Design of Business | Business of Design

Jessica Helfand + Ellen McGirt
S8E12: Nikil Saval
Nikil Saval is a Pennsylvania state senator and the author of Cubed: A Secret History of the Workplace.


Jessica Helfand + Ellen McGirt
S8E11: Allissa Richardson
Allissa V. Richardson is a journalist and an assistant professor of journalism at the University of Southern California.


Jessica Helfand + Ellen McGirt
S8E10: Rosanne Somerson
Rosanne Somerson is president of the Rhode Island School of Design.


Jessica Helfand + Ellen McGirt
S8E9: Kat Vellos
Kat Vellos is a UX designer, facilitator, and connection coach.


Jessica Helfand + Ellen McGirt
S8E8: Nina Cooke John
Nina Cooke John is founder and principal of Studio Cooke John, and also teaches at Parsons School of Design.


Jessica Helfand + Ellen McGirt
S8E7: Maurice Woods
Maurice Woods is a principal designer at Microsoft and the founder and executive director of Inneract Project.


Jessica Helfand + Ellen McGirt
S8E6: Lisa Nakamura
Lisa Nakamura is the founding director of the Digital Studies Institute at the University of Michigan.


Jessica Helfand + Ellen McGirt
S8E5: Kelly Walters
Kelly Walters is the founder of the multidisciplinary studio Bright Polka Dot and an assistant professor of communications design at Parsons School of Design.


Jessica Helfand + Ellen McGirt
S8E4: Ari Melenciano
Ari Melenciano is an artist, creative technologist, educator, and the founder of Afrotectopia, a social institution fostering interdisciplinary innovation.


Jessica Helfand + Ellen McGirt
S8E3: Maxwell Anderson
Maxwell Anderson is the president of the Souls Grown Deep Foundation and Community Partnership.


Jessica Helfand + Ellen McGirt
S8E2: Deanna Van Buren
Deanna Van Buren is the co-founder of Designing Justice Designing Spaces, a nonprofit working to end mass incarceration by building an alternative infrastructure.


Jessica Helfand + Ellen McGirt
S8E1: Maurice Cherry
Maurice Cherry is the host of Revision Path and the principal and creative director at Lunch.


Jessica Helfand + Ellen McGirt
S7E12: Janelle Monáe
Janelle Monáe is a singer, songwriter, actor, and producer.


Jessica Helfand + Ellen McGirt
S7E11: Paola Antonelli
Paola Antonelli is senior curator of the department of architecture and design at the Museum of Modern Art.


Jessica Helfand + Ellen McGirt
S7E10: Elizabeth Alexander
Elizabeth Alexander is president of the Mellon Foundation.



Jessica Helfand + Ellen McGirt
S7E09: Mark Bloomfield + Shaun Borstrock
Mark Bloomfield is a jewelry designer and the founder of Electrobloom. Shaun Borstrock is associate dean for business and innovation at the University of Hertfordshire.


Jessica Helfand + Ellen McGirt
S7E8: James Rhee
James Rhee is executive chair and CEO of the fashion brand Ashley Stewart as well as the founder and president of the investment firm FirePine Group.


Jessica Helfand + Ellen McGirt
S7E7: Daniella Zalcman
Daniella Zalcman is a documentary photographer and the founder of Women Photograph.


Jessica Helfand + Ellen McGirt
S7E6: Courtney Cogburn
Courtney Cogburn is a professor at the Columbia School of Social Work and the co-creator of 1000 Cut Journey.


Jessica Helfand + Ellen McGirt
S7E5: George Gendron + Patrick Mitchell
George Gendron is writer in residence at MIT’s integrated design and management program. Patrick Mitchell runs Modus Operandi Design.


Jessica Helfand + Ellen McGirt
S7E4: Vivianne Castillo
Vivianne Castillo is senior design researcher at Salesforce.


Jessica Helfand + Ellen McGirt
S7E3: Sara Hendren
Sarah Hendren is an artist, design researcher, and professor at the Olin College of Engineering.


Jessica Helfand + Ellen McGirt
S7E2: Gene Lee
Gene Lee is senior vice president of customer experience and design at Mailchimp.


Jessica Helfand + Ellen McGirt
S7E1: Caroline Wanga
Caroline Wanga is chief culture, diversity, and inclusion officer and vice president of human resources at Target.


Michael Bierut + Jessica Helfand
From the Archive: Georgia Lupi
Giorgia Lupi is a partner in the design firm Pentagram and an artist whose data-driven work is at MOMA in New York.


Michael Bierut + Jessica Helfand
From the Archive: Forest Young
Forest Young is head of design and a global principal at the branding consultancy Wolff Olins who recently completed the Uber redesign.


