Scratching the Surface is a podcast about design, theory, and creative practice. Hosted by Jarrett Fuller, each episode features wide-ranging conversations with designers, architects, writers, academics, artists, and theorists about how design shapes culture. Previous guests include architecture critic Paul Goldberger, MoMA design curator Paola Antonelli, architect and OMA partner Reinier de Graaf, Pentagram partner Michael Bierut, RISD President Rosanne Somerson, writer Kurt Andersen, and designer Jessica Helfand. Featured in Architectural Digest, Dezeen, Curbed, and Eye. New episodes every other Wednesday.
172. Martha Thorne
Martha Thorne is the Dean of IE School of Architecture and Design and the executive director of the Pritzker Architecture Prize, a latter of which she’s held since 2005 and will be stepping down from next month. Previously she was Associate Curator of Architecture at the Art Institute of Chicago. In this episode, Jarrett and Martha talk about the expanding definitions of architecture, the intersection of the aesthetic and the humanitarian in architecture practice, and how the Pritzker has evolved over the years. Links from this episode can be found at scratchingthesurface.fm/172-martha-thorne.
171. Robert Wiesenberger
Robert Wiesenberger is a curator and historian of modern and contemporary art, design, and architecture. He is currently the Associate Curator of Special Projects at The Clark Art Institute and on the faculty at Williams Graduate Program in Art History. He previously was a curatorial fellow at the Harvard Art Museum where he worked with the Bauhaus collection and co-authored, with David Reinfurt, the 2017 monograph on Muriel Cooper. In this episode, Jarrett and Robert talk about the role of the object in art history, blurring the lines between design and art practices, and teaching design history. Links from this episode can be found at scratchingthesurface.fm/171-robert-wiesenberger.
170. Jarrett Earnest
Jarrett Earnest is an artist and writer. His book, What It Means To Write About Art: Interviews with Art Critics, was released in 2018 and features longform interviews with art writers, historians, theorists, and critics. Jarrett’s writing has appeared in The Brooklyn Rail, The Village Voice, Vulture, and The Los Angeles Review of Books. In this episode, the Jarretts talk about the strange similarities in their work, the differences between writing about art and design, and the value in having deep conversations about art. Links from this episode can be found at scratchingthesurface.fm/170-jarrett-earnest.
169. Spencer Bailey
Spencer Bailey is a writer, editor, and journalist. He is the co-founder of the media company The Slowdown and the author of the book In Memory of: Designing Contemporary Memorials. He’s also editor-at-large for Phaidon, contributing editor at Town and Country and was previously the editor-in-chief at Surface. In this episode, Jarrett and Spencer talk about the design of memorials, how he started writing about design and architecture, and how design fits into The Slowdown’s mission. Links from this episode can be found at scratchingthesurface.fm/169-spencer-bailey.
168. Janet Abrams
Janet Abrams is a writer, editor, journalist, and artist. Her new book, Daddy Wouldn’t Buy Me a Bauhaus: Profiles in Architecture and Design, collects her profiles of designers like Rem Koolhaas, Frank Gehry, Muriel Cooper, and Paul Rand from her time writing for Blueprint and I.D. magazine. In this episode, Jarrett and Janet reflect on the design writing of the late eighties, talk about the art of profile writing, and where her work in writing and ceramics intersect. Links from this episode can be found at scratchingthesurface.fm/168-janet-abrams.
167. Alice Grandoit, Nu Goteh & Marquise Stillwell
Alice Grandoit, Nu Goteh, and Marquise Stillwell are the co-founders of Deem, a new journal that positions design as a social practice. Their first issue, Design for Dignity, features a range of stories, interviews, and profiles of practitioners both inside and outside design. In this conversation, Jarrett talks with them about Deem’s goals, opening up design to more people, and how publishing a printed journal is a political act. Links from this episode can be found at scratchingthesurface.fm/167-alice-grandoit-nu-goteh-marquise-stillwell.
Customer ReviewsSee All
I have seriously learned so much from this podcast! STS has helped me understand what I want out of my design career. The guests are all always very interesting and their ideas and careers are fascinating.
Although I really enjoy every topic that Jarret covers, I get particularly interested in the episodes that discuss alternative higher ed programs and the economics of design school education. Thank you for an incredible podcast!
I enjoy the variety of speakers Jarrett invites to his show. Especially the ones who talk about inclusivity and diversity in design and about how important it is to bring different perspectives to the table. A memorable one for me is #18 Andy Chen + Waqas Jawaid, it felt like listening to friends I’ve yet met. The intro music is cheesy but it grew on me. :-)
I always learn something new.
I've found my way back to this podcast several times. The audio has been clear in all of the interviews I've listened to. Episodes wander through the ideas of both young design writers as well as some of the most influencial people in design. Highly recommend. :)