Journey of an Architect is a blog started by Tim Ung to share his architecture and design ideas through speculative projects. His posts focus on his design process, thoughts, struggles, and successes throughout his journey.

Podcasts I'm Following in 2018

Podcasts I'm Following in 2018

Photo by Prince Abid on Unsplash

Photo by Prince Abid on Unsplash

Back in 2016, I was working on a BIM model for one of the projects at the architecture firm and decided to take a break and chat with a colleague. In our conversation, he mentioned a podcast called Design Matters hosted by Debbie Millman and urged me to listen to it. Before this conversation, I was only aware of the term “podcast”, nothing more.

Fast forward two years and my iTunes application is full of podcasts that I listen to almost every day. Although I love architecture and design, a lot of the podcasts that I follow range from entrepreneurship to self-motivation, self-improvement, and finances. When I first started listening to podcasts, I was amazed at the wealth of information and access to experts worldwide. Without further ado, here’s a list of all the podcasts that I’m currently following and what I love about them in no particular order.

(Click on their titles to learn more about each podcast)

1. How I Built This with Guy Raz

As one of NPR’s podcasts, this particular one focuses on interviews between the host, Guy Raz, and owners of some of the world’s biggest companies like Lyft, WeWork, Lululemon, Slack & Flickr, Power Rangers, and so on. Raz does a fantastic job interviewing each of the owners by providing guiding questions and key points that steer the conversations towards how they came up with the idea for the company, the moment when they knew that their company was ready to scale, downfalls, selling their company, and so on.

I love this show because it provides insights into how some of the largest companies in the world were conceived and built from the ground up. In most cases, the owners started as low or middle income people who pursued a hobby or an idea. By following their gut and taking risks, they were able to start, grow, and manage their companies. How I Built This helps us step into the shoes of these amazing people and learn from their experiences with their companies.

2. The GaryVee Audio Experience

One of the most motivating people that I follow is Gary Vaynerchuk who is an entrepreneur and media expert. Vaynerchuk’s podcast is filled with talks that he’s given at some of the world’s largest social media conferences and discussions between him and regular people like us. He gives insights into how social media can be used more effectively and efficiently to garner followers for our brands in an authentic way.

I love Vaynerchuk’s podcast because it’s filled with lots of information and less marketing. He’s all about sharing as much as he can about the state of social media and the future of marketing. He also gets straight to the point and shares his personal experiences of working his way up to where he is today as the owner of a company making upwards of $200 million a year. Listen to any random episode and I’m sure you’ll see what I’m talking about.

3. The Tim Ferriss Show

Tim Ferriss is known for a book that he wrote over a decade ago called The Four Hour Workweek and now for his podcast, shows, and recent books such as Tribe of Mentors and others. His podcast focuses on long interviews with prominent experts of our time from Tony Robbins to Ray Dalio, Joe Gebbia, Terry Crews, Whitney Cummings, and so on. He prepares so much for every interview and it shows in the way he backs up his questions with insightful information about the person being interviewed.

Although this interview was intimidating because of its 1 to 2 hour long episodes, each one is filled with so much information worth knowing and is setup in a way where you just can’t stop listening. He gets his interviewees to share information that you probably wouldn’t hear anywhere else. I love the Tim Ferriss Show because of the depth of information that is shared and Ferriss’ personal wealth of knowledge about each subject and interviewee.

4. Oprah’s Master Class: The Podcast

This is a recent podcast that came out in the fall of 2018 and is hosted by Oprah Winfrey, who you don’t hear in the podcast at all. Oprah introduces each of the guests and turns it over to them to share personal stories that have shaped their lives. Her guests include Dwayne Johnson, Jay-Z, Alicia Keys, Justin Timberlake, Shaquille O’Neal, Steve Harvey, Kevin Hart, and so on. Each of the guests share insights into the things that shaped their careers and lives today. Although Oprah likely asks each of these guests questions, the podcast is structured in a way that makes it sound like each interviewee is reminiscing about their lives with us as their friends.

I love the way that Oprah’s Master Class is structured because it feels so personal which makes it extremely engaging. It’s as if each of these super stars of our time are talking directly to us at a bar, park, or wherever you go to unwind with a friend. You can tell that Oprah is probably sitting there with them and they’re just talking about their lives like friends do over a glass of wine. So much information comes from every episode and it’s all based on the experiences of each of these super stars, which are the best stories that we can apply to our lives and how we choose to live.

5. Design Voice Podcast

Recently, I discovered this podcast hosted by Catherine Meng who is an architect practicing in San Francisco, California. Design Voice focuses on interviews with women architects who are shaping the built environment through their practices and extracurricular activities. Meng interviews each of her guests who work at places like Gensler, Studio Gang, and others. In each interview, she sets up a framework where each of her guests share how they got into the profession, their influences, advice, and any struggles that they’ve had as architects.

I love this podcast because Meng does a fantastic job interviewing each guest and getting them to share their life stories with her audience. Through this podcast, I’m sure that the architecture profession will continue gaining a more diverse group of practitioners. It’s fun to listen to each of her guests share their stories of how they started in the profession, climbed the corporate ladder, and got to where they are today.

6. Design Matters

This is the podcast that I started listening to back in 2016 and was quickly absorbing as much information from as possible. Debbie Millman interviews the most prolific designers of our time from Steven Heller to Grace Bonney and Seth Godin to Jessica Walsh. She prepares so much information for each of these interviews and goes in depth with her questions about their lives, funny stories highlighted in their careers, and how they attained their success.

