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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Carl DiSalvo is an Associate Professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology where he holds dual appointments in the School of Interactive Computing and the School of Literature, Media, and Communication. His new book, Design as Democratic Inquiry is an exploration of ‘doing design otherwise’. In this conversation, Jarrett and Carl talk about the overlap of critical design and social design, what it means to design for democracy, and the role of writing in his work.
Liam Young is a speculative architect and director whose work spans design, fiction, and futures. He is cofounder of Tomorrows Thought Today, an urban futures think tank, and Unknown Fields, a nomadic research studio. He is also the director of the Masters in Fiction and Entertainment program at SCI Arc. His latest project is Planet City, a story of a fictional city for the entire population of earth. In this wide-ranging conversation, Jarrett and Liam talk about the elasticity of the term ‘architect’, the value of storytelling and fictions, and co-opting culture to find new audiences.
Nicole Killian is a graphic designer and educator whose work spans design, publishing, video, and installation. They are currently co-director of the Design, Visual Communications MFA and associate professor of graphic design at Virginia Commonwealth University. In this conversation, Jarrett and Nicole talk about studying at the Bauhaus and Cranbrook, how institutions can become more experimental, and what it means to queer design education.