Randy Nakamura is a designer, researcher, and one of my favorite writers from Emigre. His writing has appeared in Design Observer, Emigre, Task, Modes of Criticism, and Idea Magazine and he’s worked as a designer at Jon Sueda’s studio, Stripe, and served as design director at The Grateful Palate. He’s currently at PhD candidate in the Critical Studies program at UCLA Architecture and Urban Design. In this rare interview, I talk with Randy about his journey from biology to design, how he started writing for Emigre, the similarities between architecture and design criticism, and how the design discourse has changed over his career.
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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.
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.
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.