Jessica Helfand is a designer, writer, podcaster, and publisher. She cofounded Design Observer in 2002 with Rick Poynor, Michael Bierut, and William Drenttel and most recently wrote the book, Design: The Invention of Desire. In this episode, the first part of a two-part conversation, Jessica and I talk about the origins of Design Observer, how she started writing, writing about design in relationship to culture, and how emerging mediums like video and podcasts can provide a new platform for design criticism.
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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.
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.
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.