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 Wednesday.
178. Robert McCarter & Karla Britton
Karla Britton and Robert McCarter are the editors of Modern Architecture and the Lifeworld: Essays in Honor of Kenneth Frampton, a fascinating collection of writing that responds to, expands upon, and honors the great architecture writer, educator, and historian Kenneth Frampton. In this episode, Jarrett talks with Karla and Robert about the Frampton’s legacy, his interest in connecting architecture to the wider world, and how they assembled this excellent new book. Links from this episode can be found at scratchingthesurface.fm/178-robert-mccarter-karla-britton.
177. Ashley Mendelsohn
Ashley Mendelsohn is an architecture curator, educator, and multidisciplinary designer focused on engaging and strengthening communities by demystifying the barriers to access and understanding. From 2015 to 2020, she was the Assistant Curator of Architecture and Digital Initiatives at the Guggenheim Museum and previously founded the 40 Kirkland Gallery at Harvard GSD. In this episode, Jarrett and Ashley talk about moving between design and curation, teaching architecture to high school students, and making architecture more understandable for a general audience. Links from this episode can be found at scratchingthesurface.fm/177-ashley-mendelsohn.
176. Nina Valerie Kolowratnik
Nina Valerie Kolowratnik is an architect, researcher, and PhD candidate at the Human Rights Centre at Ghent University. Her research focuses on indigenous people’s knowledge in human rights courts, migration, and notational systems. She’s the author of the book The Language of Secret Proof: Indigenous Truth and Representation. In this episode, Jarrett and Nina talk about architecture education and how it influences her current work, the role of architecture in a legal context, and why she’s now studying law. Links from this episode can be found at scratchingthesurface.fm/176-nina-kolowratnik.
175. Julia Watson
Julia Watson is a designer, activist, leading expert on indigenous technologies. She’s the author of Lo—TEK: Design for Radical Indigenism, teaches in the design programs at Harvard and Columbia, and runs Julia Watson Studio, an experimental landscape and urban design studio. In this conversation, recorded live at the 2020 AIGA Design Conference, Jarrett and Julia talk about what we can learn from indigenous design, resisting high-tech solutions, and how to better design with nature. Links from this episode can be found at scratchingthesurface.fm/175-julia-watson.
174. Daniel Barber
Daniel Barber is an Associate Professor of Architecture and Chair of the Graduate Group in Architecture at the University of Pennsylvania Stuart Weitzman School of Design. His research focuses on architecture and climate change, both historic and contemporary. He is the author, most recently, of Modern architecture and Climate: Design before Air Conditioning. In this episode, Jarrett and Daniel talk about the new book, how air condition changed modern architecture, and how we can better engage with the climate crisis. Links from this episode can be found at scratchingthesurface.fm/174-daniel-barber.
173. Denis Weil
Denis Weil is the dean of IIT Institute of Design in Chicago. After studying chemical engineering, Denis has worked across every sector of the design industry, from product design to marketing, including leading design and innovation at McDonald’s, studying civic design at Harvard, and serving as an innovation fellow for Bloomberg Philanthropies. In this wide-ranging conversation, Jarrett and Denis talk about how this background informs his work at IIT, the role of the designer in civic engagement, and the limits of design thinking. Links from this episode can be found at scratchingthesurface.fm/173-denis-weil.
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. :)