Kurt Andersen is a writer, radio host, and journalist. He's the author of novels True Believers, Heyday, and Turn of the Century, and has written for film, television, and stage. He is the host and co-creator of arts and culture radio show Studio 360, co-founder of Spy Magazine, and author of Fantasyland: How America Went Haywire. Oh, he was also the design critic at Time for eight years. In this episode, Jarrett and Kurt talk about how he started writing about design, how design is a constant theme that runs through all of his, and why Fantasyland might be a book about design.
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Nikil Saval is a writer, editor, activist, and the newly elected Pennsylvania state senator. He was previously a co-editor of n+1 and wrote about design, architecture, and urbanism for The New Yorker and The New York Times. In this episode, recorded right before the election, Jarrett and Nikil talk about the intersection of design and politics, how writing and editing are similar to legislating, and how design is a container for many of his intellectual interests.
Alicia Cheng is a founding partner of the New York design studio MGMT and the author of the book This Is What Democracy Looked Like: A Visual History of the Printed Ballot. She previously worked as a designer for Method, was a co-design director at the Cooper Hewitt, and is currently an external critic for the MFA program at RISD. In this episode, Jarrett and Alicia talk about how the design of ballots can teach us about the United States’s uneasy relationship with voting, mixing design history with American history, and how research feeds her design practice.
Kyle Chayka writes about art, technology, design, and the systems that shape culture. His first book, The Longing for Less, is a cultural history of minimalism that looks at minimalist movements in art, music, and philosophy. In this episode, Jarrett and Kyle talk about how minimalism often obscures complex systems, how all culture writing is also design writing, and the role of structure in his writing process.