Podcasts, as an entertainment medium, have exploded in popularity over the past few years due to their ability to be listened to almost anywhere. They fit seamlessly into our lives, filling dead space like commuting and chores with informative and entertaining shows that cater to almost any taste and they are free! There really is an overwhelming number of podcasts out there: how do you know what to look for? For the busy creative, these podcasts will serve to inspire and inform you.
In The Unmistakable Creative, host Srinivas Rao interviews creatives from a variety of fields, recently including big names like Tim Ferriss and Seth Godin. Each conversation is radically different and, with a brightly optimistic tone, this podcast is sure to inspire you in whatever your next project might be.
While TED talks aren’t quite as prolific and revered as they used to be, it’s remains an amazing platform for innovative thinkers and creatives. The TED Radio Hour by NPR takes a general topic (like generosity, democracy or lying) and collects the best talks on that topic and interviews the speakers involved. Clips from the original talks are also interspersed, allowing you a deeper dive into the subject matter. The topics are varied and fascinating, and will keep you entertained while stoking your curiosity.
This podcast is laser focused on the minutiae of architecture and design, taking its name from the quote "Ninety-nine percent of who you are is invisible and untouchable." Each episode does a deep dive into an obscure topic, like the cultural symbolism of a cul-de-sac or why Fur Elise plays on the streets of Taiwan in the middle of the day. You’ll learn some interesting design factoids and you might be inspired to improve your observation skills.
Perhaps one of the most famous podcasts out there, having been around, in one form or another, since 1995 (it also spawned Serial, the show that arguably started the current podcasting craze). The show’s longevity is thanks, in part, to its broad subject matter: “American Life” can encompass almost any domain it likes. The show’s deep sense of empathy, and the fascinating stories it compiles week on week, means it should be already on your radar. It’s said that podcasting is one of the most intimate forms of media, connecting listener directly to subject, and This American Life is one of the medium’s most compelling examples.
The eponymous discontent here broadly covers frustrations, failures and creative block. Through interviews with a wide array of creatives (designers, illustrators, singers, actors, writers, directors, architects…) this podcast explores what it means to successfully overcome obstacles. This one’s for when you’re feeling low from creative blues and need a pick-me-up through remembering you’re not alone. The Great Discontent is originally a print magazine and the website also publishes written interviews if you’re interested.