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!
Carson Chan is an architecture writer, curator, and educator. He is the inaugural director of the Emilio Ambasz Institute for the Joint Study of the Built and Natural Environment at MoMA and a curator in the department of architecture and design. He previously co-founded the Current Collective for Architecture History and Environment and the Berlin-based project space PROGRAM. In this conversation, Jarrett and Carson talk about the ambition of the Ambasz Institute, the process of redefining architecture, and why aquariums are a lens to view the intersections of the natural and built worlds.
James Bridle is a writer, artist, and technologist. They are the author, most recently, of Ways of Being as well as New Dark Age. They've exhibited art in galleries and institutions around the world and have written for publications like Wired, The Atlantic, and the Guardian. In this wide-ranging conversation, Jarrett and James talk about the limited ways we talk about artificial intelligence, why human-centered design might just be corporation-centered design, and the value of working across mediums.
Iker Gil is an architect and director of MAS Studio, the editor-in-chief of MAS Context, and the Executive Director of the SOM Foundation. He was the co-curator of Exhibit Columbus 2020-2021 and associate curator of the US Pavilion at the 16th Venice Architecture Biennale in 2016. In this conversation, Jarrett and Iker talk about the relationship between architecture and editing, sustaining a publication, and the value of organizing and administration in creative work.