Recommended Listening

A short list of some of the best podcasts for Designers to listen to.

 
 
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99% Invisible

The title of the show refers to design, in that most good design is invisible. Each week they explore some interesting element of the world in search of understanding why it exists, how it was made, or some aspect of its interesting take. 

It is an easy show to listen to, with episodes ranging from 10 - 20 minutes on average. A pretty straightforward narrative style, with just enough mystery for a fun ah-ha moment. 

Their about page has some recommended episodes to listen to, here are a few of my favorites:

https://99percentinvisible.org

 
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Radiolab

A show about curiosity. Originally started to talk about science, the show now explores a much broader spectrum of topics about the human experience. Shows trend towards the sixty minute length, and can be quite engrossing. They are well worth it, and I’ve often been pleasantly surprised episodes on topics I initially though I wasn’t interested in.

A few favorites are:

 
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Imaginary Worlds

A show about imaginary worlds, how we create them and why we suspend our disbelief (the shows tag line). As a lover of science fiction, it is easy for me to get into this podcast. As a designer, even if you don’t like sci-fi, you should try this show out because there is a lot of searching into storytelling and how it speaks to human behavior.

https://www.imaginaryworldspodcast.org

A few favorite episodes:

 
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Twenty Thousand Hertz

The stories behind the world’s most recognizable and interesting sounds (tag line). This podcast is like 99% Invisible, but focused on sound. While sound is the starting point, the show explores a broad range of interesting topics, like noise pollution, how sound influence flavor, and where the voice of Siri came from.

https://www.20k.org

A few favorite episodes:

 
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Reply All

A podcast about the internet. Full of interesting stories about... I really enjoy two segments on the show. In Tech Support, one host aids listeners solve interesting problems, like how to recover old bitcoin, or what are these odd phone calls my company keeps getting with someone whispering on the other line. In Yes, Yes, No two hosts explore a third understand meta-referential twitters posts, and through it, the internet. (Episode 114 Apocalypse Soon is probably the pen-ultimate Yes Yes No session, https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/reply-all)

https://www.gimletmedia.com/reply-all/

A few favorite episodes:

 

 
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How I Built This

Stories about entrepreneurs and the organizations they started. It is interesting to hear the back stories from the co-founders of the businesses themselves. Sometimes it even involves hearing about a number of their failures.

https://www.npr.org/podcasts/510313/how-i-built-this

Some favorites:

 
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Robot or Not

Two hosts debate whether something fits in one category, or another. The first 100 episodes are about whether said thing (i.e. The Terminator, Major Motoko Kusanagi, Roomba's, etc) are robots, or not. Episodes after 100 discuss whether things fit into a category or not (i.e. Is cheesecake a cake even though it doesn't have any cake in it?).

A fantastic show for designers because of the logical thinking the hosts go through in defining something. Useful example to bring to design critiques. 

Robot or Not Show Webpage