Michael Bierut, Jessica Helfand
From the Archive: Lee Moreau
Lee Moreau is Vice President of Design at EPAM Continuum, a global design and innovation consultancy based in Boston. He is also a visiting lecturer at MIT where he teaches design strategy and innovation.


Michael Bierut
S6E12: Todd Bracher
Todd Bracher is founder and creative director of Todd Bracher Studio.


Michael Bierut
S6E11: Valerie Casey
Valerie Casey is head of design at Walmart.


Michael Bierut
S6E10: Bon Ku
Dr. Bon Ku is assistant dean for health and design at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia.


Michael Bierut
S6E9: Isolde Brielmaier
Isolde Brielmaier is the executive director of arts culture and community at Westfield World Trade Center.


Michael Bierut
S6E8: Mauro Porcini
Mauro Porcini is chief design officer at PepsiCo


Michael Bierut
S6E7: Valla Vakili
Valla Vakili is head of Citi Ventures Studio, an incubator for financial services.


Michael Bierut
S6E6: Archie Lee Coates IV
Archie Lee Coates IV is a founder of multidisciplinary creative studio Playlab, Inc., and executive director of Friends of +POOL.


Michael Bierut
S6E5: Kerby Jean-Raymond
Kerby Jean Raymond is the founder and CEO of the fashion label Pyer Moss.


Michael Bierut
S6E4: Reneé Seward & Chester Jenkins
Reneé Seward teaches communication design at the University of Cincinnati and is the founder of See Word Reading. Chester Jenkins is a partner in Constellation, which creates new typefaces, and Village, a coop that publishes them.


Michael Bierut
S6E3: Cindy Chastain
Cindy Chastain is senior vice president of customer experience and design at Mastercard.


Michael Bierut
S6E2: Billie Tsien
Billie Tsien is the co-founder of Tod Williams Billie Tsien architects, which works on buildings for museums, universities, and the Obama Presidential Center.


Michael Bierut + Jessica Helfand
S6E1: Errol Morris
Errol Morris is a filmmaker whose documentaries include Gates of Heaven, The Thin Blue Line, and American Dharma.


Michael Bierut + Jessica Helfand
S5E12: Dmitri Siegel
Dmitri Siegel is vice president of global brand at Sonos.


Michael Bierut + Jessica Helfand
S5E11: Renata Souza
Renata Souza Luque is the creator of Thomy, an insulin kit for children with Type 1 diabetes.


Michael Bierut + Jessica Helfand
S5E10: Eddie Opara
Eddie Opara is a multidisciplinary designer and a partner at the design firm Pentagram.


Michael Bierut + Jessica Helfand
S5E9: Manuel Lima
Manuel Lima is a UX design manager at Google and the founder of the website Visual Complexity.


Michael Bierut + Jessica Helfand
S5E8: Todd Waterbury
Todd Waterbury is the chief creative officer of Target.


Michael Bierut + Jessica Helfand
S5E7: Susannah Drake
Susannah Drake is the founder of DLANDstudio, a landscape architecture and urban design firm.


Michael Bierut + Jessica Helfand
S5E6: Lorna Solis
Lorna Solis is the founder and CEO of Blue Rose Compass, a nonprofit that helps gifted refugees develop their potential.


Michael Bierut + Jessica Helfand
S5E5: Forest Young
Forest Young is head of design and a global principal at the branding consultancy Wolff Olins.


Michael Bierut + Jessica Helfand
S5E4: Mariana Amatullo
Mariana Amatullo teaches strategic design and management at Parsons School of Design at The New School.


Michael Bierut + Jessica Helfand
S5E3: Ellen Lupton
Ellen Lupton is the curator of contemporary design at Cooper Hewitt, the Smithsonian Design Museum.


Michael Bierut + Jessica Helfand
S5E2: Jon Iwata
Jon Iwata is executive in residence at the Yale School of Management and a senior advisor to IBM.


Michael Bierut + Jessica Helfand
S5E1: Lisa Smith
Lisa Smith is vice president of brand design at Chobani.


Michael Bierut + Jessica Helfand
From the Archive: Ashleigh Axios
When Ashleigh Axios joined the White House’s Office of Digital Strategy in 2012 she wasn’t sure how she would fit in.


Michael Bierut + Jessica Helfand
From the Archive: Leslie Koch
A conversation with Leslie Koch, who revitalized Governor’s Island, an abandoned military post in New York Harbor into a public park.


