Lee Moreau | Audio

The Futures Archive is Thankful For...

We're taking a mid-season break from our regular episode posting to say a big thank you to everyone who has helped us make our first season so successful.

We’re especially thankful for our friends at Automattic, this season’s inaugural sponsor. Matt Mullenweg, Pablo Honey, Mike Shelton, Monika Burman, Jeffrey Zeldman, Lynn Collette, and Karen Arnold. Thank you, too, to an inspiring assortment of voices from the global Automattic team, including Srujana Akkiraju, Allan Cole, Bea Fialho, Lena Morita, Kylea Parker, and Wagner Veloso, with more to come. Find out more at Automattic.Design.

We’re also thankful for our education partner, Adobe. With their support, we’ve been able to create a lesson plan to accompany each episode, with prompts and invitations for anyone to share their explorations this season. You can download all the supplemental materials on Adobe's Education Exchange—and keep listening for more inventive exercises from our host, Lee Moreau, and his eclectic team of co-hosts, among them Judith Anderson, Saeed Arida, Garnette Cadogan, Liz Danzico, Jamer Hunt, Natasha Jen, Grace Jun, Devorah Klein, David S. Kong, Sarah Nagle, Lesley-Ann Noel, and Harry West—many of whom you haven't had the chance to hear from yet (but we promise, you will).

We’d also like to thank the many experts, designers, and entrepreneurs who’ve shared their time with us this season: Harriet Atkinson, Ruth Barcan, Kevin Bethune, Kimberlie Birks, Jadalia Britto, Josh Chetwynd, Julia Collin Davison, Beatriz Colomina, Galen Cranz, Denise Gonzales Crisp, Gregor Finger, Susan Freinkel, Joshua Halstead, John David Ike, Greger Larson, Kipum Lee, Daria Loi, Ellen Lupton, Pat Kirkham, Jon Kolko, Joseph Malherek, Ian Mcfarlane, Gail Melson, Kirsten Ostherr, Pierre Paslier, Katherine Pasmane, Claudia Pasquero, Anat Rafaeli, Adam Reineck, Francis de los Reyes, Craig Robertson, Joel Sanders, Elizabeth Semmelhack, Alexandra Sherlock, Scott Swank, Ann Marie Thomas, Nancy Tomes, Dori Tunstall, Tucker Viemeister, Chelsea Wald, and Hiroko Yoda. And a special shout-out to the students at the Elliot K-8 Innovation School in Boston whose first-hand knowledge of the intricacies of play were an indispensable addition to the Season One line-up.

Without our small but mighty team at Design Observer, none of this would be possible. Special thanks to Owen Agnew, Blake Eskin, Adina Karp, Lee Moreau, and Betsy Vardell, who keep things moving smoothly and steadily onward.

Wishing all of you a safe, restful, and enjoyable day off.

The Editors

Subscribe to The Futures Archive on Apple Podcasts or your favorite podcast app. And you can browse the show archive.

Kathleen Fu created the illustrations for each episode.


Lee Moreau
Welcome to the Futures Archive, a show about human—centered design, where this season, we’ll take an object, look for the human at the center and keep asking questions. I’m Lee Moreau...

Natasha Jen
And I'm Natasha Jen.

Jamer Hunt
And I'm Jamer Hunt.

Harry West
And I'm Harry West.

Grace Jun
And I'm Grace Jun.

Devorah Klein
And I'm Devorah Klein.

Saeed Arida
And I am Saeed Arida.

Lee Moreau
This season, I'll be joined by different co-hosts each episode to learn about the design and cultural history of an object and to unlock a larger conversation about human centered design and the future.

Natasha Jen
What an incredible story.

Lee Moreau
00:00:28] I mean, this season we've already learned a lot about some of these objects, things that I never heard of. Right out of the gate we learned about the history of the passport.

Julian Payne
And we like to think what it is for us, isn't it? It's my passport. Wrong. It's the government's.

Lee Moreau
We also learned about the boar hair crisis, which was a real challenge in the production of toothbrushes coming out of the Second World War.

Harry West
Perhaps it's not a toothbrush, but it performed the same role as a toothbrush, so perhaps it is a toothbrush.

Lee Moreau
We've learned about some of the challenges that we have with toileting.

Devorah Klein
I'm particularly interested in design that touches on very deep emotional things, which is why the toilet is my dream thing to talk about.

Lee Moreau
So far this season, we've heard from designers...

Ellen Lupton
Human centered design considers the needs and wants of users first and foremost.

Tucker Viemeister
We really dove into this potato peeler.

Dori Tunstall
How do you understand the inner worlds of a tree, the inner world of centipede, an inner world of water?

Lee Moreau
Who are able to bring a design background to the conversation, but also historians that are experts on these objects.

Galen Cranz
Chairs are something we don't think about. We think they're natural. In fact, they're a social invention.

Lee Moreau
Our most unusual experts this season were the children that came to us from the Eliot K-8 Innovation school in Boston who were able to weigh in on the ball.

A ball is something for everyone.

You can do almost anything with it, but most people use it for playing.

Lee Moreau
00:02:08] Plus, every episode ends with a prompt, a sort of a design exercise for you, our listeners, to keep working on the object and the idea that we talk about in each show.

What, we'd like you to do this week is to make a sandwich, and then we'd like you to make a chair for that sandwich. And when you're all done, we'd like you to eat the sandwich. This week, I'd like you to pick a day and document every single beverage container that you use on that day. Every one. It doesn't matter if it's a ceramic coffee cup, if it's reusable, if it's made of paper or plastic, or if it's simply your cup hand. We want to see all of.

The Futures Archive as a new show from Design Observer brought to you by Automattic and Adobe. Find us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you listen to podcasts.

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