Meet the Faces Behind Our Smart Tech Issue

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By Dwell
The writers and photographers that made our July/August 2016 issue possible.
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Carlos Chavarría 

Born in Madrid, Carlos Chavarría moved to the Bay Area six years ago to launch a career in photography. He was recently chosen as one of Photo District News’s 30 emerging photographers to watch. Chavarría visited the tech-filled home of Scott MacFiggen and Regina Bustamante in San Francisco’s Noe Valley neighborhood for this issue. "I had an amazing time photographing them in their backyard at dusk—there was a magical light," Chavarría recalls. 

Would you live in a smart house? 

"I can’t think of a more convenient city than San Francisco for living in a smart home, since a lot of aspects of life here are based on new technologies and connectivity."

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Michael Friberg 

Based in Salt Lake City, photographer Michael Friberg lives with his wife and two beagles in a 100-year-old bungalow that he’s slowly fixing up. He captured a Cor-Ten steel residence in Silver Lake, Los Angeles. He’s currently working on projects related to the Syrian refugee crisis.  

Would you live in a smart house? 

"I would live in a smart house if it actually worked well—my experiences with the technology have been mixed. I can be a bit of a Luddite."

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Debra Jo Immergut 

A former magazine editor—a feature she edited for FamilyFun won a 2016 National Magazine Award—Debra Jo Immergut now writes about design for the Wall Street Journal and others. She penned a story about a teaching kitchen in a renovated barn in Dover, Massachusetts, not far from her hometown of Northampton. "I’ve written about ZeroEnergy’s projects before," she says. "I’m an admirer of the firm’s passion for building beautifully and with extreme intelligence." 

What’s your favorite tech item in your house? 

"I’m a big fan of my smart TV. I still can’t get over how I can lie on my sofa and stream my Amazon Prime watch list onto a decent-sized screen." 

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 José Mandojana 

Shooting a certified Passive House by Malboeuf Bowie Architecture in Seattle, photographer José Mandojana was instantly drawn to "the herringbone exterior of charred cedar," he says. "It’s really striking, and functional for a home in the Northwest." Based in Los Angeles, where he lives with his wife and two children, Mandojana studied biology and briefly attended law school before dropping out to pursue photography at the ArtCenter College of Design in Pasadena. He now creates portrait, advertising, and travel images for a wide variety of clients. 

What’s your favorite tech item in your house? 

"Our house is a 1950 midcentury, so the tech is lacking. I’d have to say our Sonos speakers."


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Ariel Meadow Stallings 

Seattle-based tech and lifestyle writer Ariel Meadow Stallings founded her Web publishing company, Offbeat Empire, in 2007. For this issue, she reported a story on a connected home in Seattle’s Greenwood neighborhood. "I spent a long time talking about the infamous ‘Seattle Freeze’ with Tiffany [Bowie] from Malboeuf Bowie Architecture and Franck [Rougier], the founder of the Kirio smart-home operating system," Stallings says. "I loved dissecting how design and technology together factor into the city’s social atmosphere and culture." 

Would you live in a smart house? 

"I welcome our robot overlords. I work with algorithms all day in my Web publishing work, and I know firsthand that the robots are just plain smarter than we are about a lot of things."