanding definitions of architecture, the intersection of the aesthetic and the humanitarian in architecture practice, and how the Pritzker has evolved over the years. Links from this episode can be found at scratchingthesurface.fm/172-martha-thorne.

Jan 20

1 hr

Robert Wiesenberger is a curator and historian of modern and contemporary art, design, and architecture. He is currently the Associate Curator of Special Projects at The Clark Art Institute and on the faculty at Williams Graduate Program in Art History. He previously was a curatorial fellow at the Harvard Art Museum where he worked with the Bauhaus collection and co-authored, with David Reinfurt, the 2017 monograph on Muriel Cooper. In this episode, Jarrett and Robert talk about the role of the object in art history, blurring the lines between design and art practices, and teaching design history. Links from this episode can be found at scratchingthesurface.fm/171-robert-wiesenberger.

Jan 13

1 hr 5 min

Jarrett Earnest is an artist and writer. His book, What It Means To Write About Art: Interviews with Art Critics, was released in 2018 and features longform interviews with art writers, historians, theorists, and critics. Jarrett’s writing has appeared in The Brooklyn Rail, The Village Voice, Vulture, and The Los Angeles Review of Books. In this episode, the Jarretts talk about the strange similarities in their work, the differences between writing about art and design, and the value in having deep conversations about art. Links from this episode can be found at scratchingthesurface.fm/170-jarrett-earnest.

Jan 6

59 min 56 sec

Spencer Bailey is a writer, editor, and journalist. He is the co-founder of the media company The Slowdown and the author of the book In Memory of: Designing Contemporary Memorials. He’s also editor-at-large for Phaidon, contributing editor at Town and Country and was previously the editor-in-chief at Surface. In this episode, Jarrett and Spencer talk about the design of memorials, how he started writing about design and architecture, and how design fits into The Slowdown’s mission. Links from this episode can be found at scratchingthesurface.fm/169-spencer-bailey.

Dec 2020

1 hr 7 min

Janet Abrams is a writer, editor, journalist, and artist. Her new book, Daddy Wouldn’t Buy Me a Bauhaus: Profiles in Architecture and Design, collects her profiles of designers like Rem Koolhaas, Frank Gehry, Muriel Cooper, and Paul Rand from her time writing for Blueprint and I.D. magazine. In this episode, Jarrett and Janet reflect on the design writing of the late eighties, talk about the art of profile writing, and where her work in writing and ceramics intersect. Links from this episode can be found at scratchingthesurface.fm/168-janet-abrams.

Dec 2020

1 hr 14 min

Alice Grandoit, Nu Goteh, and Marquise Stillwell are the co-founders of Deem, a new journal that positions design as a social practice. Their first issue, Design for Dignity, features a range of stories, interviews, and profiles of practitioners both inside and outside design. In this conversation, Jarrett talks with them about Deem’s goals, opening up design to more people, and how publishing a printed journal is a political act. Links from this episode can be found at scratchingthesurface.fm/167-alice-grandoit-nu-goteh-marquise-stillwell.

Nov 2020

44 min 3 sec

Nikil Saval is a writer, editor, activist, and the newly elected Pennsylvania state senator. He was previously a co-editor of n+1 and wrote about design, architecture, and urbanism for The New Yorker and The New York Times. In this episode, recorded right before the election, Jarrett and Nikil talk about the intersection of design and politics, how writing and editing are similar to legislating, and why he finds designers fascinating. Links from this episode can be found at scratchingthesurface.fm/166-nikil-saval.

Nov 2020

1 hr 11 min

Alicia Cheng is a founding partner of the New York design studio MGMT and the author of the book This Is What Democracy Looked Like: A Visual History of the Printed Ballot. She previously worked as a designer for Method, was a co-design director at the Cooper Hewitt, and is currently an external critic for the MFA program at RISD. In this episode, Jarrett and Alicia talk about how the design of ballots can teach us about the United States’s uneasy relationship with voting, mixing design history with American history, and how research feeds her design practice. Links from this episode can be found at scratchingthesurface.fm/165-alicia-cheng.

Oct 2020

47 min 26 sec

Kyle Chayka writes about art, technology, design, and the systems that shape culture. His first book, The Longing for Less, is a cultural history of minimalism that looks at minimalist movements in art, music, and philosophy. In this episode, Jarrett and Kyle talk about how minimalism often obscures complex systems, how all culture writing is also design writing, and the role of structure in his writing process. Links from this episode can be found at scratchingthesurface.fm/164-kyle-chayka.

Oct 2020

55 min

Annelys de Vet is a Belgium-based designer, educator and researcher. From 2009 to 2019, she was the the director of the design program at the Sandberg Instituut and is the editor of Design Dedication a new book collecting the work and thinking during her tenure. Now she’s leading a new masters program on Disarming Design that is committed to design practices in situations of oppression. In this episode, Jarrett and Annelys talk about thinking about design education as a system of community and care and structuring a curriculum that leaves room for experimentation. Links from this episode can be found at scratchingthesurface.fm/163-annelys-de-vet.

