Abbott Miller is a designer, writer, and a partner at Pentagram where he leads a team designing identities, exhibitions, and books. Before Pentagram, Abbott ran a studio, Design Writing Research, with Ellen Lupton and wrote for publications like Eye, Print, and I.D. A monograph of his design and writing, called Design and Content, was published in 2014. In this conversation, Abbott and I talk about where his interest in critical theory came from and how he’s worked to incorporate it into his design work, using writing to find new ways into design, and how his various interests have come together in his current work designing exhibitions at Pentagram.
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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.
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.
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.