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DOMESTIC BLISS / Styled Lives and Loves

PUSH 2006: A New Life, Session 4

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Miniaturization. Customization. Personalization. Everything, it seems, can be tricked out to reflect the complex and intimate "brand" of our own personal experience. how will this intersection of design and desire, style and story affect our dreams, aspirations and relationships with others?


Ze (Zay) Frank is a brooklyn–based artist, writer, and monologist. Fascinated be the incredible creative potental of people who don't think of themselves as creative people, Ze has built a number of spaces – online and offline – that allow people to create, collaborate and meet in interesting ways. Ze’s personal website of interactive toys, animations and humerous short films has appeared in numerous online and offline publications and is one of the web’s most highly traficked personal spaces. The site won the People’s Voice prize at the 2002 Webby awards.

Ze received a BS in neuroscience from Brown University in 1995, after which he played in a band and then discovered computer design. A video he created of himself dancing wildly to a Madonna tune found its way around the world by email, and soon thereafter was launched. Ze works as a member of the design group Media Brand and has developed numerous kiosks, CD–ROMs, websites and related design projects, and is a brilliant performance artist, humorist, filmmaker, and web designer.


Cameron Sinclair is the co–founder and executive director of Architecture for Humanity, a six year old 501(c)3 charitable organization which promotes architecture and design solutions to humanitarian crises and provides design services to communities in need. Currently he is working in six countries on projects ranging from school building, tsunami and hurricane reconstruction to developing mobile medical facilities to combat HIV/AIDS. He trained as an architect at the University of Westminster (BArch Hons) and at the Bartlett School of Architecture in London. During his studies, Mr. Sinclair developed an interest in social, cultural and humanitarian design. His postgraduate thesis focused on providing shelter to New York’s homeless population through sustainable, transitional housing. After completing his studies, he moved to New York where he has worked as a designer and project architect.

From 1996 to 2002, Sinclair worked on projects in more than 20 countries including England, Mexico, Russia, South Africa and the United States. While working with Lauster/Radu Architects, he worked on the restoration of the Brancusi sculptural complex and a 30–year rejuvenation plan for the town of Tirgu Jiu, Romania. This project received the AIA/BSA Willo von Molke Urban Design Award in 1999. Other projects included a health center for UNITE (Union of Needletrades, Industrial and Textile Employees) and a mixed–use redevelopment plan for Frederick Douglass Boulevard in Harlem. As a project architect with Gensler, Mr. Sinclair helped design the award–winning School of the International Center of Photography in Manhattan and was a key member in the disaster recovery team for Lehman Brothers after terrorist attacks destroyed their offices in the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.

Mr. Sinclair is a regular guest critic and lecturer at schools and colleges in the United States and abroad. He has spoken at a number of conferences including the Fortune Brainstorm Conference, the UIA World Congress on Architecture, the International Design Conference in Aspen and the Art Center Design Conference in Pasadena, California. He has been a regular guest speaker on NPR, CBC and BBC World Service. In addition to Architecture for Humanity, Mr. Sinclair is currently the Cass Gilbert Visiting Professor at the University of Minnesota College of Architecture and Landscape Architecture. Additionally he serves on the advisory board for the Detroit Collaborative Design Center and Kids With Cameras. He has contributed to a number of exhibitions dealing with social justice and design. Sinclair is also a contributor for World Changing and, with Kate Stohr, is writing a book on humanitarian design called “Design Like You Give A Damn”.

In August 2004 Fortune Magazine named him as one of the Aspen Seven, seven people changing the world for the better.


Katie Salen is a designer interested in the connections between game design, interactivity, and play. Co–author (with Eric Zimmerman) of Rules of Play: Game Design Fundamentals (MIT Press 2004), as well as the forthcoming “Rules of Play Reader” (MIT Press 2005), she is a former core team member of gameLab, and current member of Playground, a design team focused on large—scale, experimental, real—world games. In 2002 Katie partnered with screenwriter and director Hampton Fancher (“Minus Man: Bladerunner”) on a project for the XEN division of Microsoft to develop the script for an animated storytelling experience distributed through Xbox Live, and has curated programs at the Lincoln Center, Cinematexas, The Rotterdam International Film Festival, and the Walker Art Center on machinima, the practice of creating animated films using game engines.

She is a contributing writer for RES magazine, and worked as an animator on Richard Linklater’s critically acclaimed animated feature “Waking Life,” as well as on the music videos “Destiny” and “In the Waiting Line Zero 7” for MTV2. Katie has taught game design and interactive design in programs at New York University’s Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP), the University of Texas, RISD, and N.C. State University.


Todd Reynolds, violinist and composer, began playing the violin at the age of four, and during his first twenty four years was steeped in the venerable classical music tradition like a teabag, learning all the violin concerti, Paganini Caprices and Bach Sonatas that the other children learned. His studies with the late violinist Jascha Heifetz and his position as one of the principals of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra highlighted his early career before his world exploded into an awareness of multiple genres, styles, disciplines and a fascination with electronic music and the digital world.

Today he is known as an innovator in the arts and one of the most active and versatile proponents of what he calls “present music”. Founder of the amplified string quartet known as Ethel and a longtime member of Bang On A Can and the Steve Reich Ensemble, his compositional and performance style is a hybrid of old and new technology, multi–disciplinary aesthetic and pan–genre composition and improvisation. Reynolds’ music has been called “a charming, multi–mood extravaganza, playful like Milhaud, but hard–edged like Hendrix” (Strings Magazine), and his countless premieres and performances of everything from avant–garde classical music to Jazz to Rock‘n’Roll seem to redefine the concert hall and underground club as undeniably and unavoidably intertwined.

He’s toured nationally and internationally as soloist with Yo–Yo Ma, appeared in concert and on record with artists such as John Cale, Joe Jackson and Todd Rundgren, continues to collaborate with Jazz artist Kenny Werner and Broadway Song Diva Betty Buckley and has enjoyed orchestral, Broadway and commercial careers along the way. His ongoing collaborations with composers, visual artists and performers such as Theo Bleckmann, Luke DuBois, Michael Gordon, Phil Kline (The Reynolds’ Etudes), Walter Thompson, Evan Ziporyn and many others continue to contribute to an ever–expanding book of music, Nuove Uova, and to an ultra–flexible concert–theater format, Still Life with Microphone (Gale Gates, Flea Theater, The Whitney Museum at Altria). Upcoming performances include nights at Joe’s Pub and The Issue Project Room, on tour in the spring opening for cult favorites, The Books and a premiere of Neil Rolnick’s concerto for iFiddle at Carnegie’s Zankel Hall with the American Composers Orchestra in March, 2006.