Once a trusty companion reserved for commuting, the podcast's rocketing rise shows no sign of slowing, with all manner of topics teased out over weekly episodes. Here are some of our picks – old and new – that put design and architecture top of the agenda, offering in depth conversations with some of the industry's brightest minds.
For recent episodes of Justyna Green’s popular weekly podcast series On Design, she's quizzed Antony Burrill on typography, Formafantasma's Simone Farresin on radical design and Emily Forgot on optimism, memories and functional art, which goes some way in capturing its depth and diversity. Delve into the archive for past musings with the likes of Piero Lissoni and Sophie Ashby.
Launched in a London on lockdown, the cerebral Open City podcast puts the city's past, present and future under the spotlight. A rotating cast of hosts from the Open City team take on topics like transport, public art and the politicisation of architecture, as well as diving into upcoming urban projects with experts in tow. A discussion on the housing crisis with former Kensington MP Emma Dent Coad is a particular highlight.
Cult estate agent The Modern House touts its podcast, which invites a guest to share their three favourite homes anywhere in the world, as ‘Desert Islands Discs for design lovers’. The lineup is as carefully curated as the site's properties: think architect Jonathan Tuckey, potter Edmund de Waal and artist Michael Craig-Martin, as well as designers Faye Toogood and Ab Rogers. Co-founder Matt Gibberd is on hosting duties.
Design writer Katie Treggiden's new podcast Circular brings the concept of the circular economy to life via stories of reuse, restoration and radical thinking around waste. Guests include fashion designer Christopher Raeburn on working with surplus fabrics, Yinka Ilori on taking discarded chairs home on the bus and a discussion with 'Zero Waste Warrior' Ander Zabala, who can fit his household waste into a jam jar.
Lauded writer and critic Grant Gibson is better placed than most to go in depth on design. For his weekly Materials Matters podcast, he invites a designer, maker or artist to muse on the potential of a single material – think Bill Amberg on leather and Bethan Laura Wood on laminate. An exception was made for a standout episode with Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby, who dive into plywood, recycled plastic and how the British design scene has evolved since the 1990s.
Those wary of architect speak should tune into the aptly-named Another Architecture Podcast, which presents sensational residential projects in simple terms. The episode with John Ellway, who transformed his dilapidated Brisbane cottage into a lush sanctuary, will have you pondering your home's potential. Host George Bradley, of east London firm Bradley Van Der Straeten, brings expertise and enthusiasm in equal measure.
Few furniture brands have their own podcast, but then few have the creative heft or heritage of Italian powerhouse B&B Italia. Launched in lockdown, The Couch eschews the ubiquitous weekly guest format and instead centres each episode around a domestic theme – the home of the future, or, wonderfully, the eponymous couch itself – inviting three or more 'voices' to weigh in. Discussions, guided by design journalist David Plaisant, have a gently philosophical bent.
Brit architects Luke Jones and George Gingell's lively podcast About Buildings and Cities does what it says on the tin with a brilliantly broad appeal, supplementing the pair's architectural contemplations with detours into film, tech and fiction. Now 80 episodes deep, intelligent yet informal discussions focus on topics as diverse as Blade Runner and Michelangelo, and there are multi-episode series on legends like Le Corbusier and Zaha Hadid – plus the odd request from listeners.
Born from the creative hub of West London's White City – and still produced there – Thought Starters is a podcast with a distinctly entrepreneurial spirit, where creative business leaders are invited to weigh in alongside designers and creators like Sella Concept and Adam Nathaniel Furman. Expect thought-provoking conversations on the reality of creative success in the contemporary world, with museum directors, communications consultants and company CEOs.