Sep 2020

55 min 22 sec

Ippolito Pestellini Laparelli is an architect, urbanist, teacher and is the curator of the Russian Pavilion for the 2020 Venice Architecture Biennale. He worked at OMA from 2007 to 2020, and became partner in 2014. Earlier this year, he established 2050+ his own multidisciplinary studio operating at the intersections of design, technology, politics, and the environment. In this conversation, Jarrett and Ippolito talk about the ideas behind the Russian Pavilion and the transition to an online exhibition, the value of a multidisciplinary practice, and the intersection of research and practice. Links from this episode can be found at scratchingthesurface.fm/162-ippolito-pestellini-laparelli.

Sep 2020

50 min 33 sec

Paul Andersen and Paul Preissner are the curators of the American Pavilion for the 2020 Venice Architecture Biennale. Their project, American Framing draws attention to both the most influential and overlooked contributions to architecture: wood framing. They previously have collaborated on a variety of architecture and curatorial projects together. Additionally, Andersen is the principal of Denver-based Independent Architecture and teaches at the University of Illinois Chicago and Preissner runs Paul Preissner Architects and teaches at both University of Illinois Chicago and Columbia GSAAP. Links from this episode can be found at scratchingthesurface.fm/161-paul-andersen-paul-preissner.

Sep 2020

45 min 13 sec

Danielle Aubert is a graphic designer, educator, writer, and political organizer. She’s the author of, most recently, The Detroit Printing Co-Op: The Politics of the Joys of Printing and an Associate Professor in Graphic Design at Wayne State University. In this episode, Jarrett and Danielle talk about the Detroit Printing Co-op and expanding design history, the politics of graphic design, and when to teach the basics in a design class. Links from this episode can be found at scratchingthesurface.fm/160-danielle-aubert.

Aug 2020

1 hr 3 min

Maryam Fanni and Sara Kaaman, are two thirds of the design collective MMS, along with Matilda Flodmark, collaborating since 2012 on investigations and writings on visual culture, graphic design, and historiography from feminist perspectives. MMS recently published Natural Enemies of Books: A Messy History of Women in Printing and Typography. In this episode, Jarrett is joined by Maryam and Sara to talk about the book, the ideas behind MMS, and seeking a more expansive view of design history and practice. Links from this episode can be found at scratchingthesurface.fm/159-maryam-fanni-sara-kaaman.

Aug 2020

49 min 33 sec

Dr. Bon Ku is an emergency room physician, assistant dean for Health and Design and director of the Health Design Lab at Jefferson University. He’s also the co-author, with Ellen Lupton, of the new book Health Design Thinking. In this conversation, Jarrett and Bon talk about the intersection of design and healthcare, how COVID-19 exposes the faults in our healthcare system, and how medical school could be redesigned. Links from this episode can be found at scratchingthesurface.fm/158-bon-ku.

Jul 2020

57 min 54 sec

Eric Heiman is a designer, writer, and educator. He’s principal and co-founder of Volume, a San Francisco-based design studio, Associate Professor of Graphic Design at CCA, and has written for Emigre, Design Observer, Eye and other publications. In this conversation, Jarrett and Eric talk about how graphic design in San Francisco has changed, the gaps between education and practice, and the role of writing in his work. Links from this episode can be found at scratchingthesurface.fm/157-eric-heiman.

Jul 2020

1 hr 6 min

Deanna Van Buren is an architect, activist, and the design director and co-founder of Designing Justice + Designing Spaces, an architecture and real estate development non-profit working to end mass incarceration by building infrastructure that attacks its root causes: poverty, racism, unequal access to resources, and the criminal justice system itself. In this conversation, Deanna and Jarrett talk about design as ideology, the relationships between architecture and criminal justice, and how a building can cause real change. Links from this episode can be found at scratchingthesurface.fm/156-deanna-van-buren.

Jun 2020

51 min 2 sec

Paul Thompson is the Vice-Chancellor of the Royal College of Art. Before this, he was the director of the Cooper Hewitt Design Museum and the director of the Design Museum in London. In this conversation, Jarrett and Paul talk about his background in comparative literature and how that’s influenced his career in design and administration, learning on the job, and how expanding definitions of design are changing education and curation. Links from this episode can be found at scratchingthesurface.fm/155-paul-thompson.

Jun 2020

55 min 9 sec

Winka Dubbeldam is an architect and educator. She’s the principal of Archi-Tectonics, the research-based architecture firm she founded in 1994 and is the chair of the architecture program and a professor of practice at the University of Pennsylvania. In this conversation, Winka and Jarrett talk about her interest in philosophy, how research shapes her work as both a designer and teacher, and the importance of sharing knowledge. Links from this episode can be found at scratchingthesurface.fm/154-winka-dubbeldam.

May 2020

49 min 17 sec

Denise Gonzales Crisp is a graphic designer, educator, and writer. She’s a professor of Graphic Design and director of graduate programs for Graphic Design at North Carolina State University. Her writing has appeared in Eye, Emigre, Design Observer, Design and Culture, and Items Magazine. In this episode, Denise and Jarrett talk about the differences between her writing and design processes, designing with spreadsheets, and using improvisational methods in the classroom. Links from this episode can be found at scratchingthesurface.fm/153-denise-gonzales-crisp.

May 2020

1 hr