Jeffrey Schnapp is the founder/faculty director of metaLAB (at) Harvard and faculty co-director of the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University. He holds the Carl A. Pescosolido Chair in Romance Languages and Literatures and Comparative Literature in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences and is on the teaching faculty in the Department of Architecture at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design. In this episode, Jeffrey and Jarrett talk about his background as a medievalist and how that influences his research around media and technology, why he likes to call himself a ‘knowledge designer’, and how form and and content are completely inseparable for him.
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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.