I love this podcast because Millman showcases the down to earth side of her interviewees that everyone can relate. She does this by exposing their past struggles in their profession and how they found their way to their current lives. She focuses on the things that shaped the lives of these prolific designers’ way of thinking and their practices.

7. Side Hustle School

Chris Guillebeau’s podcast shares the businesses and pursuits that people all over the world are pursuing as their side hustle. Each episode is short and to the point where Guillebeau talks about how the person in the episode got into their side hustle, which usually starts as a hobby, and eventually earned their first dollar and grew it into a business. Some of these side hustles eventually gross over $10,000 a month and become a full time career for the owners!

I love this podcast because Guillebeau brings stories of average people who took their hobbies and slowly transformed it into a business. He shares just enough information for us to understand the process that each person went through to start their businesses, market their products and/or services, and grow it over time.

8. The School of Greatness

Lewis Howes brings guests onto his podcast and gets them to share stories of their lives and what shapes their personalities and beliefs through his interviews. He guides each of the interviewees with his questions that brings each of them into details about their lives that we may have never known about. His guests include Tim Ferriss, Tony Robbins, Ray Lewis, and more!

This is one of the first podcasts that I discovered along with Design Matters and I’ve been a fan of his interviews. He has a way of connecting with his guests and getting them comfortable enough to want to share more about their lives with him. I love how he reveals the struggles and how each interviewee pulled themselves out of some of their lowest points in life.

9. Masters of Scale

Reid Hoffman, the founder of LinkedIn, started this podcast where he interviews the founders of some of the world’s largest companies today like Brian Chesky of Airbnb, Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, Tristan Walker of Walker & Company, Sheryl Sandberg of Facebook, Reed Hasting from Netflix, and so on. His list of interviewees is extensive and the information that comes out of each interview is astounding. He distills the ideas that come across from his interviews and shares them in a way that anyone can understand.

I love this podcast because Hoffman takes ideas that are difficult to comprehend and explains them in a simple manner using his interviewees who are at the forefront of a large scale business. There’s so much information that comes out of each interview and it’s up to the audience to pull the pieces that they’re most interested in remembering and implementing in their lives and careers.

10. EntreArchitect

Mark LePage’s podcast focuses on starting, managing, and growing an architecture firm through informative interviews with firm owners and partners. He shares pertinent information with his audience about the best practices for finding and maintaining clients, software recommendations for efficiently designing and detailing architecture projects, and more! Mark focuses on specific topics for every episode, which helps them stay focused and full of insightful information.

What I love most about Mark’s podcast is that his interviewees range from new small firm architects to experienced partners at mid-sized architecture practices. He covers all of the necessary information that aspiring firm owners need to know to successfully develop their client base, setup standards at their offices, and deliver projects.

11. Unpacking Design

This is a podcast that I started with my good friend, Mike LaValley, from Evolving Architect. Unpacking Design focuses on the technology, ideas, and influences that have shaped our careers as architects and designers. We cover topics ranging from the pay gap in design professions to the power of having mastermind meetings, the importance of mentorship, and the depiction of architects in the media.

12. Evolving Architect Podcast

After starting Unpacking Design with me, Mike went onto starting a podcast for his blog called Evolving Architect Podcast where he shares news and updates about architecture. He shares his thoughts on architects like Frank Gehry and Robert Venturi and he answers questions as part of his Mailroom series.

I love the new approach that Mike is taking in his podcast where he’s sharing his perspectives on current events and questions that every architect can relate to. I like to think of the Evolving Architect Podcast as a one on one chat with my good friend where he talks about current events in architecture and I get to listen to his thoughts.

Some other podcasts that I follow and occasionally listen to are in the same focus areas as the ones above: entrepreneurship, architecture, and business. Here’s two of them that I love to peruse on my free time.

13. Wrong Conviction with Jason Flom

Jason Flom interviews people who were wrongfully convicted for crimes that they did not commit and were rescued by organizations like the Innocence Project. These interviews range from Raymond Santana and The Central Park Jogger Case to rap artist Meek Mill and others. Some of the guests on his show were convicted and served over 15 years in prison before their innocence was discovered and they were released into society.

This podcast sheds light on the justice system in America and poses significant questions about whether our system is outdated and if we should begin to reform our laws. Flom’s interviews reveals corruption within the judicial system and the unfair plea deals that these innocent people had to take in order to rejoin society and be with their families once again.

14. The HBR Ideacast

Harvard Business Review runs this podcast that focuses on ideas and best practices that large companies are using to manage their businesses. Their topics range from negotiation tactics from a Holly Executive to how Alibaba is leading digital innovation in China, and an interview with Daniel Libeskind on working unconventionally.

Whenever I’m working in BIM, I’ll put on some episodes from this podcast to learn some of the business skills and strategies of our time focusing on management and growth of a company. I’ve found a majority of these episodes to be full of insightful information and organized in a way that makes the episodes enjoyable to listen to.


To all my podcast listeners out there, I hope you find this list to be useful in learning as much as you can about architecture, business, and self-improvement, and I hope that they help motivate you through your day! For anyone who has never listened to a podcast before, I highly recommend that you start now and see what it’s all about! There’s a wealth of knowledge out there just waiting to be consumed by the right listener and you’ll definitely find the ones that relate to your interests, career, and life.

Feel free to let me know what you think of this list and/or share other podcasts that you’re enjoying in the comments section below!

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