d*s radio: feedback + suggestions?

Image above via Caren Alpert

I’ve been dreaming about writing this post ever since I first stepped foot inside the Heritage Radio studios in Brooklyn. I can’t even describe how happy and lucky I feel to announce that this spring, I’ll be hosting my own radio show! It’s been almost nine years since I put down my headphones and left my radio station days behind me at William & Mary (where I hosted an embarrassing but fun jam band show every Friday), and not a day has gone by that I haven’t missed it. I’ve always felt comfortable in a radio booth, and I love that radio lets you embrace deeper conversations and really focus on what people are saying.

For a while now, I’ve really wanted — and needed — a place where I could discuss design and craft in a more serious, meaningful way. I sometimes discuss serious topics and opinions here, but I’ve always felt they needed a more appropriate home where they could be fully fleshed out in real-time conversations. Aside from Debbie Millman’s excellent Design Matters podcast, I think the design community has a gap in great radio programming, so I’ve made it my goal to create a place where each week, makers, artists and design enthusiasts can gather to talk, ask questions and learn more about the community we all love and support.



But before I start my first show (did I mention the studio is in a series of old shipping containers connected to Roberta’s, the best pizza place in Brooklyn? Score!), I wanted to see what you guys, and everyone in the design community, would like to talk about or listen to. It would mean so much to me if you could share your opinions, thoughts and feedback to help me ensure that this show speaks to the issues, interests and concerns of the group as a whole. Here are some points I’d love your feedback on:

1. What kinds of topics would you like to see discussed in a design/Design*Sponge radio show?

2. What people would you like to hear interviewed?

3. What type of conversation/subject matter do you think is missing from the design community as a whole?

4. What sort of additional content (outside of each show) would you like to see included (e.g., slideshows, blog posts, videos, in-person meetups coordinated with each radio show episode)?

5. Would you like the ability to write/tweet/call-in questions on air to be answered?

6. Would you be interested in attending an in-person radio show event or taping if it came to your town?

7. Do you have any additional formatting or content feedback you’d like to see implemented?

8. In what formats are you most likely to listen to a radio show: live on internet radio, downloaded as an MP3 or embedded in a blog as an audio file?

I would greatly appreciate any and all feedback you have time to give. This show and this medium mean so much to me, and I really look forward to doing my best to create a show that celebrates and explores the creative community to which I’ve dedicated my professional life. Thank you so much, everyone. See you on air soon! xo, grace

  1. Erin says:

    Grace, maybe have a look at this service:
    http://ChatAuditorium.com
    Essentially, you’d have your on Internet channel where you can have in-depth conversations, in real-time via audio, audio/video and text. It’s the complete interactivity you want, the total access your fans want. Chat Auditorium is all about talking *with* people, not talking *at* them…and they can to talk with you too.

  2. I would love to hear task items for staying creative. Anyone who is constantly producing can get burnt really fast. How do super creative, multi-tasking pros stay on top of their game in the area of creativity? I would love to hear more about this topic.

  3. LusterNYC says:

    I’d love to hear from designers as well as local spots for local suppliers!

  4. Jena says:

    I’d prefer to get it through iTunes as a podcast

  5. Katie says:

    1. What kinds of topics would you like to see discussed in a design/Design*Sponge radio show?
    Design ethics, design for social change, I love the biz ladies column, as well as What’s in your toolbox?

    2. What people would you like to hear interviewed?
    I love the people you’ve been talking to for What’s in your toolbox, so whatever your strategy is there, it’s a good one. Otherwise, graphic designers, typographers, textile designers, and all of the talented crossover artists whose work you so often feature. I find it so inspiring when someone trained in graphic design, sculpture, etc. expands into product design, event planning, animation, etc. Interviews would definitely need to come with an online version—I want to be able to see visuals of their work, links to their shops/portfolios, etc.

