5 Downloadable Design Podcasts

Words by Samantha Weiss-Hills for AD, Clever


Design podcasts are an excellent way to get inspired on your commute or while lounging on a weekend morning. That’s right, design podcasts—there’s actually quite a lot you can learn and enjoy about visual arts and architecture through recorded conversation. No pictures required! Often, these podcasts come from completely independent producers, act as an extension of academic programs, and are associated with design media or radio. The topics are just as varied, and you can be a total beginner to get sucked into any of them—the conversations transport, educate, and entertain. Here are 5 that span the field, covering everything from architecture to interior design, fashion, furniture, urban planning, and more.


99% Invisible

A giant of the genre, 99% Invisible is the design podcast go-to for many. It explores topics ranging from the history of the fortune cookie to gerrymandering, to the graphic design of the Mexico ’68 Olympics. Basically, no subject is too obscure or seemingly unrelated; 99% Invisible finds a design thread through any topic.

Visit 99percentinvisibe.org



Evan Troxel, Neal Pann, and Cormac Phalen host this twice-monthly discussion on all things architecture and interior design. They’re focused just as much as what it’s like to work in the field as on the design itself.

Go to archispeakpodcast.com


Scratching the Surface

Jarrett Fuller hosts Scratching the Surface, a design podcast about the intersection of criticism and practice (and no, you don’t need to know anything about either to enjoy it). He interviews designers, writers, critics, and educators, connecting how writing, criticism, and theory informs individual practice and the graphic design profession at large. Recent guests include Peter Mendelsund, Shannon Mattern, and Bryan Boyer.

Website: scratchingthesurface.fm


Monocle on Design

Monocle covers global fashion, furniture, and architecture. This podcast delves more deeply into each field, and explores how they intersect with other topics Monocle covers, from transportation to politics. Example: What it’s actually like to live in Brasilia.

Go to monocle.com/radio


Design Matters

Debbie Millman started Design Matters in 2005, way ahead of the podcast boom we know today. Guests on Design Matters, which is also hosted on Design Observer, come from a variety of disciplines, and you can sort them by that category on the website—an easy way to get to what you want, since there are over 200 episodes.

Visit designmattersmedia.com


Feature image: Unsplash