“This Is Design School” is a podcast for the growing designer; those interested in design, starting a career in design, or needing a reminder of why they went into design.
Jp Avila is the Chair of the Art & Design Department at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Wash. Outside of teaching, Jp is charged with imagining and bringing to life curriculums which will prepare the designers and artists to shape the future of tomorrow. He earned his MFA in Visual Communication from the School of Art Institute of Chicago and holds a BA from Valparaiso University.
Chad P. Hall is a Design Director at Artefact in Seattle and a Part-time Lecturer at the University of Washington. He earned his M.Design from the University of Washington and holds a BAC in Communication from Pacific Lutheran University (where he met Jp).
Year 04, 05, 06 music composed by Michael Clark (https://www.musiclabtacoma.com/)
Year 02/03 Intro/Closing music: “Electronic : Nostalgic” by Paul Tyan (https://soundcloud.com/paultyan/electronic-nostalgic)
Year 01 Intro/Closing music: "Monkeys Spinning Monkeys" Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0
Frank Chimero on Putting in the Reps
On this episode, we talk with Frank Chimero, Creative Director at Fictive Kin, and author of the book ‘The Shape of Design’. Frank talks about how he found design by using it as a foothold to have a deeper relationship with the things he really enjoyed, how designers have the opportunity to teach a commitment and expectation of craft and quality to fellow disciplines, about the value in experience outside of efficiency, and how work and experiences are cyclical in nature.
Mitzi Okou on Looking for the Black Designers
On this episode, we talk with Mitzi Okou, a Senior Interaction Designer at Spotify and Founder of 'Where are the Black Designers.' Mitzi talks about her journey from studying classical music to UX Design, about how transparency begets a more forgiving culture, and her work in pushing the needle for diversity and representation so we truly don’t have to ask, “Where are the Black designers?” anymore.
Catherine Lim and Jennifer Cheng on Design as a Method for Engagement
On this episode, we talk with Catherine Lim and Jennifer Cheng. Catherine is a UX Researcher at 98point6, and Jennifer is a UX Lead Product Designer at IQVIA. Catherine and Jenn each talk about their journey to design, their shared critical lens on the design discipline, and their resistance to the pipeline of design school to the mainstream commercial industry. They also discuss how this critical lens, along with a funding opportunity and hearing an interview by an undocumented immigration activist, led to the motivation to create Archivo: A self documentation toolkit. Archivo, designed in partnership with Maru and local community partners, was a project which provided a guide for undocumented people to collect and organize paperwork to prove their continued presence in the U.S.
Leisha Muraki on the Currency of Connection
On this episode, we talk with Leisha Muraki, a Director of Brand Strategy at RORA, and a Lead in Brand Experience at MDMD. Leisha talks about how graduating in the middle of a financial recession forced her to take risks and work abroad in search of job security; how her experience building a career and practice in Venture Design shifted the judgement of design from aesthetics to strategy; and how the most important currency in the world is not capital but connection, including the connection with one’s self.
Cynthia Lawson Jaramillo on the Politics of Helping
On this episode, we talk with Cynthia Lawson Jaramillo, Dean of the School of Design Strategies, Associate Dean at Parsons School of Design, and the Conference Co-Chair of the Digitally Engaged Learning (DEL) Conference. Cynthia talks of being an artist who teaches design, and finding her way to the discipline through a passion of Art, a background in Electrical Engineering, and the worldview of growing up as a third culture kid. Cynthia discusses the practice and considerations of Integrated Design, including politicizing acts of helping, removing assumptions that you have what it takes to make someone else’s life better, and the importance of how we each represent history when walking into any given situation.
Debbie Millman on Hope
On this episode, we talk with Debbie Millman, a designer, author, illustrator, educator, and brand consultant who is currently the Chair and co-founder of the Masters in Branding Program at the School of Visual Arts, the Editorial & Creative Director of Print Magazine, and the Founder and Host of the award-winning podcast Design Matters. In our conversation, Debbie talks about her initial spark in design, working through and understanding cycles of fear and insecurity that led to life changing decisions in her career, planning for the long tail, and persevering through trauma in hope for a better life.
Refreshing take on the design podcast genre
So many “design” podcasts are simply focused on interviewing people in the tech indstry and focusing solely on the work of designing apps and websites. This is Design School focuses on the larger meaning of design and bigger picture topics. Also, the guests are great (Annabelle Gould and Karen Cheng are both great episodes)
Design Insights that Apply to All Areas of Life
I very much enjoy listening to “This Is Design School” despite having no formal design training myself. I find it helpful to see the world through the lens of design and to learn how everyone is really just solving problems all day in different ways.
Chad and JP are wonderful interviewers, asking thoughtful, measured questions that cut to the central questions of design and allow their interviewees to shine.
They are great, enlightening companions on my commute home!
Really helpful design inspiration.
I learn a lot about how to improve by looking to those who know what they’re doing and stealing the parts that resonate with me. This podcast is invaluable for that.
Not only do these designers give the stories of how they came into their unique places within the design world but they also lay out the different resources they used to better their skills within design. I’m sure I’m going to look back at these episodes more and more often as I begin to enter the art side of the business world. I’m grateful this podcast exists.