Supporter Update 🤝🏻 July 21, 2023

Previewing our upcoming podcast season and more

Supporter Update 🤝🏻 July 21, 2023
Mark Ruwedel, LA River/Glendale Narrows #24, 2017, from the series Rivers Run Through It, 2014–

Hi everyone,

By the time you read this I’ll be on a short road trip with my youngest son. But before I pack the car with too many toys and stuffed animals, I want to share some news about our podcast, which is relaunching in September. The format will be familiar to those who listened to First Things First, which Frontier founder Paddy Harrington began in 2018: intimate, thoughtful conversations with people who share our belief that creativity and design accelerate positive change.

In the past, the podcast featured mostly designers and architects. The season to come, though, will feature a mix of writers, artists and arts professionals, designers, and startup founders. I’m pleased to reveal a few of our forthcoming guests:

  • Writer Kate Zambreno, whose latest book, The Light Room: On Art and Care, has received glowing reviews
  • Engineering professor and writer Deb Chachra, whose forthcoming book promises to bring into view the invisible but essential systems that underpin the modern world
  • Startup founder and writer Sari Azout, whose new software platform, currently in stealth beta, fosters a calmer, more humane way of gathering and sharing knowledge
  • Writer Drew Austin, whose essays for Real Life and newsletter Kneeling Bus critically examine how the internet is changing our conceptions of urban space
  • DJ, artist, and writer Jace Clayton, whose Gold Teeth Thief mix reshaped my musical world twenty years ago and whose Forty Part Part sound installation was a highlight of last year’s FRONT Triennial

(You may remember Clayton’s name and artwork from the last supporter update—a little preview/Easter Egg for those watching closely. 😉)

I’m deeply excited to share the ideas, insights, and inspirations behind their wonderful and varied creative output—as well as those of others whom I won’t name just yet. 🤫

See you next Wednesday!

Love all ways,


More stories related to recent issues

A month ago I wrote about parking and car use in cities around the world. It mentioned the push for congestion pricing in New York city, and less than a week later the movement received final approval from the Federal Highway Administration, meaning the program could start as early as next year. One aspect of my essay dealt with attempts to creatively reuse parking garages, something that’s expanded upon in this multimedia report from the London-based Studio Egret West. Lastly, Streetsblog published a thought-provoking op-ed titled “Why We Should Stop Using the Word ‘Micromobility’” (to refer to anything smaller and lighter than cars).

Last week’s issue, about how art and emotions don’t follow the rules, largely focused on historian of science Lorraine Daston’s recent book on rules. For a briefer yet still insightful take, I really enjoyed this interview with her in The Nation: “It’s proverbial among anthropologists that the content of rules in all cultures is dazzlingly diverse, but there’s no culture without rules. In fact, one could say that culture is rules, to make it into a simple equation.” And though I didn’t dive deeply into conceptual art, of course there’s a book for that: Sherri Ivin’s Immaterial: Rules in Contemporary Art, which is excerpted in this Aeon essay.

Back in April, I wrote about Irish critic Brian Dillon’s essay collection Affinities. His latest essay, “on the history of drum machines, and especially the Linn LM-1 that was on everything in the mid-1980s (but sounded extraordinary on Kate Bush and Prince records),” is available for free on the Granta website through August.