The Best Architecture and Design Podcasts For You in 2023

Ian Mutuli
Updated on
Ian Mutuli

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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Whether you’re unwinding or starting your day, podcasts have definitely found a way into most of our daily routines. Podcasts just like any other form of entertainment are super versatile. You can find a podcast to suit whatever need you are looking for i.e To feel inspired or to learn. The other thing about podcasts is that when you come across some really great ones, you simply can't not share them.

So whether you’re an architectural or design student/professional or you are just interested in the industry, we compiled a pretty great list of the best design and architecture podcasts that you should definitely listen to.

1. 99% Invisible 

Kicking off our list, we’ve got 99% Invisible by Roman Mars which is undoubtedly one of the best architecture podcasts of our age. His podcast marries architecture and design with everyday life in a clever yet extremely thoughtful way. Roman Mars has found a unique way to explore the ways in which design shapes our world and he unveils the powerful ways style exists in all the different places we might not necessarily have considered to look at. Some of the episodes have covered topics such as the creation of the Hawaiian shirt to the relationship between skateboarding and swimming pools. 99% Invisible started out as a project of KALW public radio and the American Institute of Architects in San Francisco and the host used to record from his bedroom. It is now one of the most popular podcasts on iTunes with over 400 million downloads.

2. About buildings + cities

About buildings +cities is an educational architecture podcast hosted by British architects Luke Jones and George Gingell where they lead and delve into conversations on architectural history, the world of architecture whilst also touching on technology, film and the future. The episodes are lengthy and filled with good spirited camaraderie. The best part is that the hosts are so enthusiastic about their topics, it actually makes you want to keep listening more.

3. DNA: Design and Architecture

Design and Archichture ( DnA) is a design and architecture podcast  hosted by Frances Anderton. It airs on KCRW, a public radio station that broadcasts from Santa Monica, California.

She takes a look at the latest design and architecture news in Los Angeles and occasionally its environs and also interviews designers and people shaping the city’s future. The great thing about DnA is that there’s something for everyone. Most topics delve deeply into one specific point whilst exploring both ends hence listeners are left to reach their own conclusions. The podcasts are fairly short though and tend to be under 5 minutes. Frances Anderton is a seasoned design journalist who served as the L.A. (Los Angeles) correspondent for Dwell and the New York Times and has been the host of this podcast since 2002.

4. Archispeak

Archispeak is an architecture podcast hosted by architects Cormac Phalen, Neal Pann, and Evan Troxel. The conversations are fun and casual and the topics are widely varied and cover different design aspects, engineering, winning new work and working with clients and basically the trio help pull back the curtain on what it really is like to work in the field of architecture. Whether you are aspiring to get into the field of architecture or you are already in the field, Archispeak is a monumental podcast worth listening to.

5. The Observatory

The Observatory is a design podcast hosted by design critics and professionals Michael Bierut and Jessica Helfland.

They discuss design and find a way to weave current events into their conversations. For example, in a previous episode they discussed currency design, Ebola, London taxis, midterm elections and Stephen Sondheim. Their episodes always find ways include elements of pop culture, world news and design discoveries. If it has to do with design, The Observatory will cover it all.

6. Design Matters with Debbie Millman

When it comes to design, Debbie Millman’s podcast is considered the OG design podcast. Debbie Millman has been interviewing the most notable and interesting figures in the industry for her award winning podcast Design Matters since 2005. Design Matters focuses on exploring insightful conversations with editors, curators, creative directors, illustrators, designers, and writers. Though her content is not geared towards architects, interested listeners can explore the podcast episodes depending on their niche and interests as she covers a wide range of topics in the design industry.

7. Monocle on Design 

Monocle on Design is your one stop podcast for all things design. It features all the current happenings in the design world and is filled with exciting stories, expert interviews and contemporary news on topics like architecture, fashion and furniture. You can expect guests from the architecture industry for example a previous guest on the show was architect David Chipperfield.

8. GSAPP Conversations

GSAPP Conversations is a contemporary architecture podcast produced out of Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation(GSAPP). Some of the episodes are hosted by the Dean while other episodes are either hosted by students or faculty members. The aim of the conversations is to investigate contemporary architectural practice interviews and discussions. Some of the voices they’ve had on the show include Christian Kerez, Sir Peter Cook and these discussions are specific to “issues of concern to the next generation"

9. Failed Architecture

Ever wondered if the architecture we have now serves the purpose it should?

Failed Architecture is a podcast hosted by the Foundation Failed Architecture which aims to reconnect architecture with the real world. It features a combination of personal stories, with research and reflection. The conversations seek to explore the meaning of what architecture is truly about and that is, social justice and climate justice, pop culture and subculture, representation and imagination, and everything that happens after the building’s been built.

10. Harvard GSD: Talking Practice

The Harvard GSD: Talking Practice Podcast is hosted Grace La who is a professor of Architecture and Chair of Practice Platform. The conversations are an insight on what it’s really like in the world of architects and designers. Thought provoking questions and discussions are had as the guests get into their stories and talk more about why, how they do it and also the key issues at stake in practice today. It’s definitely a great podcast worth catching up with as it allows you to learn more about people's stories and get a rare a glimpse into what it really is like in certain levels you might be eyeing or be interested in getting into.

11. The Business of Architecture

A great podcast for those interested in marrying business and architecture. The Business of Architecture is a podcast that offers informative conversations with advice, strategies and secrets of business development and growth for modern day practice.

12. Scaffold

Scaffold is an architecture podcast hosted by Matthew Blunderfield that offers an in-depth look into the minds of different architects and designers whilst uncovering details about their work that is often overlooked.

13. Face to Face

Face to Face is a design and architecture podcast hosted by the founder and editor in chief of Deezen Marcus Fairs where he features conversations with the most notable figures in architecture and design. 

Ian Mutuli

About the author

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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