84 - Debbie Millman: Design your life

June 2nd 2020

“Named “one of the most creative people in business” by Fast Company, and “one of the most influential designers working today” by Graphic Design USA, Debbie Millman is also an author, educator, curator and host of the  Design Matters podcast.

As the founder and host of Design Matters, one of the world’s first and longest running podcasts, Millman has interviewed nearly 500 artists, designers and cultural commentators over the past 14 years. Design Matters won a 2011 Cooper Hewitt National Design Award, in 2015 Apple designated it one of the best overall podcasts on iTunes, and in 2018 the show was honored by the Webby Awards. 

Debbie is the author of six books, her illustrations have appeared in publications such as The New York Times, New York Magazine, Print Magazine, Design Observer and Fast Company and her artwork appears in galleries across America.

Debbie cofounded the world’s first graduate program in branding at the School of Visual Arts in New York City, was the President of Sterling Brands, one of the world’s leading branding consultancies, and has worked withn many of the worlds leading companies. She is frequently asked to speak internationally on design and branding and loves to travel.

Debbie is currently working with Law & Order SVUactor and activist Mariska Hargitay’s Joyful Heart Foundation to eradicate sexual assault, domestic violence, child abuse and the rape-kit backlog.

Needless to say that it was an absolute honour for me to have Debbie on my podcast at Design Indaba 2020. We discussed a wide range of topics and our conversation ended up quite a philosophical one, discussing her personal visioning process that she does with her students, why people are not brands, some ideas about why we are addicted to things and she was very open about sharing some of her fears and struggles as a creative person. A lot has changed since this interview but we still remain the same flawed humans with the same needs and fears and I have no doubt you will be inspired by this amazing women and our conversation.