Aggie Toppins is a graphic designer and educator whose work centers around active citizenship and intellectual pursuit. She’s currently teaches at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and maintains an independent studio practice publishing zines, collages, and a fun series called Critical Theory Cocktails. In this episode, Aggie and I talk about her introduction to critical theory and how she introduces challenging texts to her students, how her time at MICA inspired her to start teaching, and why it’s important to decolonize the design discourse.
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Deanna Van Buren is an architect, activist, and the design director and co-founder of Designing Justice + Designing Spaces, an architecture and real estate development non-profit working to end mass incarceration by building infrastructure that attacks its root causes: poverty, racism, unequal access to resources, and the criminal justice system itself. In this conversation, Deanna and Jarrett talk about design as ideology, the relationships between architecture and criminal justice, and how a building can cause real change.
Paul Thompson is the Vice-Chancellor of the Royal College of Art. Before this, he was the director of the Cooper Hewitt Design Museum and the director of the Design Museum in London. In this conversation, Jarrett and Paul talk about his background in comparative literature and how that’s influenced his career in design and administration, learning on the job, and how expanding definitions of design are changing education and curation.
Winka Dubbeldam is an architect and educator. She’s the principal of Archi-Tectonics, the research-based architecture firm she founded in 1994 and is the chair of the architecture program and a professor of practice at the University of Pennsylvania. In this conversation, Winka and Jarrett talk about her interest in philosophy, how research shapes her work as both a designer and teacher, and the importance of sharing knowledge.