Kate Wagner is an architecture critic and the creator of the blog McMansion Hell. In addition to McMansion Hell, Kate is the writer of the America By Design column in The New Republic. Her work can also be found in The Atlantic, CityLab, Curbed, Metropolis, and The Nation.
Ji Lee is an independent designer and a creative director at Facebook, New York. Named as one of the 50 most important designers in America by the Fast Company, Ji’s work has been featured in The New York Times, Time Magazine, Wired, BBC, The Guardian among others.
Debbie Millman is host of the award-winning podcast Design Matters, the world’s first podcast on design; Chair of the first ever Masters in Branding Program at the School of Visual Arts, Editorial Director of Print magazine, President Emeritus of AIGA, and the author of six books on design and branding. She has worked on the design and strategy of over 200 of the world’s largest brands.
Born in Rockford, Illinois, Virgil Abloh is an artist, architect, engineer, creative director, artistic director, industrial designer, fashion designer, musician & Dj, and philanthropist. After earning a degree in civil engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, he completed a master’s degree in architecture at the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT), Chicago. At IIT, while studying a design curriculum devised by Mies van der Rohe, Abloh began to craft the principles of his art practice. The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago presented a major traveling survey of Abloh’s work in summer 2019. Currently, Abloh is the Chief Creative Director and founder of Off-White™️ and Men’s Artistic Director at Louis Vuitton.
Photo by Tyler Mitchell
Hans Ulrich Obrist is Artistic Director of the Serpentine Galleries in London. Prior to this, he was the Curator of the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris. Since his first show ‘World Soup (The Kitchen Show)’ in 1991, he has curated more than 300 exhibitions. Obrist is a contributing editor to Artforum, AnOther Magazine, Cahiers D’Art, and 032c, as well as being a regular contributor to Mousse, Kaleidoscope, Das Magazin and Weltkunst. In 2011 he received the CCS Bard Award for Curatorial Excellence, and in 2015 he was awarded the International Folkwang Prize for his commitment to the arts.
Photo by Justin Buell
Yves Béhar is a global leader in design and the Founder and Chief Designer of San Francisco-based industrial design and brand development studio, fuseproject. A successful entrepreneur, Béhar has co-founded new companies such as August Home, FORME Life, and CANOPY. Béhar has given talks at worldwide events as a spokesperson for design, sustainability, technology, and entrepreneurship, has received over 300 awards, and has designs included in the permanent collections of museums worldwide, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Centre Pompidou and the Art Institute of Chicago.
Architect and urban designer Kathryn Firth is a partner in FPdesign. Prior to this she was Director of Urban Design at NBBJ. From 2011-14, she was the Chief of Design at the London Legacy Development Corporation. She has led master planning and urban regeneration projects that range from those in sensitive heritage contexts to regeneration projects on former industrial sites. Firth also taught in the Cities Programme at the London School of Economics, and over the past three years she has been teaching urban planning and design at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design.
David Rockwell is founder and president of Rockwell Group, an award-winning, cross-disciplinary design practice based in New York City, Madrid and Shanghai. The firm has worked on a broad range of projects, including restaurants, hotels, airport terminals, hospitals, museums, and Broadway sets. Rockwell’s honors include a 2016 Tony Award for Best Scenic Design, the AIA New York Chapter President’s Award, the 2008 Cooper Hewitt National Design Award for Interior Design, the Presidential Design Award; and induction into Interior Design magazine’s Hall of Fame. Rockwell Group was named by Fast Company 2008, 2014 and 2015 as one of the world’s most innovative design practices.
Hailing from Johannesburg, South Africa, Sumayya Vally is the Founder and Principal of Counterspace. Her design, research and pedagogical practice is committed to finding expression for hybrid identities and contested territories. Vally also founded Counterparts, an arm of Counterspace - an interdisciplinary space, residency, dialogue and publishing platform, with an interest in tracing, seeding and carving collaborative ways of working. She is presently based between Johannesburg and London as the architect of the Serpentine Pavilion 2020/20 Plus 1.
Roy Kim is the Principal of the New York office of Eight, Inc., an experience design company that is perhaps most famous for its work with Steve Jobs for Apple's retail program. Additionally, he is the founder of Roy Kim Design, which provides services in design and real estate consultation. Prior to both ventures, Roy was the Chief Creative Officer for Douglas Elliman New Development, where he was responsible for the design, development, and marketing of innovative multi-family dwellings. His work has been seen in Interior Design Magazine and the New York Times, as well as in the documentary 'Super Skyscrapers: the Billionaires' Building'.
Barry Bergdoll is Meyer Schapiro Professor of Art History at Columbia University and the former Chief Curator in the Department of Architecture and Design at the Museum of Modern Art, New York (2007-14). A specialist in the history of modern architecture, he curated numerous exhibitions at MoMA, the Canadian Centre for Architecture, the Musée d’Orsay, and other venues, including Mies In Berlin (2001), Bauhaus 1919–1933: Workshops for Modernity (2009-2010), Rising Currents: Projects for New York’s Waterfront (2010), Latin America in Construction: Architecture 1955-1980 (2015) and Frank Lloyd Wright at 150: Unpacking the Archive (2017). He is the author most recently of Marcel Breuer: Building Global Institutions (2017).
Born in Hong Kong, China, Yoko Choy is the China Editor for Wallpaper* magazine, with work published in Hong Kong Economic Journal, Dezeen, Frame, Louis Vuitton publications and more. Choy is also a communications consultant and has worked for Art Basel on its launch in Hong Kong, curated exhibitions for Dover Street Market in China, advised Beijing Design Week on international strategy and represented Mariotestino+ in Asia. Yoko co-founded Collective Contemporist, a creative consultancy with offices in Beijing, Hong Kong and Amsterdam, together with the launch of creative conference ASSEMBLY in Beijing, to stimulate and inspire conversations and commercial collaborations.
Jake Barton is Principal and Founder of Local Projects, a media and physical design firm that creates groundbreaking experiences. Credits include landmark projects like the 9/11 Memorial Museum, the Cooper-Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum, and the Cleveland Museum of Art. Local Projects has won every major award including the National Design Awards and Cannes Lions. Jake's TED talk has nearly one million views, and he is on Fast Company Magazine’s list of top fifty designers.