136 episodes

Design Better co-hosts Eli Woolery and Aarron Walter explore the intersection of design, technology, and the creative process through conversations with inspiring guests across many creative fields. Whether you’re design curious or a design pro, Design Better is guaranteed to inspire and inform. Episodes are released semi-weekly. Vanity Fair calls Design Better, “sharp, to the point, and full of incredibly valuable information for anyone looking to better understand how to build a more innovative world.”

Design Better The Curiosity Department, LLC

    • Arts
    • 4.9 • 48 Ratings

Design Better co-hosts Eli Woolery and Aarron Walter explore the intersection of design, technology, and the creative process through conversations with inspiring guests across many creative fields. Whether you’re design curious or a design pro, Design Better is guaranteed to inspire and inform. Episodes are released semi-weekly. Vanity Fair calls Design Better, “sharp, to the point, and full of incredibly valuable information for anyone looking to better understand how to build a more innovative world.”

    Special Episode: "Say More" Feed Drop from The Boston Globe with guest Cal Newport

    Special Episode: "Say More" Feed Drop from The Boston Globe with guest Cal Newport

    Hey, everybody. We're sharing something special today from our pals over at the Say More podcast, where in a special series, Boston Globe columnist Shirley Leung is opening up the conversation about stress and burnout to help listeners feel less alone and inspired to get help. She connects with experts like Krista Tippett and Emily Nagoski, who use medical science, social science, and philosophy to answer deep questions about how stress works on our bodies and our minds so we can work better and live better.
    In this episode that we're sharing with you, computer scientist and best selling author Cal Newport says we've been thinking about productivity all wrong. We are big fans of Cal Newport. Shirley talks to Cal about the ways the modern office worker is primed for professional burnout, how hybrid work is just making it worse, and what we can do about it.
    He's not a Luddite by any stretch, but he says that we should quit social media and leave our phones behind whenever possible. Okay, here comes the preview. You can listen to Say More here: https://link.chtbl.com/saymore?sid=designbetter
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    • 27 min
    Hillary Coe: Emmy Award-winning designer, certified commercial pilot, astronaut candidate, and drag-racing record holder on designing for SpaceX and Vast

    Hillary Coe: Emmy Award-winning designer, certified commercial pilot, astronaut candidate, and drag-racing record holder on designing for SpaceX and Vast

    Visit our Substack for a video of the live interview, transcript, and more: https://designbetterpodcast.com/p/hillary-coe
    This is our 100th episode of Design Better. 🥳 It’s an amazing milestone! Whether you’ve been with us for years or you’re brand new to the show, thanks for listening and supporting our work.
    We saved something very special for our 100th episode: a live episode with Hillary Coe, formerly a design leader at SpaceX who is now leading design at Vast, who are building commercial space stations.
    When we first learned about Hillary, we weren’t entirely sure she was a real person: currently Chief Design & Marketing Officer for Vast and working on the world’s first commercial space station, Hilary was a design leader for SpaceX and creative director for Apple and Google, a certified commercial pilot, astronaut candidate, drag racing record holder and advocate for young women and men entering STEM fields: how can so many talents and accomplishments be wrapped up in a single human being?
    But Hillary is real—we’re lucky enough to have her here with us today for a very special live episode of Design Better at NYCxDesign Festival, resented in partnership with Automattic—makers of Wordpress— and Wert&Co—who have for decades connected inspiring brands and incredible talent.
    Space exploration has transformed from a big government program to a global commercial enterprise. As we increase our presence among the stars, there’s a role for design to play in shaping our experience. Who better to help us understand design in space than Hillary Coe, Chief Design & Marketing Officer at Vast who are making commercial space stations.
    Bio
    Hillary Coe is an Emmy award-winning design leader employing bold, multi-platform innovations to solve the world’s greatest challenges. As SpaceX's first Director of Design, she defined the visual strategy and narrative for human spaceflight in the 21st century while leading efforts to conceptualize human experience for current and future spacecraft. As Chief Design & Marketing Officer at Vast her mission continues with the development of a permanent human presence in space, and the world’s first Commercial Space Station.
    Outside of aerospace, her background in design leadership extends to Google mobile AR, Apple Watch fitness and ground-up product development for the high speed satellite internet service Starlink.
    Outside of her career, she is a commercial pilot, astronaut candidate, drag racing record holder and advocate for young women and men entering STEM fields. More specifically, her humanitarian efforts include working with the Department Of Education on the National STEM Challenge and advising XPRIZE on new ways to incentivize radical breakthroughs that move humanity forward.
    ***
    Premium Episodes on Design Better
    The audio of this ad-supported episode is available to everyone. If you’d like to hear it ad-free, and watch video footage of our live episode, upgrade to our premium subscription, where you’ll get an additional 2 ad-free episodes per month (4 total). Premium subscribers also get access to our monthly AMAs with former guests, ad-free episodes, and our new enhanced newsletter The Brief that compiles salient insights, quotes, readings, and creative processes uncovered in the show. 
    ***
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    • 1 hr 3 min
    Bonus: AI and the Creative Process

