Design podcasts to discover: creative giants share smalltalk and big ideas
Listen to the best design podcasts by creators, curators and journalists shining a spotlight on different areas of the design practice
Tune into our edit of favourite design podcasts to accompany your commute or countryside walk, or to simply offer insight into some of the most fascinating aspects of the practice. From engaging interviews with the world’s leading creatives to in-depth explorations on specific topics such as wood and sofas, this is our pick of the best design podcasts to listen to now.
Eleven great design podcasts
The Creative Boom Podcast
A series of ‘candid conversations with artists and designers about their creative journeys so far’, the Creative Boom design podcast goes deep into the artistic world and lives of creatives such as Pentagram’s Marina Willer and artist Morag Myerscough. The series so far features over 70 episodes that cover creativity as well as the challenged faced by working in the industry, from equality to mental health.
On Design with Justyna Green
Now in its fourth season, On Design is hosted by illustrator and media professional Justyna Green through a series of insightful conversations with leading figures of design, from entrepreneurs to curators and designers: ‘If you want to know what inspires them, how they work and how they see the world, this is the podcast for you.’ With early interviews featuring the likes of Michael Anastassiades and Formafantasma, the latest season features designers Bethan Laura Wood and Alex Proba, and artist Shantell Martin.
If Not Now Then When?
An inspirational creative platform supporting people entering the creative industries, ‘If Not Now Then When?’ was established in 2017 as a way to establish conversations in the creative communities about the networking platforms available to design professionals. ‘We agreed the industry should be much more accessible to everyone,’ reads the initiative’s statement. ‘It began life as a series of casual design networking evenings and has since grown into a company that supports both creative individuals and brands in achieving their aspirations.’ Its podcasts of the same name is was created with the intention ‘to make idols become accessible mentors’, through chats with a diverse group of entrepreneurs and creatives. Episodes include conversations with Studioilse’s Oscar Peña, streetwear designer Denzel Currie, Anarchitect, Black Females in Architecture co-founder Akua Danso and Michael Anastassiades.
It’s Nice That Podcast
Newly launched at the beginning of 2022, the It’s Nice That Podcast made its debut with three episodes looking at creativity through in-depth conversations with graphic designers including Christoph Niemann, Eric Hu and the New York Times Magazine creative director Gail Bichler. Hosted by editor-in-chief Matt Alagiah, this new fortnightly design podcast ’seeks to scrub away the Instagram gloss and hear the honest truth from people who have built careers out of their creativity.’ As an added bonus, each episode ends with a ’Nice Note’, a voice memo sent by global designers and artists, describing a favourite spot in their home city (with the inaugural episodes ’visiting’ Mumbai, Montpellier and Sydney).
The second season of the popular ‘Nice Try!’ design podcasts focuses on everyday interiors and the objects that populate our homes (after a season centered on failed utopias). Enter the vacuum cleaner, the mattress, the doorbell and the bidet, or as host Avery Trufelman puts it, ’the home products and technologies sold to americans over and over again, along with the promises they have made, kept and broken.’ The history, design and secrets of our most intimate household objects is explored through 40-minute episodes that combine social commentary with fun trivia. A humorous, thought-provoking and captivating must listen.
Material Matters with Grant Gibson
The starting point for each of Grant Gibson’s conversations with designers, makers or entrepreneurs is a material. Gibson created a series of engaging and intensely addictive episodes focusing on everything from paper (with Wallpaper’s long-term collaborator James Cropper), recycled aluminium (with Emeco owner Gregg Buchbinder) and even bacteria (with Natsai Audrey Chieza) and dead animals (with artist Polly Morgan). Each hour-long interview delves into the subject’s personal history while offering an educated, informative and in-depth take on each material.
What do designers do, why and how they do it is the focus of a series of design podcasts from the Harvard Graduate School of Design. ‘Talking Practice’ is hosted by Grace La, the school’s professor of architecture and chair of Practice Platform, and features ‘in-depth interviews with leading designers on the ways in which architects, landscape architects, designers, and planners articulate design imagination through practice’. Episodes include interviews with OMA partner Shohei Shigematsu and designers Lyndon Neri and Rossana Hu.
Words on Wood by AHEC Europe
Described as ‘a deep dive into the built environment’, AHEC’s ‘Words on Wood’ podcast (now in its second season) is developed as a series of cross-disciplinary conversations with designers and material experts to explore our relationship with the forest. Hosted by editors Oli Stratford and India Block, each half-hour episode is alternated with a 15-minute ‘tree short’ focusing on a specific species. Guests so far have included designers Sam Hecht and Yves Behar talking about new wood technologies, and Stephen Burks talking with Zanat founder Orhan Niksic in conversation on their approach to traditional woodworking techniques.
The Couch – Conversations on Design by B&B Italia
B&B Italia enlisted journalist David Plaisant (who memorably interviewed architect Paolo Portoghesi for Wallpaper*) to curate its first podcast series, talking all things sofas and homes with leading design voices including Michael Anastassiades, Mario Bellini, Ivy Ross, and Philippe Starck. Topics of the 30-minute conversations include ideas on the home of the future, comfort and ergonomics and the impact of the sofa on popular culture, with focus episodes on B&B classics such as ‘Camaleonda’ and ‘Le Bambole’, two iconic Mario Bellini designs.
Circular with Katie Treggiden
Through her work, journalist Katie Tregidden has specialised in craft and sustainability and she shares her expertise in the hour-long episodes of her design podcast, ‘Circular’. In every episode, Tregidden talks to the thinkers, doers, and makers of the circular economy: ‘These are the people who are challenging the linear take, make, waste model of production and consumption, and working towards something better.’ Through this inspiring series, she talks about topics such as repair and waste with Celia Pym, Christopher Raeburn, Daniel Charny and many more.
Opinionated podcast by Luca Nichetto
This series of design podcasts features informal dialogues between Italian, Stockholm-based designer Luca Nichetto and his creative friends, including Daan Roosegaarde and Giorgia Lupi, who share their views on the world-changing power of design.