Alissa Walker is the urbanism editor at Curbed where she writes about cities, infrastructure, transportation, and policy. Before that, she was the urbanism editor at Gizmodo and has written extensively about design, cities, and architecture for places like Design Observer, Dwell, Fast Company, the Los Angeles Times and The New York Times. In this episode, Alissa and I talk about the differences between writing about designed objects and writing about the city, the role of the critic, and how she writes about government, policy, and transportation through the lens of 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.