top Contact btm



My Top 4 Podcast Addictions

October 17, 2014 — by Steven Chaparro

top 4 podcast

I’ve got to admit…I’m a podcast junkie. I especially crave for those, which intersect the worlds of design, architecture, and urbanism. I know…I’m a real urbanerd.

My addiction is so bad that so much of my data plan is consumed by downloading podcasts…regrettably, and most likely, while I’m untethered from a Wi-Fi connection. I go on digital binges while I’m on my walks, bike rides, or especially, while I’m commuting to/from work. It’s a real problem, but I succumb to them thinking that one day…one day I will have use for all of these great stories.

So, what are my podcasts of choice? Well, let me give you a peek behind the curtains of my ether world, my podcast library.



This is one of my worst podcast addictions, rather, my absolute favorites. When I discovered 99% Invisible, it was a monthly podcast, which was great, but that’s a long time in between shows. Then, in 2013, it successfully completed a $375,000 Kickstarter campaign to launch into a weekly format. Nice! So, when every Tuesday rolls around, you bet your life I’ve got my ear bud IV injecting digital goodness into my ears!

99% Invisible is self-described as “a tiny radio show about design, architecture & the 99% invisible that shapes our world.” The show’s creator/host has probably one of the greatest-sounding names in radio: Roman Mars. He was named by Fast Company as one of the 100 Most Creative People in 2013. As strong as his name sounds though, his style and delivery is very demure. He tells stories that “reveal something surprising about the built world”, pursuing the “cool thing inside of the boring thing.”



design matters 2


If I have ever experienced podcast withdrawals, it’s been with Design Matters. Back in June, the shows terminated production. I kept going back to my podcast feed to check on new episodes and found that they had stopped. I finally had it and reached out to its host and creator, Debbie Millman, on Facebook. Under the guise of “Hey, I really love the show…” I popped the burning question, “Where are all the new shows?!”

She graciously thanked me for my “kind words” and informed me that Design Matters was produced in seasons and that the new season would commence in October.

October? Are you kidding me? What was I going to do until October?

Well, it’s October now. It’s all good!

Debbie Millman is the President and Chief Marketing Officer of Sterling Brands, a leading brand consultancy. She also serves as the Chair and Founder of the Masters Program in Branding at the School of Visual Arts in NYC. In 2005, she started a radio show in which she interviewed her design heroes as a way to learn anything about and from them. Design Matters was the first podcast on design on the Internet, ever. Part of the Design Observer media channel, it has produced over 200 interviews with artists, designers, architects, and though leaders. If you love design and want to learn from the greats, this show is a requirement for your weekly fix.




DnA: Design & Architecture is a “multi-platform exploration of who and what matters in our designed world – on radio, podcast, blog and at public events.” Hosted and Executive Produced by Frances Anderton, a frequent speaker and writer on architecture and design, this podcast focuses its discussion on the Los Angeles region. It is a show of KCRW, a public radio station based out of Santa Monica, CA.

Here’s my only problem with this show – it doesn’t have a reliable release calendar. It’s like a girl who is told by her new beau that he will call, but never tells her when. That’s kind of the way I feel about this show. I will probably refresh my podcast feed later today to see if there is anything waiting for me.



the urbanistTHE URBANIST

My good friend and fellow urbanerd, Sean Benesh, introduced me to The Urbanist. Produced by Monacle 24, and hosted by Andrew Tuck, this show is about “the people making city life better, from dedicated mayors to hi-tech businesses.” Produced as a very high-quality audio magazine by producers from around the globe, it really brings to the forefront the conversations urbanists are having at both a local and global context.

So, there you have it, my podcast of choice. Check them out, the first one is always free, I promise. Let me know what you think. In fact, if you love podcast as well, comment below and share your favorite shows.