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Debbie Millman turns 100 ( : | DesignNotes by Michael Surtees

Debbie Millman turns 100 ( :

Pregame Design Matters

Below is an email that Debbie sent out a couple hours ago. To be honest I think it’s quite amazing that she’s collected over 100 conversations from around the design world and other people that are worth talking to. Even more amazing is for every conversation there’s been a priceless amount of energy in trying to understand each person before she talks to them. It makes me very tired even thinking about it. So with her permission I’ve just copy + pasted the email so people can get an idea of who she has conversed with. Yes I’m there in the list (and it’s a big deal to me), but that’s such a small part of it. I think I’ve listened to almost every single episode minus a couple from this year as I’m still trying to catch up. Up until I moved to NYC I could claim listening to every episode live, though now that streak has been broken unfortunately.

As I read the email I tried to make a couple mental notes of a top five that I can still recall after 100 episodes. This isn’t a best of by any means, but more like if I only had five hours to listen to my favourite podcasts, which interviews would I want to go back to.

Art Chantry
A guy that wasn’t afraid to go back to school to learn something new.

Paula Scher
Her drawl.

Shepard Fairey
The fact that hey had emergency eye surgery the night before yet was still willing to talk the day of was quite impressive.

Andrew Zolli
This was one of the first strategy people that I heard about while back in Canada. I really should also add Grant McCracken too now that I think about it.

Marian Bantjes, Alexander Gelman + Michael Surtees

It’s not like I’d not want to hear what I was talking about when I was 27, now I’m 32…

On May 14, 2009, at 4:35 PM, Debbie Millman wrote:

My dear friends!
Tomorrow marks a very special day for Design Matters: it is my 100th broadcast, and my Season Five Finale!

Design Matters began in February of 2005 with an idea and a telephone line. Mostly, I started out doing it for myself–I thought it would be a great way to ask my heroes everything I wanted to know about their lives and their thoughts and their careers without seeming stalker-y. In the process, I gleaned the most magnificent view of some of the greatest design thinkers and practitioners of our time. I realized the opportunity to share the brilliance of my guests with a listenership I never expected was the gift of a lifetime.

On behalf of all of my amazing guests listed below, I want to thank you for supporting the show, and for offering encouragement and friendship.

Until Season Six–watch for wonderful new things!


Abbott Miller
Alan Dye
Alice Twemlow
Allan Chochinov
Andrea Dezsö
Andrew Zolli
Ann Willoughby
Art Chantry
Bad Boys of Design 1: Armin Vit, Mark Kingsley, Michael Ian Kaye, Petter Ringbom, James Victore
Bad Boys of Design 2: Rodrigo Corral, Bennett Peji, Tan Le, Felix Sockwell, Mark English, John Zapolski
Bad Boys of Design 3: Josh Chen, Manuel Toscano, Layne Braunstein, Alan Dye
Bad Boys of Design 4: Marc Alt, Mike Essl, Ray Fenwick, Michael Jager, Alberto Rigau
Barbara Kruger
Bill Grant
Brian Collins
Carin Goldberg
Cheryl Swanson
Chip Kidd, part 1
Chip Kidd, part 2
Christoph Niemann
Dan Formosa
Daniel Pink
David Barringer
DeeDee Gordon
Design Blogs: Speak Up, Design Observer, Be A Design Group + Personism
David Carson, Not
Doyald Young
Eames Demetrios
Ed Fella
Editorial Women: Joyce Kaye, Michela Abrahms, Laetitia Wolff + Barbara de Wilde
Ellen Lupton
Elliott Earls
Emily Oberman
Eric Kandel
Gael Towey
Gary Hustwit
Gong Szeto
Gordon Hull
Grant McCracken, part 1
Grant McCracken, part 2
Grant McCracken, part 3
Hillman Curtis
Jakob Trollbäck
Janet Froelich
Jan Wilker + Hjalti Karlsson
Jeffrey Keyton
Jeffrey Zeldman
Jessica Helfand
Joe Duffy with guest host Nate Voss
John Fulbrook
John Maeda
Jonah Lehrer
Jonathan Hoefler + Tobias Frere-Jones
Josh Liberson + Ethan Trask
Kenneth Fitzgerald
Kurt Andersen
Laurie Rosenwald
Lisa Francella + Pamela DeCesare
Luke Hayman
Luba Lukova
Maira Kalman
Malcolm Gladwell + Joyce Gladwell
Marian Bantjes, Alexander Gelman + Michael Surtees
Marty Neumeier
Michael Bierut
Mick Hodgson
Milton Glaser
Minda Gralnek
Modern Dog
Natalia Ilyin
Neville Brody
Nicholas Blechman
Paola Antonelli
Patrick Coyne
Paul Sahre
Paula Scher
Peter Buchanan-Smith
Petrula Vrontikis
Rick Valicenti
Sean Adams + Noreen Morioka
Seth Godin
Shepard Fairey
Spoken Word
Stanley Hainsworth
Stefan Bucher
Stefan Sagmeister
Steve Sikora, Charlie Lazor + Tom Wright
Steven Heller, part 1
Steven Heller + Veronique Vienne
Steven Heller, part 3
Steven Heller + Lita Talerico
Todd Pruzan + Sam Potts
Vaughan Oliver
Virginia Postrel
William Drenttel + Jessica Helfand
William Lunderman
World of Branding
World of Las Vegas
World of Leisurama: Jake Gorst, Alastair Gordon + Andrew Geller
Y Conference 2009: Lorraine Wild, Liz Danzico, Andrea Pellegrino, Mark Randall, Shel Perkins
Ze Frank

debbie millman
president, design, sterling brands
radio host, design matters
empire state building
350 fifth avenue suite 1714
new york new york 10118


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  • litherland

    Congrats to her.

    There's no way I can choose just five. I'm pretty sure I've listened to every one of them. Probably my all-time favorite was the Doyald Young interview.

    Other favorites:

    Janet Froelich
    Luba Lukova
    Paul Sahre
    Paula Scher
    Heller + Vienne
    Carin Goldberg
    Bantjes + Gelman + Surtees (partially because of a remark made in passing that gave me an idea for a book I want to write; no, it's not about you guys but… well, you'll see)