Michael Bierut + Jessica Helfand
From the Archive: Deborah Berke
Deborah Berke is the founding partner of Deborah Berke Partners, designer of 21c Museum Hotels, and the Dean of the Yale School of Architecture.


Michael Bierut + Jessica Helfand
From the Archive: Audrey Gelman and Emily Oberman
Audrey Gelman is co-founder and CEO of The Wing, a social club and co-working space for women. Pentagram partner Emily Oberman worked on the brand identity.


Michael Bierut + Jessica Helfand
From the Archive: Neri Oxman
Neri Oxman leads the Mediated Matter research group at the MIT Media Lab. She treats art, science, and engineering as part of design.


Michael Bierut + Jessica Helfand
From the Archive: Danny Meyer and Paula Scher
Danny Meyer is the founder of Shake Shack. Paula Scher designed its graphic identity.


Michael Bierut + Jessica Helfand
S4E12: Jessica Dimmock
Jessica Dimmock is a photographer and filmmaker. Her latest project is the Netflix documentary series Flint Town.


Michael Bierut + Jessica Helfand
S4E11: Andrew Essex
Andrew Essex is the author of “The End of Advertising: Why It Had to Die, and the Creative Resurrection to Come.”


Michael Bierut + Jessica Helfand
S4E10: Abbott Miller
Abbott Miller is a partner in the design firm Pentagram.


Michael Bierut, Jessica Helfand
S4E9: Karin Fong
Karin Fong is a founding member of Imaginary Forces, a creative company specializing in visual storytelling and brand strategy.


Michael Bierut, Jessica Helfand
S4E8: Somi Kim
Somi Kim is senior director of healthcare solutions at Johnson & Johnson Design.


Michael Bierut + Jessica Helfand
S4E7: Lisa Strausfeld
Lisa Strausfeld is an information architect and data visualisation pioneer. Her studio is InformationArt.


Michael Bierut, Jessica Helfand
S4E6: Margaret Gould Stewart
Margaret Gould Stewart is vice president of product design at Facebook.


Michael Bierut + Jessica Helfand
S4E5: Heather McIntosh Cassano
Heather McIntosh Cassano is director of user experience at Google, leading a team focused on workplace apps.


Michael Bierut + Jessica Helfand
S4E4: Ben Watson
Ben Watson is the chief creative officer of Herman Miller, the furniture and workspace design company.


Michael Bierut + Jessica Helfand
S4E3: Arthur Cohen
Arthur Cohen is CEO and co-founder of LaPlaca Cohen, a strategy, design, and marketing firm for the cultural world.


Michael Bierut + Jessica Helfand
S4E2: Kevin Bethune
Kevin Bethune is vice president of Strategic Design at BCG Digital Ventures.


Michael Bierut + Jessica Helfand
S4E1: Stella Bugbee
Stella Bugbee is the editor in chief and president of New York Magazine’s The Cut.


Michael Bierut + Jessica Helfand
S3E12: Vishaan Chakrabarti
Vishaan Chakrabarti is the founder of Practice for Architecture and Urbanism and the author of A Country of Cities: A Manifesto for Urban America.


Michael Bierut + Jessica Helfand
S3E11: Melissa Harris
Melissa Harris is editor at large of the Aperture Foundation and the author of A Wild Life: A Visual Biography of Photographer Michael Nichols.


Michael Bierut + Jessica Helfand
S3E10: Randy Hunt
Randy Hunt is the head of design at Artsy and the former VP of Design at Etsy.


Michael Bierut + Jessica Helfand
S3E9: Natasha Jen
Natasha Jen is a partner in the design firm Pentagram.


Michael Bierut + Jessica Helfand
S3E8: Ravi Naidoo
Ravi Naidoo is the founder of Interactive Africa as well as Design Indaba, an annual conference in Cape Town.


Michael Bierut + Jessica Helfand
S3E7: Liz Danzico
Liz Danzico is creative director for NPR, where she guides both visual design and user experience.


Michael Bierut + Jessica Helfand
S3E6: Scott Frankel + David Korins
Scott Frankel composes musicals including Grey Gardens and War Paint. David Korins designed the sets for War Paint, Hamilton, and many other productions.


Michael Bierut + Jessica Helfand
S3E5: John Maeda
John Maeda is global head of computational design and inclusion at Automattic and the author of the annual Design in Tech report.


Michael Bierut, Jessica Helfand
S3E4: Timothy Geithner
Timothy Geithner was Secretary of the Treasury from 2009 to 2013. He chairs the Program on Financial Stability at the Yale School of Management.


Michael Bierut + Jessica Helfand
S3E3: Lucienne Roberts
Lucienne Roberts runs the studio LucienneRoberts+ and the publisher GraphicDesign+.