    3. What type of conversation/subject matter do you think is missing from the design community as a whole?
    Design ethics and design for social change. Sustainability, authorship, and copyright, but those are more widely discussed. Consider also: design that addresses global issues, but beyond the more obvious industrial and architectural design areas (meaning portable water filters, hurricane-proof housing, modular affordable housing, etc.). Any designers addressing literacy issues, public health issues, etc.? Fair trade and maintaining traditional crafts (I love how many companies are working with artisans worldwide, often even educating them in business practices, trend identification, product design, etc.), or the related authenticity vs. mimicry discussion (big box companies selling “American Indian,” “Moroccan,” etc. craft work).

    4. What sort of additional content (outside of each show) would you like to see included (e.g., slideshows, blog posts, videos, in-person meetups coordinated with each radio show episode)?
    Definitely some sort of online presence—whether a summary post on d*s (a la your Friday wrap up) or otherwise—for reference to names, companies, and their accompanying URLs. I’d prefer slideshows to videos—like many have said, I often catch up at work, and a slideshow is easier to share via Pinterest, etc. A great way to tie things in with the blog would be to provide a post re the interviewee: visuals of their work, links to their sites, etc. that would supplement the radio show (or that the radio show would supplement). I’m not in NY, so meet-ups wouldn’t help much, but if you ever took the show on the road I’d love to partake.

    5. Would you like the ability to write/tweet/call-in questions on air to be answered?
    Yes, and based on the number of comments your blog regularly receives, others would too! I’ll leave it up to you to figure out how to scan through them all, though…

    6. Would you be interested in attending an in-person radio show event or taping if it came to your town?
    Yes!

    7. Do you have any additional formatting or content feedback you’d like to see implemented?
    Think the other questioned about covered it.

    8. In what formats are you most likely to listen to a radio show: live on internet radio, downloaded as an MP3 or embedded in a blog as an audio file?
    Definitely a downloadable file for listening, with the option to stream live. I’m in the US, but I suspect many are not, and in any case, sometimes work/life just gets to crazy for tuning in at a set time.

  6. drea says:

    I can’t wait! There are so many good suggestions, I’ll just add that I would also love a podcast (and more BizLadies!).

    Thanks for all you do!

  7. orlando says:

    omg Grace this is REALLY exciting. Ironically, as a designer of visuals, audio is one of my favorite mediums and other than Debbie’s show and studio 360 there aren’t very many design shows. You’re gonna be great. . . answers to your questions when i’m not half asleep. . .

  8. orlando says:

    1. Sneak Peek is my favorite D*S column for its focus on real and particular private-spaces. How about Spoken Walk-throughs? Not of entire homes but just special tidbits. Little vignettes we can imagine ourselves in with our eyes closed.

    Short, call-in or write-in segments. There can be organized themes like “My First Apartment” or “Memory of Grandma’s House” — almost like a folk-knowledge bank of how design impacts our lives.

    In general, content relevant to renters as opposed to owners. I suspect we’re a large and growing percentage of your audience.

    Take us with you to fairs/conferences, flea markets, etc. It could be a gateway to candid conversations with people about trends as they emerge “on the ground.”

    What’s in your toolbox, kitchen edition?

    2. Maira Kalman (please!)
    George Nakashima is mega-important historically, but you NEVER hear about him — maybe interview one of his children who still carry on his legacy of modern, timeless furniture.
    Isaac Mizrahi is always fun to listen to.

    3. Trends in historical/economic/geo-political context. example: The “dream of the 1890s is alive in Portland” and everywhere else. Why? Will it herald new, sustainable economic models or is it just a precious dream?

    4. If anything, a slideshow, but radio needs no supplement in my opinion.

    5. yes. builds connection.

    6. yes. keep Oakland in your thoughts.

    7. I love casual round-tables and big-group discussions (like NPR’s pop-culture happy hour). There’s something about 3 or more people conversing that has built-in rhythmic appeal and body. Laughter ensues.
    A mix of professional studio recording, grainy call-ins, field location background-noise, keeps things texturally interesting.
    Don’t be afraid to momentarily veer off-topic (or off-industry entirely). Keeps things charming and harnesses momentum for the listener.

    8. podcast via itunes

    — I am super looking forward to d*s radio!

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