Justin McGuirk is a writer, critic and curator based in London. He is the director of Strelka Press, the publishing arm of the Strelka Institute in Moscow. He has been the design critic of The Guardian, the editor of Icon magazine and the design consultant to Domus, and his writings on design culture range from the architecture of Palestinian refugee camps to the design of electric shavers. In 2012 he was awarded the Golden Lion at the Venice Biennale of Architecture for an exhibition he curated with Urban Think Tank about the Torre David vertical slum in Caracas. His book, Radical Cities: Across Latin America in Search of a New Architecture, which documents the emergence of new approaches to building in cities from Bogota to Rio by activist architects, politicians and radical communities, will be published by Verso in June 2014.
Nicholson Baker is a celebrated writer of fiction and non-fiction who, through his lingering and meticulously detailed observations of everyday rituals and objects, imbues them with new significance. Baker is the author of numerous books including: The Mezzanine (Granta Books), The Anthologist: A Novel (Simon & Schuster), Human Smoke: The Beginnings of World War II, the End of Civilization (Simon & Schuster), A Box of Matches (Vintage Contemporaries), The Fermata (Vintage), and he writes about technology, among other topics, for publications such as The New Yorker, The New York Review of Books and The Guardian. Baker is also an activist for the protection and archiving of newspapers. In 1999, he established a non-profit corporation, the American Newspaper Repository, to rescue old newspapers from destruction by libraries as a result of the microfilming boom of the period. His 2001 book on the topic, Double Fold: Libraries and the Assault on Paper (Vintage Books) won a National Book Critics Circle Award.
Aric Chen is Curator of Design and Architecture at M+, the new museum for visual culture being built in Hong Kong’s West Kowloon Cultural District, and set to open in 2017. The museum will present 20th and 21st century art, design, architecture and the moving image, from a Hong Kong perspective. Chen previously served as creative director of Beijing Design Week, helping to successfully re-launch that event in 2011 and 2012. Formerly based in New York, Chen has curated and organized numerous exhibitions and projects internationally, at venues such as Design Miami; the Center for Architecture in New York; ExperimentaDesign in Amsterdam; the Saint-Etienne International Design Biennale in France, and the Design Museum Holon in Israel. He has been a frequent contributor to publications including The New York Times, Fast Company, GQ, Wallpaper*, Architectural Record and PIN-UP.
Peter Lunenfeld, Ph.D, is a professor in the Design Media Arts department at UCLA, and core faculty in the Digital Humanities program. His books include The Secret War Between Downloading and Uploading, winner of the 2013 Dorothy Lee Prize, Digital_Humanities (co-authored with Anne Burdick, Johanna Drucker, Todd Presner, and Jeffrey Schnapp), USER: InfoTechnoDemo, Snap to Grid and The Digital Dialectic (all from MIT Press). Between 2001 and 2005 Lunenfeld founded and directed Mediawork, a multi-award-winning transmedia publishing project, which included: Utopian Entrepreneur by Brenda Laurel, designed by Denise Gonzales Crisp; Writing Machines by N. Katherine Hayles, designed by Anne Burdick; Rhythm Science by Paul D. Miller, designed by COMA; and Shaping Things by Bruce Sterling, designed by Lorraine Wild. He has held fellowships at the Columbia University Institute for Scholars at Reid Hall in Paris, and in the Vectors program at the USC Annenberg Center.
Emily Stokes-Rees is a material anthropologist whose research centers on evolving ideas around cultural citizenship and representation in postcolonial Asia. After receiving a doctorate from Oxford in 2007, Stokes-Rees spent two years as a postdoctoral fellow at Brown University, where she spent much of her time hidden away in the collections of the Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology. Currently based at Harvard, Stokes-Rees is a resident dean at Cabot House and holds an academic appointment as lecturer in the Anthropology Department, currently teaching courses on “Anthropology in/of the Museum,” “The Material as Culture: Objects, Meaning and the Self,” and a freshman seminar on visual representation. Recent publications include “Recounting History: Constructing a National Narrative in the Hong Kong Museum of History” (National Museums: New Studies from Around the World, 2011) and “Making Sense of a Melange: Representing Cultural Citizenship in Singapore’s Asian Civilizations Museum” (Museum Anthropology, 2013). Stokes-Rees has worked on a variety of museum projects and exhibitions in the US, Canada, Europe, and Asia.