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.
Scratching the Surface is made possible entirely by listener support.
Support the show on Patreon!
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.