Amy talks to Michael Ford, the designer and activist known as The Hip Hop Architect. Born in Highland Park, Michigan the son of a minister, Michael was raised to be inquisitive and question the world around him to find deeper truth. Early on, he found his passion for design and music, expanding it into a practice of architecture and design through the lens of Hip Hop culture. This led to his founding of The Hip Hop Architecture Camp®, a camp that positions Hip Hop Culture as a catalyst to introduce architecture and design to underrepresented youth. He’s also working with some of Hip Hop’s greatest names as he leads the design of The Universal Hip Hop Museum in The Bronx.
Amy talks to LEVER Architecture Principal and Portland Design Commissioner Chandra Robinson. A Portland native, she grew up with a great love for outdoor education, inspiring her to spend years as a sea kayaking guide and to study geography and physics. From an early age though, she was always fascinated by buildings and developed a deep love for spaces that felt safe, welcoming, and comfortable. She eventually found her way to Boston Architectural Center where she earned her MArch and found exceptional opportunities to work at firms of all sizes. Returning to Portland, she found her professional home at LEVER. First as an architect and now as a Principal, she’s led groundbreaking projects such as the Meyer Memorial Trust in Lower Albina. She is resourceful, brilliant, and dedicated to making her hometown feel welcoming, beautiful, and accessible to all.
Amy talks to sculptor and furniture designer Jonathan Trayte, a native of Yorkshire, UK, who spent his early childhood in a camper van with his family in rural southern South Africa. Back in the UK, his childhood was filled with weekend picnics in the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, sparking his love for sculpture. He went to Canterbury for his BFA and worked in kitchens on the side, a job that continues to influence his work today. Jonathan graduated from the Royal Academy in Art and was quickly met with success around his bronze sculptures but was itching to experiment more. And experiment he certainly has – from collaborating with Kit Neale on a café commissioned by the British Fashion Council to creating a desert road trip inspired show at Friedman Benda, he melds together materials, concepts, and memories to create exceptional works of art.
Industrial designer and entrepreneur, Yves Béhar, grew up in Switzerland on a steady diet of punk and windsurfing. After graduating from ArtCenter in California he moved to the Bay Area and got his professional start designing for The Burdick Group, LUNAR, and frog. He founded fuseproject, his industrial design and branding firm, in 1999 and since then has been responsible for groundbreaking contributions to the design landscape across the fields of product design, brand development, business strategy, environments, and social impact. A pioneer of the “design venture” business model, he has also had a hand in redefining the way designers do business, enabling early-stage creative investment in startup projects. His new book, Yves Béhar: Designing Ideas is a comprehensive retrospective of his 20+ year career.
Lighting design plays an enormous role in supporting mood, feelings, perceptions and even human connection and romance. In this time when we have been suffering the side effects caused by extreme deprivation of social interaction and human connection, we’re excited to present this important conversation about how lighting can be designed to soothe our minds, uplift our spirits and help us find clarity, depth, and meaning in our day, in our surroundings, in ourselves. Back in October 2020, during WantedDesign Manhattan and ICFF’s CLOSEUP event, Clever’s Amy Devers talked to Drew Stuart, Field Director and Partner at multi-disciplinary architecture and design studio, INC, and Cecilia Ramos, Senior Director – Architectural Market for Lutron Electronics. The conversation has been edited into this podcast episode.
Amy talks to Biden/Harris Presidential Campaign Senior Creative Director Robyn Kanner. Robyn’s personal story is twisty and beautifully American. Largely self-taught, she fought hard to find her voice, and has battled bullies, addiction, and self-doubt on her path to purpose. She, alongside Carahna Magwood, led a design team that effectively imbued the Biden Harris ticket with an uplifting hopefulness that stressed reliability, inclusive values, and unification. From the hot pink Biden & Lady Gaga promos, to unifying red-blue gradients. Robyn’s is a story of acceptance, healing, hard work, creativity, and community – and feels as bright and hopeful as a victory gradient.
Amy talks to Sarah Stein Greenberg, Executive Director of the Stanford d.school. She spent her childhood in Philly running bases, reading books, and getting lost in her vivid imagination. After getting an undergraduate degree in History, she embarked on an MBA at Stanford, which resulted in her introduction to the d.school and into the dynamic and fascinating world of design. As a lover of complexity and intersections, she found her tribe. Now she’s authored Creative Acts for Curious People, a rich and visual resource filled with innovative exercises aimed at helping everyone unlock their own creative potential.
Amy talks to interior designer and self-described “cocktail,” Yasmine Ghoniem, who has lived a whirlwind life across continents, cultures, and careers. Born in Kuwait to Australian and Egyptian parents, she lived throughout the Middle East before moving to the United States to attend Savannah College of Art and Design. She always had a deep love for music, feeling destined to be a performer, she formed indie rock bands with family and friends throughout the years. Yasmine eventually put down roots in Sydney, Australia where she founded and leads YSG Studio, an interior design studio focusing on residential and hospitality. She brings her eclectic influences and flair for the theatrical drama of staging and storytelling to all of her spaces. Intoxicating indeed!
Amy talks to information designer and advocate for data humanism, Giorgia Lupi. Lupi spent her childhood in Italy organizing buttons in her grandmother’s tailor shop, a data collector already in the making. The teenage years had her expressing herself through the punk rock and heavy metal scene in her town. After receiving her master’s degree in Architecture, she began her PhD in Design at Politecnico di Milano while founding Accurat, an internationally acclaimed data-driven design firm. Now a partner at Pentagram, and author of personal projects such as Dear Data, she continues to push for a humanistic approach to data as a path to understanding our complex realities.
And the most popular Clever episode of 2021 is…
Amy Devers talks to writer, speaker, and women’s creative leadership coach, Majo Molfino, who is a champion for smashing the patriarchy (both within and outside each of us!) and supporting women in harnessing their creative confidence and power. A precocious child, she was born in Argentina and moved with her family across the US and Canada, eventually landing in San Francisco. As an immigrant, she grew up trying to uphold the “Good Girl Myth” sacrificing her identity, her creativity, and her confidence to counteract the feeling of not belonging. After a windy path through a few stuffy 9 to 5s, she went on a few mind-blowing voyages and began to reconnect with herself. Now, Majo is the host of the HEROINE podcast, author of “Break the Good Girl Myth,” and is a role model and a leader in designing a life and career that is a perfect fit.