Design Notes

Google Design


Design Notes is a show about creative work and what it teaches us, hosted by Google’s Liam Spradlin. Each episode we’ll talk with people from unique creative fields to discover what inspires and unites us in our practice.

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Jesse Reed, Standards Manual

32:45 | Nov 27th, 2018

In this episode, Liam speaks with Jesse Reed, identity designer and co-founder of Standards Manual—a publishing imprint known for preserving and republishing historic design style guides and assemblages of designed artifacts. In the interview, Reed e...Show More

Ksenya Samarskaya, Type Designer

26:21 | Mar 19th

In this episode, Liam speaks with New York-based type designer Ksenya Samarskaya, exploring how type absorbs influence from its place in time, space, and culture. Samarskaya unpacks how typography represents the histories and complexities of the wor...Show More

Bee Grandinetti & Hedvig Ahlberg, Punanimation

32:11 | Feb 19th

In this episode, Liam speaks with Bee Grandinetti and Hedvig Ahlberg—two thirds of the trio that founded Punanimation, a community and platform for women, trans, and non-binary folks working with animation and motion design. Bee and Hedvig unpack ...Show More

2018 Material Design Awards

46:25 | Jan 15th

In this episode, Liam sits down with the winners of the 2018 Material Design Awards—Anchor, KptnCook, Lyft, and SimpleHabit—to discuss how they each adopted and extended Material to build expressive, inspirational experiences.

Tuuli & Kivi Sotamaa, Ateljé Sotamaa

24:07 | Dec 13th, 2018

Tuuli and Kivi Sotamaa are the brother and sister team behind Ateljé Sotamaa, a studio creating emotionally-appealing objects and holistic architectural environments. In the episode: Tuuli and Kivi Sotamaa recount their very first collaboration (b...Show More

Marko Ahtisaari

26:36 | Dec 13th, 2018

Marko Ahtisaari is the artistic director of the Helsinki Festival, a former product design lead at Nokia, and co-founder of Dopplr and Sync Project. In the episode: Marko Ahtisaari expands on his journey as a designer and entrepreneur, explaining ...Show More

Stephanie Dinkins [LIVE]

19:40 | Dec 13th, 2018

A transdisciplinary artist, Stephanie Dinkins focuses on AI’s intersection with race, gender, and social equity. In the episode, recorded live onstage at SPAN: Stephanie Dinkins unpacks how and why we should actively engage with artificial intelli...Show More

James Bridle, Author (New Dark Age)

24:21 | Dec 13th, 2018

James Bridle is an artist and author working across technologies and disciplines. His artworks have been commissioned by galleries and institutions, and exhibited worldwide. In the episode: James Bridle explores the importance of having agency in—...Show More

Isabelle Olsson, Design Director (Google Home)

24:49 | Dec 13th, 2018

A design director working on Google Home and wearables, Isabelle Olsson also oversees CMF (color, material, and finish) for all Google hardware. In the episode: Isabelle Olsson explains how she discovered the discipline of industrial design and ex...Show More

Ryan Snelson

29:05 | Oct 30th, 2018

In this episode, Liam speaks with Ryan Snelson about his experience redesigning MySpace, championing a gritty and expressive experimental aesthetic, and understanding the constraints of technology and design. Learn more 👉 More

Sang Mun, YAW Studio

20:03 | Sep 4th, 2018

In this episode, Liam speaks with interdisciplinary designer Sang Mun of YAW Studio. In the interview—recorded in Seoul, South Korea—Liam and Sang explore how the ZXX typeface, which was born from Sang’s experience in special intelligence, tells a st...Show More

Libby VanderPloeg, Illustrator

25:18 | Aug 14th, 2018

In the twelfth episode, Liam speaks with illustrator Libby VanderPloeg about how she relates to her uniquely illustrative work, deciding what to share with the world, and what happens when the work takes on a life of its own. Learn more 👉 https:/...Show More

Madeline Gannon, Design researcher and robot tamer

20:09 | Jul 10th, 2018

In the eleventh episode, guest host Aaron Lammer speaks with “robot tamer” and founder of the research studio ATONATON, Madeline Gannon, about how to make robots more approachable, how to design their personalities to work alongside humans as “machin...Show More

Alexandra Lange, Architecture Critic, Author of The Design of Childhood

28:31 | Jun 11th, 2018

Guest host Amber Bravo speaks with architecture critic and author Alexandra Lange about her new book, The Design of Childhood: How the Material World Shapes Independent Kids. Together, they examine how design changes childhood—discussing every...Show More

Cameron Koczon, Partner at Fictive Kin

26:45 | May 2nd, 2018

In this episode Liam speaks with Cameron Koczon, a Partner at Fictive Kin, a New York-based design and engineering studio whose unique approach to product development starts with “a Seinfeld” - an app that does nothing. In the interview, Liam and Cam...Show More

Nathan Martin

22:26 | Apr 10th, 2018

In this episode, guest host Aaron Lammer speaks with Deeplocal CEO Nathan Martin about the work of an innovation studio, how Deeplocal’s ownership of its design process makes work like punk rock, and how communication and collaboration help the studi...Show More

Bennett Foddy

29:50 | Mar 13th, 2018

In this episode, Liam speaks with game designer, professor, and philosopher Bennett Foddy about  using frustration as a design pattern, positioning games at the intersection of art and software, and who he had in mind when creating Getting Over It. ...Show More

Molly Wright Steenson

22:17 | Feb 12th, 2018

In the sixth episode, guest host Aaron Lammer speaks with designer and professor Molly Wright Steenson about pattern languages, the important similarities between architecture and AI, and the publication of her new book Architectural Intelligence. ...Show More

Mitch Paone

25:49 | Jan 16th, 2018

In the fifth episode, Liam speaks with Mitch Paone, Principle and Creative Director at DIA Studio, about creating a jazz solo out of the creative process, using a beginner’s mindset to unlock new possibilities in design, and the difference between in...Show More

Luis von Ahn

26:06 | Dec 19th, 2017

The fourth episode is a special edition featuring Luis von Ahn, co-founder and CEO of DuoLingo, recorded at SPAN 2017 in Pittsburgh. In the interview, Luis and guest host Aaron Lammer discuss why von Ahn chooses projects that can make an immediate im...Show More

William Okpo

25:28 | Nov 22nd, 2017

In the third episode Lizzy and Darlene Okpo, the designers and sisters behind New York-based fashion label William Okpo, detail what gives their line its identity, the personas that shape a collection, and the intersection of expression and utility i...Show More

Material Design Awards

31:24 | Oct 26th, 2017

The second episode features the winners of this year’s Material Design awards, who sat down to talk with Liam while being honored for their work at SPAN Pittsburgh. Listen as the creative teams from NPR One, Eventbrite, Momondo, and Blinkist detail h...Show More

Talbot & Yoon

23:25 | Sep 27th, 2017

In the premiere episode, Liam speaks with Mark Talbot and Youngjin Yoon of Talbot & Yoon, a New York-based design firm focused on objects, furniture, and home goods. The designers discuss making play a central tenet of their practice, how objects evo...Show More