In the golden age of podcasts, the increasingly popular medium for long-form storytelling with countless conversations at your fingertips, it is a unique challenge to create content about physical design, architecture, and cities. Some urbanism and design podcasters, however, have figured out how to create this content through a non-visual medium. Whether you are brand new to the podcasting world, or a seasoned listener hungry for more, here are five podcasts that approach urbanism and design in unique and engaging ways:
This longstanding podcast describes itself as an “exploration of the process and power of design and architecture.” It takes a broad definition of
design, tackling far-ranging topics from how an emoji comes into existence to downtown ballpark design. The host is an excellent storyteller and each topic is approached with fascination and bemusement. Notable episodes: The Plat of Zion, which explores Salt Lake City’s street grid, and Unpleasant Design and Hostile Urban Architecture, which reveals design techniques that discourage the use of some public spaces.
Third Wave Urbanism
Two female urbanists engage in wide-ranging discussions of today’s urban challenges. Slightly less structured than some others, this podcast offers quick takes on emerging issues (a recent episode was a lively debate about the Amazon
HQ2 bid) and casual conversations with a focus
on urban inequality and other major forces currently shaping cities.
Design and Architecture (DnA)
Described as “a thoughtful look at architecture
and design in the modern age,” this podcast is a mash-up of reports on news events that intersect with design, and more academic commentary on interesting architecture and design projects
around the country (with a focus on California).
Here you get two podcasts in one—30 minute episodes exploring cutting-edge urban policies
and projects (mostly in Europe), and 5-minute
“Tall Stories” that serve as short vignettes to give you an audible taste of an intriguing place or building. They often send dispatches from major architecture and urbanism meetings, such as the Academy of Urbanism Congress and the Urban Resiliency Summit.
There goes the neighborhood
This podcast tells the story of gentrification. Season 1 explores the issue in Brooklyn from a number of viewpoints, interspersing interviews of low-income residents, real estate developers, and everyone in between. Season 2 moves the conversation to Los Angeles.