Ep. 72: Cory Grosser

Industrial designer Cory Grosser grew up quintessentially all-American, lettering in football and winning trophies for his Halloween costumes. He studied architecture, but realized most buildings are built by “old” men, decided he was too impatient and shifted to product design. After years of pushing himself too hard, he is learning to find balance. Now he runs a holistic design studio, focuses on being a good dad, and teaches his students to unlock their creative potential, not strive for perfection.

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Ep. 68: Kate Duncan

Woodworker and furniture designer Kate Duncan grew up feeling like a square peg in a family of pragmatic accountants. She indulged in sewing lessons and endured charm school until she found woodshop class and fit right in. After years as a shop teacher, a motorcycle accident catalyzed the launch of her namesake brand. Shortly thereafter she also founded Address, an annual exhibit of designer / makers in her hometown of Vancouver, which dovetails nicely with another one of her talents: throwing a good party.

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Ep. 58: Ti Chang

Industrial designer Ti Chang is co-founder and creative director of Crave, a start-up dedicated to innovative and elevated sex toys. Originally from Taiwan, as a child Ti moved with her family to the U.S. and grew up feeling out of place in small-town Georgia. Loneliness had its upside though; less friends, more creative time! An independent thinker and brave warrior for female empowerment, she’s on a mission to eradicate shame and guilt, and believes all women should own their pleasure. Amen, sister!

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Ep. 55: Rose Apodaca

Fashion journalist and design retailer Rose Apodaca wears many professional hats. She spent her youth immersed in the lively Los Angeles music and skateboarding scenes, then became a journalist covering city politics, gang detail and street tribes. After a stint as the west coast bureau chief of Women’s Wear Daily, she started A+R, a design retail business, with her partner Andy. Along the way she’s owned a few bars, written a few books, adopted a child and lived every day with an enviably stylish gusto.

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Ep. 50: Todd Bracher

Strategic designer Todd Bracher regales us with tales of a serendipitous ten-year journey, living, loving and learning through Europe, on the way to launching his namesake studio in Brooklyn. Plus, he walks us through what the hell “strategic design” even means, schools us on the concept of “irreducible complexity” and explains his creative approach which he refers to as “essentialism.” Early on, he showed up to a big pitch meeting way overdressed, and now he keeps a poet on standby. 

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Ep. 43: Marcel Wanders

International design star, Marcel Wanders, grew up in the Netherlands taking things apart and making gifts from the pieces. After a rebellious and experimental adolescence, he discovered design in school and fell in love. Then he got kicked out. 20+ years later, with many global successes (products, furniture, lighting, and magical hospitality interiors) to his name, he is focussed on celebrating small victories, continually learning something new, and warning against the dangers of design fundamentalism.

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Ep. 42: Paola Antonelli

MoMA’s Senior Curator of Architecture & Design, Paola Antonelli, grew up steeped in the design culture of Milan and developed a sense of fearlessness from frequent travels to foreign lands. After studying architecture in school she landed in the curatorial arts without even aiming for it. She talks to us about how she views objects as lenses for understanding the complexity of the built world and her passionate belief that cultural institutions, like museums, are the R&D of society. *Swoon*

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Ep. 38: Tyler Hays

Designer, maker and jack-of-all-trades Tyler Hays confides he was a weird kid with a sewing machine, a pansy garden and racoon-skinning skills in the small town where he grew up. After a brief stint as a Portland art star, he ventured to New York and earned his keep doing odd contractor jobs. Now, the proprietor of cult favorite furniture brand BDDW, and handmade sundries brand M. Crow is on a mission to make everything he uses while bridging the divide between rural and urban America. Plus, he’s got goats! Listen:

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Ep. 35: Daniel Germani

Architect and designer Daniel Germani took a circuitous route to get to his full-time practice. Along the way he’s worked in tech, media and got an MBA. He talks to us about his childhood in Buenos Aires, grappling with his Catholic upbringing, and his passion for designing spaces that support clients living life to the fullest. Plus, he is fiercely (and hilariously) anti-tchotchke!

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