    Bonus: AI and the Creative Process

    Generative AI is finding its way into the tools and processes that power creative work. Exciting? Terrifying? Maybe a little of both. Adobe has been not only shipping impressive generative AI tools and features, but thinking about the implications this new technology could have on creative careers. 
    Adobe invited us to their offices in San Francisco for a conversation with a panel of leaders including Rachana Rele, Samantha Warren, Danielle Morimoto, and Laura Herman who shared how they and their teams are building and training AI models ethically while bringing innovation to the creative process.
    Find the transcript, show notes and more on our Substack: https://designbetterpodcast.com/p/bonus-ai-and-the-creative-process
    Panelists

    Rachana Rele, VP of Design, Generative AI, Emerging Products, & Adobe Ventures
    Rachana is at the forefront of shaping the future of design and technology. In her role, she leads the charge in harnessing the power of generative AI, and Adobe Firefly, to unlock creativity for creatives, communicators, and marketers. She serves as a product leader, shepherding incubations from zero to one and guiding emerging businesses like Adobe Stock to achieve scale. With a deep-seated passion for fostering world-class design teams, Rachana thrives on crafting experiences that resonate with customers and drive tangible value for businesses. Rachana holds both bachelor's and master's degrees in industrial engineering with a specialized focus on human-computer interaction. Her student-always mindset has led her to pursue an Executive MBA at Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley (class of 2025).
    Samantha Warren, Sr Design Director, Machine Intelligence and New Technologies
    Samantha is the Senior Design Director for MINT (Machine Intelligence and New Technologies), where we focus on Emerging projects, Adobe Firefly, and Artificial Intelligence across Adobe software.
    Samantha specializes in product strategy and user experience design. Her superpower is leading teams with vision while managing practical execution.
    Danielle Morimoto, Sr Design Manager, Adobe Firefly
    Danielle Morimoto a Sr. Design Manager for Generative AI with the Machine Intelligence and New Technologies team at Adobe. I’ve worked on a range of projects from initiatives supporting emerging artists ages 13 to 24 that are using creativity as a force for positive impact, to the next evolution of Creative Cloud on the web. I've helped define the most compelling experiences for development over the next 1–3 years by uncovering untapped potential and ultimately identifying how people could be using Adobe in the future. I’m an avid road cyclist, NBA Golden State Warriors fan and lover of ice cream.
    Laura Herman, Sr Research Manager, Adobe Firefly
    Laura Herman is the Head of AI Research at Adobe and a doctoral researcher at the University of Oxford’s Internet Institute. Laura’s academic research examines the impact of algorithmic curation on global visual cultures, taking an inclusive and international approach with a particular focus on the Global South. At Adobe, Laura leads the team that researches Generative AI for Creative Cloud. Previous technologies that she has worked on have been acknowledged as Apple’s “App of the Day” and as a Webby People’s Choice Award winner. Laura has previously held research positions at Intel, Harvard University, and Princeton University, from which she graduated with honors in Neuroscience & Psychology.

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    • 1 hr 1 min
    Ben Clymer: Hodinkee founder on watch design and creating a compelling content brand

    Ben Clymer: Hodinkee founder on watch design and creating a compelling content brand

