Elayne DeLeo spoke to Carla Swickerath, Partner at Studio Libeskind about the rewards of working closely with government, 9/11 families and businesses on Libeskind's World Trade Center Master Plan, how COVID-19 has laid bare the inequities of our communities and the importance of having designers contribute to big solutions, and some advice for architecture grads coming into an uncertain future. www.libeskind.com
Dr. Pierce Gordon—An innovation catalyst, researcher, facilitator, and evaluator. He specializes in interdisciplinary research that unpacks how communities value, support, and practice innovation in social justice and international development. His research and consultation work has worked to track and support the field's spread, complexity, and emergence. Whether conducting ethnographic analyses and facilitation projects in the Botswana innovation ecosystem, or by co-founding Reflex Design Collective, an equity design consultancy that's worked for creative social justice in the Bay Area, his core aim is to critically catalyze good social change.
Elayne DeLeo spoke to Dr. Gordon about the differences between innovation and design, the history and hidden perceptions behind wearing masks, how design is a political act, how oppressed and underserved communities have been creating their own design solutions for thousands of years, and why he believes the alien in the 2018 film "Annihilation" is a metaphor for design. www.piercegordon1.com
Jonas Pettersson—CEO of the award winning design firm Form Us With Love, spoke with Elayne DeLeo about the collaborative process between their design team and the brands they work with, why sustainability and designing for a better world is key to their success, and how the name Form Us With Love started as a joke, but has become their raison d'etre. www.formuswithlove.se
Atlanta commercial real estate broker and cultural developer Gene Kansas joins MA!'s Elayne DeLeo for a conversation on how his childhood in the gumbo of New Orleans inspired his love of storytelling, his work to save the historic Atlanta Daily World Building in Sweet Auburn, and the responsibility of developers and humankind to create "affordable everything".
In his 20+ years in Atlanta commercial real estate — and inspired by a colorful, deep-fried, parade-filled, culturally rich upbringing in New Orleans, LA — Gene Kansas has garnered a reputation as a champion of historic preservation, adaptive reuse, community building, and storytelling through the built environment. Each Gene Kansas project aims to blend an appreciation of culture and history with creative, responsible, and vital refashioning that brings new relevance to space and how it is used by clients, neighborhoods, and the city.
Chris Hardy is an American industrial designer based in Atlanta. Born in Houston in 1984, he pursued an education of design, receiving a BFA in Industrial Design from the College for Creative Studies and a Masters of Design from the School of Design at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. After returning to the United States in 2009, he began his career as a freelance designer collaborating with furniture and lighting manufacturers as well as interior design firms.
His work has been exhibited at Salone de Mobile in Milan, Frankfurt Light + Building, Neocon in Chicago, Wanted Design during New York Design Week and Montreal’s SIDIM. He has been featured in design publications including: Metropolis, Dwell, Wallpaper, Surface, Architectural Digest, Interior Design, Frame, Hospitality Design, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal.
Photo credit Kevin Adams