Designers at Apple, MoMA, and more share the podcasts they never miss

Push your creativity into high gear with audio inspo from design leaders.

Designers at Apple, MoMA, and more share the podcasts they never miss
[Source Image: bto/iStock]

“Like having nutrient-rich peanut butter rubbed on my brain and then licked off by a telepathic dog who translates all the smart stuff into creative inspiration.”


No, that’s not a description of being on hallucinogens, but it is how one creative director described his favorite podcast. I reached out to top designers for the podcasts they’re listening to now, and gathered their recommendations—and commentary—below, to help the rest of us get over those pesky inspiration dry spells. Running short on ideas? Creative higher ground is just a pair of headphones away.

Eric Baldwin, executive creative director, Wieden + Kennedy Portland


“Listening to Jad and Robert is like having nutrient rich peanut butter rubbed on my brain and then licked off by a telepathic dog who translates all the smart stuff into creative inspiration.”

Arem Duplessis, group creative director, Apple
The Daily, New York Times
“My favorite podcast by far is the New York Times‘s The Daily. It’s like a cup of tea in the morning—I have to have it. Michael Barbaro does a great job distilling his reporting into a pretty tight window of time. I always feel well-informed while listening during my commute.”

Rob Giampietro, director of design, MoMA
Hit Parade, Slate
“Lately I’ve enjoyed listening to Slate‘s Hit Parade as soon as it appears in my feed. Every episode is chock-full of goodies, but the episodes on Stevie Wonder, Genesis, and Janet Jackson were incredibly well done. In terms of design podcasts, I hope you’re subscribing to Scratching the Surface, Wireframe, Design Notes, and On Margins already—consider adding them if not. And I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention MoMA’s wonderful new collaboration with the BBC, The Way I See It with creative minds responding to the best of MoMA’s collection—design fans might particularly enjoy Michael Bierut on Ed Ruscha’s OOF, just out now.”


Michael Hendrix, partner & global design director, Ideo
Song Exploder

“I’m particularly inspired by adjacent creative professions. So my favorite podcast is Song Exploder, with The Art of Process a close second. While both are very different in format and fidelity, each dives deep into artistic minds and reveals truths about the impossible knot that is creativity.”


Deva Pardue, creative director, The Wing
Passenger List, Radiotopia
“I just started listening to Passenger List, a mystery fiction podcast, and I’m only a few episodes in, but it’s very entertaining. I’m usually binging on true crime podcasts, and this is a nice break from that but still a similar thriller-type genre. It took me a bit to get used to the fiction podcast style—the acting is sort of over the top in a theatrical way—but now I love it, especially when I’m cooking or doing ceramics.”

Rich Tu, vice president of digital design, MTV, VH1, CMT, and Logo
The Bill Simmons Podcast, The Ringer
“I would suggest The Bill Simmons Podcast on The Ringer network. I enjoy Bill Simmons’s ability to talk intelligently about a variety of topics, with guests ranging from Chuck Klosterman, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, and former Knicks player Charles Oakley (who has an AMAZING episode).”

Jessica Walsh, CEO, founder, creative director, &Walsh
Design Matters with Debbie Millman


“It’s wonderful to hear so many creatives from different disciplines speak about things we all encounter everyday in the design world—it’s a constant reminder that there can be hundreds of solutions to even the simplest problems. Ladies, Wine & Design has been so fortunate to have Debbie as a panelist at past events, as her voice is recognized throughout the industry.”

Ida Woldemichael, associate creative director, Wide Eye
First Generation Burden and Revision Path

“I love listening to other perspectives on design, and there are many podcasts I appreciate. I am drawn to Revision Path and First Generation Burden in particular because it’s an opportunity for me to hear from designers within my community, but specifically some designers who have had a similar lived experience.”


About the author

Lilly Smith is an associate editor of Co.Design. She was previously the editor of Design Observer, and a contributing writer to AIGA Eye on Design.