Michael Bierut + Jessica Helfand
S3E2: Claire Weisz
Claire Weisz is is the principal-in-charge of WXY, an architecture and design practice focused on innovative approaches to public space, structures, and cities.


Michael Bierut + Jessica Helfand
S3E1: Giorgia Lupi
Giorgia Lupi is the co-founder and design director of Accurat, a data-driven studio, and an artist whose work is at MoMA.


Michael Bierut + Jessica Helfand
S2E12: Dana Arnett + Patrick Palmer
Dana Arnett is a vice chairman and a founding partner of VSA Partners, a branding and marketing company based in Chicago. Patrick Palmer leads the strategy practice at VSA.


Michael Bierut + Jessica Helfand
S2E11: Khoi Vinh
Khoi Vinh is a principal designer at Adobe.


Michael Bierut + Jessica Helfand
S2E10: Robert Brunner
Robert Brunner is a founder of Ammunition, a design firm based in San Francisco. He has designed products from the Apple PowerBook to Beats by Dre headphones.


Michael Bierut + Jessica Helfand
S2E9: Ashleigh Axios
Ashleigh Axios is the design exponent at Automattic and a former creative director for the White House’s Office of Digital Strategy.


Michael Bierut + Jessica Helfand
S2E8: Teddy Blanks
Teddy Blanks is a co-founder of CHIPS, a Brooklyn-based design studio, who specializes in film titles.


Michael Bierut + Jessica Helfand
S2E7: Grace Jun
Grace Jun is the executive director of Open Style Lab, a nonprofit that aims to make fashion accessible to people with disabilities.


Michael Bierut + Jessica Helfand
S2E6: Michael Rock
Michael Rock is founding partner and creative director of 2x4, a global design consultancy. He has worked with brands including Nike, Prada, Target, and Kanye West.


Michael Bierut + Jessica Helfand
S2E5: David Rockwell
David Rockwell is the founder and president of the architecture and design firm the Rockwell Group and a theatrical set designer.


Michael Bierut + Jessica Helfand
S2E4: Lee Moreau
Lee Moreau is a principal at Continuum, a global innovation design firm.


Michael Bierut + Jessica Helfand
S2E3: Bobby C Martin Jr
Bobby C. Martin, Jr., is a founding partner of the agency OCD | The Original Champions of Design.


Michael Bierut + Jessica Helfand
S2E2: Neri Oxman
Neri Oxman leads the Mediated Matter research group at the MIT Media Lab.


Michael Bierut + Jessica Helfand
S2E1: Audrey Gelman and Emily Oberman
Audrey Gelman is co-founder and CEO of The Wing, a social club and co-working space for women. Pentagram partner Emily Oberman worked on the brand identity.


Michael Bierut + Jessica Helfand
S1E12: Teddy Goff
Teddy Goff was the digital director for Barack Obama’s 2012 reelection effort and an adviser to Hillary Clinton in 2016.


Michael Bierut + Jessica Helfand
S1E11: Steve Duenes
Steve Duenes is an Assistant Editor at The New York Times who oversees a team of visual journalists.


Michael Bierut + Jessica Helfand
S1E10: Danny Meyer and Paula Scher
Danny Meyer is the founder of Shake Shack. Paula Scher designed its graphic identity.


Michale Bierut + Jessica Helfand
S1E9: Jay Parkinson
Dr. Jay Parkinson is the founder of Sherpaa, an online medical practice.


Michael Bierut + Jessica Helfand
S1E8: Leslie Koch
Leslie Koch was the president and CEO of the Trust for Governors Island.


Michael Bierut + Jessica Helfand
S1E7: Susan Sellers + Cynthia Round
Susan Sellers was creative director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Cynthia Round was its senior vice president of marketing and external relations.


Michael Bierut + Jessica Helfand
S1E6: Douglas Powell
Douglas Powell is a Distinguished Designer at IBM. He directs a global effort to bring human-centered design to IBM.


Michael Bierut, Jessica Helfand
S1E5: Bruce Cohen
Bruce Cohen is an Oscar-winning film producer and president of the board of directors of the American Foundation for Equal Rights


Michael Bierut + Jessica Helfand
S1E4: Barry Nalebuff
Barry Nalebuff teaches at the Yale School of Management. His specialty is game theory and its application to business strategy.


Michael Bierut + Jessica Helfand
S1E3: Deborah Berke
Deborah Berke is the founding partner of Deborah Berke Partners, the architect of the 21c Museum Hotels, and the Dean of the Yale School of Architecture.