    Get access to the full episode on our Substack: https://designbetterpodcast.com/p/ben-clymer
    Aarron fell down a rabbit hole when the Apple Watch came out. He knew nothing about watches, their design history and the immense investment of human effort it’s taken to engineer accurate timepieces until he bought an Apple Watch. He loves wearing a watch, but notifications and tracking caused him to abandon it for something simpler and mechanical.
    Anyone curious about watches will inevitably end up at Hodinkee.com, the premier publication about watches and the rich culture around them. Hodinkee was founded by Ben Clymer, who found his way into watches when his grandfather gave him the Omega watch right off his wrist. It sparked not only a deep passion for watches, but a company that has built a community of enthusiasts around the world.
    You might be thinking, watches are a strange topic for Design Better to cover. But they represent a beautiful intersection of design and technology that has been pursued for centuries. They’re also one of the few trans-generational objects in our lives that connect us with the people we love, as Ben Clymer shared with us in our conversation.
    We spoke with Ben about consulting with Jony Ive on Apple’s watch design, Jony’s deep dive into horology, how Ben went about creating such a compelling content brand, and his journey from being a founder and CEO back to being an individual contributor to the company he started.
    Bio
    Benjamin Clymer is widely considered to be a leading voice in the wristwatch industry. He is regularly quoted in major publications including The New York Times, Reuters, Forbes, Departures, GQ, and the Financial Times, and was dubbed “The High Priest of Horology” by The New York Times in 2013. Benjamin has acted as a consultant and guest speaker for Apple, and was named to “The Hypebeast Hundred” as one of the 100 most important influencers in global culture in both 2013 and 2014. 
    ***
    Premium Episodes on Design Better
    This is a premium episode on Design Better (learn more in the announcement here). We’ll be releasing two premium episodes per month, along with two free episodes for everyone. Premium subscribers also get access to our monthly AMAs with former guests, ad-free episodes, and our new enhanced newsletter The Brief that compiles salient insights, quotes, readings, and creative processes uncovered in the show. 
    Upgraid to paid
    ***
    Visiting the links below is one of the best ways to support our show:
    Methodical Coffee: Roasted, blended, brewed, served and perfected by verified coffee nerds 🤓. We have our very own Design Better roast at Methodical, grab some here to fuel your creativity: https://methodicalcoffee.com/products/design-better-coffee
    Crashplan: You may have heard horror stories of people being locked out of their Apple or Google accounts, and losing decades worth of precious files like family photos. That’s why we’ve been using Crashplan for a decade and a half now to back up all of our important files. Visit Crashplan.com/DESIGNBETTER for 50% off your first year of CrashPlan.
    Greenlight: Years ago, Aarron and Eli set up their kids with Greenlight, a debit card and money app made for families. Their allowance is automatically deposited into their account and is divided into three buckets: spending, saving, and giving. With Greenlight’s investing tools, we’ve helped our kids learn how to invest in stocks and mutual funds and they can see those investments grow. Sign up for Greenlight today and get your first month free: http://greenlight.com/designbetter
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 14 min
    Natsai Audrey Chieza: Designing with biology

    Natsai Audrey Chieza: Designing with biology

    View show notes, transcript, and more on our Substack: https://designbetterpodcast.com/p/natsai-audrey-chieza
    Steve Jobs perfectly described the creative process when he said, “Creativity is just connecting the dots”. Innovation and new ideas are often found by combining the familiar in new ways. Natsai Audrey Chieza, founder of Faber Futures, is doing just that. 
    Natsai started her education as an architect, became fascinated by materials and transferred into biology, and today is designing new textiles, design processes, and manufacturing methods by harnessing biological technology. She’s a rare individual who can hop between disciplines to design in new ways.
    We talk with Natsai about the work she and her team at Faber Futures are doing to help governments and large organizations design more sustainable products using bacteria, fungi, and algae as building tools, and how biophilic design technology could help us address climate change.
    Bio
    Natsai Audrey Chieza is a visionary designer and thought leader. She is the founder and CEO of Faber Futures and a co-founder of Normal Phenomena of Life (NPOL). Launched in 2018, Faber Futures is a pioneering design agency that melds consumer biotechnology advancements with real-world applications. In 2023, Chieza co-founded NPOL, a consumer brand offering biotech products online. NPOL makes tangible how biotechnology can generate new materials that can be beautifully designed to support climate goals and the cultivation of resilient bioeconomy value chains.
    ​Chieza's approach involves broad-ranging partnerships across biotech, consumer sectors, and cultural institutions. It uses collaborative, story-driven strategies to catalyse engagement and concrete action on critical issues. Notable clients and commissioning bodies include Ginkgo Bioworks, adidas, the Design Museum, MIT Media Lab, and the World Economic Forum (WEF). 
    ​As a member of the WEF's Global Futures Council on Synthetic Biology, Chieza advocates the integration of design and culture in policy development for bioeconomies powered by biotechnology. Her insights and leadership are sought after on various stages, including as a speaker at SxSW, TED, and Design Indaba. Chieza's contributions to biophilic design have earned her significant media coverage and accolades, including the 2019 INDEX award, known as the Nobel Prize for design.
    Premium Episodes on Design Better
    This ad-supported episode is available to everyone. If you’d like to hear it ad-free, upgrade to our premium subscription, where you’ll get an additional 2 ad-free episodes per month (4 total). Premium subscribers also get access to our monthly AMAs with former guests, ad-free episodes, and our new enhanced newsletter The Brief that compiles salient insights, quotes, readings, and creative processes uncovered in the show. 
    Upgraid to paid
    Visiting the links below is one of the best ways to support our show:
    Methodical Coffee: Roasted, blended, brewed, served and perfected by verified coffee nerds 🤓. We have our very own Design Better roast at Methodical, grab some here to fuel your creativity: https://methodicalcoffee.com/products/design-better-coffee
    BetterHelp: This show is sponsored by BetterHelp. Therapy can give you the self-awareness to build a social life that doesn't drain your battery. If you’re thinking of starting therapy, give BetterHelp a try. It’s entirely online, and designed to be convenient, flexible, and to work with your schedule. Find your social sweet spot, with BetterHelp. Visit BetterHelp.com/DESIGNBETTER today to get 10% off your first month.
    Crashplan: You may have heard horror stories of people being locked out of their Apple or Google accounts, and losing decades worth of precious files like family photos. That’s why we’ve been using Crashplan for a decade and a half now to back up all of our important files. Visit Crashplan.com/DESIGNBETTER for 50% off your first year of CrashPlan.
    Learn more about your a

