T’ai Smith holds a Ph.D. in Visual and Cultural Studies from the University of Rochester and a B.A. in Visual Arts / Art History from Barnard College, Columbia University. She is currently a Wall Scholar at the Peter Wall Institute of Advanced Studies at UBC (2014-15): http://pwias.ubc.ca/. For the summer term 2014, she was a Senior Fellow in residence at IKKM (International Research Center for Cultural Techniques and Media Philosophy), Bauhaus University, Weimar, Germany: http://www.ikkm-weimar.de/home/prm/43/0/index.html
Before coming to the University of British Columbia, she taught at Parsons the New School of Design and Maryland Institute College of Art. From 2004 to 2008 she was Managing Editor of Grey Room, published by the MIT Press.
Her articles and reviews on modern and contemporary art and design have been published in various periodicals, including Art Journal, Grey Room, Journal of Modern Craft, and Texte zur Kunst, as well as catalogue essays for the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston, and the Generali Foundation in Vienna. Interested in the crossovers between art, design, craft theory, and media studies, her writings have addressed issues around textiles, medium specificity, intellectual property, functionalism, labour, and gender.
Smith's book, Bauhaus Weaving Theory: From Feminine Craft to Mode of Design (University of Minnesota Press, 2014), considers theoretical texts by weavers, artists, and designers at and after the Bauhaus school in Germany: http://www.upress.umn.edu/book-division/books/bauhaus-weaving-theory. She is now developing a book project, provisionally titled "Textile Media and Philosophy," which will examine the use of textile metaphors in the fields of art history, philosophy, and political economy since the 19th century.