Michael Bierut + Jessica Helfand
S1E2: Molly Barton and Julian Yap
Molly Barton and Julian Yap are cofounders of Serial Box Publishing, which develops original episodic fiction.


Michael Bierut + Jessica Helfand
S1E1: John Bielenberg
John Bielenberg is a designer, entrepreneur and imaginative advocate for a better world.


Michael Bierut + Jessica Helfand
S1E0: Trailer
A quick preview of Season 1, with Michael Bierut, Jessica Helfand, and a few of their guests.


The Design Observer Cooperative

Observed | January 14

A New European Bauhaus? [JH]


Observed | January 13

Though it was later determined to be troll-driven, design twitter went bananas this week over the new CIA rebrand. [JH]

Women either decide or strongly influence 70% of all automotive purchases yet are 73% more likely to suffer injury in a car crash, and 17% more likely to die than the average man. A design problem? [JH]


Observed | January 12

Joy, disillusion, success, failure, hiring, finances, office space—just some of the topics in All in a Day’s Work, a new animated series about being an entrepreneur from our friends at Mailchimp in collaboration with It’s Nice That. [BV]


Observed | January 11

When Pac-Man arrived in 1980, it revolutionized gaming. The original game is at the root of a rich design tradition, one that goes well beyond detailed graphics and fluid controls. [BV]

Can the story of a pandemic be told in a single headline every day? David Rainbird collected headlines about the pandemic as a way of making sense of the infodemic that was 2020. [BV]


Observed | January 05

Paul Klee’s notebooks—nearly 4,000 pages of them—are now online. [JH]


Observed | December 30

“On cream-laid paper there is no “forward” button.” New York Times book critic Dwight Garner on the lost art of paper correspondence. [JH]


Observed | December 29

Job of the week: Yale’s British Art Center is looking for a new Design Director. [JH]


Observed | December 21

Renowned Swiss Designer Armin Hoffman dies at 100. [JH]

Screw mediocrity: Scottish industrial designer Neil Ferrier weighs in on a typographic mistake that turned out to benefit his career. [JH]

“That the cover of a book — something produced with a finite shelf life — could grip us throughout such a bitter, caustic year is either a triumph of artistry or a sign that our collective alarm bells are still not ringing loudly enough.” Matt Dorfman, Art Director for the New York Times Book Review, selects his favorite covers of 2020. [JH]


Observed | December 17

How custom fonts became the ultimate corporate flex. (via James I. Bowie) [BV]

First world problem of the week, or, why graphic design matters on your wine list. Behold: vinography! [JH]

Italian architect Stefano Boeri introduces prefabricated timber and fabric pavilions as Covid-19 vaccination stations in public piazzas across Italy beginning in January. (H/T Adina Karp.) [JH]


Observed | December 14

Pantone names its colors of the year for 2021. [JH]

Apparently not all architects declare. [JH]


Observed | December 11

“Royalty Now” is an ongoing art project by graphic designer Becca Saladin that reimagines queens, kings, emperors, statesmen, nobles, (and a few famous musicians, scientists and artists) as contemporary people. Follow her on Instagram. [JH]

Forest Young, Vivianne Castillo, Kelly Walters, and Dori Tunstall—among others—on the new design rules and why they matter. [JH]


Observed | December 10

Currently streaming: What Next? A virtual symposium discussing luxury as a concept and the ethical and moral questions surrounding it. [BV]


Observed | December 07

One week left to help support St. Bride’s magnificent library—and contribute to their efforts to digitize it for the rest of us. [JH]

Typography. Esports. Discuss! [JH]

Everything you ever wanted to know about a rejected Paul Rand logo for Ford Motor Company—from 1966—but were afraid to ask. (With apologies for the term “fancy-schmancy design trends” which would make Mr. Rand spin in his grave.) [JH]


Observed | December 03

Help our friends at Class Action fund their next campaign, a series of billboards in the hotly-contested state of Georgia. [JH]

Kern in hell! Announcing: Hell Vetica (via Victoria Brown). [JH]


Observed | November 30

Help our friends at Unit Editions produce a long-overdue monograph on the work of artist and designer Ed Fella. [JH]


Observed | November 18

You may congratulate yourself for being a good listener, but often it’s the powerful who get to listen and decide what to hear. (via Blake Eskin) [BV]

Why the Google Workspace rebrand isn’t as bad as the Internet would have you believe. (via James I. Bowie) [BV]


Observed | November 17

Aaaaaannnnnnd—that’s a lawsuit. Banana Republic gets sued over an Ampersand. [JH]


Observed | November 16

Architects designing for sea changes—as in, sea LEVEL changes. [JH]



Jobs | January 17