    • 40 min
    Pablo Stanley: A creative force of nature on the importance persistence and hustle

    Pablo Stanley: A creative force of nature on the importance persistence and hustle

    Get access to the full episode, show notes, transcript and more on our Substack: https://designbetterpodcast.com/p/pablo-stanley
    Pablo Stanley’s creativity seemingly knows no bounds. Constant doodling is a key to his creative process, and has spawned countless projects including web comics like The Design Team and Stanley and Rupert, an illustration generation platform called Blush, and most recently Bueno, a platform that lets people build virtual worlds. Pablo makes us all feel like slackers!
    We spoke with Pablo about his childhood in Mexico and how it influences his creativity, the wide array of creative projects he’s working on, and the importance of persistence and hustle when you’re earning a creative living independently.
    Bio
    Pablo Stanley is a Co-founder at Musho—AI Designer, Blush, and Lummi—tools to unlock people's creativity. He’s also working on Bueno, and previously made Robotos, Humankind, Transhumans, Humaaans, Open Peeps, etc . Previously he was was a Lead at InVision, a Staff Designer at Lyft, and co-founder of Carbon Health. He gives design workshops and shares design tutorials on YouTube. He also writes a comic- The Design Team.
    Premium Episodes on Design Better
    This is a premium episode on Design Better (learn more in the announcement here). We’ll be releasing two premium episodes per month, along with two free episodes for everyone. Premium subscribers also get access to our monthly AMAs with former guests, ad-free episodes, and our new enhanced newsletter The Brief that compiles salient insights, quotes, readings, and creative processes uncovered in the show. 
    Upgraid to paid
    Visiting the links below is one of the best ways to support our show:
    Methodical Coffee: Roasted, blended, brewed, served and perfected by verified coffee nerds 🤓. We have our very own Design Better roast at Methodical, grab some here to fuel your creativity: https://methodicalcoffee.com/products/design-better-coffee
    Crashplan: You may have heard horror stories of people being locked out of their Apple or Google accounts, and losing decades worth of precious files like family photos. That’s why we’ve been using Crashplan for a decade and a half now to back up all of our important files. Visit Crashplan.com/DESIGNBETTER for 50% off your first year of CrashPlan.
    Uplift Desks: For people like us who spend countless hours at our desk, ergonomics are an essential consideration. A standing desk from Uplift Desk can help you avoid the negative effects of sitting all day by improving circulation and reducing strain. Design Better can get a special deal by visiting UPLIFTDesk.com. Use the code DESIGNBETTER5 at checkout for 5% off your order. Free shipping, free returns, and an industry-leading 15-year warranty. They’re a great company.
    Gusto: We’re big fans of Gusto, who make it easy to run payroll, set up healthcare and other benefits for your business. They’ve made setting up the HR infrastructure for Design Better a breeze. Gusto is also one of the best designed SaaS tools out there.
    Design Better listeners get 3 months free once they run their first payroll - Go to gusto.com/designbetter to sign up.
    If you're interested in sponsoring the show, please contact us at: sponsors@thecuriositydepartment.com
    If you'd like to submit a guest idea, please contact us at: contact@thecuriositydepartment.com
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 20 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
48 Ratings

48 Ratings

Lengman ,

Great content

Wonderful listen. Insightful and highly recommended for creative individuals!

uxfem ,

Design inspiration go-to

I'm the sole product designer in my company supporting engineering ship product to over a million users. As I'm still pretty green it's a big task and having the insights of design leaders broadcast to me is invaluable!

carcusmonnor ,

Great content, inconsistent recording quality.

Really liking the content but they really need to improve on the recording quality of those they interview. The forth episode with Albert Lee sounds like someone is sucking on a staw whilst hes talking.

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