• Steven Heller

Design On The Air

This Fall “Design Matters” with Debbie Millman transitioned from an online live radio show to a podcast series on Design Observer. The program is also recorded before a live audience at the School of Visual Arts MPS in Branding studio. The Masters in Professional Studies, which also began this year, is chaired by Millman.

The final “Design Matters” of the season airs this Friday with National Design Award winner and founder of Design Research, Jane Thompson (above) and design writer Alexandra Lange. So it is a good time to ask Millman how the new format is working out.

How has joining Design Observer changed the production and content  of “Design Matters?” Design Observer insisted that the quality of the sound be improved before agreeing to host the content, so I am now partnering with the brilliant Curtis Fox, who also works with the Poetry Foundation and The New Yorker producing their podcasts. Curtis is now the official producer of “Design Matters” and has significantly improved not only the production quality, but also has helped me become a better host. Does recording before your MPS student audience significantly influence how you do the show? Not really–when I was recording for Voice America, I was also “live” before a listening audience, so I have always been cognizant of the listeners, so to speak. But what is new and wonderful is having my students participate by asking their own questions, live, after the show taping is complete. It’s sort of like “Inside the Actor’s Studio,” but with design superstars, as opposed to actors and directors, and the students get to interact with all of my guests on their own and spend time talking and sharing information.

What are your future plans for “Design Matters?” My plans are to continually improve the content and the quality of “Design Matters” and to create the best possible archive of design conversations both on and off line for years to come.

This season’s guests included:

12.03.10: Steven Heller 11.19.10: Alexander Isley 11.12.10: Kate Bingaman-Burt 11.05.10: Marian Bantjes 10.29.10: Ralph Caplan 10.22.10: Tina Roth Eisenberg 10.15.10: Bill Moggridge 10.12.10: Milton Glaser Podcast Interview 10.08.10: Eric Baker 09.24.10: Stephen Doyle 09.17.10: Massimo Vignelli

(Photos of guest Jane Thompson and others provided by “Design Matters.”)